The Honda Civic Hatchback has returned! Returned, as in debuted as a prototype at the Geneva Auto Show. After 11 years, Honda is bringing the Hatchback to America, and it’s a shockingly non-conservative iteration to boot. Officially known as the Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype, the Hatch made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, along with the coupe, Si and Type R as future iterations of the Civic, all coming to the US in the near future.
Honda typically keeps its production models in line with their concept vehicles, so Honda watchers are hopeful that this will be the case with the new Hatchback. The first thing you’ll notice about the Hatch is that this 10th generation is big and dynamic. The car is 5.1 inches longer, 1.8 inches wider, and 0.7 inches lower than the model it is tapped to replace.
The Hatch has a sporty look that is just sporty enough without screaming “starter car” or “millennial-mobile.” The front is the same Honda visage we see in the Civic sedan, except with large air intakes. The front bumper is a little sharper, to house the intakes and the fog lamps. The front bumper has a bit of an overhang with the intakes and there is a front spoiler lip, creating a more aggressive look than we are used to from Honda.
The back bumper is combined with a diffuser and dual, center-mounted exhaust pipes. This seems to hint that the Hatch would eventually be available in an Si and other performance variants.
Honda has opted not to sacrifice head space in the backseat in favor of cargo space. As a result, the rear glass does have a dramatic slope, and a bi of space has been taken from the cargo area to keep the backseat comfortable. Somewhat controversially, the Hatch is a four-door rather than a traditional two-door classic hatch. This has many people debating what makes a traditional hatchback.
Unfortunately, Honda blacked out the interior of the car, so we can’t get a look inside. This really indicates that Honda is making significant changes from the sedan. If they were more or less similar, why hide them?
In Europe, the Hatch will have either a 1.0-liter or 1.5-liter VTEC turbocharged gasoline engine, or a 1.6-liter i-DTEC diesel variant. If the car makes it to America, you can expect the same engines that are already offered in the Civic sedan: a 1.5-liter turbo generating 174 horsepower or a 2.0-liter good for 158 horsepower.
If transmission options also remain the same, expect a six-speed manual only in the base model 2.0-liter. Of course, Honda may realize that a large and committed group of hatchback enthusiasts are clamoring for a manual with the turbo engine as well.
Overall, the Honda Civic Hatchback was received with great excitement in Geneva. Since the hatch market is quickly growing, it’s almost a surprise that the company hasn’t brought it stateside sooner. But this new, durable Honda is sure to be a hit, and for many people it can’t get here soon enough.