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Autoweek contributor Ben Stewart, took a 2017 Honda Civic EX-L Hatchback for a drive and found it to be both practical and fun.

Just like the rest of us, he’s excited to see a Civic Hatchback in the U.S. as the last one was a Civic Si back in 2005. It may be 4.4 inches shorter 70 pounds heavier than the sedan, but you wouldn’t feel the additional weight. After driving one right after the other, Stewart found the hatchback to be firmer on highways and rough roads compared to the sedan. The steering is a tiny bit heavier too, but that shouldn’t affect the average driver.

The Civic hatchback’s steering is a bit heavier than the sedan’s, but it adds precision when he took to Northern California’s coastal roads. To take full advantage of the hatchback’s suspension, those 215/50R-17 tires will need to be swapped out for a sticker set like the Sport trim’s lower-profile 235/40R-18 tires.

As for the manual gearbox, it’s softer and less precise than Honda’s best which can be found in the Acura Integra Type R or Honda fit, but it’s still decent. At least the CVT takes nothing away from the drive experience.

Sure, a more powerful Si and Type R hatchback is coming out, but the standard hatchback is a great deal. It’s practical with great fuel economy and the Civic hatch is fun to drive.
 

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Heavier steering even helps in the city since when throwing the vehicle around in changing lanes a lot its very obvious as to what its doing especially since turns are tight and you need to be quick due to all that's going on. But what i'll have to wait for some city driving feedback to confirm that along with my own personal experience. Anyone going to book a test drive?
 

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I have driven the LX and sport hatchbacks, both 6 speeds. The ride dynamics were better than the coupe and sedan. Strangely enough the sport did not have nearly the acceleration in 5th and 6th of that of the LX , It wasn't even as much top end as my 2.0 LX. They had a second sport in the showroom and wanted me to take it out because they were concerned there might be something wrong with the first one, I did not have time to wait, but maybe this weekend.
 

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:surprise: Car looks great. I test drove the car at Honda Automall in Fremont. It feels just like my EX-L, but its definitely the looks that matter. The one I tested didn't have the Exhaust tips in the back though. :(
 

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I'm impressed with Honda's first major turbo outing (by the numbers the RDX does not count). I just recently picked up a 2017 Sport 6MT, it is almost as if Honda said "here: this is what we've done. Now it's your turn" with the L15B7 - they left a lot on the table and I'm glad :)
 

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I'm impressed with Honda's first major turbo outing (by the numbers the RDX does not count). I just recently picked up a 2017 Sport 6MT, it is almost as if Honda said "here: this is what we've done. Now it's your turn" with the L15B7 - they left a lot on the table and I'm glad :)
I had a RDX rental once. Such a joke. It was like 3 RPMs of boost and would stop leaving just the engine pulling all the weight. It also got 14-17 MPG when not driving it hard.
 
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