2017 Honda Civic Hatchback First Drive: Better in all the right ways

– San Francisco, California

Here’s some news that will shock no one: I like the hatchback best. The tenth-generation Honda Civic is a lovely car in its sedan and coupe forms, but this extra-functional, better-looking five-door wins my vote for the one to buy. And its capacious little butt is only half the reason.

With the hatchback’s launch comes the introduction of new Sport and Sport Touring models, the former of which combines the delightful 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with a six-speed manual transmission, all wrapped up in the most attractive Civic package yet. Of course, these models will only account for maybe ten percent of all Civic Hatchback sales. So it’s a good thing there’s plenty to like about the rest of the lineup, too.

The Civic Hatchback adds a bit of visual differentiation between its two- and four-door counterparts, and I’m not just talking about the rounder rump. Up front, the lower fascia boasts larger faux air intakes (only the passenger-side area allows some air to pass through), with more prominent foglight housings. It transforms the already-slick Civic schnoz into something with a bit more aggressive, and matches the new rear bumper design which, again, has fake air intakes (or outlets, in this case). Sport models get blacked-out exterior elements and 18-inch wheels on 235/40-series tires. Honestly, if you showed me the Sport and told me it was the higher-performance Si model, I’d probably believe you... for a minute.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback: First Drive
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback: First Drive
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback: First Drive
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback: First Drive

The Sport 6MT you see...