How Do the Honda Civic Sedan and Hatchback Differ?

A white 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback is shown driving in a tunnel.

That’s a great question and one that’s not entirely clear from the moment you check out the 2024 Honda Civic and look at the sedan and hatchback models available. While the different shape of the Civic Hatchback's rear end will certainly jump out at you when looking at both models side by side, there are plenty of things that set them apart from each other that are not as easy to notice. From some key differences in performance and your overall driving experience to how those things translate in terms of safety technology and more, getting to know both of these models can be tricky. Today, we’re going to take a good look at the different aspects and features of the two main Honda Civic models to see the similarities and differences between them and determine which one might be best for you.

Performance and Engineering

One of the best ways to illustrate the differences between the Honda Civic Sedan and Hatchback models, which you might not notice at first glance, is in terms of their performance and overall driving experience. You’d expect both of these Civic models to have identical performance, and while they have the same engines available, there’s a key difference to note. First, though, we should mention that you can find slightly different trim levels for each model: the 2024 Civic Sedan has the LX, Sport, EX, and Touring trim available, while the Civic Hatchback has the LX, Sport, EX-L, and Sport Touring for you to choose from. We’re about to see why these slight differences in name are important.

Two engines are available for both the Civic Sedan and Hatchback, starting with a 2.0L I-4 engine that offers 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. You can find this engine on the LX and Sport trims of the Sedan and Hatchback—so far, so good. If you want more power, then there’s an available 1.5L turbocharged I-4 engine that delivers an impressive 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, providing you with a fantastic driving experience. You’ll find this engine on the Sedan EX and Touring or on the Hatchback EX-L and Sport Touring. Still pretty much the same, but here’s where things get tricky…

The 2024 Civic Sedan features an efficient and smooth-shifting Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), no matter which engine or trim you’re looking at. However, the Sport and Touring trims feature paddle shifters on the steering wheel to utilize as you drive, giving you more control over your experience. Where things get very different is with the Civic Hatchback. It also features a CVT, adding dual-mode paddle shifters for the Sport and Sport Touring trims. However, those two trims are also available with an optional six-speed manual transmission. This means you can get either engine with a CVT or a manual transmission if you go with the Hatchback, but the Sedan doesn’t have a manual transmission available on any trim. This is certainly not the end of the world if you don’t care about a stick, but it is something to keep in mind while deciding which model is right for you.

A close-up of the wheel on a white 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback is shown.

Exterior Size and Design

From the outside, both the Sedan and Hatchback models have a lot in common, but there are also some important differences. In terms of their dimensions, both of these models are the same length, width, and height, so if you’re concerned about fitting one into your garage or getting through tight city streets, both of these work equally well. The front halves of these two models are also essentially identical, with similar features and options available for each of them. As you’d expect, the hatchback shape of the Civic Hatchback is noticeably different from the traditional Civic Sedan, though both are quite stylish and beautifully designed. There are also a few differences in the exterior colors available on these two models, such as dark Aegean Blue Metallic for the Sedan, while the Hatchback has a lighter Boost Blue Pearl and a Smokey Mauve Pearl color available that you can’t get on the Sedan.

Interior Size and Features

Moving inside, we again find a lot of similar features and dimensions across both models, with some notable differences. You get the same amount of interior passenger volume throughout the cabin of both Civic models, with the same headroom and legroom for both front and rear passengers. But as you might expect, you’ll get more cargo volume in the Hatchback. While the Sedan has 14.8 cu.ft. of cargo volume available in the trunk, the Hatchback gives you 24.5 cu.ft. of rear cargo volume with the rear seat up. The features inside these models are pretty similar, with standard automatic climate control, cruise control, illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls, and push-button start.

They also have similar available features like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, an automatic-dimming rearview mirror, and more. There are a few interesting differences: for example, every Hatchback trim has 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, while only the EX and Touring trim of the Sedan have them. Only the Sedan Touring has leather-trimmed seats with an eight-way power driver’s seat, while both the EX-L and Sport Touring for the Hatchback have these features. But the Touring and Sport Touring are the only trims that come with upgrades such as a 10.2-inch Digital Instrument Cluster screen and a nine-inch infotainment display with a 12-speaker Bose Premium sound system.

A red 2024 Honda Civic Hatchback is shown driving on a city street.

Safety Technology

We’ve already seen how some of the differences between the Sedan and Hatchback are unexpected and often come down to how their trim levels differ—we’re about to find a few more of these differences with their safety features. Both the 2024 Civic Sedan and Hatchback feature the Honda Sensing Suite of advanced driver assistance technology standard on every trim. This includes things like a Collision Mitigation Braking System, a Road Departure Mitigation System, and Lane Keeping Assist to help protect you on the road.

What’s unexpected, however, is that some Civic Hatchback trims lack a few features for one simple reason: their six-speed manual transmission. Looking at the Sedan, every trim comes with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Traffic Jam Assist to make driving easier and safer in traffic; the Sedan Touring also has standard Low-Speed Braking Control. However, a Civic Hatchback with the optional manual transmission lacks these features. This might not be a deal breaker for you, but it’s still worth considering.

Which Honda Civic Is Right for You?

As you can see, the differences between the Honda Civic Sedan and Hatchback are largely what you’d expect: more room for cargo in the Hatchback and some exterior differences. Beyond those considerations, however, just keep in mind whether you want a manual transmission or not—if you do, then the Hatchback is the way to go. However, we should also mention the Honda Civic Si, which takes the sedan body style and adds a more powerful engine and six-speed manual, which is a great option if you want a performance-focused sedan. The 2024 Civic Si starts at a higher price than the Civic Sedan and only has one trim available, but it’s worth keeping in mind if that’s the kind of car you’re looking for. No matter which Civic model is right for you, we’ll help you find it here at Klein Honda and make sure you get the driving experience you’ve been looking for.