Right from the get-go, American Honda Motor has set out to target and woo young consumers to the sleeker Honda Civic hatchback, now in its 11th generation. Apart from design, the company that sells on average 300,000 Honda Civics annually for the past two years, is offering a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission on top of the CVT automatic transmission.

With a price starting from USD22,900 (approx. RM96k), the all-new Honda Civic hatchback is USD1,200 pricier than the equivalent Civic sedan variant. Apart from the upgrade from 16-inch “steelies” with a plastic cover to alloy rims, the Honda Civic hatchback offers the same 158 hp/187 Nm 2.0-litre engine paired with CVT, safety, exterior and interior features as the sedan.

The six-speed manual transmission option is meanwhile available on the 2.0-litre Sport variant and the range-topping 180 hp/240 Nm turbocharged 1.5-litre Sport Touring variant (USD29,400 or approx. RM123k). Selecting the manual transmission also means the removal of the Sport drive mode but retains an electric parking brake (EPB) with Auto Hold function.

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The Sport variants also have black exterior accents and window surrounds, Sport-specific seating surfaces, black headlining, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel and sport foot pedals. This latest generation Civic hatchback also boasts the largest rear seat in its model’s history.

Honda also says the Civic hatchback is a lot more fun to drive than the sedan, and the only dynamic upgrade we could spot is the slightly thicker solid rear anti-roll bar, increasing 0.5 mm in diameter from the 17.0-mm design fitted in the sedan.

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The Honda Civic hatchback is built in Indiana, USA for the first time in its history. Technicians in the plant were required to learn new manufacturing and assembling methods for the larger tailgate on the new Civic hatchback, which is made from lightweight composite materials.

American Honda Motor will also add their locally developed performance-oriented Civic Si as well as the global Honda Civic Type R to the line-up next year.


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