Starting next Monday, North American shoppers will be able to stroll into Honda dealers across the nation and take delivery of a Civic Hatchback. Mercifully, it looks a lot better than the pug-nosed, bent-nail-shifter Si oddity of the early 2000s.
Joining the sedan and coupe models to round out Honda’s 10th-generation US Civic lineup, the 2017 Civic Hatch will be available in a myriad of trims, continuing Hondaâ€™s curious recent obsession of offering their products with more lines than the surface of a record producerâ€™s mirror.
All models are equipped with a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but LX, EX, and EX-L Navi trims will see 174 stock horsepower while the Sport and high-zoot Sport Touring models are deemed worthy of an extra six horses. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the LX and Sport models, while the other trims are serviced by Hondaâ€™s CVT. The CVT is an $800 option on the LX and Sport.
This means that Honda sees fit to offer the higher horsepower option with a manual, and for this we applaud them. The CVT limits torque to 162 lb-ft in all trims, while manual transmission equipped LX and Sport models are rated at 167 lb-ft and 177 lb-ft respectively. Reading the press release closely, Honda says the higher output models are â€œdesigned to benefit from premium unleaded fuelâ€�, so be aware that the extra horses will probably only awaken when fed Sunocoâ€™s finest.
‘Murican MSRP start three c-notes under $20,000 for a stick shift LX and nets buyers the standard fare of cruise control, power accessories, and a steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake. The higher powered Sport trim is priced at $21,300, plus $800 if you want the CVT, which you donâ€™t. The CVT-only EX will sticker at $22,800, bringing heated seats and a few more trinkets to the party. The Navi suffix and its attendant leather seats add $2,500.
Customers seeking heated rear seats and a 540-watt 12-speaker premium audio system will have to wait for the Sport Touring trim, available later this year. The sensing technologies found on other Civic bodystyles will appear towards the end of 2016 as well.
Interior measurements are interesting, as Honda claims a 97.2 cubic feet of interior volume. Thatâ€™s more than the HR-V and only 4.3 cubes less than a CR-V. With the rear seats up, a claimed 25.7 cu. ft. is apparently on tap. Compare that to 37.2 cu. ft. in the CR-V and 23.2 in the HR-V. Honda says the Civic Hatch enjoys the largest available cargo carrying capacity in its competitive set. Weâ€™ll wait until we try one in person to see how much actual usable space exists. If youâ€™re wondering, the Mazda 3 5-Door is rated by the EPA as having 20.2 cu. ft. of cargo space.
Honda anticipates the pedestrian CVT-equipped LX and EX models to receive the magical 40 mile per gallon rating for highway measures. Both manual transmission models will be close to that mark as well. Strangely, Honda says its slushbox Sport and Sport Touring models will achieve closer to mid-30s on the highway, presumably the result of drag from a MASSIVE WING not shown in the press photos. Maybe â€” this is a Civic hatch, after all. Some VTEC must kick in, yo.
The 2017 Civic Hatchback was developed jointly by Honda RD teams in Europe and Japan and will be manufactured for the North American market at Hondaâ€™s plant in Swindon, UK.
[Images: Honda North America]