If you wanted a fun manual hatchback for your daily commute but didn’t need a performance car like a Focus ST or GTI, there was really only one option: the Mazda3. Honda will now get a piece of the action with the all new Civic hatchback.
Pricing for the 2017 Civic hatchback starts at $20,535 (including destination) for an LX trim with a manual gearbox, while a selecting the CVT will set you back $21,335.
Power comes from the same 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine found in the sedan that cranks out 177 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy figures for the manual are 30 MPG city, 39 MPG highway with a combined rating of 33 MPG. The CVT gets you a one MPG bump across the board.
The five-door Civic you want is the Sport trim with the six-speed manual that stickers for $22,135, or $22.935 if you insist on the CVT.
The Sport gets you more aggressive styling bits like an underbody kit and a center mounted exhaust. There is also an increase in output to 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Normally, the extra boost would come from the application of a few VTEC stickers, but in this case, all you have to do is use premium grade fuel.
Where Honda fell short on the Civic hatch is only offering the manual in two trims, while Mazda offers a three-pedal options on almost every five-door trim.
If you can do without Honda’s wonderful manual gearbox you will also have your choice of EX, EX-L Navi, and Sport Touring trims for the Civic hatch. The EX gets you heated seats, Apple Car Play/Android Auto, and a seven-inch touchscreen display. The EX-L Navi predictably, adds leather seats and Navigation.
The fully loaded Sport Touring bundles in Honda Sensing with all the visual upgrades on the Sport in addition to textured aluminum pedals, red-accented instrument illumination and a 540-watt 12-speaker premium audio system on top of the features from the EX-L Navi.
As of now pricing, has only been established for the EX at $23,635 and EX-L Navi at $26,135.
The five-door should be hitting dealerships in October, and the optional Honda Sensing package will be available later in the year.
In a head to head match-up against the Mazda3, the Civic Sport manual outguns and undercuts a similarly equipped, 155 horsepower manual i Touring with Appearance Package by almost $2,500.
However, Honda is going to let you down if you want a manual transmission and upgrades like a sunroof, leather seats, navigation, in addition to advanced safety features. But Mazda will gladly sell you a manual Mazda3 Grand Touring five-door with all those goodies for a very reasonable $26,280.
Either Honda is still under the impression that only cheapskates buy manual hatchbacks, or perhaps they are planning an Si variant with more available features to bridge the performance gap between the Sport and the upcoming Type R.