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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype: First Look

img 270137610 1458674011049 jpg 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype | Manufacturer Image

Competes with: Mazda3, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra GT, Chevrolet Cruze hatchback

Looks like: The Civic sedan, with a longer roof

Drivetrains: 174-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealers: Late 2016

CARS.COM — Honda pulled a repeat reveal on us at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, bringing its new 2017 Civic Hatchback Prototype from Europe, fresh from its global debut a few weeks ago at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. The new hatchback will join the Civic sedan and coupe models that are already in showrooms, and Honda gave us a taste of what to expect with a model it calls a “prototype” meaning it’s 90 percent production spec. A few details have yet to be finalized, however.

More 2016 New York Auto Show Coverage


In profile, it truly resembles the Civic sedan, which itself has a sloping roofline and minimal trunk shelf. The hatch extends that roofline a bit, giving the rear glass more of an upright profile and likely expanding rear headroom. The more aggressive body details, like the central rear exhaust, probably won’t make production, but one never knows about the front bumper scoops. Perhaps this is a peek at the next Civic Si. What it does look like, however, is the sedan much more than the last Civic sedan looked like the four-door hatchback sold in Europe.

Under the Hood

Honda says that the hatchback’s only powertrain will be the 174-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission. The base 2.0-liter engine found in lesser Civic trims will not be offered. This is the first instance of the turbo engine being mated to a manual transmission in the U.S., but it won’t be the last. Honda announced that for 2017, all turbo-equipped Civic models will get a manual transmission option.


The prototype does not have a functional interior, and Honda did not provide any dimensional comparisons or discuss any new electronics or safety systems for the car.

The Civic hatchback will be built exclusively at Honda’s plant in Swindon, United Kingdom; it’s slated to arrive in U.S. showrooms in the last half of 2016.


img 269214089 1458674011369 jpg 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype | Manufacturer Image





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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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