Honda's impressive Civic sedan and coupe had a new sibling introduced as the Civic Hatchback concept at the New York auto show.

Don't get too hung up on the word concept; the car in these photos is likely 90-95 percent of what the real version will look like when it goes on sale later this year. Just take away the blacked-out windows and the center-mounted dual-exhaust, and you pretty much can see what the production car will look like.

Power will come from the same 174-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that was in one of the two Honda Civic sedans that we tested earlier this year. In those tests we found that the turbo engine has “impressive mid-range power, making merging maneuvers a cinch…[but] the engine has an oddly gruff sound. But our test numbers backed up what our seat bottoms told us: The EX-T was 1.6 seconds quicker to 60 mph (at 7.1 sec.) than the LX. Fuel economy was slightly different between the two, with the LX getting 32 mpg overall and the turbo 31 mpg.”

Honda claims an EPA rating of 42 mpg on the highway. We got 21 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway in the Civic turbo sedan we tested.

Read our complete Honda Civic road test.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback rear

See our complete New York auto show coverage.


While this was the U.S. debut of the Civic Hatchback Concept (it had originally debuted at the Geneva Auto Show), Honda made a big announcement about the transmission. First, the production version of the hatchback will offer either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. But, in a surprise announcement, Honda said that starting this fall, all Civics with the turbo engine can be equipped with a six-speed manual.

Honda didn’t discuss the suspension of the Concept, but it is worth noting that the production car will be built in Honda’s Swindon, United Kingdom, production facility, alongside the mighty Civic Type R. This could mean that the U.S. market will get a slightly more sporty version of the Civic in the new hatchback (think: European-style tuning), compared with the sedans.

In our tests we said the “...redesigned Civic handles with newfound confidence thanks to a more sophisticated chassis. It's still not quite as much fun to bend into corners as a Ford Focus, Mazda3, or Volkswagen Golf, but it's secure and predictable with minimal body lean.” A little more sport in the hatch would add enthusiast appeal.

Look for the Honda Civic Hatchback to go on sale as a 2017 model later this year.