Honda has finally given us a cool hatchback, and things are only going to get better.
At long last, Honda has finally unveiled the Civic hatchback for the US. It has been 13 years since the company last offered a Civic hatchback in the form of the seventh generation Si model in 2003. Now Honda is finally ready to give us a practical Civic again and we are sure that this announcement garnered fanfare in the street from Honda fanboys everywhere, right? Well, when we announced the news here on CarBuzz, there wasn't so much fanfare as much as just semi-enthusiastic murmurs.
The reveal of the Civic hatch didn't get quite as much attention as we expected, and we think that this is rather undeserved. Yes, we know that people usually get more excited for the reveal of a new Ferrari or Lamborghini, but we don't think that people realize how excited they should be for this new Civic hatch. First of all, let's start off with those awesome looks. The new tenth generation Civic finally looks in-line with the spectacular Civics that Europe and Japan always got. The hatchback takes this to a new extreme. We absolutely loved the Civic hatchback concept which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, and it looks like Honda hasn't strayed from the concept.
The hatchback Civic gets even better when you examine what's under the hood. The Civic coupe and sedan are available with a 158 horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder, but the hatchback will only be available with the more powerful 1.5-liter turbo. This turbocharged unit puts out 172 horsepower, but Sport and Sport Touring trims (unique to the hatchback) feature a freer flowing exhaust which bumps power to 180 horsepower. Not only is that 20 horsepower more than what you got from the old Civic Si hatchback, it can easily be tuned thanks to its turbocharged layout. Another benefit is that the hatchback version of the Civic will be available with the turbo engine and a six-speed manual transmission.
Like the sedan and coupe, the hatch will come with a fully independent suspension and will even be able to achieve 40 mpg with the optional CVT transmission. Although, we would sacrifice two or three mpg in a heartbeat for the six-speed manual. We are already excited for the Civic hatch in its base form, but Honda gave us more exciting news when it said that the "Civic Hatchback will serve as the basis for a radical new Civic Type-R." That means that we can finally look forward to having an exciting Honda hot hatch which can compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS. The European Civic Type-R, for the record, produces 306 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Honda also indicated that the new Si model, which would slot between the base car and the hardcore Type-R, would also be based on the hatchback. The previous Civic Si had an out-of-date 2.4-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, which put out 205 horsepower. We expect the new Si to put out significantly more power thanks to a detuned version of the turbocharged VTEC engine from the Type-R. The new Si will probably have around 220 to 230 horsepower, which will make it a fine rival for the Volkswagen GTI and Ford Focus RS. If you love the idea of a hot hatchback, but desperately crave Japanese reliability, Honda is finally ready to give you the perfect car.