The current Honda Civic hatchback is a much different machine than the tiny car that brought Honda into the mainstream in North America in the 1970s. This latest hatch is only version of the 10th-generation Civic that comes exclusively with Honda's strong 1.5L turbocharged engine. It's also the Civic makes it easiest to match that turbo motor with a manual transmission: all three trims come standard with that combo.
For 2019, the only change to the Civic hatchback is the addition of the Honda Sensing active safety suite as standard equipment. Now, all hatch models come with forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. The only things exclusive to this car's higher trims are a low-speed follow function for the adaptive cruise system and the LaneWatch blind spot camera display.
Like last year's Civic hatch, the 2019 model is powered by Honda's 1.5L turbo four-cylinder engine. It makes 174 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque in the LX model, and 180 hp and 177 lb-ft in Sport and Sport Touring trims. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable automatic optional.
While sedans make up the bulk of compact car sales, hatchbacks are popular too, thanks to their more flexible cargo carrying capability. Honda's competitors in the hatchback space include the Hyundai Elantra GT, Kia Forte, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze.
LX trim's standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated side mirrors, an intermittent rear wiper, LED taillights, digital gauge cluster, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, multi-angle backup camera, power windows/locks/mirrors adjustments, tilt-and-telescopic steering, heated front seats with manual adjustments and an eight-speaker stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Sport adds 18-inch wheels, dual centre exhaust, fog lights, sunroof, speed-sensing front wipers, passive keyless entry and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
Sport Touring brings LED front turn signals, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, navigation, wireless smartphone charging, power front seat adjustments, heated rear seats, leather seats and a 12-speaker stereo.
Honda's fuel consumption estimates are 8.0/6.2 L/100 km (city/highway) with the six-speed transmission and 7.7/6.0 with the automatic.