2020 Honda Civic vs 2021 Honda Civic

2020 Honda Civic
2020 Honda Civic
$20,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Honda Civic
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2020 Honda Civic
$20,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Honda Civic was 8.2 out of 10, while the 2021 Honda Civic scored a 7.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the final recommendation leans toward the 2020 Honda Civic. This model not only impressed with its broader range of powertrains and manual transmission options but also offered more refined interior and exterior features and maintained an excellent balance of performance, safety, and technology.

Choose the 2021 Honda Civic if:

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7.2of 10overall
  • You are looking for a more simplified and straightforward model lineup, without the coupe variant.
  • You prioritize updated safety equipment standard across all models, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability.
  • You appreciate a well-rounded infotainment system with features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, even in mid-level trims.
Overview

MSRP

$20,000

MSRP

$21,250

Average price

$20,662

Average price

$21,422

Listings

1809

Listings

1839
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10
Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
Cons
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple body styles
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap

2020 Honda Civic Reviews Summary

Minor design tweaks, more standard safety and convenience features, and more manual transmissions arrive as the standout changes for the Civic's 2020 model year. Last redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Civic keeps outperforming its small-car peers by offering the performance and quality of more expensive cars, while retaining the value and longevity expected of a Honda. Plus, I had a really fun week with the turbocharged Civic Si.

2021 Honda Civic Reviews Summary

Honda is ready to retire the 10th-generation Civic, one of the groundbreaking versions in the nameplate's long and storied history. From its polarizing design and three body styles to the arrival (finally!) of the Type R performance variant in the U.S. market, this version of the Civic made its mark. And even though the design is now six years old, and the car is ubiquitous on American roads, the 2021 Honda Civic remains worthy of consideration.
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 158 hp I4

Engine

2.0L 158 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

158 hp @ 6500 rpm

Horsepower

158 hp @ 6500 rpm

MPG City

25

MPG City

30

MPG Highway

36

MPG Highway

38
2020 Honda Civic
2020 Honda Civic
$20,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Honda Civic
$20,000MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Honda Civic was 8.2 out of 10, while the 2021 Honda Civic scored a 7.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the final recommendation leans toward the 2020 Honda Civic. This model not only impressed with its broader range of powertrains and manual transmission options but also offered more refined interior and exterior features and maintained an excellent balance of performance, safety, and technology.

Choose the 2021 Honda Civic if:

Shop Now
7.2of 10overall
  • You are looking for a more simplified and straightforward model lineup, without the coupe variant.
  • You prioritize updated safety equipment standard across all models, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability.
  • You appreciate a well-rounded infotainment system with features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, even in mid-level trims.
Overview
MSRP
$20,000
$21,250
Average price
$20,662
$21,422
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.8
4.9
Expert reviews

