While the styling may be a bit polarizing, the Honda Civic hatchback remains one of the benchmarks for a small, fun car. Buyers that chose the excellent six-speed manual, though, had to give up some upgrades in the higher trims. That won’t be the case for the 2020 model year, when you can get a fully-loaded Civic with three pedals on the floor.
Honda is doing some minor upgrades to the 2020 Civic hatchback including an improved touchscreen, a better stereo and some small aesthetic tweaks that will take a keen eye to spot. There is even a bigger cup holder!
But the most important upgrade is the fact that the top-trim Sport Touring model is now available with a six-speed manual transmission. Under the hood is the same 180 horsepower, 1.5-liter, turbo-four which isn’t nearly as extreme as the Type R, but provides enough punch to make your daily commute enjoyable while returning solid fuel economy up to 35 MPG on the highway.
Pricing for the 2020 Civic hatchback also gets a few hundred dollar price bump across the board. Here is that pricing, released by Honda today, along with the transmissions available:
With Ford abandoning small cars, and Volkswagen removing the Golf from the American market, there aren’t many choices for a non-hot hatchback. The Corolla hatch is very good for a reasonable price, with the all-new Mazda3 seemingly the one to beat. The Mazda3 Premium with a manual stickers for $28,420, which undercuts the Sport Touring by $560. There is also the Veloster N, which is a bit smaller but packs a lot more performance at $29,930 when equipped with the Performance Pack.
This is all to say that Honda was smart to give manual buyers a manual option on the Sport Touring, but there’s still some stiff competition in the market.