2017 Honda Civic Sport new car reviews

Honda is bringing back the hatchback for 2017 with the Civic Sport. Our test car boasted a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, a manual transmission and a very aggressive appearance from the rear.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Back in the day, Honda Civic hatchbacks were standard fare, especially if going with an Si model. Then the market said that hatchbacks weren’t cool.

Guess what? The market was wrong. Hatchbacks and wagons just make so much sense. Concerned about style? Both wagons and hatchbacks look cool!

So I was glad to see Honda bring back the Civic Hatchback. In fact, Honda is capitalizing the H in Hatchback since that’s the official name. Yes, Honda, be proud of your hatchback roots.

Like their coupe and sedan, the Civic Hatchback comes in various flavors, yet all are powered by their turbo 1.5-liter four.

Our Hatchback Sport featured a six-speed manual transmission—yes, a real stick with three pedals and everything.

What makes the Sport so special? Looking at the spec sheets, it makes 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque where the other models make 174 horsepower and 167 torque units.

The Sport also gets 18-inch alloys over the 17s found elsewhere plus some body cladding. It also loses some standard features found on other markets. In other words, it’s kind of stripped down and has a bit more power. I like those combos.

First, looks: I realize not everyone likes the appearance. Too zoomy? Not graceful? I don’t care, I loved it. It’s kind of WRX-like.

Interior? It felt good—meaty steering wheel, comfy seats and plenty of visibility. The switches felt like a Honda. I have owned Civics going back to our 1986 Civic Si. This one carries the nameplate proudly.

Driving it? Lately a lot of stick shift cars have a weird feel, like the flywheel weighs a hundred pounds. The Civic felt normal. And I would have guessed that it makes more than 180 horsepower. Give this thing a limited-slip, and it would make a fine autocrosser.

Final verdict: It’s like a tamer version of my wife’s 2014 Civic Si. I loved it and would daily drive it.

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Comments

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trucke
trucke Dork
2/2/17 2:50 p.m.

The interior picture shows an automatic. Saying they offer a 6-speed manual is one thing, but making it available is another. Will the manual be another unicorn.

Otherwise, very nice!

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/2/17 2:54 p.m.

The car we had around the office was a manual. It looks like we used press photos for the review. So yes, the car is available with 3-pedals.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/2/17 2:58 p.m.

I had been considering one of these to replace my Fit but I feel like the styling department left it in the oven way too long. I can get behind the Type-R looking extreme, but I would have preferred the lower-rung model to have a little more subtlety. As I just posted in another thread earlier today, I think the Mazda 3 is more my speed.

NickD
NickD SuperDork
2/2/17 2:59 p.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture:

I agree. The angry robot styling trend needs to end. Yesterday

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
2/2/17 3:06 p.m.

Does the manual car get an actual manual parking brake instead of a button?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/2/17 3:07 p.m.

In reply to NickD:

I've come to the conclusion Nissan, Honda and Toyota are just making weird looking crap to see how weirdthey can get and us americans will still buy it.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
2/2/17 3:13 p.m.

But then you look at the Accord and it's a proper handsome sedan. I want one with a 2.4/6spd.

MattW
MattW New Reader
2/2/17 3:19 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: In reply to NickD: I've come to the conclusion Nissan, Honda and Toyota are just making weird looking crap to see how weirdthey can get and us americans will still buy it.

+1

NickD
NickD SuperDork
2/2/17 3:20 p.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

Hyundai too. Their styling got pretty wonky too in recent years, like the Veloster and 2nd-gen Genesis Coupe and the Sonata hybrid.

chrispy
chrispy HalfDork
2/2/17 3:47 p.m.

The manual is available on the LX and Sport trims in the hatch, the others get the CVT. The manual is only available in LX trim for the sedan. I want to like the Civic hatch, but all of the fake grilles bug me.

doc_speeder
doc_speeder HalfDork
2/2/17 3:56 p.m.

Honda styling (IMO) "back in the day" was always so graceful, understated, elegant, yet purposeful some how.

Good GAWD that's an ugly car...No matter how great it drives, I just could never buy one knowing that at some point in the day I could accidentally see the outside of that thing and realize I was paying actual money to own that monstrosity...ugh

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/2/17 4:04 p.m.
doc_speeder wrote: Good GAWD that's an ugly car...No matter how great it drives, I just could never buy one knowing that at some point in the day I could accidentally see the outside of that thing and realize I was paying actual money to own that monstrosity...ugh

It's actually much more subdued in photos than it is in real life, especially from the rear......that's all I'm gonna say about that.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UberDork
2/2/17 4:24 p.m.

