Prior to its public reveal at the Paris Motor Show, the Euro-spec Civic Hatchback is making its Internet debut.
Honda took the wraps off the U.S.-spec 2017MY Civic Hatchback about a month ago and now we are able to take a look at its European counterpart, with both to be manufactured in Swindon, U.K. The compact five-door hatchback is 130 mm longer, 30 mm wider, and 20 mm lower than its predecessor, but despite the increased footprint, it’s actually 16 kilograms (35 pounds) lighter. It’s all thanks to the new lightweight platform that is also bringing a 52% increase in torsional stiffness and a 30-mm longer wheelbase to boost rear legroom.
Unlike the U.S. and Canadian model which is only being offered with a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine with 180 horsepower, the Euro version is also going to be sold with a brand new three-cylinder, 1.0-litre unit. Also turbocharged, the mill develops 127 hp and just like the bigger engine, it can be linked to the standard six-speed manual or the optional continuously variable transmission. The Civic bound to be sold on European territories will also be available with Honda’s familiar turbodiesel 1.6-litre, but it’s going to be updated to cut emissions and boost output beyond the current 118 hp.
As far as the interior cabin is concerned, the stretched wheelbase is paying dividends in terms of available space, but the bad news is the so-called “Magic Seats” are gone. Instead, the new hatch adopts a more conventional 60:40-split rear bench and with the seats up it offers the same 478-litre capacity as the old model.
Buyers will get to pick from three audio systems, kicking off with the base four-speaker, 160-watt unit, followed by the mid-range eight-speaker, 180-watt setup and the range-topping audio system with 11 speakers. These will all work with the seven-inch infotainment system capable of providing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Garmin satellite navigation will cost extra and is going to come with five-year free map updates.
In terms of safety and assistance systems, the new Civic hatchback is well equipped in that area, managing to provide adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistant, forward collision warning, blind spot information, and a collision mitigating braking system.
Honda has told Autocar that although a hybrid powertrain is not being planned for the near future, the Civic’s new platform is technically capable of accommodating a more eco-friendly setup. A full-electric model has been ruled out because the platform can’t support such an arrangement.
Honda will have the Euro-spec 2017 Civic Hatchback on display next month at the Paris Motor Show. It’s going to be exported to more than 70 countries around the world and production has already kicked off for the North American market where the first units have already arrived. Besides the hatchback, the Turkey-built sedan will land in Europe early next year and is going to be followed at some point by the more practical Civic Tourer in the estate body style.