Fans of hatchbacks, rejoice! The much loved Honda Civic hatchback is returning to American showrooms for 2017 after a ten year absence. The new model will be assembled in the UK (assuming Brexit doesn’t kill it) using the same global chassis that underpins the current Civic sedan and coupe.
Unlike those cars, however, the hatchback will only be available with a turbocharged 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine. Customers will have a choice of a either an CVT or a 6 speed manual transmission.
The Civic hatchback will be available in a bewildering array of trim levels, starting with an LX version. Owners can also opt for EX or EX-L trim, or step up to a Sport or Sport Touring option. The Sport and Sport Touring offer a power boost to 180 bhp — 8 more than the standard turbo engine — and will have a center exit exhaust system that is in keeping with their more athletic intentions.
The hatchback will also serve as the basis for the next Civic Type R (not available in the US) and a possible new Si model. The Si is no longer offered in the US. (Full disclosure: my wife drives a 2014 Civic Si sedan with 6 speed transmission. What a sweet ride!)
The real reason to own a hatchback is that it will carry almost as much luggage, baby paraphernalia, groceries, or camping gear as an SUV or minivan in a more compact, svelte package. According to Honda, the new hatch will accommodate 122 cubic feet of people and cargo with the rear seat back folded down. That’s a whopping 13 cubic feet more than then 2016 sedan. Honda is claiming the hatch will have best in class rear legroom and cargo volume. It will offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as the Honda Sensing driver assist package offered in the sedan and coupe.
Look for it showrooms this fall.