The Honda Civic is the best-selling car in the U.S. Sold in sedan and hatchback body styles, the Civic has a list of strengths unrivaled in its class. Like other small cars, the Civic is quite affordable, but it also offers a significant amount of value. The quality of materials is excellent for the class, with a minimal use of hard, dreary plastics.
Cabin room is exceptional — four 6-foot-tall occupants will have no problem fitting in the Civic sedan or hatchback. Their luggage will fit, too, since the Civic offers one of the largest cargo areas in the class. The optional turbocharged engine delivers both excellent fuel economy and some of the quickest acceleration times we've clocked for non-performance compacts. The Civic is close to perfection, with a slow, unintuitive infotainment system as its single flaw.
For 2021, which we expect to be this generation Civic's final year before a full redesign in 2022, Honda is making a few changes. It's discontinuing the coupe body style as well as the Si, which was the Civic's midlevel performance trim level. The max-attack 306-horsepower Type R hatchback will still be on offer, however. There will also be a Limited Edition version of the Type R for 2021. It comes with special lightweight wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, retuned suspension and steering, and reduced sound-deadening materials for a weight savings of about 28 pounds.
Few automakers offer performance hatchbacks at the level of the Type R, but there are several worthy alternatives to the Civic in general. The Kia Forte is a comfortable small sedan with an appealing mix of features and a more competitive price. The Mazda 3 is smaller and costs more, but its materials and build quality are similar to what you'll find in a luxury car. You could also check out the Hyundai Veloster, which is a small three-door hatchback that's more fun to drive than most rivals.