The Honda Civic is a mainstay, and the automaker has stuck with the car over generations, even though the auto market here in the U.S. has tilted heavily toward SUVs and pickup trucks. Honda has even expanded the Civic lineup to include performance variants and other models that give the car a fantastic reach here in the State. The Civic Hatchback is no exception, and while its back seat is less spacious than its sedan counterpart, it’s a sporty, comfortable car with a compelling list of standard tech and safety features.
In 2023, I have driven three Civic variants, including the Si and Type R, and I can say it’s one of my favorite small cars. This is coming from a guy who owned a Golf R earlier this year, and I’ve driven two GR Corollas for experience. Here’s what you need to know about the 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback.
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: Exterior Design
The previous-generation Civic had busy styling and an aggressive look that oversold its performance potential. Honda’s 2023 redesign changed that, making the car look more grown-up and refined and giving it a premium feel, inside and out. The front fascia now lacks the scoops and vents of the outgoing car and has made the Civic look more expensive than it is. LED daytime running lights come standard, along with automatic LED headlights and rear lighting. Honda equips 16-inch wheels as standard and higher trims add 17- or 18-inch wheels.
Even the red-hot Type R eschews the overly aggressive styling in favor of a more restrained look that highlights the car’s widebody stance and low ride height. It works. On the road, the car has a massively imposing stance that makes it look genuinely menacing.
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: Interior Design
Honda used nice materials and gave the Civic Hatchback a pleasing design, making its interior a much nicer place to be than earlier models. The car retained a physical gear shift lever and got two large cupholders in the front. The air vents are now hidden behind a high-quality metal grate that extends across the dash, and the overall look is clean and upscale. One complaint is with the infotainment screen, which looks haphazardly stacked on the dash, and while it offers decent visibility, it can be too far away for some people to reach comfortably. Back-seat passengers get a well-made but otherwise uninteresting space, especially compared to the appealing look of the front cabin area.
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: Performance
Honda offers two powertrain choices for the 2024 Civic Hatchback. The base mill is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. The uprated engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine with 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Interestingly, a six-speed manual transmission is available, and Honda offers a continuously variable transmission.
The base engine’s 158 horsepower isn’t the most exciting number, and it translates to leisurely acceleration and too much noise under heavy throttle. The turbocharged four-cylinder is much more energetic and offers far better acceleration, though its output is dulled by the continuously variable transmission. Honda’s manual gearbox is excellent, even in non-performance models, offering crisp shifts and an engaging feel.
Though Honda makes two Civic performance models, the regular hatchback offers surprisingly responsive handling and a smooth ride in most situations. Steering and braking are both confidence-inspiring and predictable, and the refined ride makes the Civic Hatchback an excellent everyday commuter.
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: Interior Space
The Honda Civic Hatchback has comfortable and spacious front seats with good head and legroom for adults. There’s not enough space to stretch out, but the car takes great care of people up front. The rear bench is generally comfortable and spacious enough for most, but taller adults may feel the pinch on headroom, and there can be a shortage of legroom if a taller person is riding in the front. With 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Civic Hatchback is also far more spacious than its sedan counterpart, which manages just 14.8 cubic feet.
|Cargo Space (Rear Seat Up)
|24.5 cubic feet
|24.5 cubic feet
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: Interior Features
The Honda Civic Hatchback gets a long list of standard features that make it a compelling value in its segment. The base car seats five and comes with cloth upholstery with manual adjustments. Higher trims add leather upholstery, heated front seats, power adjustments, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There aren’t many options, making it easy to pick a trim to get the desired features.
Standard tech includes a 7-inch digital gauge cluster and a 7-inch touchscreen. The system brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four speakers, automatic climate controls, Bluetooth, and more. Honda’s infotainment interface is far from the flashiest system on the market, but its simplicity makes it easy to use while driving. It’s also responsive and relatively easy to understand, but a physical tuning knob would be helpful for scrolling through long lists of radio stations or songs. Honda’s voice commands work well, and the included smartphone interface gives a familiar look to the system.
A larger 9-inch touchscreen is available, along with a 10.2-inch gauge cluster. The upgraded unit brings wireless smartphone connectivity, SiriusXM radio, eight speakers, HD radio, and wireless charging. A Bose stereo is available.
2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: Safety
Honda equips a long list of standard safety tech, including its Honda Sensing package. The options group includes features that some automakers charge extra for, including adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist. Other features include forward collision warnings, lane departure alerts, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking. The Civic Hatchback gets blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, starting with the EX-L trim.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Civic Hatchback with a 2023 Top Safety Pick, which means the car achieved at least an “Acceptable” score in the updated IIHS side-crash test. Testing isn’t yet complete for 2024, so the new Hatchback may change its score when the final assessments are complete. There’s one recall for the 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback, which came in mid-October 2023, for an incorrectly assembled steering rack.
The Honda Civic Hatchback’s competitive set depends on which part of the Civic spectrum you land. The first and most obvious rival is the Civic Sedan, which offers a nearly identical driving experience and very similar exterior styling. At the same time, the sedan isn’t available in Si or Type R trims, so the performance-minded among us will have to spring for the hatch. The Toyota Corolla is another obvious competitor, and the automaker released a new GR hatchback trim that compares favorably to the Civic.
Of course, the Civic Type R is only available in hatchback form, but it’s got plenty of competition. Outside the GR Corolla and Civic Type R, the Civic Hatch faces off against its in-house twin, the Acura Integra and Integra Type S. It has more horsepower and better mid-range torque than its Civic counterpart and has a more upscale cabin, too.
There are far fewer hatchbacks and fun small cars around than there were a decade or two ago, and for many enthusiasts (myself included), that’s disappointing. While many automakers have focused on SUVs and trucks at the expense of their car catalog, Honda has stuck to its guns and has improved the Civic and Accord over the years. Other companies, Toyota included, have made similar moves, but the Civic remains the most refined and well-thought-out design across all its iterations. The Type R is prohibitively expensive in some settings, and dealer markups certainly don’t help, but it’s easily one of the most compelling performance-oriented hatchbacks in the class, and that’s saying something when we’re also looking at the Volkswagen Golf R and Toyota GR Corolla.