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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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 GRM+ Memberand 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 SuperDork
2/2/17 2:59 p.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture:

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

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

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

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 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 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.


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 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.

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