Updated 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback is the practical pick with the heart of an enthusiast

August 19, 2019

Compact hatchbacks get a bad wrap as soulless econoboxes. Perhaps that's why fewer Americans buy them each year and run toward crossovers like they're In-N-Out Burger. (Eds note: Crossovers are basically hatchbacks on stilts, but we won't tell anyone else.)

The 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback is one of the few remaining dedicated hatchbacks on sale today, related to the Civic sedan and coupe but with more trunk for junk. 

Last Thursday, Honda announced a refresh for the 2020 Civic that includes an ever-so-lightly redone face and tail, a new infotainment system, more speakers, additional sound insulation, and an optional 6-speed manual transmission for the top version. 

Starting from $22,580 (in increase of $200), including destination, the base 2020 Civic Hatchback LX features a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It also comes with power features, a 5.0-inch display for infotainment, one USB charge port, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, cloth upholstery, 16-inch wheels, a split-folding rear seat, and all the practicality of a hatchback.

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback

2020 Honda Civic Hatchback

The Civic Hatchback Sport is a little more compelling for just $1,100 more than the base model. It costs $23,680, $500 more than last year. For that much, buyers get a little more power (180 hp) and a little more twist (177 lb-ft) provided they opt for the manual transmission, which they should (the CVT costs $800 more). New this year are a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an uprated audio system with eight speakers instead of four, and keyless ignition. Models with the CVT get remote starting. The Sport is equipped with 18-inch wheels, a spoiler, fog lights (with new surrounds for 2020), a moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a center-mounted dual exhaust.

Civic EX and EX-L models cost $25,080 (up $400) and $26,280, respectively, and strip out some of the Sport's racier bits for comfort features including power-adjustable heated seats, 17-inch wheels, one more USB port, and in the case of the EX-L, leather interior. The EX-L costs $900 less than the EX-L Navi model it replaces, but the 2020 Civic Hatchback EX-L lacks navigation.

The 2020 Civic Hatchback Sport Touring is the best of both worlds. It comes with luxury items such as leather, navigation, a premium 540-watt audio system, power adjustable front seats, and upgraded headlights for $29,780 for the CVT-equipped version, which is a $100 increase. The Sport Touring hatchback with a 6-speed manual transmission, which is new this year, costs $28,980.

Honda says the 2020 Hatchback is on sale now.

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