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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Worth Every Penny

Positioned slightly above the entry level Civic Hatchback LX, the not so bare-bones Civic Hatchback Sport returns us to the age of the manually shifted Honda performance hatchback of yesteryear, with a twist, it’s civilized, full efficient, comfortable, and you can have it all for under $22K.


For me and other long-time Honda aficionados, 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback as presented is worth every penny of its suggested retail price. Don’t beat me up Subaru fans, that’s simply a personal observation.

Long gone is the “shake and bake” gear-box crunching, chiropractic invoking, launch off the light of yesteryear. While the rocket-like on demand throttle remains, clutch pressure required to engage or disengage your gear of choice is nearly effortless, with a close-throw, very forgiving, 6-speed manual transmission that makes manual shifting second nature within miles of taking the wheel of Honda’s U.K. built 5-door turbo hatchback.

Once you’re blowing down the interstate in 6th gear, turn up the stereo, turn on the cruise control and kick back -- the ride’s as smooth as silk sheets on a summer night. This thing is sweet! For those of you that have never operated a manual gearbox, no worries. You’d learn how to drive this performance hatch in minutes, it’s that easy.

Visually, Civic Hatchback Sport is FAT

And I like it that way. Honda’s latest take on the performance hatchback is visually captivating right out of the box. Sure, you can personalize the Hatchback Sport to meet your specific needs, but truthfully, everywhere we drove our Rallye Red test mule, we were asked, “is this a Honda?” Yes!

Our friends at Honda engineering and design have done a very commendable job of injecting some high performance panache into this European inspired 5-door hatchback. While far from the “hottest” hatchback in the compact segment, what this 180 horsepower, fuel efficient performer lacks in blistering off the line acceleration, it gains in “drivability,” and usable street performance.

Don’t read me wrong here. I had no problem finding the revlimiter on this very capable 1.5 liter turbocharged VTEC 4 cylinder. Yet somehow, Honda engineers tamed the beast to where the rather comfortable interior confines of this minimal, yet for from lacking Hatchback, remains surprisingly quiet, and refined of ride on surface streets and highways alike.

Best ride in the segment, yes!

The first time I drove Honda Civic Hatchback on the streets of San Francisco, I was convinced that this Civic presented the most refined ride in the 10th generation Civic lineup. After driving comparable Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, and other domestic and import offerings, I’ll give 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback a thumbsup for the best handling, most comfortable ride in the compact hatchback segment.

My ideal 6-speed manually shifted 1.5 Liter Turbocharged 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback rolls off the showroom floor for $22,886 including destination, plus tax, etc. You won’t find Navi here, but you can add it as an option. This is the driving purist Honda Civic. Turn off the O.K. stereo system, unplug your paired smartphone, listen to the super slippery, high revving turbocharged engine, and drive!

What I did discover beyond a mostly surface street driven average MPG of 28.9 MPG, was a very street-sticky drive characteristic generally reserved for a premium performance hatchback. A decent resolution color backup camera comes standard, as does power adjusted side mirrors, power windows, a heater that will drive you out of the car,(if you let it) an e-brake that works very well, push-button hill-hold assist, and rather comfortable ballistic cloth covered, low boltered, yet holding driver and passenger seats.

Here’s the kicker: At 6 foot 5 inches tall, I fit this Honda Hatchback without compromise, front, and back. And then there’s the bonus of what I believe to be the largest near flat deck cargo capacity in the Civic fleet. But way beyond that, is the pure-fun drive performance experienced behind the wheel of this under $22,000 hatchback. Stunningly brilliant!

While you may find a performance hatchback with greater engine output, and all-wheel-drive, you won’t find an overall superior drive and ownership experience for your dollars.

You may find complete specifications here. Well, I could go on and on, and I generally do. Read my initial drive impressions on the top of the hatchback lineup 2017 Honda Hatchback Touring here. I’m off for a few more miles of gear grabbing. Cheers!