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2020 Honda Civic hatch detailed: Safer, dearer, more orange

John Law

For 2020 Honda has updated the Civic hatch with safety tech, design tweaks and higher pricing across the range, find full pricing at the end of this article. This comes after the Civic sedan was updated earlier in 2019 with Apple CarPlay and refreshed looks.

The Civic is Honda’s longest-running nameplate. When it emerged in 1972 it caused a serious stir-up with its intelligent packaging, revvy engines and engaging dynamics.

For the latest generation, most of these USPs remain intact, though the hatch faces stiff competition from fresh-faced competitors like the Hyundai i30, stylish Mazda 3 and juggernaut Toyota Corolla.

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Level of safety features and in-car tech have seen an explosion in the last five years throughout the small-car segment and its seen manufacturers updating their models more often than ever to “keep up with the joneses”.

For 2020, that means Honda has had to up the level of standard safety tech for their mid-range VTi-L and sporty RS model with their complete Sensing safety suite, previously only available on the range-topping VTi-LX.

Honda’s Sensing package includes switchable lane-keep assist with a permanent road departure mitigation system, high and low-speed AEB, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise with stop-and-go capability. Auto high-beams are added to all models equipped with the Sensing suite.

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That means that all Civics powered by the peppy 1.5-litre turbocharged engine are now equipped with the sensing suite across sedan and hatch.

The engine remains untouched for 2020 with outputs of 127kW/220Nm with drive sent to the front wheels only via a CVT style transmission, sadly, there’s no manual available.

Inside the hatch has seen some upgrades for 2020 too, with updated materials including geometrically designed trims, instrument cluster, push-button climate control adjustment, while shortcut buttons and a volume knob have been added to the infotainment system, hooray!

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Naturally, all models are still equipped with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability to make up for Honda’s lacklustre infotainment system.

Front and rear bumpers have been redesigned for 2020 with a more aggressive look with body-colour accents, a new front grille and a new (but non-functional) rear diffuser for the RS grade.

All the grades receive updated wheel designs too; the sporty RS gets huge 18-inch items shod in a very sticky set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres while the VTi-L makes do with smaller 17-inch items.

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The updated styling is welcome on the 10th generation civic, not to say it looked old, but the extended black in place of chrome gives the whole car a sportier look. It may not be the best looking hatch but it certainly exudes some Japanese character.

Although the prices are up across the board, we reckon that the VTi-L and RS get more bang-for-buck in the safety department, 2020 models are on sale now.

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