2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Review | TestDriveNow

After years of dormancy, the Civic is back
and better than ever. It is the standout choice in the compact segment. And Honda’s hatched a product portfolio
around it that includes something for everyone with graduated flavors of sport that take
the Civic all the way to Type R. The accolades keep rolling in for the new
Civic and if you’ve driven one for yourself you understand why. It’s one of the most popular vehicles in
America and has supplanted the Accord as Honda’s best-selling car. So the variations keep rolling out and the
latest is this 2017 Hatchback. More audacious, additionally versatile and
a tad spicier under the skin, this new bodystyle also comes in a flavor the sedan doesn’t:
Sport. Stylized with an aero kit, fog lights, dual-outlet
center exhaust and 18” wheels, this lower-end Hatch trim is big on personality and low on
price. $22,175 gets you this exact car and let me
tell you; it’s one heck of a drive. And the drive is what you must appreciate
here because there’s little else to entice you to the Sport. Note, there is a top-of-the-line Sport Touring
trim but, and it’s a big but, you miss out on this sweet-shifting 6-speed manual. Yes, the CVT is an option but it costs an
extra $800, is less economical believe it or not, and can’t match the fun afforded
by this wonderfully engineered stick shift with its determined, precise motions accompanied
by a solid click into gear and easy to modulate clutch pedal. And it’s working this eager 1.5-liter 4-cylinder
with direct-injection, variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust camshafts and
a mono scroll turbo that’s been designed for a combination of immediacy and refinement. Here in the sport, it uses premium unleaded
to extract the greatest performance, bumping horsepower from 174 to 180 and more tangibly
torque from 162 pound-feet to 177. You can squeal the front tires through the
first couple of gears on the way to 60mph in the mid 7s. But it feels about a second quicker from behind
the wheel. But the piece de resistance with the Civic
is the chassis – it’s what makes it so much fun to drive. The Hatchback gets a specially tuned version
with an uprated front stabilizer bar producing impressive turn-in and flatter cornering. Plus, these ContiProContact all-seasons do
a wonderful job of mitigating understeer and providing exceptional grip. With the benefit of Agile Handling Assist
which brakes the inside wheels during high speed cornering, the Hatch brilliantly hides
its front-drive underpinnings. You will feel the road here but it’s never
punishing. When I first drove the sedan over a year ago,
it was evident that this stellar new platform was just the beginning of great things for
Civic. Despite it only having a CVT at the time,
it was still an immediate all-star. And now, in the more expressive Hatch Sport
form with an addictively good 6-speed and a little more power, this car continues to
exceed expectations. It’s the most fun behind the wheel $22k
can buy. You will love driving this, whether to work
or for play. Just one thing; if you like stuff, this Sport
trim will leave you wanting. The price is low but so is content. Honda’s parting with nothing here, keeping
all the good stuff for higher trims and that’s too bad. No smart key, no sat radio, no power seats,
no side blind zone alert. Plus, this is the worst sounding head unit
I’ve heard since the early 2000s. It looks and feels of quality, the seats are
comfy and sport appropriate, forward visibility is video game good, it’s relatively quiet
and rear passengers enjoy plenty of space. But this isn’t the kind of car that’s
going to impress your ride along friends. Unless you’re helping them move stuff that
is, where the Hatch provides over an additional 7 cubic feet of cargo volume in Sport trim. Non Sport models gain even more. Fold the seats flat for even more…enough
to hold a bike. And then there’s this reversible tonneau
cover which doesn’t have to be removed to stay out of the way. Yes, the Si and Type-R are on their way but
the Hatchback Sport provides intermediate raciness that’s perfectly placed in the
growing Civic stable.

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