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Honda uncovers Civic hatch

Hatched: The sole image of the Civic hatch reveals very little difference to the Geneva show concept.

Official image of Honda Civic hatch released ahead of early 2017 launch

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Honda logo15 Aug 2016

HONDA has officially ripped the covers off the hatchback version of its Civic small car ahead of an early-2017 Australian showroom debut.

The Japanese car-maker has released just one image of the Civic’s rear three-quarter after unofficial pictures of an undisguised Civic hatch popped up online last week.

The images reveal that the production version is virtually identical to the concept that appeared at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, with the key difference appearing to be the absence of the fluorescent yellow highlights of the concept.

Naturally the hatch has a stubbier rear end when compared directly with its sedan sibling that launched in Australia in May, and it features a kink in the rear three-quarter window that is not present on the booted version.

Other differences include tail-lights – LED on the version in the image – that are integrated into a rear spoiler that splits the lower part of the rear windscreen.

Large diffusers and centrally mounted exhaust pipes hint at a sport variant in the image.

Honda is yet to release information on cargo capacity so it is unclear how it compares against the sedan as well as its hatchback rivals such as the Mazda3, Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus to name just a few.

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the hatchback version of the Civic would play an important role in the company’s local line-up.

“Like the Civic sedan, the Honda Civic Hatch, will be a very important car in the Honda line-up in Australia,” he said.

“In the small-car segment in Australia, hatches reign so we expect the Honda Civic Hatch to be a relevant option for Honda customers looking for the versatility of a hatch but with the proven quality, style and performance of a Honda.”

As previously reported, the Civic hatch and sedan will share a platform ensuring that they are much more closely related than in previous generations and both will be built alongside each other at Honda’s Thailand manufacturing facility.

Full Australian pricing and specification will be released closer to launch, but Honda has announced that the hatch will match the model line-up and key features of the sedan.

Entry-level Civic hatches – likely the VTi and and VTi-S if it is to mimic the sedan line-up – will be powered by Honda’s carry over 1.8-litre 104kW/174Nm four-cylinder petrol unit, while the VTi-L, RS and VTi-LX are expected to use the new 127kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged four-pot.

Pricing for the sedan starts at $22,390 plus on-road costs for the VTi and tops out at $33,590 for the kitted-out VTi-LX. It is unclear if Honda plans to offer the hatch for the same price as the sedan or if one body style will attract a premium over the other.

The Honda Sensing suite of active safety technology will be offered on some hatch variants and includes Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with low speed follow and a lane keeping aid.

Other comfort features that will be offered, depending on the variant, include Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, electric driver and front passenger seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and push-button start.

Honda says the cabin of the hatch will follow the sedan in offering “high-grade materials and quality finishes”, adding that it delivers “impressive interior packaging and cargo capacity, featuring impressive rear seat legroom and function, roomy cargo space”.

The Civic sedan has been instantly popular since launch, picking up 922 sales in its first full month on sale (June), while grabbing 1097 registrations last month, a massive 222 per cent increase over the same month in 2015.

In July, the Civic secured a 25.2 per cent share of the private sales in the small sedan segment, beating out the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla to be the top-selling sedan for the month with private buyers.

If the Civic sedan continues its good sales form it is likely that it will overtake rivals such as the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Impreza, Nissan Pulsar and Mitsubishi Lancer by the end of the year.

Exact launch timing is still unconfirmed but Honda says it will arrive early in 2017, ahead of the spicy Type R hatch that is expected later in the year.

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