2020 Honda Civic Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.
If you are a Honda fan, it is probably hard to imagine the Civic getting any better. The 2019 line-up was a stand-out in its class, especially with the tweaks that were made to its infotainment system. A few upgrades can really go a long way. That's why it is difficult to conceive how Honda could make the 2020 Civic even better.
Well, they did. The Civic is built for performance, and all three styles (the Si Coupe, the Si Sedan, and the Hatchback) are reliable and dynamic vehicles. All of these styles come in a number of different trim levels. For the purpose of this comparison review, we will stick to reviewing the hatchback. Know that these three styles have trims that are all very similarly equipped. Physically, they are styled a little differently.
Sounds complicated, right? The nice thing about the Civic is that you get a lot of choices. Configure it to your unique specifications. Just go into it knowing that some trim levels have more to offer than others. That's why it is important you read this review through to its conclusion, as we will pick the top 2020 Honda Civic trim level to buy.
Compare the 2020 Honda Civic LX vs Sport Trims. What is the difference?
The 2020 Honda Civic's base trim is known as the LX. All things considered, it is fairly well-equipped for being a base trim. If you are a driver who does not want all the extra gadgets and gizmos, the LX has just the right amount of technology. For example, the LX has quite a few 'must-have' safety features. The Honda Sensing suite comes standard and offers a collision mitigation system,road departure mitigation system, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Automatic high beams also come equipped on the LX, as do a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines, brake assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, and LED daytime running lights. Of course, all the necessary passive safety features (like the SmartVent front air bags and LATCH sysmtem) are given to the LX.
When it comes to the infotainment set-up, the LX does have quite a bit. Its LCD touchscreen display is smaller than the one on the other trim levels (at only 5 inches). The sound system is also smaller, being a 160-watt 4-speaker system. Bluetooth, a Radio Data System, and a 1.0-amp USB port (on the front console) are equipped as well.
As far as the Civic's interior goes, the LX is treated to vanity mirrors on the front visors, an automatic climate control system, power windows with auto-up/down functioning for both front windows, cruise control, power locks, illuminated door lock and window controls for the front windows, a tilt and telescoping steering column, one-touch turn indicators, sliding sun visors, a reminder for headlights left on, a 12-volt power outlet up front, a rear window defroster with a timer, and front beverage holders.
The seats are designed for comfort, which makes taking a long ride in the Civic quite enjoyable. On the LX, the driver's seat has manual height adjustment. The rear seats are 60/40 split rear folding. Overall, you can seat up to five people in the Civic. Rear seat passengers get quite a bit of space with 36 inches of leg room and 37.4 inches of head room. Cargo volume is also pretty decent for a vehicle in this class, giving you 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in place and 46.2 cubes when the rear seats are folded down.
The exterior of the LX definitely looks chic, and it comes with a few necessary standard features. These features include intermittent windshield wipers with two different speeds, automatic on/off functionality for the halogen headlights, remote trunk release and entry included with the anti-theft system, body-colored door handles and side mirrors, LED brake lights, a fin-style antenna mounted onto the roof, and a rear windshield wiper with heated wiper zone. Also, it rides atop 16-inch alloy wheels.
Of course, what is under the roof matters a lot. Since the Civic is a sporty little sedan, you should expect its engine to have some spunk. And it does. The Civic is powered by a standard turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that nets 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. It gets paired up with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and has hill start assist and an Eco Assist System.
So, what does the Sport have that the LX does not? Quite a few things, actually. While the safety features are basically the same, the list of infotainment features gets a nice upgrade. The features added to that list include a 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, Honda Link services, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 180-watt 8-speaker sound system.
The Sport also gains a number of extra creature comforts inside of the cabin. This trim level has beverage holders for both the front and rear, a center arm rest in the back, sport pedals, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, and push-button start.
Meanwhile, the Sport's body gets a few additions too. First of all, the dual outlet exhaust system is mounted in the center. Also, the front fascia gets fog lights. There is also an under-body spoiler kit and smart entry with a mechanism that automatically locks the doors when you walk away from the vehicle. In addition, the wheels get bumped up in size to 18-inch alloys.