I'm sorta interested in these. The styling is weird, but Japanese cars are supposed to be weird. I'm waiting on the next Civic Si though.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/2/17 4:34 p.m.

In reply to SilverFleet:

What stinks is that the new Si is coupe/sedan only, because the Type-R is hatch only. I was disappointed to hear that.

Trackmouse
Trackmouse SuperDork
2/2/17 5:07 p.m.

I'm just overly excited to see if this means the old Honda is coming back. Notice I said "overly" excited.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
2/2/17 5:25 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: But then you look at the Accord and it's a proper handsome sedan. I want one with a 2.4/6spd.

I stopped at the dealer last Saturday for a filter and grabbed a free hot chocolate then looked at the Accords. They had a nice Marino Red Sport 6-speed SE sedan that had full leather and heated seats (wife's complaint).

I asked about price and they said they won't discount them as they are rare and tons of people want the 6-speed. AND they loaded up another $1,500 worth of crap as extras.....$139 for factory wheel locks? You're protecting a $3,000 investment he told me!

In my head I figured if I wanted to trade my 5-speed manual trans 2011 Accord Sedan in they would tell me NOBODY wants a manual tranny and the trade carries a low value.

kazoospec
kazoospec SuperDork
2/2/17 5:46 p.m.

Bleh. I really want to like it, but it's hideous. I usually care more about how a car drives than how it looks, but that car couldn't possibly be fast enough to outrun that much ugly.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
2/2/17 5:51 p.m.

RANT ON: If all you can say about a car is that it's ugly (or beautiful), perhaps you should keep it to yourself. There are words that you can use, comparisons that you can make, examples that you can give, or other ways of illustrating your point. All these things create a meaningful argument. Here are examples of observations with some context, that can be the basis for a healthy debate:"The excessive front overhang gives it awkward proportions", "I prefer the clean body styles of the 1990s such as the CRX or FD RX7", "The overwrought tailights are a worn out design trend", "It's girth is out of keeping with the tradition of that model". By comparison, there are such mouth-breathing phrases as "That sure is ugly" or that classic "I need to be by myself for a minute" which is kind of disgusting, if it means what I think it does.

So now that I've exhibited my design-snobbery, my take on this car is that it is handsomely proportioned, although a bit large for what I expect from a Civic. The detailing is overwrought, but I don't mind that. In a sense it's like the 1950s-to-early 60s attraction to extraneous filigree, but in a more integrated way. All those baroque design elements give me something to consider as I sit next to one in traffic. I don't want one, but if my wife did I'd try to talk her into a Mazda3, and relent if she insisted.

kazoospec
kazoospec SuperDork
2/2/17 5:59 p.m.

OK, I'll bite. It looks like a Crosstour with a bunch of meaningless and unnecessary angular bits randomly tacked on. Better?

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/2/17 6:07 p.m.

Honestly I would like it a lot more if they eliminated some of the fake vents, or at least eliminate the rear and make the fronts 50% smaller. The new Fit has the fake rear bumper vents going on too, they just look really tacked-on to me.

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
2/2/17 6:14 p.m.

In 1992 I thought the new Civic was ugly. Now I don't. Maybe it will grow on me after a couple decades?

1kris06
1kris06 HalfDork
2/2/17 6:15 p.m.
clutchsmoke wrote: Does the manual car get an actual manual parking brake instead of a button?

Nope, and It's annoying as berkeley. Even though it's a manual, you still need your foot on the brake to release the parking brake.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UberDork
2/2/17 6:22 p.m.

For years ,several aftermarket companies manufactured front and rear fascias for cars. Their styling was pretty questionable. Maybe there's a market for someone to reverse that trend on this abomination, and those of several other car companies,too.

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
2/2/17 6:34 p.m.

The taillights are almost like they told the designer that they can't look anything like the previous Civic. So they traced the outline of the old ones and that became the new ones.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
2/2/17 6:38 p.m.
Kreb wrote: RANT ON: If all you can say about a car is that it's ugly (or beautiful), perhaps you should keep it to yourself. There are words that you can use, comparisons that you can make, examples that you can give, or other ways of illustrating your point. All these things create a meaningful argument. Here are examples of observations with some context, that can be the basis for a healthy debate:"The excessive front overhang gives it awkward proportions", "I prefer the clean body styles of the 1990s such as the CRX or FD RX7", "The overwrought tailights are a worn out design trend", "It's girth is out of keeping with the tradition of that model". By comparison, there are such mouth-breathing phrases as "That sure is ugly" or that classic "I need to be by myself for a minute" which is kind of disgusting, if it means what I think it does. So now that I've exhibited my design-snobbery, my take on this car is that it is handsomely proportioned, although a bit large for what I expect from a Civic. The detailing is overwrought, but I don't mind that. In a sense it's like the 1950s-to-early 60s attraction to extraneous filigree, but in a more integrated way. All those baroque design elements give me something to consider as I sit next to one in traffic. I don't want one, but if my wife did I'd try to talk her into a Mazda3, and relent if she insisted.

