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2020 Honda Civic Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Honda Civic Performance Review


Performance: 8.6

The 2020 Honda Civic has numerous potent engine options, good fuel economy estimates, a comfortable ride, and lively handling.

  • "The Civic hatchback is an all-around favorite thanks to quick acceleration, a comfortable and roomy interior, a long list of features, and large cargo space." -- Edmunds
  • "Honda says its vast and longtime involvement in auto racing improves its street cars. Although it's hard to draw a direct line from the Honda that won the 2017 Indy 500 to the new Civic, although both cars are turbocharged, a big part of the Civic's winning formula is the way it combines practicality, efficiency and everyday comfort with modest to maximum dashes of sportiness." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "If you were expecting the … Honda Civic hatch to be hot, you're going to need to recalibrate your thinking. This car is not going to challenge the likes of the Volkswagen GTI et al; think more Hyundai Elantra GT and its ilk. If want your Civic sizzling, you're going to need … the Si and Type R. … But if you're looking for a Civic with hatchback versatility and its own style, then this is the one for you." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Acceleration and Power

There are several powertrains available for this Honda. Sedan and coupes come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower. Two 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines are available. One puts out 174 horsepower, while the turbo-four in the high-end Civic Si produces 205 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a continuously variable automatic (CVT) is available.

Hatchback models come standard with the 174-horsepower engine. With the manual transmission, or with the CVT in Sport trims, it puts out 180 horsepower. A 306-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes in the Civic Type R. 

The base engine is plenty zippy for city driving, but as you might expect, the turbocharged variants feel more energetic, especially on the highway. The CVT works well, but the manual transmission helps the Civic feel sportier and more engaging to drive.

With the manual transmission, the Civic gets between 26 and 29 mpg in the city and between 36 and 37 mpg on the highway. The hatchback with the CVT gets up to a fantastic 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. 

  • "The turbocharged 1.5-liter engine is both satisfying to drive and remarkably easy on gas. Even base models with the normally aspirated 2.0-liter engines have plenty of zip, especially when paired with the 6-speed manual. Unfortunately, for the bulk of sedans and coupes, a turbocharged engine means a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only option, and while Honda’s CVT is one of the best we’ve tested, it's just not as sporty as driving a stick." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The Civic feels strong when you roll onto the gas to execute a pass and it’s quick at city speeds thanks to ample low-end power. The strong 1.5-liter turbocharged engine has power everywhere in its rpm range." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The Civic is substantial and capable. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and optional 1.5-liter turbo deliver good fuel economy, and the turbo brings more oomph and readily available power. The continuously variable transmission amplifies the noise of the base engine; it works better with the turbo." -- Consumer Reports (2019)

Ride and Handling

Precise steering and controlled body lean help the Civic feel playful and poised around turns. This car is highly maneuverable, and the ride is comfortable. Front-wheel drive comes standard.

  • "The Civic turns into corners smoothly, and the steering is always appropriate for the occasion: light at low speeds and heavier and stable at higher speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "Honda tells us its long history in racing is what allows its production cars to ride and handle a cut above the competition. In the case of the 2019 Honda Civic sedan, coupe and hatchback, we’d have to agree." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The ride is comfortable, handling is precise." -- Consumer Reports (2019)
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2020 Honda Civic

MSRP: $19,850 - $28,950

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