2017 Honda Civic Hatchback: All Turbo, Available Stick

September 23rd, 2016 by

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Beyond that the 2017 Honda Civic hatchback will be, quite clearly, a hatchback, its name is particularly fitting. Honda last offered a hatchback version of the compact Civic in the U.S. in 2003, when the sporty Civic Si variant was available only as a two-door wedge—albeit one that was imported from Europe and had little in common with contemporary U.S.-market Civic sedans and coupes. For the last non-Si Civic hatchback sold stateside, you’ll need to stretch your memory back to 2000, the final year for the sixth-generation Civic. Before then, every previous generation of the Civic had offered a hatchback body style. Now, the hatch will be back.

Of Transmissions and Turbos

Based on the 10th-generation Civic—which has been out in four-door-sedan form since last fall, and as a two-door coupe since this spring—the new Civic hatchback will land on U.S. soil with a four-door body and a sportier bent. (We mean “land” literally, too: The Civic hatch will be built in Swindon, U.K., and exported to the United States.) It won’t quite be an Si, and neither will it be a flame-spitting Type R; both models are under development with more power, tauter handling, and other performance enhancements. But where other Civics come with a 158-hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the hatchback will have as standard those models’ optional 174-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four. Better still, the hatchback appears to debut the enthusiast-friendly six-speed-manual/turbo-four powertrain combination that Honda promised would proliferate throughout the 2017 Civic lineup.

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On Looks and Hatches

The latest Civic sedan’s look has really grown on us in the year since it debuted; the design is expressive and angular, and the car’s streamlined shape is particularly appealing. We think the two-door coupe is even better-looking, and—if you’re sensing a trend here—the hatch improves both cars’ styling. It may not be much of a surprise given how closely it resembles the Civic hatchback concept car, but the Civic hatch is quite attractive, with an overtly sporty design featuring gaping faux intakes and vents in both bumpers, a tight and fast roofline, and a neat spoiler integrated between the C-shaped taillights. At least on the Sport Touring model, there’s also a subtle, black-painted body kit, smoke-gray wheels, and black window and grille trim in place of the chrome on the Civic sedan and coupe.

It may look all hot and bothered, but underneath is a practical car. Honda claims it will offer “the largest cargo-carrying capacity in the competitive set.” Final EPA fuel-economy ratings are forthcoming, but Honda estimates the CVT-equipped hatch will achieve 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway; no estimates were given for the manual transmission, but we anticipate they’ll be slightly lower.

The Honda Sensing package of safety gear available on other Civics (lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and automated emergency braking) will be optional on most grades of the hatchback and standard on the Sport Touring. A touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also will be part of the mix, but frustratingly, only the EX models and up will get it—meaning buyers of the Sport trim can’t cue up navigation via their smartphones or take advantage of the enhanced phone integration either software affords. We’ve fiddled with the base infotainment setup in a 2.0-liter Civic coupe and found it works well—it has, for example, actual knobs for volume and tuning, rather than touch-sensitive sliders as on the touchscreen—but it’d be nice if all versions could be had with the touchscreen and its attendant Apple and Google phone-integration features.

Final pricing will be announced closer to the Civic hatchback’s arrival this fall, but we expect it will cost about $1500 more than the 2016 Civic coupe, which starts at $19,050 with the 2.0-liter and is itself slightly pricier than the sedan. Honda says that there will be sportier versions of the hatch, namely the Si and the Type R, both of which arrive later in the 2017 model year, but don’t write off the regular Civics. They’re fun to drive, and the turbocharged versions are surprisingly quick. (A CVT-equipped Civic coupe hit 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds in our recent test.) This five-door should be equally spunky, and the hatch in back helps make the case for this one as the pick of the litter.

Read More at Car And Driver

28 city / 40 highway/ 32 combined mpg rating for LX model with 6-speed manual transmission. 31 city / 40 highway / 34 combined mpg rating for LX & EX CVT Automatic models. 31 city / 42 highway / 35 combined mpg rating for EX-T model with 6-speed manual transmission. 32 city / 42 highway / 36 combined mpg rating for EX-T, EX-L and Touring CVT Automatic models. Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

Posted in Civic, Reviews