A blue 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback is shown driving.

The 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback: A Sporty Family Machine

In automotive circles, Honda is virtually synonymous with the Civic. Debuting way back in 1972, it has long set the standard for affordable, long-lasting family commuters. Even with other iconic Honda vehicles joining the lineup, the Civic remains the best-selling Honda vehicle of all time. Per Honda’s most recent official numbers in July 2022, total Civic sales were nearing 30 million cars worldwide.

The arrival of the 2024 Honda Civic writes another chapter into this vehicle’s evolving history. While the Civic has been a choice of enthusiasts since the beginning, recent years have seen Honda make an even more serious push to reposition the Civic as a sporty, fun vehicle that still offers classic family car characteristics. In other words, something that you can take for a buzz down the highway before picking up the kids from soccer practice.

The Civic will likely always be a good family compact. But how does the 2024 Civic Hatchback stack up on the sporty test? We’ve gone through this vehicle bumper to bumper to give it the Goldilocks test of whether its performance blood is too strong, too weak, or just right.

Performance and Efficiency: Get Both

Some drivers want to feel some pep in their step whenever they step on the gas pedal. For others, they want to max out miles per gallon. With the 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback, you can travel down both roads.

The base model Civic Hatchback LX runs on a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, which produces 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than enough power for getting around town and traveling to see Grandma—but we’re more drawn to the 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder available on the EX-L and Sport Touring trims. This turns things up to 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, cutting your 0-60 MPH time from 9.2 to 7.4 seconds. It’s not a Ferrari or Lamborghini by any means, but it’s pretty good for a compact commuter car.

Most impressively, the higher horsepower engine offers even better fuel mileage. According to EPA estimates, the 2.0L in the 2024 Civic Hatchback gets 33 MPG combined, while the 1.5L engine offers 35 MPG combined. More horsepower and less time and money at the pump? Sign us up.

The 2024 Civic Hatchback comes standard with continuously variable transmission. If you want to have more control, though, you’re in luck. Unlike any of the Civic sedans, the Sport and Sport Touring trims of the Hatchback have the option for a six-speed manual transmission, letting you decide exactly when to throw into each gear. Want some added control without needing to use a clutch? Both trims come with paddle shifters if you stick with the CVT.

Need More Performance? The Type R Has It

Maybe 180 horsepower just simply isn’t enough for you. In that case, look to the 2024 Honda Civic Type R. This machine is a Civic Hatchback with a PhD in performance. The Type R brings the muscle with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder VTEC engine, putting 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque underneath your right foot. That’s almost 75 horses more than the Volkswagen GTI.

The manual transmission is the only option for the Type R, and it has been re-tuned with rev-match control for smoother shifts that won’t strain the powerplant. There’s also the triple-outlet active exhaust with four different modes for notes that are sporty, brawny, or whatever else you like. With a Civic Type R, you can go from 0-60 MPH in under five seconds. That’s quite the pull for a four-cylinder compact—and as you’re about to see, straight-line speed isn’t even the highlight of the Civic Hatchback.

Two people are shown opening the hatchback of a silver 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback.

Have Fun Behind the Wheel

One of the big reasons the Civic has earned a place at the sport compact table is the driving experience. Simply put, the 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback is fun to drive. Each trim has MacPherson front struts, a multi-link rear suspension, quick steering, and ventilated front disc brakes. This chassis combination gives the vehicle the responsive handling you need for winding back roads and on track. Yet there’s still a refined aura about it, as if you’re driving a luxury sedan. It may “only” be a front-wheel-drive car, but it grips and turns better than many all-wheel-drive cars in its class. You have a choice of three driving modes in the standard Hatchback trims: Regular, Sport, and ECON.

Every 2024 Civic Hatchback also comes with aluminum alloy wheels: 16-inch on the LX, 17-inch on the EX-L, and 18-inch on the Sport and Sport Touring. These lightweight and rigid wheels offer faster acceleration, less corner roll and flex, more stopping power, and better cooling than the traditional steel wheels on the base model Civic sedan. Not to mention, they never rust and look outstanding. All-season tires are standard, though you can easily add summer tires or performance tires if you want max grip for cruising in beautiful weather.

The Honda Civic Type R cranks things up a few more notches. It offers a stiffer body design than the regular Civic Hatchback for even more responsive handling. You also get a limited-slip differential, Brembo front brake calipers, and 19-inch wheels. In testing, the 2024 Civic Type R set a new Suzuka Circuit course record for front-wheel drive cars. Whose record did it beat? The 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition. Whichever Civic Hatchback you choose, you’ll be able to tackle everything from the tightest city blocks to the wide-open interstate.

Comfort and Style for Everyday or Track Day

Inside and out, the 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback seamlessly blends daily convenience, elegance, and sportiness. It separates itself from the Civic sedan with an oversized rear window to let more sunlight in and a low tailgate so you can load all your stuff. The exterior is clean with streamlined aerodynamics so you can move through the air more efficiently. It won’t be the flashiest vehicle in the world, but we’re sure you’ll be happy to let the zippy handling do the talking. If you do want to make a big statement, go for the Sport Touring Hatchback, which has those 18-inch alloy wheels plus dual exhaust finishers.

The commitment to a fun driving experience extends to the cabin. Leather-trimmed seats, an eight-way power driving seat, push-button start, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are just some of the available comfort features. Select trims have heated front seats, a power moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and other available add-ons.

As for the hatchback area, it has a best-in-class 24.5 cubic feet of available cargo space and several configurations using the 60/40 split fold-down rear seat. You can even turn your five-seat Civic Hatchback into a two-seater sports car. The added performance of this sporty compact is balanced by the host of standard safety features found in the Honda Sensing Suite with braking and steering assistance, a Collision Mitigation Braking System with impact detection, and a Road Departure Mitigation System to keep you in the correct lane.

Of course, if you want a little more of everything, the Civic Type R will provide it. This advanced hatchback has a large grille opening, a wide hood vent, and redesigned brake ducts to keep the engine and brakes cool for hours of fun. The body comes with aerodynamic tweaks such as underbody side spoilers, fender outlets, and a large rear wing. You also get racing-style front seats and pedals, a data logger, and a 12-speaker sound system designed by Bose, among other features.

A blue 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback is shown driving in a city.

Award Yourself With the 2024 Civic Hatchback

The Honda Civic is one of the most award-winning cars ever produced, and the 2024 Civic Hatchback continues that tradition. It made the 2024 Car and Driver 10Best list, continuing a Civic that also includes:

  • 2023 Car and Driver 10Best
  • 2023 Edmunds Top Rated Car
  • 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Compact Car for the Money
  • 2022 North American Car of the Year

It’s easy to see why the Honda Civic has received so many honors: it balances performance and practicality in a way few other cars can. By choosing the hatchback model, you get more cargo space, a manual transmission option, standard alloy wheels, and other goodies that elevate it above the pack—plus the Honda Civic Type R for high-performance junkies. With the LX trim starting at $24,950 and even the top Sport Touring starting at $31,450, it’s an affordable way to boost your automotive cred and still have everything you need for day-to-day driving.