If I say "the front overhang is too large and the proportions are all wrong," you can't argue those points any more than if I said "it looks stupid." There is no discussion or "meaningful argument" when it comes to cosmetic features or appearance of a car. You can't say "no, the front overhang is perfect and the proportions are great" and have me magically change my mind.

I simply think that the back end of the car looks ugly. There is nothing to compare it to (except the Civic sedan, which looks equally ugly). I don't know what "design language" is being used here. Would it make you feel better if I make the comparison to "something that someone at Pep Boys accessories department" designed? The rear end is just unattractive in its entirety. I don't see any consistent design language there other than "let's slap on a bunch of panels an mesh things because that would look rad!" in my opinion.

NorseDave
NorseDave New Reader
2/2/17 6:48 p.m.

I think these actually look worse in person, which is sorta hard to imagine. Busy doesn't even begin to describe the back.

But the worst part IMHO is that, while it is a hatch, the difference between the hatch and the sedan is pretty small. It really just looks like they changed where the trunk is hinged, and that's about it.

SEADave
SEADave HalfDork
2/2/17 7:14 p.m.
Kreb wrote: "...or that classic "I need to be by myself for a minute" which is kind of disgusting, if it means what I think it does."

That one always kind of bothered me too. So gross.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/2/17 8:45 p.m.

Yes, our test car had a real six-speed manual gearbox. It felt good.

The parking brake is electronic, but that's becoming standard with everyone. You get used to it after a few uses. It's not a deal-breaker.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock UltimaDork
2/2/17 8:54 p.m.

Can I get one with two less doors?

smokindav
smokindav Reader
2/2/17 8:59 p.m.

Wow that's ugly. I hope it's cheap. Or else just buy a GTI and be an adult.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
2/2/17 9:26 p.m.

The robotron styling needs to be killed with fire.

It must really be aimed at the 20 somthing crowd.

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
2/2/17 10:21 p.m.

In my new attempts to be positive, I'll say the blacking out of that hideous grill that is canted the wrong direction helps. 6-speed available from the factory is good. Turbo'd engine is good. So, this is a second tier to a type-R? That's good. I saw a base model in puke green up close recently. It was an assault on the senses-in a good way.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
2/3/17 5:56 a.m.

I like it a lot. Ya it's weird looking but it's got the right stuff. Maybe Honda is making a come back? Years ago I was a Honda guy and I could see using that as a DD with no problem. The last thing I want to be in is another generic blob.

Brian
Brian MegaDork
2/3/17 7:07 a.m.

I would go for the coupe or a 3 door if they made it. As much as I enjoy standard, I would like to see how well the turbo and CVT play together, being an outlier who doesn't hate CVT with a passion.

I do like how Honda continues to offer a mid level sport trim short of the Si and upcoming Type R. My '09(8.5 gen) is an LX-Sport. It has a lip spoiler, alloys, a special interior(microfiber/mesh/leather wrapped wheel) and I believe an improved rear suspension(original aggressive camber and a rear bar) over a regular LX.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
2/3/17 7:22 a.m.

Over all I'm liking the styling of this generation of civic, but I would like to the "aggressive" styling features turned down from 11 back to 7 or 8.

Not that really matters what I think, because I won't be buying one, at least not new from the dealer.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
2/3/17 7:25 a.m.

From what I have read so far, the turbo motor responds very well to some basic mods. Chip, intake and exhaust will get you close to 190hp/180tq at the wheels. That aint too shabby.

Klayfish
Klayfish UberDork
2/3/17 7:43 a.m.

I really like the looks of the car, but I like most any hatchback or wagon, so there's that.

I love Hondas, but I sure wish they'd build something that has low end torque. Most turbo 4s make gobs of torque at low rpms, and from the numbers it looks like this one is still a screamer.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/3/17 8:20 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: The robotron styling needs to be killed with fire. It must really be aimed at the 20 somthing crowd.

