Take one look at the 2020 Honda Civic hatchback, and you’ll either find its robotic-looking exterior polarizing or look past it. If you did the latter, congratulations: You’ve stumbled upon the best iteration of the popular compact car. In addition to subtle styling tweaks toning down its looks, the range-topping 2020 Honda Civic Sport Touring is now available with a six-speed manual transmission, expanding its appeal to a broader range of consumers. We’ve got our hands on this exact model to see how it performs and if you should consider one as a daily driver.
Since its debut as a 2016 model, the Honda Civic has remained the benchmark in the compact segment because of its exceptional chassis tuning. That remains true with the 2020 Civic hatchback, especially in the Sport and Sport Touring models equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels shod in 235/40R18 tires. On the daily commute, the Civic rides superbly, adeptly absorbing imperfections and uneven surfaces; even if you hit a pothole while taking a corner, it stays composed. The cabin remains quiet, too, with little road- and wind noise entering the interior.
For its size, the 2020 Honda Civic hatchback is incredibly practical. It has plenty of usable space with its 60/40 seatbacks folded, two mobile device tray under the center stack, and a configurable center console. Passenger space is equally useful; front and rear passengers have plenty of head- and legroom, making the Civic an excellent road trip vehicle. Quibbles? The rear window’s angle limits your ability to stack or carry tall items upright behind the rear seats.
All 2020 Honda Civic hatchbacks come standard with the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite. Lane keep assist does a great job preventing the vehicle from drifting into another lane. Its centring feature, on the other hand, gets confused when one lane splits into two. Adaptive cruise control leaves just the right distance between you and the vehicle ahead, and it works well together with the lane keep assist on a well-marked highway.
Still The One
It’s easy to love the 2020 Honda Civic, especially in hatchback form because of its practicality and excellent road manners. Sure, it’s got an unconventional shape, but clever packaging ensures practicality isn’t sacrificed. No other compact car is as multi-talented as the Honda Civic hatchback, and that’s why it’s at the top of its class. Many automakers have tried and a few have gotten close, but none have succeeded in dethroning the Civic to date.