Honda has given its popular Civic hatchback a light update for 2020, but it still makes the model a credible player in this competitive class.
It wasn’t long that Honda debuted its latest Swindon-built Civic hatchback in 2017.
However, a lot has happened in the auto world since that time; that is since the Civic’s debut just three years ago, there has been a new Ford Focus, a new Kia Ceed and a new Volkswagen Golf as well.
While the Civic can still hold its ground – and remain a popular model that’s now in its 10th generation – Honda has seen fit to update its Swindon-built hatchback for 2020. It’s a light update, with Honda introducing slight styling tweaks along with a new EX Sport Line trim, which gives a sportier look. Revisions have also been made to the touchscreen system in response to customer feedback.
The engine line-up available with the Civic remains the same as before, with a pair of petrol engines available alongside a diesel unit.
The car uses the entry-level engine – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, which produces 124bhp and 200Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic is available.
On paper, it’s not the quickest, with 0-60mph taking 11 seconds, along with a top speed of 126mph. It’s quite an efficient option, though – returning a claimed 45.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 110g/km.
Despite its modest power output, it feels far more potent than it is, with a strong torque delivery throughout the rev range and just enough power for most conditions.
The other engines are a punchy 179bhp 1.5-litre engine, as well as a 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel option, though neither are available on this EX Sport Line trim level.
Since the latest Civic launched in 2017, this model has been one of the best cars to drive in its class – being about on par with the Focus, and ahead of the Golf.
With no mechanical changes made on this update then, it’s much the same story. The steering is involving and the ride is genuinely comfortable, though the firmer setup on this trim level means you could be better with another grade if you want maximum comfort.
The only real gripe, though, is with rear visibility. It’s not been a strong point of the Civic for quite a few generations, and the rear wing that this EX Sport Line brings certainly doesn’t help matters. It’s well worth going for a model with a reversing camera for this reason.
On the inside of the Civic, the changes are limited but welcome. Honda has listened to feedback from customers and introduced more physical buttons into the cabin – including for the volume and touchscreen, which were two things you had to use the touchscreen for before. It’s quite refreshing to see a firm making a step like this, though as the touchscreen itself remains the same, it remains a bit disappointing as it can be slow and unresponsive, and lags behind rival offerings.
The 478-litre boot is one of the largest in this class, and is a full 100 litres bigger than the Ford Focus, though rear space isn’t quite so class-leading.
Source: Honda Motors Company