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Honda’s five-door Civic Hatch gets minor styling changes and new active safety elements

Talking Honda today, and changes made to the latest Honda Civic five-door hatch – a subtle new exterior design and new safety features on the mid-spec models. The Civic is Honda’s longest running nameplate – extremely popular here since it first went on sale in early 1973.  Updates on the mid-spec VTi-L and RS hatches include active cruise control, auto dipping high beam, autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist – prices on these models have risen by $600 to $1,200. The Civic RS hatch I tested now $33,540. All 2020 Civic hatches get new wheel designs, restyled bumpers, a fresh new grille while internally, a new instrument panel and thankfully a volume control dial – replacing the touch based slider control that was difficult to use and took your eyes off the road.

The Honda Civic RS five-door hatch comes in a new hero colour – pearlescent Phoenix Orange, matched to black alloys and its very appealing.  The 1.5-litre turbo engine mated to a CVT automatic with manual shift paddles makes for sporty driving but importantly the sporty element is subtle – on the inside nice 10-way power leather seats with red stitching and dual-zone climate control. As I’ve reported on Honda’s before my wife complained of sitting on the floor, no passenger seat height adjuster is a real minus on the Civic and a buyer turnoff. A shame on a car otherwise so well equipped.

I’m David Berthon

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