2021 Honda Civic Hatchback

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Review: King Of The Hill

Growing up in the nineties, you were almost guaranteed a Honda Civic Hatchback as your first car. While the humble Civic has become a nearly satirical character in modern American culture, it is still an undeniably good car. The new Honda Civic Hatch has done a lot of growing up, and the 2021 model is proof that for not a lot of money, Honda can still offer you a brilliant car that will tick most of the boxes. The hatchback is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that delivers up to 180 horsepower and feels nippy and eager to please. Around the bends, the Civic is still a blast to drive, and it is incredibly safe and reliable too. Going up against cars such as the Mazda3 Hatchback and Toyota Corolla, the Civic proves that it is still the king of the hill.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Civic Hatchback?

While the features list remains unchanged for 2021 there is some good news: an all-new version is set to arrive on US shores in 2022.

Pros and Cons

  • Sporty handling
  • Spacious interior
  • Solid build quality
  • Impressive range of standard features
  • Busy exterior design
  • Disappointing standard warranty

Best Deals on Civic Hatchback

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LX Hatchback
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,200
Sport Hatchback
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,300
EX Hatchback
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,700
Sport Touring Hatchback
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,600

2021 Honda Civic Hatch Exterior

The exterior design of the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback will split opinions. Still, Honda has stuck with its increasingly crease-heavy design, making the performance-focused Type R - a Honda Civic Hatchback we review separately - such a popular talking point amongst car lovers. The majority of the Civic hatchback range features projector-beam halogen headlights, while the top-of-the-range Sport Touring gets a set of LED units. Other exterior features that come as standard across the range include body-colored door handles and LED brake lights. The base model rolls on a set of 16-inch alloy wheels, growing to 17 inches on the EX. Sport and Sport Touring variants come standard with 18-inch wheels. Of course, a 4-door version of the Honda Civic Hatchback exists, but that's the sedan and it appeals to very different buyers.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Front View Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Rear View Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Front View 1 Honda
See All 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Honda Civic Hatchback is classified as a compact hatch and is comparable in size to the Toyota Corolla Hatchback and the Mazda3 Hatchback. The Civic rolls on a 106.3-inch wheelbase and measures 177.9 inches in length and 56.5 inches in height, although Sport trims have a height of 56.3 inches. The width is measured at 70.8 inches. LX and EX models have a front and rear track measurement of 60.9 and 61.5 inches front to rear, while Sport and Sport Touring models measure in at 60.5 inches and 61.1 inches, respectively. The Sport in manual guise is the lightest of the bunch with a curb weight of only 2,881 pounds, while the heaviest of the bunch is the Sport Touring fitted with the CVT transmission, which tips the scale at 3,012 pounds.

  • Length 177.9 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 70.8 in
  • Front Width 60.9 in
  • Rear Width 61.5 in

Exterior Colors

Over the years, the Honda Civic has undergone a rather significant image-shift, and these days this trusted hatchback is aimed at a more mature market. This is reflected in the exterior color palette on offer: the base model is offered in only three colors, all of which are very sensible. You get to choose from Crystal Black Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic, and for an additional $395, you can get Platinum White Pearl. The Sport trim adds Lunar Silver Metallic, Rallye Red, and for an extra $395, Sonic Gray Pearl or Platinum White Pearl. In addition to these hues, the EX is also offered with the rather attractive Aegean Blue Metallic. Finally, the Sport Touring can only be had with Crystal Black Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, or Sonic Gray Pearl, the last two costing $395. For the young at heart, the Rallye Red is the color to go for.

  • Platinum White Pearl
  • Sonic Gray Pearl
  • Polished Metal Metallic
  • Crystal Black Pearl
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Rallye Red

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Performance

When one thinks of the words "performance" and "Civic," the name "Type-R" will usually follow in close succession. Even the Si nameplate is recognized as being of superior performance in the Civic range. Still, base specs are rarely lauded for their outright performance, so it should come as pleasant news that the 2021 Civic Hatchback is a truly impressive performer, even in its most basic form. This is mostly thanks to a feisty turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces up to 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. This force-fed lump gives the front-wheel-drive Civic the character of a hatchback with a much larger naturally-aspirated engine, and performance can be described as brisk or nippy and should be more than enough for the average driver. Nail the perfect launch, and the Civic Hatch should do the 0-60 mph sprint in around seven seconds, making it about as quick as a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 454. Not only does the Civic Hatchback impress with its straight-line urge, but it is as capable a handler as ever and inspires confidence no matter what the driving style.

