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2020 Honda Civic Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Honda Civic?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Honda Civic? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The Honda Civic has been around for a while. In fact, it started its tenth generation back in 2016. There is little doubt to be had as to why the Civic is hailed as a best-in-class small sedan. Its smooth ride quality, sporty handling, and superb fuel economy earn the Civic high marks year after year, and the 2020 Honda Civic is no exception to this rule.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Honda Civic sees a few changes. Most notably, the front and rear fascias have been re-designed for a more contemporary look. Honda also added more sound-proofing to the vehicle in order to reduce the amount of wind and road noise that seeped into the cabin of the previous model year. A few features have also be re-arranged, but those changes are minimal.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Honda Civic – The Pros

1. Top-Notch Fuel Economy

Hondas are known for getting excellent fuel economies. As far as the 2020 Honda Civic goes, it is right up there at the top of its class. With the 1.5-L turbo engine and CVT equipped, you can get up to 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Impressive numbers, right? Even the 2.0-L engine can help get decent fuel economy on the base LX trim with 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

2. A Comfy and Sporty Ride

The Civic offers a great mix of comfort and athleticism. Its ride feels sporty enough for the average driver, and it really packs in a ton of comfort. The power-adjustable driver's seat offers a number of different configurations, and the seats themselves offer a lot of support. Making a long trip in the Civic is quite cozy whether you are up front or sitting in the rear.

3. Cabin Space

For being a small sedan, the 2020 Honda Civic has a lot of interior space that is smartly crafted for utility. There is plenty of leg room in the back, and the sunroof does not hinder head space for those sitting up front. Even head room in the back seat is ample. Most adults will not feel crunched together, unlike how they might feel in other small sedans.

4. High-quality Materials

Honda utilizes some remarkably high-quality materials in its vehicles. While this clearly is not a luxury sedan, it looks like it is made from some expensive materials. The soft-touch surfaces are a true delight, and the padding in the seats feels like it fits itself to your back, bum, and thighs. Even the plastic parts look like they are well constructed. There aren't any gaps between panels, and no rattles can be heard while driving. Overall, there is a solid build to the Civic.

5. A Powerful 1.5-L Turbocharged Engine Option

The 2.0-L engine does alright with regard to performance, but the turbo 1.5-L is the better of the two. Why is that? Well, the 1.5-L obviously gets better fuel economy, but it also packs a powerful punch. The LX hatchback's 1.5-L gets 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, and the Sport hatchback gets 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque with the 6-speed manual transmission equipped. The CVT version will get you 180 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-L garners 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, which does feel more sluggish. The 1.5-L with the CVT can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds, which is swift for this segment.

6. Secure Braking

The Honda Civic sure accelerates well, but its brakes are just as impressive. The brake pedal feels natural underneath your foot, and the amount of pressure you have to apply does not feel excessive. The vehicle tracks straight on during a stop and can make a panic stop in a reasonable distance. Even if you have to slam on the brakes, you will feel a sense of security from them.

7. Precise Steering and Handling

Steering and handling are big highlights for the 2020 Honda Civic. The steering has a natural weight to it, and the way it steers seems almost effortless. Thanks to the variable-ratio system, the Civic has a straight tracking to it while rounding through corners. The wheel is thick but provides an excellent amount of feedback to the driver. The body feels composed as you round through turns, not giving a hint of body roll. Even better, the well-tuned suspension makes for a sporty ride. The Civic has a ton of spunk for a non-sport sedan.

8. Excellent Climate Control

Climate control works exceedingly well at providing air throughout the cabin. The dual-zone automatic climate control system has controls that are easy to figure out. Once you've got them sussed out, you can quickly change the settings to get the cool or warm air you need. The air conditioning feels great in the summer, and the cabin warms up quickly on chilly days.

9. Clear Visibility Around the Vehicle

The front roof pillars are slender and set wide apart, giving drivers a lot of visibility out the front and side windows. There is also a standard rear-view camera that helps you see out of the rear. The sloping roof line does infringe slightly on the view, but the camera makes it easy to get a clear view.

10. Cargo Space

Cargo space is a strong point for the 2020 Honda Civic. The 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space that the Civic offers makes it one of the most spacious trunks in its class. You can push the seats down and use the pulls to get the seats to fold. This huge opening helps to maximize available cargo space so you can tote bulkier items around.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Honda Civic – The Cons

1. Forward Collision Warning is Too Touchy

One of the 2020 Honda Civic's few downfalls is that forward collision warning tends to emit false warnings. These warnings are fairly obnoxious and distracting while driving. This has also been an issue in previous Civic model years. It is a common issue that Honda needs to keep working on.

2. Adaptive Cruise Control is Sluggish

Another driver aid that is pretty wonky is the adaptive cruise control. It is slow to respond, which can make it feel awkward in stop-and-go traffic. As is the case with forward collision warning, this feature has been problematic for a while. You do not need to utilize it, but if it is a feature you want to use, be aware that it can be problematic on the Civic.

3. The Touchscreen Isn't Easy to Figure Out

The 2020 Honda Civic has a better infotainment system than some of the previous model years, but it still needs some tweaking. The controls can be a bit confusing, and most of them are digital. However, once you have spent some time playing around with the system, you will get the hang of it. It is just a longer learning curve than what you get with some of the Civic's competitors.

4. Taller Folks Won't Like the Sloped Roof

Getting in and out is easy for all but taller people. The roofline slopes steeply downward, cutting off head space through the door frame. Once you get inside, there is enough head space, but tall people will have to duck down to get in and mind their heads on the way through the door frame.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 Honda Civic vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla

The 2020 Toyota Corolla is one of the top alternatives to the 2020 Honda Civic. The Corolla prices slightly above the Civic, and it has a ton of standard features. The rear seat is especially spacious, and the overall design is designed for space and utility. Also, the Corolla has some cozy sport seats that give support for hours on end. However, the Corolla is extremely slow to accelerate and has a weaker engine than the Civic. Also, the fuel economy falls short of the bar set high by the Civic. On top of all that, it lacks the pizzazz that the Civic's drive performance boasts.

2020 Honda Civic vs. 2020 Mazda 3

The 2020 Mazda 3 has a stunning exterior design, but it prices several thousand dollars above the Civic. You get a lot of the same features on the Mazda 3. The 3 does have a chic vibe with its premium interior materials, and the handling is quite sporty. On the downside, there is not a whole lot of leg room in the rear, which is a bummer for long-legged folks who need that extra space. It does not have as much cargo space as the Civic either.


The 2020 Honda Civic might not be a sport sedan, but it blends sport with practicality. Its fuel economy is superb, its space is well-designed, and most of its features are pretty straightforward. The only problems you might encounter come from a couple of finicky driver aids, which likely won't be a deal-breaker for most potential buyers.
Previous Honda Civic Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Honda Civic? w/ pros vs cons