The hatch is back! After 12 years the hatch is back to show its coupé and sedan counterparts it’s just as important in the Civic lineup.
Starting with the basics. There’s one engine option within the hatchback lineup. No matter which trim you choose it’ll come with the 1.5L Turbocharged engine. If you opt for sport or sport touring the power figure slightly goes up with some engine tuning and premium fuel. With a standard slick 6-speed manual and a CVT option, it has all the right choice for both the enthusiast and the economic person in mind. With the tester, we manage to achieve 7.9L/100km in the city and averaged 5.5L/100km driving from North van to Burnaby on Hwy 1, not far off from the EPA’s estimates.
The overall package when comparing to the sedan or coupé is slightly different. With more angular front and rear bumpers, the hatch is angrier than it’s counterparts. Styling wise, the hatch is different enough to stand out and in a world of boring cars and being different is good. Something to note when parked side by side the hatch and sedan seems to share its doors, so step in height is not restricted by the hatch’s roofline.
Behind the wheel the civic hatch feels nimble, the wheel is light and effortless maybe just a tad so. In the switchbacks, the vehicle felt very surefooted. The winter tires that were on the civic did not help with the vehicle’s dynamics, as the car tends to push towards understeer. Gladly the vehicle’s VSA came to the rescue and was able to pull the car back in line. With the help of some better tires, the civic would be amazing. Dynamically the vehicle is able to transfer weight side to side very well, with minimal body roll. Weighing in at 1318KG it’s a kilo off the coupé and about 20kg shy of the sedan. I’m not sure if it was the suspension tuning or the fact that the hatch is made in the U.K. but the hatch just drives better than the coupé. Previously the coupé wasn’t boring but the hatch just feels lighter on its feet. Even with the CVT, it felt pretty quick and it was even tested to be faster than the older Civic SI. The CVT is pretty smart, during long downhill sections, the revs would climb to help engine brake and when it’ll settle back down when roads flatten out. Being the base LX model it doesn’t have the paddle shifters but it does include a low and sport gearing in addition to the regular “Drive”. In sport, it kept the engine speed above 2000rpm to keep the turbo spooled up so power is readily available. Putting the foot down the engine reaches a constant note until the pedal is lifted sadly one of the downfalls of a CVT transmission but people who are purchasing the Civic with this transmission will not likely drive the vehicle in this manner. Sadly the 6-speed manual was not available for us to test at this time, but from other reviews, it’s a sure way into the enthusiast’s hearts. It’s said to have a slick, smooth shifting pattern with close ratios to keep the engine in its power band.
The inside of the hatch is similar to the sedan and coupé. What we did notice is being a base model, it’s not that basic. Featuring heated seats up front, Apple CarPlay with a nice 7” touchscreen in the middle. The car does not feel like it’s the stripped out the model by any means. With the hatch roofline the rear passengers are able to enjoy ample of head and leg room with minimum restrictions, and being a hatch there’s tons of room behind the seats. The trunk floor is low and wide with a big opening and split fold rear seats the hatch is able to take anything you want to throw at it. It’s also a more usable space when comparing to the Sedan, even though the sedan is a bit longer.
Personally, I would say the base model is a great starting point for someone that is looking for the current generation civics and paired with the auto it’s an amazing commuter and it’s fun to drive. But those who want a bit more shell out the extra cash and get the sport, it has a bit more power and it also has push button start, sunroof and a few other nice additions that make the civic a solid choice. Of course, all new Honda are available with Honda’s sensing suite which can aid the driver with Collision Mitigation Braking and Lane keep Assist, this is a package to opt for, for those just in case incidents.
Side note we did get a chance to meet up with some local Civic hatchbacks and take some pictures and discuss about the new car.