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The Honda Civic Hatchback is a handsome and accomplished car, but its price premium over the sedan variant makes it a hard sell.

14 Aug 2017


The Honda Civic has been a staple on Singapore roads for many years now, and the latest iteration isn't any different. You must have seen a whole bunch of new Civics recently, especially with its striking design and tail lamps.

Now, here's one more to add into the mix - the Civic Hatchback.

A large opening means the 478-litre boot is easily accessible

A Civic Hatchback? That's the Type R right?

We wished that this was a review of the new Type R, but no, this is simply the hatchback variant of the new 10th generation Honda Civic that was launched last year.

When we spoke to Hideki Kakinuma, Assistant Large Project Leader of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R, he explained to us that as far as body styles go, Honda has always viewed and positioned the hatchback as the sportier model compared to the sedan.

Um, okay. What's different?

Other than the obvious backside difference? Not very much. The Hatch is visually different, most evident at the front and rear end, which features (non-functional) 'air intakes' at each corner. They lend the Hatch a visual lineage to the Type R, and give it a sharper aesthetic than the sedan variant.

The LaneWatch System makes it easier to check that your left blindspot is empty when making left turns or filtering left

Wheelbase is the same compared to the sedan, but the Hatchback is 115mm shorter in length and 18mm taller. It's also 2kg lighter and has a tad less boot space (41 litres less), but the upside is it has a wider boot opening, which makes it easier to load your barang.

So is the Hatchback sportier to drive than the sedan?

Not really. Both models have the same 1.5-litre turbocharged VTEC engine under the bonnet producing 170bhp and 220Nm of torque. On paper, the Hatch is 0.2 seconds quicker to 100km/h, but in reality that difference is indistinguishable. 

On the road, without the ability to drive both variants back to back, we will say that the driving experience feels the same. That's not a bad thing, though. The car is composed, rides well, and has good punch from the turbocharged engine. Steering is sharp and accurate, and the car has a nimbleness about it that's quite gratifying.

The turbocharged 1.5-litre engine produces a healthy 170bhp and 220Nm of torque

The only drawback is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). It's not a bad unit per se (there are definitely worse ones in the market), but it doesn't encourage sporty driving. The CVT is consistently hunting for a more efficient gearing, which means that the sense of acceleration is dulled somewhat.  

Anything else I should know about?

Yes, there is one fairly big caveat that comes with the Civic Hatchback - its price. At $140,999 (as of 10th August), it's a whole $11,000 more expensive that the sedan. That price differential is down to a slightly higher vehicle cost, and the fact that the Hatchback sits in a different CEVS band than the sedan and does not get a rebate. 

It looks good and drives well, but the $11,000 price hike over the sedan makes the Hatchback a tough sell

For that reason alone, we don't expect to see nearly as many of these on the road as the sedan version. Unless you are hankering for a Civic that looks different (and has its own exclusive Sonic Grey Pearl paintwork), the sedan variant makes better financial sense.
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Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC VTEC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1498cc

Horsepower

:

127kW (170 bhp) / 5500 rpm

Torque

:

220 Nm / 5500 rpm

Transmission

:

Earth Dreams CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.4sec

Top Speed

:

200km/h

Fuel consumption

:

16.6 km/L

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