Spirited drive a nice surprise: Honda

The Honda Civic RS Sport Sensing Sedan was one of the biggest surprises of last year. A strong turbo VTEC powertrain, oodles of kit, and great driving dynamics put it on par with the very best in the small sedan segment. Now for 2020, the Civic Hatch gets the RS Sport Sensing treatment, and here is how it stacks up.


The tenth generation Civic has always been striking, and for the Sensing, there are subtle styling tweaks which have a certain whiff of Civic Type R about them.

These include a new rear diffuser, lower roofline and 18-inch sports alloys. Oh, and a new sports exhaust.

Under the bonnet sits the same 1.5L turbocharged VTEC four pot in the Sensing Sedan.

This means 127kW and 220Nm of torque. In Sport mode, the torque kicks in at low revs when you plant your boot, which makes for a nice surprise when sauntering through the twisty stuff.

Honda’s seven-speed CVT box is back, and performs well enough, though I would love to be able to swap cogs myself.

Honda claim fuel consumption of 6.1L/100km. I found myself averaging 7.2L/100km most of the time.

Quite frugal indeed, especially in ECO mode. Inside you sit low and snug. The driving position is nigh on perfect and everything is within easy reach.

The Sensing part of the name stands for Honda’s Sensing Safety package.

This means active cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, lane departure mitigation, and automatic high beam headlights.

Other tech includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, reversing camera, parking sensors all round, and a left-wing mirror blind spot camera which activates on the infotainment screen every time you indicate left.

You can cram 340 litres of whatever into the boot and rear seat passengers, providing you aren’t of the lanky kind, can find good head and legroom.

The Honda Civic Hatch RS Sport Sensing is not a hot hatchback, but more a “warm” one.

Its level of tech, comfort and the ability to give you a spirited drive on command means this one certainly needs checking out.


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