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.