Should you be looking for all-weather abilities though, you won't find that here. AWD is the reserve of the Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Front View Driving Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Rear View 1 Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Engine Bay Honda

Engine and Transmission

A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine powers the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback, and power outputs vary slightly according to trim. This energetic little powerplant produces 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque in LX and EX trim, and Sport and Sport Touring cars get a slight power bump to 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque (CVT models get 162 lb-ft). Power is sent to the front wheels exclusively via a CVT automatic transmission in the LX and EX or a six-speed manual transmission in the Sport and Sport Touring. The latter two trims can be optionally equipped with a CVT. The engine in this car delivers a surprising amount of fun, and with most of the torque available from only 1,600 rpm, the Civic feels nippy around town. Low-speed acceleration is impressive, and highway cruising is a breeze, but where this engine truly shines is in its in-gear tractability, especially around town where a healthy dollop of torque is available virtually everywhere. The six-speed manual transmission is crisp and easy to use, and we were pleasantly surprised by the CVT auto, which is possibly the best in its class. There's no mistaking the Civic for a hot hatchback, but it is plenty fast enough for the daily commute.

  • Engine
    1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Civic Hatchback has always been an entertaining machine to pilot (ask any 16-year-old ever), and the proof lies in the fact that tens of thousands of adults across the USA still like to modify and race these little econo cars. The 2021 Civic hatch is infinitely more refined than the likes of the EG and EK generations but manages to cling onto that youthful spirit that makes the earlier cars so much fun to drive. Hit the suburbs, and the Civic returns excellent road manners and a ride quality that manages to strike a near-perfect balance between comfort and athleticism. This balance is maintained when cruising at higher speeds, and the Civic manages to feel brilliantly stable and planted for its size and weight. On twistier roads, the Civic Hatchback can put a smile on even the most jaded of drivers' faces thanks to a beautifully weighted and surprisingly communicative steering feel. Push things too far, and understeer will become your best friend, but the Civic will remain composed even when antagonized. Sport models feature even quicker steering but don't expect Type-R dynamics. Put simply, it's one of the best-driving cars in its class.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Gas Mileage

Honda has done well to balance performance and gas mileage in the 2021 Civic Hatchback. The lightest of the bunch is the lower-output LX or EX with the CVT auto. It might not be equal to a hybrid vehicle, but in this configuration, the Civic hatch will return a decent 31/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined. The six-speed manual Sport and Sport Touring will manage 29/37/32 mpg, and the thirstiest of the bunch is the Sport and Sport Touring CVT with figures of 29/35/32 mpg. All trims are fitted with the same 12.39-gallon fuel tank, which should allow the Civic Hatchback to travel between 396 and 421 miles on a single fill.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 31/40 mpg
* 2021 Honda Civic LX CVT

2021 Civic Hatchback Interior

The first thing you'll notice upon stepping inside the Civic Hatchback is the abundance of space. The airy cabin offers more than enough room for five adults and does so in style. The overall interior design of the Civic is practical and straightforward and doesn't pretend to be anything other than family-friendly. If it's a more sophisticated look you're after, the Mazda3 Hatchback will be the better bet. As is to be expected from any Honda product, build quality is excellent, and the cabin should be able to withstand the worst that an army of preschoolers can throw at it. Even in base form, the Civic Hatchback offers a solid amount of standard features, and along with leg and headroom figures that can compete with some midsize cars, this is definitely a nice place to be.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Dashboard Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Driver Seat Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Steering Wheel Controls Honda
See All 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

From the outside, this little power ranger might look compact, but the interior offers a surprising amount of space, and five average-sized adults will find no difficulty in getting comfortable within the confines of the Civic Hatchback's interior. The large front doors make getting in and out a straightforward task, but taller passengers will have to watch their heads when getting in the back due to the sloping roofline. Once seated, the Civic's front bucket seats offer good support but could do with a bit more side bolstering, especially in the Sport and Sport Touring models. The front seats provide manual adjustment in the LX and Sport, while the EX and Sport Touring get an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Both front and rear legroom are excellent, and the headroom in the front is generous, but taller folk might find the rear headroom limiting.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.3 in
  • Front Head Room 39.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.4 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Honda rarely cuts corners when it comes to the quality of the materials used on the inside of its cars, and the 2021 Civic Hatchback continues this legacy with a choice of quality interior materials that might not shout premium but still feel refined and worthy of the asking price of the car. All trim levels except for the Sport Touring are upholstered in hard-wearing yet comfortable black cloth material, while the EX adds the option of Ivory-colored cloth with certain exterior colors. The Sport Touring features supple black leather seating surfaces. All trim levels other than the base model feature a leather steering wheel and shift knob, and both Sport variants get racy silver pedals.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Trunk and Cargo Space

