Honda Civic Hatchback brings slick styling and turbo power

2017, Honda, Civic hatchback

With slick sheet metal styling and a turbocharged powertrain tucked behind that aggressive prow, the 2017 Civic Hatchback rolls out as a third body style to join sedan and coupe versions for the tenth generation of the Civic series.

Civic conforms as a 5-door hatchback for the compact class looks seriously sporty dressing in a streamlined package with fastback roofline plus edgy body ripples and character lines that draw and delight the eye.

The Civic Hatchback shares front-end styling and a 106.3-inch wheelbase with the Civic notchback sedan. Rearward past the B-pillars, the hatch has a rear-sloping roofline sliding down to a hatchback door which extends down to the rear bumper to make loading gear easy.

Its face features a new signature chromed wing front fascia and LED daytime running lights. In back the C-shaped LED taillights to bracket the hatch door like parentheses.

Civic's expansive passenger compartment with 97.2 cubic feet of volume tops the compact class for interior space with class-leading headroom and legroom.

Compared to Civic the sedan, there's more room to stow stuff inside the hatchback version with 25.7 cubic feet of space in the cargo compartment and 60/40 split/folding seatbacks on the second row that folds to expand the back bay to 46.2 cubic feet.

The 2017 Civic Hatchback pops out of Honda's assembly plant in Allison, Ontario, Canada, using domestic and globally sourced parts plus engines built at Honda's Anna, Ohio, engine plant.

Honda casts the 2017 Civic Hatchback in five trim designations -- entry-level LX, new Sport, uplevel EX, loaded EX-L Navi (that L-tag denotes leather upholstery), plus the line capping Sport Touring.

All trim grades tote a single-scroll turbocharged and direct-injected 1.5-liter aluminum in-line-4 engine.

The turbo 4-pack, when tied to the price-leader Civic LX 6-speed manual transmission, musters 174 hp at 5500 rpm with torque running to 167 lb-ft at 1800-5500 rpm. With a CVT (continuously variable transmission) option, the plant nets 174 hp at 6000 rpm plus torque of 162 lb-ft at 1700-5500 rpm.

Sport and Sport Touring editions score a center-mounted dual exhaust system which boosts the engine's output. With the 6-speed manual on Sport, the hike runs up to 180 hp at 5500 rpm with torque of 177 lb-ft at 1900-5000 rpm. With the CVT on Sport or Sport Touring, the numbers are 180 hp at 6000 rpm and torque of 162 lb-ft at 1700-5500 rpm.

With an all-new vehicle architecture underpinning all tenth-generation Civics, the ultra-rigid unibody structure supports a suspension with MacPherson struts mounted in front with hydraulic bushings, plus a compact multi-link design in back.

The dual-pinion and variable ratio rack and pinion steering system have electric power assistance, which eliminates hydraulic gear and adds to powertrain efficiency.

With a disc at each wheel (11.1-inch ventilated front rotors with single-piston calipers and rear 10.2-inch solid rotors with single-piston calipers), the brakes have electronic ties to Honda's VSA (vehicle stability assist) equipment. Add in traction control operating with ABS (anti-lock brake system), EBD (electronic brake distribution) and HSA (hill start assist).

Civic LX rolls on 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R16 all-season tires, the EX and EX-L Navi trims get 17-inch alloys while Sport and Sport Touring editions use 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/40R18 tires.

The optional Honda Sensing package of safety and driver-assist features includes Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.

Standard content for entry-issue Civic LX ranges from a multi-angle rearview camera and automatic headlamps to automatic climate system, cruise control, electronic parking brake, a tilting-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, 5-inch color LCD touchscreen, variable intermittent wipers, cloth seat upholstery, 60/40 split/folding rear seat and 4-speaker audio kit.

Honda's price chart for the 2017 Civic Hatchback starts at $19,700 for LX with a manual shifter. Top tier Civic Hatchback Sport Touring with a CVT tallies to $28,300.

By Bob Plunkett
27/02/2017 12:00 am

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Images of the 2017, Honda Civic hatchback

2017 Honda Civic hatchback
2017 Honda Civic hatchback
2017 Honda Civic hatchback interior
2017 Honda Civic hatchback interior