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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2020 Honda Civic hatchback

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

This week we are reviewing the 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport. Our vehicle was proudly assembled at the Alliston Plant in the Canada and has an MSRP of $34475 CAD.

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback
Picture by Luis G Manrique

Fun Factor: 6

Can it Family: 7

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 7

Karaoke Friendly: 5

Baby-friendly: 7

City Cruising: 7

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback
Picture by Luis G Manrique

The Honda Civic is now in its 10th generation, and the 11th is just around the corner. Many manufacturers envy Honda's long-standing reputation for reliability; unfortunately, at the launch of the 1.5L Turbo engine, it was slightly tainted due to excessive oil dilution. The most frequently asked question on our social media must have been whether this issue had been resolved. The excessive dilution arose more often in colder climates, affecting us more here in Quebec, with our frosty winter. To answer this question, yes, Honda found a solution to their problem as 2019 owners and up haven't had these issues anymore. The 1.5L Turbo engine in the Honda Civic Sport produces 174hp and 167 lb-ft of torque in the manual vs 162 with the CVT. While there is a gain in horsepower in the Sport trim, pushing the engine to 180hp and 177 lb-ft of torque for the manual, the CVT's torque remains unchanged at 162 lb-ft. We were able to test the manual transmission of the Honda Civic Si that Clavey's corner was reviewing and found that the manual transmission is the better transmission for the Civic; the CVT did not feel as engaging as we hoped. When it comes to handling, the steering feels artificially heavy at low speeds and, at other times, tries to over compensate when cornering in a spirited fashion. At higher speeds, the steering feels a lot more connected and infuses some of the pedigree that can easily be traced back to F1 racing.

2020 Honda Civic Si

We tested the Honda Civic Hatchback with the family by driving to Yamaska park, bringing with us camping gear, icebox and a suitcase. It was easy to load, the trunk lip is low, items can be pushed towards the back of the trunk without any trouble. The retractable cargo cover doesn't take any space when not in use, and when items are larger, it always stays in place due to the flexible fabric. The driver and the co-pilot seats are comfortable and provide good coverage for taller drivers. The seating position is quite sporty and low to the ground, really accentuating the sportiness. Visibility around the cabin is good except everything beyond the C-pillar. This is where Honda's LaneWatch comes in handy to enhance visibility. Our 2 younger kids thought the seating was good, and the seats were well-bolstered; our oldest daughter found that the headrests made the seating for taller people on longer drives less comfortable in the back.

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback interior
Picture by Luis G Manrique

During our 750km test with the Honda Civic Hatchback Sport, we experienced an average fuel efficiency of 8.3L/100km. On the HWY, at speeds between 110-120km/h, we saw an average fuel consumption of 6.6L/100km, and in the city, our fuel economy was 9.3L/100km. Our test included driving in heavy traffic, and engine start/stop would greatly help reduce the city's fuel economy. Honda announces the following fuel economy with the CVT transmission 7.4L/100km combined, 6.6L on the HWY and 8.0L/100km in the city. Honda proudly shows its vehicle emission; for the Civic Hatchback, it can be as low as 162g/km for our Sport variant. This situates itself at 172g/km, still lower than the average emission in this segment that situates itself at 180g/km.

The most enjoyable part of our test with the Honda Civic was driving it on the HWY. The combination of an economic engine to operate and a chassis tuned to satisfy the enthusiast's needs makes it fun on long road trips without breaking the bank. On the safety side, the Honda Sensing suite of safety features is naturally included in all Civic Hatchback trims. In combination with the lane keep assist system, the adaptive cruise control will make the ride less stressful on long road trips. It's not an autonomous system per say; it still requires inputs from the driver; however, it sure helps when your kids need some of your attention in the back.

The Touring model comes with the upgraded 12-speaker system that includes a subwoofer. The system sounds decent, as many of our readers know; we are quite picky when it comes to our sound systems. We can't fault the Civic for its sound system, especially since it comes standard with Apple CarPlay Android Auto in all trims and connects right away when we plugged our phone. Our model also included the wireless charging pad. The commands of the infotainment are easily accessible; the same goes for the climate controls.

The Honda Civic's doors open wide enough to get a car seat in and out. Since the Civic stance is low, you need to bend in to install the car seat. We were quite happy to see that the ISOFIX ports were wrapped in leather and not hidden underneath the seat, making it challenging to access, nor were they hidden by a plastic cover that's hard to remove. Once the cover is removed, it was easy to latch the car seat. This ingenious solution made the interior look clean when the ports were not in use. For younger children to get into the car, the exterior door handles are nice and easy for them to open. The seat belts are nicely placed and give the kids autonomy to buckle themselves without any trouble.

In the city, the Honda Civic will check a lot of boxes for families and remains affordable. We would like to see a start/stop function; this usually improves fuel efficiency. It has a good turning radius facilitates parking; our only grief, as with other Honda products, is the camera's low resolution.

Why would we buy the 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport, or what we liked about it? The generous trunk, efficient on the HWY, spacious interior. Honda Sensing suite providing an additional layer of security. The placement of the ISOFIX ports.

Why would we not buy the 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport or what we did not like about it? The CVT, the sound system, the pixelated rear-view camera.

Honda has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Honda Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.

Here are additional pictures of the Honda Civic and our road trip.

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