The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback is coming to North America . . . wait, say what?
Even Honda admits it’s about time.
“The Civic Hatch has been a staple for Honda in Europe, but has long been the forbidden fruit for Honda fans in the U.S.,” said Jeff Conrad, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Honda Division of American Honda Motor Company Inc.
Riding on the same platform as the Civic Sedan and Coupe, Honda promises unique styling, premium features, enjoyable driving character, and greater utility with the Civic Hatchback. The tenth-generation Civic is lighter with a more rigid body and enhanced chassis. The fully independent suspension features liquid filled bushing, both front and rear. The sport-turned electronic steering uses variable gear ratios and, when combined with the body structure and suspension, provide better ride and handling attributes.
Furthermore, the hatchback serves as the basis for the Civic Type-R, arriving in the United States next year.
Engine & Transmission
The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback features a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine. Depending on the trim, two different power outputs are offered. In the LX, EX, and EX-L models, the engine creates 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. In the Sport and all-new Sport Touring, the torque rating remains the same, although horsepower increases slightly to 180.
The rear of the Sport Touring is decorated with a high-flow, center-mounted exhaust.
The engine is paired to either a Continuously Variable Transmission or a 6-speed manual. CVT models are expected to deliver an EPA anticipated 31/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined).
The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback has powerful, 4-channel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Hill Start Assist.
Cargo Capacity & Creature Comforts
Honda promises a spacious interior (122.9 cu. ft.), best-in-class rear seat legroom (36.0 inches), and the largest overall cargo capacity in the segment.
Creature comforts include heated front seats, heated side mirrors, power driver and front passenger seats, and a remote start among others. Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (EX and above) allow for easy smartphone/vehicle integration.
Safety & Security
Honda Sensing, a host of safety and driver-assistance technologies, is standard on Sport Touring and available on most trims. Honda Sensing includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) integrated with CMBS, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM, and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow.
The Civic Hatchback will target top-class safety ratings: A 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the New Car Assessment Program and an IIHS Top Safety Pick with a Good rating in all crash test modes and a Superior rating in frontal crash prevention, when equipped with Honda Sensing.
The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback comes in five trims: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring. Developed jointly by Honda R&D teams in Europe and Japan, the vehicle is built exclusively by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback joins the Civic lineup praised as the 2016 North American Car of the Year.
Expect the 2017 Civic Hatchback this fall at Honda dealers nationwide
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.