There’s little reason to pass on the Honda Civic, one of the world’s most popular cars. The newer models keep getting better and even the used Honda Civic is highly sought after by collectors. Recently, U.S. News gave us one more reason to love the Honda Civic.
The site rates the 2020 Honda Civic as the best four-cylinder car on the new market. A four-cylinder isn’t as powerful as a V6 or V8, which may make some drivers avoid this engine entirely. However, the Honda Civic proves that driving with a four-cylinder can still prove to be an exciting ride.
Every engine option for the Honda Civic
The Honda Civic may only offer four-cylinders, but there’s still a variety to choose from. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. Critics note that it has a good amount of power, but every other engine accelerates with more ease.
The standard hatchback’s 1.5-liter turbo-four can make 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Higher trims of the hatchback have an upgraded version of this engine that makes 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. If you decide to get a Honda Civic Si, you get the 1.5-liter turbo-four that makes 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque.
The Honda Civic’s most powerful engine is reserved for the sportiest Type R model. It’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. No matter which engine you choose, the Civic is only available with front-wheel drive. Each engine is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT.
Behind the wheel
Every Honda Civic model is very enjoyable to drive. It handles corners with ease, the steering feels responsive, and the ride quality never falters. Both of the transmission options operate smoothly, but Kelley Blue Book noted that the manual feels more engaging overall.
The Si and Type R are the fastest Civic models, but each has a slightly lower fuel economy. The Honda Civic Si clears a 0-60 mph time of six seconds, while the Type R needs only 5.4 seconds. These models also have sport suspensions, but those won’t noticeably diminish drive quality.
Other reasons why people love the Honda Civic
In addition to being fun to drive, the Honda Civic provides drivers with cozy interior accommodations. Even the base model looks fairly upscale, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and comfortable seats. Only cloth upholstery is available, though higher trims come with leather trimming.
It has some advanced standard driver aids, including lane-keeping assistance, pre-collision warning plus braking, and cruise control. Admittedly, some of the more desirable tech features are saved for higher trims.
However, one of the best things about the Civic is its affordability. The standard sedan, hatchback, and coupe models all cost less than $22,000. If you want to add on more advanced features like smartphone integration, it’s only around $1,000 extra. The Honda Civic Type R is the only exception, which jumps the original price tag by around $15,000.
Which is the best engine?
U.S. News recommends the 1.5-liter turbo-four found in the hatchback and Civic Sport models. Other engines have more horsepower, but this one still cruises around town with plenty of speed. If you pair it with the CVT, you’ll also get better gas mileage.
Turbo-fours with CVT transmissions are rated for 31 mpg on city roads and a possible 40 mpg at highway speeds. However, we certainly wouldn’t judge you if you opted for the playful stick shift instead.