By on August 15, 2019

Image: Honda

Unlike its predecessor, the accolades heaped on the 10th-generation Honda Civic far outweigh any criticism levelled against it. And yet while a next-gen model looms just over the horizon (a 2021 model year intro seems likely), Honda’s not resigning the Civic to the status quo for 2020.

The hatchback variant undergoes a minor refresh for the coming model year, a year after its sedan and coupe siblings, but you’ll probably have to carry a photo of a 2019 model to tell them apart. Most notable of the changes is something a dwindling number of people care about: manual transmissions. No, the base LX will not gain the six-speed stick found on the base sedan, but Civic hatch buyers who like nice things will soon be able to row their own.

For 2020, the Civic hatch offers a manual in two trims: the mid-range Sport, and now the top-flight Sport Touring. Both trims can also be had with a continuously variable transmission.

Minor changes adorn the model’s front and rear fascias. Notable alterations include the fog light housings (now featuring a body-color crossbar), blacked-out accents surrounding the headlights, and a modified grille crossbar. The overall look does not change. Out back, the faux vents undergo a similar treatment.

The chances of 2019 Civic hatch fans turning down a free 2020 model on the basis of style is exactly zero.

Image: Honda

Anything else? There’s grey and black wheels available in new designs, plus different trim in the cabin. Soundproofing is reportedly boosted. In a bid to make the mid-range EX model more appealing, leather adorns the steering wheel and shift knob while drivers will discover they no longer need to use their arms and legs to push that seat around.

As for the Sport, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come standard, with its 7-inch touchscreen display audio system undergoing a doubling of speakers (there’s now eight). Push-button ignition and remote start replaces the Abe Lincoln-era practice of starting one’s five-door hatch with the use of a key. Both Sport and Sport Touring buyers can manage their vehicle remotely via HomeLink.

Starting at $22,580 after destination for a base LX, the Civic hatch adds $200 to its starting price for 2020. No trim in the model line sees a significant price boost, thankfully, and the addition of a manual in the Sport Touring means three-pedal fans can pay $800 less for one ($28,980).

New Civic hatches begin appearing on dealer lots at the end of the week.

[Images: Honda]

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39 Comments on “Small Changes Coming to 2020 Honda Civic Hatch; at Least There’s Another Stick...”

  • avatar

    Why did they not take this refresh opportunity to eliminate those HORRID black plastic inserts at the four corners of the car? If not for those, it would be a pleasant design.

  • avatar

    The hatch variant of a car is always better looking, but in this event the sedan is better looking.

    The best-looking Civic variant isn’t actually a Civic, it’s the Insight (a.k.a. Civic Hybrid). But I’d look past a bit more ugly to get a Si sedan, which I think is the most interesting car within shooting distance of $20k real-world price on the market today.

    • 0 avatar

      BMW’s hatchbacks are always horrid, even when their sedans and coupes weren’t hideous. 2000 touring v. 2002? 318ti v. 318is? Accord sedans were always better looking than the hatchbacks. Civic sedans have been better looking than hatchbacks since the fifth generation. The first FWD Corollas were available as bloated looking hatchbacks and chopped off FX hatches in addition to cleanly styled sedans. The first two generations of Jettas were preferable to the Rabbits/Golfs. Styling is case by case, but sedans are always better driver’s cars. Hatches lack body rigidity, have more road noise, more rattles, and usually have worse weight distribution F/R and higher centers of gravity.

      • 0 avatar

        ” Accord sedans were always better looking than the hatchbacks.”

        Don’t make me fight you.

      • 0 avatar

        If the goal is a drivers car, then you want a coupe. They have less weight, less doors and the associated junk inside, usually a bit shorter wheelbase and better rigidity. Hatches cede some of that for a significant gain in utility. The sedan body style (especially sub-full-size) is a pointless middle child that has no unique strength: they give up most all of the cargo capacity of an equivalent hatch/wagon and have none of the style and worse driving dynamics than a related coupe. There’s a reason why all of the diddly fwd based appliance grade sedans are getting decimated by crossovers.

  • avatar

    “As for the Sport, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come standard. . . .”

    What about variable intermittent wipers on the said model?

