Honda’s ongoing knack of releasing its Civic body styles separately has continued. Following its recent reveal of the next-gen all-new Civic sedan, it’s now shown off the new Civic hatch for the first time.
The model naturally looks a lot like the sedan from the front, with a similar front fascia and similar surfacing through the doors. The silhouette and rear liftback are all-new, though — Honda having clearly gone for a more conservative aesthetic after the last model’s wild, sharp lines.
The model appears less definitively hatchback-ish in its side-on appearance having opted for a sleeker hatch, perhaps in an attempt to align the model with the ‘sportback’ trend of the minute. The full-length rear light bar doesn’t actually go all the way across, but looks neat all the same. And the new dual exhaust portals are inevitably going to be of the ‘faux’ variety.
The switch-up aligns the Civic’s looks with the foreign-market Accord and the all-new HR-V. With Honda shutting down its Swindon plant in the UK, the new one will be built in Greensburg, Indiana. This is the best indication yet that the next-gen Civic Type R will be produced in the US.
The all-new platform underneath offers a claimed 19 per cent more stiffness than that of the outgoing model. In hatch form, it measures in at 4549mm long, 1801mm wide, and 1415mm tall. That’s a 34mm growth in overall length, allowing the model to grow in its wheelbase by 36mm — resulting in 35mm more rear legroom.
Two engines have been revealed at launch; a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four cylinder producing a humble 118kW of power and 187Nm of torque, and a 1.5-litre turbofour making 134kW and 240Nm.
Most of these will come equipped with a CVT, but a six-speed manual is also available in certain markets. Expect New Zealand’s models to only come with the 1.5-litre and a CVT. There’s also an all-new hybrid e:HEV variant to be revealed later on, which is a likely starter here, too.
The model is expected to land here before the end of the year. We’ve reached out to Honda New Zealand for comment on local models and await their response.
While the NZ Autocar office is hot and cold on the new model’s looks, we’re all in agreement on the cabin. The new-look dashboard has scored early approval from critics for its simple lines and premium appointments, having been previously revealed in the sedan.
The full-length air vent that extends from the steering wheel to the passenger door looks the part, particularly with its honeycomb grille. Red stitching can be found on the steering wheel, gear knob, seats, and armrest, and a 9-inch infotainment system tops the dashboard.
Honda has given the model a healthy dose of tech updates. That screen comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a 10.2-inch digital cluster appearing behind the steering wheel.
Bose audio, 10 airbags, and Honda’s full Sensing safety suite (inclusive of adaptive stop-and-go cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear autonomous emergency braking) also feature. Honda says the boot offers a monstrous 693 litres of storage volume, although that figure is based on measurements to the roof instead of to the windowline.