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Civic hatchback returns to North America

England-made 5-door arrives in US dealers prior to Paris show debut

Published: September 23, 2016, 10:30 PM
Updated: September 29, 2016, 5:30 AM

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

The new hatchback variant of the Honda Civic has arrived, marking the first time in 11 years that a Civic hatchback has been marketed on this side of the pond, as well as boosting the Civic line-up to three models when it takes up residence in US dealerships on Monday.

Made in Swinton, England (and ironically not shown in Europe until the end of the week when it debuts at the Paris Motor Show), the 2017 Honda Civic 4-door hatchback will get power from the 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, producing either 174 hp or 180 hp (167 and 177 lb-ft of torque, respectively), depending on trim level. The standard transmission for all cars is a 6-speed manual, with a continuously-variable automatic optional (and bringing torque down to 162 lb-ft for both engine versions).

“The Hatchback, paired with the 1.5-litre turbo engine builds on the fun-to-drive characteristics of the Civic that appeal to enthusiasts, new and old,” said Dave Gardner, Senior Vice President of Operations, Honda Canada.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

Starting price in the US is $19,701 (for the LX — entry of five trim levels), though we still don’t have confirmation of the price for Canadian trim levels (LX, Sport and Sport Touring, with the latter two getting the 180-hp engine).

Sophisticated chassis design returns a certain level of European tautness, with a fully independent suspension fitted with liquid-filled bushings, sport tuned electric variably assisted steering, and 4-channel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and working with the clutch on manual transmission models for hill-assisted start. The result, says Honda, is nimble handling and a firm ride.

The light body work aids in chassis control and also helps the car achieve reported fuel economy ratings of 7.7 litres per 100 km in the city and 6.0 on the highway, for a combined rating of 6.9 L/100 km, when equipped with the 174-hp engine and CVT combination. The larger engine returns economy of 7.9, 6.6 and 7.3 L/100 km, respectively, while all manual hatchbacks are rated at 8.0 city, 6.2 highway and 7.2 combined.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback interior

The interior is typically Civic, using durable materials and slick trim finishes, and rated at 2,752 litres of interior volume (making it tops in class), with class leading cargo capacity of 728 litres (with the rear seats up, allowing it to show off best in class rear seat legroom of 916 mm). The Touring level also gets aluminum sport pedals, red accented gauge cluster, and a 540-watt 12-speaker audio system.

Technological features include the ability to hook up with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats and outside mirrors, and available power front seats and remote engine start.

And, of course, it comes with a full suite of Honda safety features including driving aids such as Collision Mitigation Braking with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Adaptive Cruise Control.