Under the hood, most things are fairly similar. However, the inline-4 gets paired up with a 6-speed manual transmission, although the CVT is also available. With the 6-speed equipped, the Civic gets 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The engine paired with the CVT has remote engine start, but this feature does not come on the one matched to the 6-speed. The LX does get better fuel efficiency with 34 combined mpg (31 city and 40 highway). The Sport with the 6-speed gets 32 mpg combined (29 city/37 highway) and 32 mpg combined (29 city and 35 highway) on the CVT.
Compare the 2020 Honda Civic Sport vs EX Trims. What is the difference?
Now that you have a feel for how the first two trim levels compare, it is time to take a look at the EX. The 2020 Honda Civic EX adds dynamic guidelines to the multi-angle rearview camera, but that is about the only change you will find in regard to safety features. As far as infotainment goes, the EX sees the additions of SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability, HD Radio, and a SMS text messaging function. The 1.0-amp USB audio port gets moved to the center console, and a 1.5-amp smartphone/USB port gets slapped onto the front console for easy reach.
One of the best upgrades on the EX is the dual-zone climate control system. It pushes air evenly throughout the entire cabin and works quickly to heat up or cool down the interior. Also, the vanity mirrors get lights (which is a great feature to have while you are fixing your make-up or plucking something out of your teeth), and there is a passenger-side seat-back pocket. The driver's seat become power-adjustable eight different ways, and the front seats have a heating function, which feels fantastic in the winter.
The exterior of the EX gains heated side mirrors that are power-operated, a one-touch power moon roof with a tilting function, and variable intermittent windshield wipers. While this does not do a whole lot to visually differentiate it from the lower trim levels, these three creature comforts can come in handy. Having heated side mirrors is ideal if you live in a climate that experiences harsh winters.
The engine has been tweaked to get 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Remote engine start comes standard, and the engine is exclusively paired with the CVT.
Compare the 2020 Honda Civic EX vs EX-L Trims. What is the difference?
The EX-L is very similar to the EX but has a few important upgrades that need to be mentioned. All of the safety and infotainment features are the same as those on the EX, but the helpful Home Link Remote System (which lets you control your home's electric appliances and security system while you are on the road) gets added, as does an automatically dimming rearview mirror.
The EX-L is noticeably different on the inside thanks to its chic leather upholstery. This is a major jump from the cloth interiors on the lower trim levels (which are still nice to look and and soft to the touch). Aside from that, though, things remain the same as they are on the EX.
Compare the 2020 Honda Civic EX-L vs Sport Touring Trims. What is the difference?
The line-topping Sport Touring trim is basically an upgrade from the Sport trim level. It adds on a Honda Satellite-Linked navigational system with HD digital traffic and voice recognition. The audio gets upgraded to a massive 540-watt 12-speaker sound system that includes a subwoofer.
Of course, this is a Sport model, so the vehicle is given sport pedals. The rear outboard seats gain a heating function, and the front passenger seat becomes 4-way power-adjustable. The side mirrors get integrated turn indicators, and the center-mounted dual exhaust and under-body spoiler kit are back. The windshield wipers gain rain-sensing capability, and the headlights get upgraded to LED with auto-on/off functioning.
The powertrain is the same as what you find on the lower Sport trim. The engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or the CVT. Also, like the Sport, the Sport Touring gets 18-inch alloy wheels instead of the 17-inch ones that come on the EX and EX-L.
Which Trim to Choose?
No matter which trim level or style you decide to go with, the 2020 Honda Civic is a great choice for a new small sedan. Many auto gurus are once again giving the Civic high ratings, citing it as one of the best cars in its class. With a starting MSRP as low as $21,650 on the LX, it is no wonder why people will go for the Civic. It is well-stocked, well-built, and, quite frankly, really affordable compared to other vehicles.
So, which trim level triumphs over the others, presenting the average driver with the best deal? That honor goes to the EX. It sits right in the middle of the line-up but has all of the safety and infotainment features most drivers want. The only downside is that you cannot get it with a 6-speed manual transmission. Those who want the 6-speed should opt for the Sport, as it has a good number of features for the price. But the EX is a good fit for those who do not want to drive a stick.
All three styles are worth looking at, but the EX trim, which comes on all of them, is going to give you the most bang for your buck.
• Compare the 2019 Honda Civic Trim Levels