The biggest motivator behind buying a hatchback is usually for the added space afforded by the fifth door in the back, and the Honda Civic does not disappoint when it comes to trunk and cargo space. Competitors such as the Toyota Corolla Hatchback offer a decent 17.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, while the Volkswagen Golf has a similar 17.4 cubes. Still, the Honda dominates the class with a total space of up to 25.7 cubes, although the Sport and Sport Touring trims have slightly less capacity at 22.6 cubes. That is more than enough space to fit that Ikea home workstation you'll never set up. If it's more space you're after, the Civic's 60/40 split rear seats fold down to reveal a total of 46.2 cubic feet. Inside the cabin, the Civic Hatchback offers a plethora of storage solutions, including wide front and rear door pockets, a large center storage bin, upper and lower center console storage nooks, a glove compartment, and dual front cup holders. EX and Sport Touring variants also include a passenger-side seatback pocket.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Rear Seats Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Luggage Space Honda
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Maximum Cargo Space Honda
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    46.2 ft³

Civic Hatchback Infotainment and Features

Features

The Honda Civic offers good value for money, no matter which trim level you look at. The base model comes standard with single-zone automatic climate control, a front 12-volt power outlet, manually-adjustable front seats, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features. This includes road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning amongst others. The Sport adds a rear-seat center armrest, sports pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and push-button start. Move up to the EX and you'll get illuminated vanity mirrors for the driver and front-seat passenger, dual-zone climate control, a power moonroof, Honda LaneWatch, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with heated front seating. The range-topping Sport Touring includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, front/rear heated leather seats, a four-way power front passenger seat, and the HomeLink remote system.

Infotainment

Unfortunately, the Honda Civic's infotainment system, in base guise at least, is not all that impressive. The entry-level LX comes fitted with a standard five-inch color LCD screen, which is hardly bigger than your modern smartphone display. On top of that, there is not much else to write home about. The standard sound system features four speakers, there's Bluetooth streaming, a USB port, and that's it. Moving up to the Sport bags you a seven-inch touchscreen display with HondaLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and an eight-speaker 180-watt sound system. EX and Sport Touring cars feature HD Radio, an SMS text function, a 1.5-amp USB/smartphone interface. The Sport Touring also includes navigation and a premium sound system with 12 speakers including a subwoofer. Overall, the Civic Hatchback's infotainment system is easy to use; just avoid the base system at all costs.

Civic Hatchback Problems and Reliability

Honda is well known for building cars that last, and the Honda Civic Hatchback is definitely one of them. There have been no recalls issued for the Civic in recent years, with the most recent being a potentially failing fuel pump in 2019. J.D. Power was impressed with its dependability, giving the 2020 model a great score of 76 out of a possible 100 on its reliability index. Honda will cover the 2021 Civic Hatch with a rather average 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and will also provide roadside assistance for three years or 36,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Civic Hatchback Safety

According to the latest NHTSA's review, the Honda Civic is an extremely safe car, managing to score a perfect five out of five on its rating scale, and the IIHS is so impressed with the vehicle that it awarded the 2020 model with a Top Safety Pick award.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

There's a good reason why safety rating agencies such as the IIHS hold the Civic Hatchback in such high regard: this compact hatch is filled to the brim with advanced driver assistance systems from the factory, but Honda still covers the basics with a six-airbag system with front side and side curtain bags, along with ABS/EBD brakes. The Honda Sensing suite of driver aids includes road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. EX and Sport Touring models also have Honda LaneWatch, and all trims get auto high-beam headlights.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback a good car?

Honda has built the Civic brand up to epic proportions, and this little compact hatchback has become ubiquitous across the planet. This means that people have come to expect a lot from this car, but the good news is that Honda continues to deliver. The 2021 Honda Civic Hatch combines quirky looks, impressive performance, excellent practicality, and a sterling safety record in an affordable package that is hard to ignore, even close to the end of its life cycle. Under the hood, the little 1.5-liter turbo engine delivers notable grunt that would have been considered 'fast' twenty or so years ago and manages to rein in the fuel consumption as well. On the road, the Civic hatch drives beautifully and is equal parts comfortable and entertaining to drive. The interior won't blow you away, but it's well built, ergonomic, and everything feels well put together. Families will adore the masses of interior space and sizable cargo capacity, as well as the numerous safety systems onboard. The Civic Hatchback is one of the best in its class and should be high on your list, but if you want something better, there's a new Honda Civic Hatchback in the works for 2022.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback?

