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JUST RIGHT: 2020 HONDA CIVIC HATCHBACK SPORT TOURING

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If the story, Goldilocks and the three bears were to be set in modern times, the Honda Civic Hatchback could fit right up her alley in meeting her just right needs when it comes to her strict demands. Granted, with their being more than 5 different types of Civics to choose from, that could ultimately generate far too many bears for this story book.

Overlooking the Civic lineup of the average consumer, the Type R can be just a little too rambunctious, the Civic Si isn’t quite as practical with only two doors, and the sedan doesn’t quite have the cargo capacity or interior volume that the hatchback can offer. But what makes this Hatchback just a wee bit sweeter is the Sport badging it comes with. Boosted with the center mounted twin exhaust in the rear, the Sport sees an increase of 6-horsepower from its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. Through a total of 180-horsepower, its swift performance fits its chrome plated emblem quite well.

Starting at $22,850, the Sport trim is the only hatchback that gets the extra boost in power. All other trim from the entry LX and near top end EX-L get the standard 174-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo. Going full-throttle however, the Sport Touring is where the sweet spot is. With pricing starting at $28,150, the Sport Touring carries the option of going old school through a six-speed manual or you can shell out an extra $800 for the CVT automatic like our sampler did. Despite our best hopes for the manual, the automatic is surprisingly pleasant. While most CVT’s carry the inability to provide any form of joy in driving, Honda managed to make it half way decent here. Acceleration maintains a linear approach as it reaches 60-mph in just a hair over 7-seconds. The crispness in the transmission handles its power application civilly given our spirited driving methods. While there may not be a “sport” mode per-say, the use of the steering wheel paddle shifters that simulates a 7-speed gearbox accomplishes its input in a direct fashion.

On the road, there is certain velvetiness to its road hugging manners – handling is fluidly controlled through the nicely weighted steering that provides an energetic level of satisfaction. The softness behind the suspension attains jubilant, spirited behavior and offers a comfortable surrounding. Even with all of our driving amusement, we managed to see 36-mpg on the highway and 34-mpg combined.

Sashaying into 2020, the Hatchback styling mimics similar updates that were introduced to the Sedan and Coupe back in 2019. Featuring a sportier sparkle, there is more attitude behind is lustering charm. That also could be the salient Sonic Gray Pearl exterior paint. Interior advancements have also been introduced with a larger 7-inch touchscreen display and upgraded audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Developing an elated upscale cabin feel, the Sport and Sport Touring feature unique finishes and contrasting red trim throughout with new leather upholstery. With safety always a concern,  Honda Sensing is now standard equipment across all Civics.

Without taking away the pleasures behind the Civic Si or the enjoyable havoc of the Type R, the Sport Touring Hatch is where we find that it fits the best of all worlds. This would be Goldilocks, just right Civic. Now if we can just see an Si version of the Hatchback… hint, hint Honda.

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS
Model: 2020 HONDA CIVIC HATCHBACK
Trim: SPORT TOURING
Base Price: $21,750
Starting Trim Price: $28,850
As Tested: $29,780
Color: SONIC GRAY PEARL
PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: 1.5-LITER TURBOCHARGED FOUR-CYLINDER
Horsepower/Torque: 180-HORSEPOWER / 177 LB-FT TORQUE
Transmission: CVT AUTOMATIC
Drivetrain: FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE
Fuel Economy: EPA RATED: 29-CITY / 35-HWY / 32-COMBINED
AS TESTED: 33.9 MPG COMBINED
Fuel Range: 370 MILES
0-60 MPH: ±7.0 SECONDS

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