Honda targeting Mazda3, Corolla with face-lifted 2020 Civic hatch
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Back in August Driven road tested the MY2019 Honda Civic RS sedan — making the point that it was somewhat long in the tooth compared to its rivals.
That trend looks set to continue for at least one more year, with Honda in Europe recently showing off the latest mild face-lift for the hatchback variant of the marque's iconic car. An all-new model will have to wait until 2021 at the earliest.
The most obvious visual changes are within the large grilles on each corner of the car. Each is now more stylised than before. New 16in and 17in wheels and updated daytime running lights also form part of the exterior changes. Sadly, the raucous centre-exit rear exhaust seems to have disappeared.
Inside, the Civic's infotainment has been updated with physical buttons and a volume to make it simpler to use — the same changes we celebrated on the updated RS sedan earlier in the year.
All models in Europe will come with Honda Sensing (the brand's safety tech suite) fitted as standard. This includes things like radar cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, traffic sign detection, and more.
It's not been confirmed yet whether all of these European updates to the Civic hatch will be the same as those implemented in New Zealand, but we expect that to be the case. When it lands here, expect the line-up to feature the familiar naturally aspirated 1.8-lire (104kW/174Nm) and turbocharged 1.5-litre (127kW/220Nm) engines.
The Civic remains a commendable, quick, comfortable car (and its Type R variant is still a hot hatch favourite). But, it faces the challenge of almost all of its rivals being recently updated; the Ford Focus, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, and the forthcoming Mk8 Volkswagen Golf all included. A tall challenge to say the least.