That's my guess as to why they have gone nuts with the Civic styling, but kept the Accord rather toned down.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/3/17 8:58 a.m.
pinchvalve wrote: From what I have read so far, the turbo motor responds very well to some basic mods. Chip, intake and exhaust will get you close to 190hp/180tq at the wheels. That aint too shabby.

Wait, that massive, over-angular monster isn't making that to start with? The Korean twins make 240/220 with a tune only to the front wheels, are much less ugly and not as heavy.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/3/17 9:22 a.m.

AMC designs of the 70s and 80s are starting to look understated and elegant.

slowride
slowride Dork
2/3/17 9:24 a.m.

I would prefer the front end didn't look so much like the Accord Crosstour. Surprisingly I don't hate the rear (I don't love it either though).

I'll probably test drive one of these in 4-8 years when I'm looking for a new car again.

Coldsnap
Coldsnap Dork
2/4/17 11:48 a.m.
Nick (Bo) Comstock wrote: Can I get one with two less doors?

Yes, veloster :P

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/4/17 12:04 p.m.
Coldsnap wrote:
Nick (Bo) Comstock wrote: Can I get one with two less doors?

Yes, veloster :P

That only has ONE less door

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/5/17 7:17 a.m.
pointofdeparture wrote:
Coldsnap wrote:
Nick (Bo) Comstock wrote: Can I get one with two less doors?

Yes, veloster :P

That only has ONE less door

Depends which side of the car you stand on.

NickD
NickD SuperDork
2/5/17 7:26 a.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote:
dean1484 wrote: The robotron styling needs to be killed with fire. It must really be aimed at the 20 somthing crowd.

That's my guess as to why they have gone nuts with the Civic styling, but kept the Accord rather toned down.

Hey, I'm in my 20s and I hate the styling on this thing. I'd much rather have the 8th-gen sedan. That was smooth futuristic styling without being overwrought (Except maybe the Cylon dashboard)

nepa03focus
nepa03focus Dork
2/5/17 12:22 p.m.
NorseDave wrote: I think these actually look worse in person, which is sorta hard to imagine. Busy doesn't even begin to describe the back. But the worst part IMHO is that, while it is a hatch, the difference between the hatch and the sedan is pretty small. It really just looks like they changed where the trunk is hinged, and that's about it.

That's where I'm at too. It's a hatch but you can't really fit anything big or bulky in there. Even with the other hatches like the focus, cruze... the back is too sloped and opening too small to really be worthwhile. I fit a full size washing machine in my 03 zx3. The fit I'd really the only hatchback worth it for the the space and not just looks in my opinion. And like previously said the current one is pretty weird looking

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
2/5/17 12:27 p.m.

In reply to nepa03focus:

I really wish Honda would just make a goddamn Fit Si already. That platform would be incredible even with the base Civic's 2.0 to replace the 1.5. That would be a true successor to the Si cars of yore...

Coldsnap
Coldsnap Dork
2/5/17 1:01 p.m.
pointofdeparture wrote: In reply to nepa03focus: I really wish Honda would just make a goddamn Fit Si already. That platform would be incredible even with the base Civic's 2.0 to replace the 1.5. That would be a true successor to the Si cars of yore...

That would be awesome.

Rupert
Rupert Dork
2/9/17 8:41 a.m.
SilverFleet wrote: I'm sorta interested in these. The styling is weird, but Japanese cars are supposed to be weird. I'm waiting on the next Civic Si though.

I'm using a Fit as a carry-all car. But I'm really waiting for another CRX Si! When my '85 was totaled, not my fault, it was a truly sad day.

Rupert
Rupert Dork
2/9/17 8:44 a.m.
pointofdeparture wrote: In reply to nepa03focus: I really wish Honda would just make a goddamn Fit Si already. That platform would be incredible even with the base Civic's 2.0 to replace the 1.5. That would be a true successor to the Si cars of yore...

TRUE!! I always thought the original Civic Wagon would have also been great as a Si. But as I just posted, the CRX Si is and was, IMHO, the end all be all! HONDA, PLEASE REINVENT THE CRX Si!!!

NickD
NickD SuperDork
2/9/17 10:06 a.m.
Rupert wrote:
pointofdeparture wrote: In reply to nepa03focus: I really wish Honda would just make a goddamn Fit Si already. That platform would be incredible even with the base Civic's 2.0 to replace the 1.5. That would be a true successor to the Si cars of yore...

TRUE!! I always thought the original Civic Wagon would have also been great as a Si. But as I just posted, the CRX Si is and was, IMHO, the end all be all! HONDA, PLEASE REINVENT THE CRX Si!!!