    • 0 avatar

      I think since Tucker Torpedo every car had one. Or not? Or it was some Russian guy who fought Ford and GM and Chrysler for stealing his idea. Or he wasn’t Russian (but we all know that Russians invented Vodka, radio, automobile, airplanes spaceships and everything else in between. At least that what they told us at school)? Anyway I saw some movie about it and I think the guy won the legal battle at the end of his life. Or not?

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Yes, except the dude wasn’t Russian…he was Australian. His name was Russel Crowe

      • 0 avatar

        @Inside Looking Out

        I thought better of you. I thought that you know how to use internet. Apparently, you are browser-illiterate. Well, here
        Under [!!] exterior features, LX and Sport – Two-Speed Intermittent Windshield Wipers. EX and up – Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers.

        Whatever rest of your rant was I don’t know. In my school no one told my anything like that. And when you say “Russians”, what exactly do you mean? Dwellers of Russian federation or all the collective viking race that lives across East of Eastern Europe, from Baltic sea to mountains of Caucasus?

        • 0 avatar

          Oh, you never heard about Ivan Kulibin? Or Alex Popov?

          • 0 avatar

            Hopefully, this article will explain to you the difference between invention and filing for patent


          • 0 avatar

            Marconi was never mentioned in Russian schools as inventor or whatever. But yes there is a difference between invention and filing for patent – you first invent and then file for patent and have a good chance to become a billionaire. On the other side of planet most likely you will get executed by NKVD or end up in Gulag working as a slave on Goverment sponsored military project.

          • 0 avatar

            “Marconi was never mentioned in Russian schools as inventor or whatever.”

            What is the issue with this? Marconi did it in America. And Popov did it in Russia. American patent didn’t bother anyone in Russia. Why do they have to push for Marconi vs Popov?

            What do you think they teach in American schools – all the truth? Take bombing of Japan. They teach that US almost had no choice but to nuke. Because it would cost lives of so many American soldiers. Well, but this is simply not the truth. Because USSR was committed on its promises to allies and declared war on Japan and even won few battles. US wouldn’t be going into Japan alone, and the effort would be shared. But Truman wanted to scare Soviets. As result, Soviets needed to make sure all Eastern Europe is under their control. Because in their concept, they should be able to shoot down bombers with nukes before they reach USSR.

            Same with NKVD. Was it scary? – yes. But not to the point it was made scary in America. Who kept America in fear is William Hearst – a media magnate with ties to Hitler and Goebbels. Newspapers wrote all the scary things with numbers totally blown out of proportions. The goal was for America not to feel sorry and not to help USSR when Germany attacks it. US-USSR relations were up. During great depression hundreds of thousands Americans engineers, managers and workers came to industrialize USSR. US even established official diplomatic ties in 1933 to make it all official because before 1933 officially US didn’t recognize USSR. That was a problem for Germany as US was selling tractors, turbines, whatnot to the Soviets. Then, when Hitler started European campaigns and eventually declared was on US, same newspapers started to publish “America-first” articles to push public opinion against active European campaign.

            May be this will calm you down. They say, possibly up to 18M people were GULAG prisoners over time of its existence. American prison system chews through many more people in much less time. And then don’t forget concentration camps for Japanese Americans. Relax while you can

  • avatar

    An excellent car that I chose not to buy because of the styling. Just can’t stand the looks of it. Here’s hoping for a better-looking next gen.

  • avatar

    I misread the headline. I thought it read “Honda Civic hit with an ugly stick.”

  • avatar

    Have to echo everyone else, the car is still ugly.

    The styling on this was enough to make this long time Honda fan and customer to try a Hyundai, which was probably the last brand in the world I’d ever thought I’d own.

    I absolutely would’ve bought one of these. Civic? Hatchback? Turbo? Stick? Sign me up!!! Oh my God, *thats* what it looks like?

    In hindsight, I’m thankful for this styling. 2.5 years later, I’m still really enjoying my Hyundai, and not dealing with the Honda 1.5T fuel/oil dilution issue.

  • avatar

    Which is uglier? The Civic or the McLaren Senna? Boom… I said it…

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Robert William Kearns PhD (March 10, 1927 – February 9, 2005) was an American engineer, educator and inventor who invented the most common intermittent windshield wiper systems used on most automobiles from 1969 to the present.

    Kearns claimed that the inspiration for his invention stems from an incident on his wedding night in 1953, when an errant champagne cork shot into his left eye, leaving him legally blind in that eye. Nearly a decade later in 1963, Kearns was driving his Ford Galaxie through a light rain, and the constant movement of the wiper blades irritated his already troubled vision.