8.2 out of 10

Read full review

7.2 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
Cons
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple body styles
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap
Summary
Minor design tweaks, more standard safety and convenience features, and more manual transmissions arrive as the standout changes for the Civic's 2020 model year. Last redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Civic keeps outperforming its small-car peers by offering the performance and quality of more expensive cars, while retaining the value and longevity expected of a Honda. Plus, I had a really fun week with the turbocharged Civic Si.
Honda is ready to retire the 10th-generation Civic, one of the groundbreaking versions in the nameplate's long and storied history. From its polarizing design and three body styles to the arrival (finally!) of the Type R performance variant in the U.S. market, this version of the Civic made its mark. And even though the design is now six years old, and the car is ubiquitous on American roads, the 2021 Honda Civic remains worthy of consideration.
Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 158 hp I4
2.0L 158 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
158 hp @ 6500 rpm
158 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG City
25
30
MPG Highway
36
38
Look and feel
2020 Honda Civic
7/10
2021 Honda Civic
8/10
The 2020 Honda Civic was a gem in Honda’s lineup, putting even pricier models such as the Accord and Pilot to shame with its exceptional engineering and design. Despite being an affordable compact car, available for around $20,000, it wowed consumers with a remarkable variety of options and excellent build quality akin to that of BMW. This model came in three distinct body styles: sedan, coupe, and four-door hatchback, each highlighting its sharp design rather than its compact size. The sedan, while svelte and elegant with a roofline borrowing cues from the coupe, had an elongated body panel adorned with wide, arcing headlights and large, sweeping LED taillights, emphasizing its low and wide stance. The 2020 Civic saw significant upgrades in its design. The Civic Si sedan featured new matte-black 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights with gloss black trim, standard LED headlights, an updated grille, and a new rear bumper. The hatchback models also received updated bumpers and lights, along with new wheels in gray or black. Inside, the 2020 Civic boasted a simple yet sophisticated interior with a narrow center stack and minimal instrumentation. The materials used were top-notch, with soft-touch rubbers and high-quality switchgear. The cabin featured more gloss-black trim on the steering wheel and dash, metal shift knobs, and pleasing central air vents. Interior updates for 2020 included three new dash accents for the hatchback, a thin red line accenting the Si’s instrument panel, and revised sport seats with red woven bands. Reflecting on the 2021 Honda Civic, it was apparent that this model was nearing the end of its generational cycle. While it did not push the design envelope as much as its predecessors, it still maintained a refined and appealing look. Available in four-door sedan, five-door hatchback, and the performance-oriented Civic Type R formats, the design was visually consistent yet less polarizing than earlier models. The iconic coupe was discontinued, along with the Civic Si, making way for a focus on practical and efficient configurations. The sedan was offered in several trims, starting from the LX to the high-end Touring. The test model, a Touring sedan in Cosmic Blue Metallic, priced at around $29,690, exuded a handsome appeal with its 18-inch wheels. However, the vehicle's aesthetic tended to oscillate based on lighting and viewing angles. The interior of the 2021 Civic, once deemed daring, appeared a bit dated compared to when it was first introduced. Despite this, it still featured quality materials and adventurous design. Although the infotainment screen size of 7 inches signaled its age, the cabin continued to uphold its trendsetting status from the 10th-generation Civic era.
Performance
2020 Honda Civic
8/10
2021 Honda Civic
7/10
The 2020 Honda Civic provided four engine options and two transmissions, all front-wheel drive. The base LX and Sport models featured a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. These trims came standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) was an optional upgrade. Higher trims, including the EX, exclusively offered a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4 engine making 174 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. This engine was preferred for its mid-range acceleration and responsiveness. Hatchback models in the Sport or Sport Touring trims offered a slightly higher output at 180 hp. Notably, the manual transmission became standard for the Sport Touring hatchback for the first time. The 1.5-liter turbo engine was responsive, providing a delightful experience, especially in the Civic Si with its boost to 205 hp and 192 pound-feet of torque. The Civic Type R, the top-performing variant, produced a staggering 306 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Si and Type R were both stick-shift exclusives. For 2020, Honda reduced the final-drive ratio, enhancing acceleration across all gears but slightly lowering fuel economy. Despite this, the Civic Si maintained impressive fuel efficiency ratings of 26 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined, even with the power boost. For 2021, the Civic’s performance remained solid but saw some lineup simplifications. The LX and Sport trims retained the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering 158 hp and 138 pound-feet of torque. The CVT was standard across these models. However, the real star of the 2021 lineup was the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, available on the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. Producing 174 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque, this engine provided ample power. Though paired with a CVT, the engine's performance was praiseworthy, although it did exhibit some droning associated with CVTs. Paddle shifters and Sport mode added some driving engagement, but often led to frustration rather than satisfaction. Nevertheless, the combination of the turbocharged engine and the independent suspension provided an enjoyable and composed driving experience. Fuel economy was noteworthy too, with averages exceeding EPA estimates, hitting 34.8 mpg during a 140-mile loop.
Form and function
2020 Honda Civic
8/10
2021 Honda Civic
8/10
In 2020, the Civic benefited from practical interior updates. Changes included a new volume knob and enhanced cupholders. The hatchback received additional sound insulation, while the EX hatchback saw the inclusion of an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. The simple, yet functional interior offered easy-to-use controls on a three-spoke steering wheel, a conventional PRNDL shifter, a deep center console storage bin, and versatile cupholders. Rear seat space was commendable, with ample room for passengers, though the absence of rear air vents was a noticeable omission. Cargo space was generous across models: the sedan offered 15 cubic feet, the coupe had 12 cubic feet, and the hatchback provided a substantial 26 cubic feet (46 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down). Entering the 2021 Civic required some physical exercise due to the low seating position, but once inside, passengers found a comfortable cabin. The driver's seat in most trims was eight-way power-adjustable, though the front passenger's seat lacked height adjustment, making ingress and egress a bit challenging. Leather upholstery was standard from EX-L trim onward. Rear seat space in the 2021 Civic was just as generous as in the 2020 model, comfortably accommodating adult passengers. The absence of rear air vents, however, detracted from rear passenger comfort on hot days. The center console offered a remarkable amount of practical storage with its various trays and compartments. Cargo space in the 2021 sedan was similarly spacious, with the trunk offering 15.1 cubic feet, slightly reduced to 14.7 cubic feet in the Touring trim due to the premium sound system. This was still significant for the class and provided ample room for everyday needs.
Technology
2020 Honda Civic
7/10
2021 Honda Civic
5/10
The 2020 Honda Civic’s technology was somewhat outdated. The standard 7-inch touchscreen across most models ran slower and appeared graphically dated compared to newer Hondas like the Accord. However, it included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and top trims featured Garmin-based navigation. The Touring models included rain-sensing wipers and LED headlights. Noteworthy tech in the Civic Si included Active Sound Control for engine sounds, keyless entry, push-button start, a power moonroof, and heated front seats. LaneWatch, offering a live camera feed of the right-side blind spot, was another notable feature, albeit limited to the right side only. In 2021, the base LX trim offered minimal tech features, including a 5-inch LCD screen and a weak USB port. The Sport trim upgraded to a 7-inch high-definition touchscreen, an eight-speaker sound system, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher trims, such as the EX, brought HD Radio, SiriusXM, and a more powerful USB port. Top-tier Touring models included premium features like navigation, voice recognition, digital traffic, and a 10-speaker premium audio system. Despite these improvements, the infotainment system still lagged in sophistication, and the voice recognition required specific prompts to be effective.
Safety
2020 Honda Civic
9/10
2021 Honda Civic
7/10
The 2020 Honda Civic was equipped with the comprehensive Honda Sensing suite, including forward collision warning, emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Improved LED headlights helped the Civic earn a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS, with good ratings in all crash tests. The NHTSA awarded it five stars in most categories, except for four stars in the passenger frontal crash rating for the coupe. Similarly, the 2021 Civic came standard with Honda Sensing, encompassing adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, automatic high beams, and a multi-angle reversing camera. The EX trim onward included LaneWatch, a camera-based blind-spot monitoring system, although it had its limitations and lacked a traditional radar-based system. The 2021 Civic once again earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS and five-star ratings in all NHTSA assessments, demonstrating its safety prowess.
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By: CarGurus + AI

This car comparison has been created with using generative AI. It is based entirely on CarGurus expert review content, ratings and data, and leverages our extensive library of hands-on product tests to create thousands of unique comparisons to help shoppers choose the right car.