They did. It was called the CR-Z. And nobody liked it.

fanfoy
fanfoy Dork
2/9/17 10:51 a.m.

That is a lot of ugly crammed into a small car. The proportions are wrong, the detailing is over the top and the hatch is too slopped for any usefullness. Plus it's so high it looks like a minivan. But that's a general comment of modern cars.

NickD
NickD SuperDork
2/9/17 10:53 a.m.

The rear 3/4 view of it makes me think of those awful Malibu Maxx. Yuck.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
2/9/17 11:13 a.m.

I took a look at the pics, and my first thought was that I was glad to see that the costume designers from the first several seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were able to find careers after their time on the show ended, that still allowed them to utilize their zany imaginations in ways that were still wildly offensive to the senses. Good for those guys.

My second thought was "GGA, THAT CAR IS HUGE"...is it just me or does it look like a STI from 2 years ago?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/9/17 11:47 a.m.
4cylndrfury wrote: I took a look at the pics, and my first thought was that I was glad to see that the costume designers from the first several seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were able to find careers after their time on the show ended, that still allowed them to utilize their zany imaginations in ways that were still wildly offensive to the senses. Good for those guys. My second thought was "GGA, THAT CAR IS HUGE"...is it just me or does it look like a STI from 2 years ago?

This, right here, explains it better than anyone can ever explain it.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/9/17 11:50 a.m.
NickD wrote:
Rupert wrote:
pointofdeparture wrote: In reply to nepa03focus: I really wish Honda would just make a goddamn Fit Si already. That platform would be incredible even with the base Civic's 2.0 to replace the 1.5. That would be a true successor to the Si cars of yore...

TRUE!! I always thought the original Civic Wagon would have also been great as a Si. But as I just posted, the CRX Si is and was, IMHO, the end all be all! HONDA, PLEASE REINVENT THE CRX Si!!!

They did. It was called the CR-Z. And nobody liked it.

No they didn't. They made a crappy hybrid that got worse fuel economy than the civic and fit, then tried to capitalize on the CRX name and sell some. Everyone but the top executives saw through this charade. I mean, who wants a small, 2-seat car that isn't fast and doesn't get incredible fuel economy? The answer is no one.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
2/9/17 12:01 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote:
pinchvalve wrote: From what I have read so far, the turbo motor responds very well to some basic mods. Chip, intake and exhaust will get you close to 190hp/180tq at the wheels. That aint too shabby.

Wait, that massive, over-angular monster isn't making that to start with? The Korean twins make 240/220 with a tune only to the front wheels, are much less ugly and not as heavy.

Sorry, I misspoke. It puts 190/190 to the wheels stock, well above what the factory rates it. With intake, downpipe and Hondadata reflash it can get closer to 230/250 IIRC. I can't locate the article at the moment, but the point is that they are under-rating the engine and it wakes up nicely! Way to go Honda!

penultimeta
penultimeta Reader
2/10/17 7:15 a.m.

The hatchback looks better than the sedan but, Jesus, it's still ugly. The major curves are ok for the most part, but it's mostly the tail lights that stick out of the rear and the whack front and rear valance that just totally wreck the lines of the car. This is not aimed at 20 somethings. As someone who is (barely still) in their 20s, I can tell you we much prefer clean "slab" designs or swooping curves ala Mazda 3.

chrispy
chrispy HalfDork
2/15/17 9:16 a.m.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to park my 2005 Accord sedan next to a Civic Sport hatch (the first one I've seen). I do think it is better looking in person, and yes, it is a big car. It was the dark grey color so the fake vents blended a bit better.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
2/15/17 12:17 p.m.

Sat in a few of these at a car show recently. I'm kind of meh about the over the top styling, but what bugged me was the lack of headroom, even when I cranked the seat all the way down. I also hit my head getting out of them. They only had sunroof equipped models there, so I am sure that's part of it, but I'm only 6' tall, so it seems a bit ridiculous. I don't think I'd have fit if I had a helmet on.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
2/15/17 1:23 p.m.

One just showed up in my neighborhood in a fairly violent shade of green. All the angry angular bits work when you do that. It looks cool.

MoCounselor
MoCounselor New Reader
3/8/17 8:51 a.m.

Well, it seems like I am in the minority opinion here, but I LOVE the look of the new Civic Hatchback. Like David, I've owned many Honda products over the years. Quite frankly, I lost interest after the EP3 hatch went away, but this car has renewed my faith in Honda. I'm going to test drive one this week, but I'm pretty sure that this is going to be my next daily driver.

Thanks for the review!

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