Itís hard to believe itís been almost 17 years since a hatchback version of the Honda Civic was last sold in North America.
Sure, there was Hondaís half-hearted attempt at reviving the beloved bodystyle in the early 2000s with the niche three-door Civic Si, but even that was discontinued more than a decade ago, leaving a huge gap in the automakerís lineup. But Honda is ready to make up for lost time with an all-new Civic hatch aimed at fun and function.
In bringing the Civic hatch back to North American shores, Honda has cranked up the carís practicality with the addition of two rear doors. It rides on the same platform as the sedan and coupe models, but measures about 4.5 inches (114 millimeters) shorter than both, giving the Civic hatch a sportier stance than its stablemates thanks to wheels that sit closer to the corners. Matching that athletic posture is a new design from the B-pillar back that is almost coupe-like in execution, as well as a slightly revised front fascia that includes a black grille with larger openings, and larger bumper inserts front and back.
Despite the abbreviated proportions, the Civic hatch weighs 2,815 lb (1,277 kg) in base trim, and 3,003 lb (1,362 kg) in loaded Sport Touring guise ó as much as 100 lb (45 kg) more than equivalent sedan models thanks to the added heft of the tailgate. Lift the tailgate, however, and the weight gains are quickly forgiven, with the car boasting what is easily one of the largest cargo holds in its class. With 25.7 cu-ft (728 liters) of space behind the rear seats, the Civic hatch offers more cargo-carrying ability than hatchback versions of the Mazda3 (20.2 cu-ft, 572 liters), Chevrolet Cruze (22.7 cu-ft, 643 liters) and Ford Focus (23.3 cu-ft, 660 liters). Itís only with the rear seats folded that the Honda is surpassed, with the Mazda3 (47.1 cu-ft, 1,334 liters) and Cruze hatch (47.2 cu-ft, 1,337 liters) besting the Civic (46.2 cu-ft, 1,308 liters) in terms of volume.
When the rear seats are up, the Civic hatch also benefits from an industry-first rear privacy cover that rolls out from the side, saving space by staying tucked out of the way until itís needed. This is one of the neatest interior features of the car, and has the ability to be mounted on the left or right, with no need to remove it when the seats are folded.
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