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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Overview
The very first Honda Civic, back in the early 1970s, was available as a hatchback, but here in the States we’ve been without a hatchback version since the 2003 Civic Si, which was itself based on the European-market Civic. For a full range of Civic hatches, you have to go back to 2000. Honda is finally bringing the body style back for 2017, with a brand-new version of the popular and highly praised tenth-generation Civic range, which started out with the 4-door sedan and then added a 2-door coupe at the LA Auto Show. The new car will be more performance-oriented than the standard coupes and sedans, although it won’t be quite as outright sporty as the upcoming Si or Type-R versions. Built at Honda’s plant in Swindon, England, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback can be had in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, or Sport Touring trim levels. While still an affordable commuter car, it will be generally more expensive than the other cars in the Civic range.
The rest of the 2017 Civic lineup can be had with either a 158-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or an optional 174-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, which is Honda’s first turbocharged engine in the U.S. (if you don’t count Acura). The Civic Hatchback will come standard with the more powerful turbo motor, and the Sport Touring trim gets a freer flowing center exit exhaust that raises power to 180 hp. Torque, meanwhile, remains at 162 lb-ft for all trims. A 6-speed manual is standard on LX, EX, and Sport trims, while Honda’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional on those trims but standard on the EX-L and Sport Touring. Fuel-economy figures aren’t out yet, but it’s reasonable to expect the Civic Hatchback will achieve something similar to the 31 mpg city/42 highway of other Civics with the 1.5-liter engine.
Aside from the more powerful engine, the Civic Hatchback should get a tighter suspension for enhanced handling, although it will probably still won’t ride or corner like an all-out hot hatchback. Compared to the previous-generation Civic, however, the tenth-generation model is already lower, lighter, more rigid, and has a sportier overall feel.
Inside the cabin, an electric parking brake and automatic climate control are standard (dual-zone climate control is available on higher trims), and various parts of the interior have LED lighting. Overall, the interior appears to have a much more premium feel to it than the old ninth-generation car. The 2017 Civic Hatchback will also feature Honda’s new Android-based infotainment system, with a 7-inch touchscreen display and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
The tenth-generation Civic has been praised for being noticeably roomier than its predecessor, and the Hatchback will come with 122.9 cubic feet of interior space, 13 more than the current sedan. It also offers 36 inches of rear legroom, which is conversely over an inch less than the current Civic Sedan. Honda’s designers also succumbed to the recent and somewhat unfortunate trend of sloping rooflines on cars with hatchback rears. On the Civic, the sloping roofline doesn’t necessarily add anything stylistically, and some people might find it hard to ignore the several cubic feet of space that would have been opened up if the roofline had just continued on straight.
Not all the details are available yet, but the 2017 Civic Hatchback will come with the usual Honda Sensing safety features available on other new Hondas, including forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, collision and road-departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. The tenth-generation Civic Sedan has already gotten 5 stars overall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and top Good ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, so we can expect the Civic Hatchback to do just as well. This hatchback version of the car is doubly appealing in that it offers the added utility of extra cargo room in the back and more pep for spirited driving, although serious enthusiasts will probably wait for the eagerly anticipated Civic Type-R or Si that should arrive on American shores next year.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a 1969 Lynx Formula Vee. After receiving two degrees in history, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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