    He modeled his mechanism on the human eye, which blinks every few seconds, rather than continuously, presenting the idea to Ford.[5] Ford representatives liked the idea wanting to rush it into at least one of their next model year’s vehicles but later abandoned plans after Kearns had begun setting up manufacturing facilities for the invention.

    When Ford introduced the feature in 1969, Kearns challenged the automaker, refusing offers of a settlement insisting that the case be heard in court, acting as his own lawyer. He began official legal proceedings some 9 years later.

    On February 9, 2005, Kearns died of brain cancer complicated by Alzheimer’s disease in Baltimore, Maryland. The story of his invention and the lawsuit that resulted against Ford forms the basis of the 2008 film, Flash of Genius, where he is played by Greg Kinnear. Kearns and his wife Phyllis were divorced, though several family members attended the movie’s premiere.

  • avatar

    I want to like this car – good price, stick shift, useful hatch, Honda reliability (well there are some issues with the 1.5L), and resale value. It would be a great car for my wife but ugh… the looks… the looks! I just can’t pull the trigger.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Corolla hatch is at the top of my list now. Press release today says Android Auto finally included for 2020. That brings it closer. If they offer the hatchback in the sedan color “Celestite” with the non-black “Moonstone” interior, that probably seals the deal. I’d prefer 17″ wheels on the XSE trim rather than the 18″ but I can work with that or eventually swap. Back seat room is tight but so is my current car and nobody is ever back there anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      >the looks… the looks! I just can’t pull the trigger.

      I most certainly can. Just to put the vehicle out of its misery.

  • avatar

    What is this supposed to mean – “The chances of 2019 Civic hatch fans turning down a free 2020 model on the basis of style is exactly zero.”?

    What are the chances of any fan of any car model GETTING a FREE 2020 model of that car, or any car? Perhaps “exactly zero”? News flash – nobody’s giving away new cars.

    And free or not, in these comments I see many Honda/Civic fans saying they would turn down this generation of Civic due to the styling. The accolades heaped on the 10th gen model apparently DON’T outweigh any criticisms.

    Looks like for 2020 Honda decided to move from the Transformer look to the GoBot look.

  • avatar

    Came here just to say that I’m surprised this car’s style hasn’t grown on me at all. In fact it is perhaps starting to already look worse / dated.

    Its too bad, because everything else makes it sound like a very solid car. But give it another 5 years and it will look about as bad as the Subaru XT.

  • avatar

    From the base LX to the Type R the Civic line up gives you so many choices to fine tune your trade off of performance vs economy. I think my 2019 Civic Si at $25K offers the best bang for the buck. Ok, I don’t get the black inserts in the rear bumper but overall I like the looks of it.

    • 0 avatar

      >From the base LX to the Type R the Civic line up gives you so many choices to fine tune your trade off of performance vs economy.

      Let me correct this statement for you:

      From the base LX to the Type R the Civic line up gives you so many choices of ugly to fine tune your trade off of repulsive vs hideous.

      There. Much better.

  • avatar

    Steph, I have a request of TTAC writers when doing reviews. I noted this sentence in the review…

    “As for the Sport, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come standard”

    Is it possible to highlight standard Auto/CarPlay in the beginning of reviews? I would also ask that if subscriptions to Auto/CarPlay are required for them to work, as BMW and Audi are doing today, that you state that as well. I ask for a few reasons.

    – I would like to know what tech is included vs what I have to pay for.
    – I would also hope that manufacturers begin understanding that nickel and diming for tech they did not develop will begin to be highlighted, hopefully applying a bit more pressure for them to not act in such ways.
    – If companies charge subscription fees for services most other brands do not charge for, they should be publicly outed in a constructive manner. I’m down with public shaming.

    Most car buyers are focused on new tech in cars to some degree. Highlighting these costs will help differentiate how TTAC does reviews vs everyone else.

  • avatar

    I would consider one. There is some charm in its ugliness.

  • avatar

    I see this eye sore on the roads and just laugh and think did one of the Lexus designer come over to Honda to be in charge of designing the current Civic?

  • avatar

    It’s not handsome. But it’s a lot of car with a lot of space for the price. My wife, a persnickety woman, likes it a lot and we’re preparing to purchase one…

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