Honda's plan with the Civic has always been to deliver an affordable and functional product. Over the years, the compact has become infinitely more refined but the price of the Honda Civic Hatchback has still been kept on the lower side. The base model (LX) starts off with an MSRP of only $22,200. This price excludes tax, registration, and a destination fee of $995. Next up is the Sport, which goes for $23,300. The EX costs $24,700 and the top-of-the-range Sport Touring will set you back $28,600. Fully-specced, the Honda Civic Hatchback will top out at over $35,000. With massive second-hand availability, you should have no problem finding a good used Civic hatch for sale.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Models

Honda makes it easy for first-time buyers to choose the perfect one by offering four Civic models, each with a distinct personality. The hatchback range starts off with the LX, which shares its turbocharged 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with the rest of the range, and sends its power to the front wheels via a CVT auto transmission. The LX gets standard features such as single-zone automatic climate control, a four-speaker sound system, Bluetooth streaming, a five-inch infotainment display, and manually-adjustable front cloth seats.

The Sport receives a six-speed manual transmission and a slight power bump under the hood. In terms of standard features, the Sport adds a seven-inch touchscreen display with HondaLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, an eight-speaker sound system, a rear-seat armrest, sport pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and push-button start.

EX models add Honda LaneWatch, SiriusXM radio, HD Radio, an SMS text function, a 1.5-amp USB smartphone interface, illuminated vanity mirrors for occupants in front,

a front-passenger seatback pocket, dual-zone climate control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with front seat heating, and a one-touch power moonroof.

The range-topping Sport Touring adds navigation with voice recognition, a premium 12-speaker sound system, an automatic-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink, heated rear outboard seats, and a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.

All models come standard with Honda's Sensing suite of driver aids, including forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. EX and Sport Touring models also include Honda LaneWatch, and all trims get auto high-beam headlights.

See All 2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Honda has done its best to cram as many standard features into each of its trims, with the Sport Touring offering an impressive amount of kit, but there are a few options that can be added on for an even better driving experience. The lower three trims can be fitted with an auto-dimming rearview mirror for $454 and all versions can be equipped with a wireless phone charger for an additional $314. Non-sport models can get a set of alloy pedals for $93, while both the Sport and Sport Touring can be fitted with a set of massive 19-inch HFP Black alloy wheels.

🚗What Honda Civic Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

Cars have never been as refined and well-equipped as they are now, and one glance at the 2021 Civic Hatchback shows you just how far the automotive industry has come; for well under $30,000, you can get a car with standard adaptive cruise control. From the base model right up to the Sport Touring, the Civic offers an excellent driving experience and covers most of the bases in terms of standard features. We would go for the Sport, which is on the cheaper side of the Civic spectrum, but gets the most powerful engine option, a six-speed manual box, quicker steering, and the larger seven-inch infotainment display.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback Comparisons

Honda Accord Honda
Toyota Corolla Hatchback CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Honda Civic Hatchback174 hp31/40 mpg$22,200
Honda Accord 192 hp30/38 mpg$24,970
Toyota Corolla Hatchback 169 hp28/37 mpg$20,715

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback vs Honda Accord

The Honda Accord might not be available as a hatchback, but it is still a very popular choice for small to medium-sized families looking for a safe and spacious family car. The Accord will also appeal to a more mature crowd thanks to its not so in-your-face styling and slightly more refined interior. Under the hood, the Accord also gets the brilliant 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, but those with a lust for more power can also spec the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. In this configuration, the Accord will sprint to sixty in only 5.5 seconds but will suffer at the pumps. The Accord is sure-footed on the road and still feels exciting to drive despite its larger size and heavier curb weight. The Accord offers more interior space and more premium features are on offer as well, but the Civic dominates when it comes to trunk space. If you want to go faster, and you're looking for a more premium experience, go for the Accord. For everything else, the Civic will be your best bet.

See Honda Accord Review

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback vs Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The Toyota Corolla is even more affordable than the Civic and can stand toe to toe with this segment hero in several ways, but unfortunately, it fails to impress under the hood. The Corolla's naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine delivers less thrilling performance but will return a better fuel consumption figure of 32/41/35 mpg city/highway/combined. On the road, the Corolla is a pleasant driver and is arguably as much fun in the twisties, but once again, its lazy engine lets it down. On the inside, the Corolla offers a pleasant interior design, good build quality, and comparable features, but there are fewer trims to choose from. The Civic provides more cargo space. Both cars are incredibly safe and reliable, but it is the Honda's excellent 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that seals the deal for us at the end of the day.

See Toyota Corolla Hatchback Review

Honda Civic Hatchback Popular Comparisons

57
Photos
Back
To Top