A 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback LX With A Manual Is The Small Car T
A 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback LX With A Manual Is The Small Car T

Source : My Articles
Author : William Clavey>

This latest tenth-generation Honda Civic is a completely different animal than the Civics we’ve become used to throughout its 44-year run. This new one, introduced last year, is considerably larger, heavier, more complicated and refined. However, I reckon this is actually a return to form for Honda’s compact car. And now, the hatch is back! But more importantly, you can now buy all Civic variants with that new 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine and a stick shift.

Writing that sentence felt like injecting a healthy dose of dopamine into my veins. Where the Civic hatch impresses the most, however, is in its most basic, cheapest, LX form. There are no frills here, just the stuff you want and expect from a Honda.

For me, this car is proof Honda is back. It’s back from building lukewarm, uninspiring products for the sake of generating sales. With this new Civic, it feels like Honda engineers were actually having fun while developing it. Like Honda actually gives a damn again.

(Full disclosure: Honda Canada wanted me to drive the Civic so badly, they booked the car during the same week as the Canadian Auto show, so I had no choice but to drive down to Toronto and back to Montréal to review it.)

I consider myself to be somewhat of a Honda Civic connoisseur. I’ve owned four in my lifetime. My current daily driver is a Canadian-spec 2004 SiR (EP3), which I consider to be possibly the best hatchback of all time. I also helped my little brother rebuild a right-hand drive JDM 1992 Civic SiR with a Type R engine swap. So, shyeah, I know a thing or two about Civics. Which is why I had high hopes for this thing.

Honda’s now gone full circle with the Civic by currently offering three distinct bodystyles—sedan, hatch and coupe—just like back when Tupac was alive. I’m happy Honda has finally decided to bring back the hatchback, because all millennials have a story to tell about a hatchback Civic, usually involving a fart can exhaust and the police.

What I’m less excited about is the way Honda has styled this new Civic. The eccentric design works in coupe form, but for the hatch? It’s busy. Weird-looking at best.

Even after seeing the Civic Type R concept, with its bulging fenders and many wings, I’m just not sure how to grasp this Civic. It’s a lot to take in, with intersecting lines, fake air intakes and diffusers. The light and grille configuration are something out of a giant robot anime. It’s almost as if Honda threw all past Civic styling elements at it. But hey, maybe it’ll grow on me.

Also, Honda. Wheels. What are those?

Anyway, looks are subjective. Kudos to Honda for not slapping the chrome grille onto the hatch. This blacked out treatment is much more attractive, especially when the car is also painted black.

Before I go on rambling about how this Civic drives, here’s a little crash course on the powertrains currently available across the Civic lineup, because there are a lot of different variations to choose from.

Base Civic sedans and coupes come with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine rated at 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. If you know your Hondas, you also know this is essentially a slightly revised version of the indestructible 2.0-liter (K20) that has powered many vehicles at Honda and Acura in the past such as the Acura RSX Premium, 2002-2005 EP3 Honda Civic Si and the Canadian-only Acura CSX.

That 2.0-liter NA motor can be paired to either a six-speed manual, or a CVT.

Then there’s the turbo engine, which is smaller but actually more powerful and the one to get here if you can afford it. Available on higher Civic trim levels, it’s a 1.5-liter turbo that’s rated at 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine as in the 2017 CR-V. The turbo mill can be had with a CVT or (new for this year) a six-speed manual.

Now, the hatchback. The good news for the hatch, is that it can only be had with that 1.5T, both in a manual or a CVT. Although we’re all excited for the upcoming, performance-spec’d Si, you can meanwhile opt for a hatchback Civic Sport. It’s not as hot as the “Sport Injected” Civic, but does offer an extra six horsepower and 15 lb-ft of torque. I’ll take it.

The car you see here is a base LX hatchback manual. Unlike all the other Civics, which are built in the U.S. and Canada, all hatchbacks are built in Swindon, England, the same place they used to build the EP3 - possibly the greatest motor vehicle known to humankind. Have I mentioned that?