Honda has unveiled the 2022 Civic Hatchback, barely a month after the 11th-generation sedan went on sale in American showrooms. A traditionally Euro-centric model, the latest boot-less iteration of the Civic will be built in the US for the first time at Honda's plant in Greensburg, Indiana. The nameplate has been rather successful in the states after all, with over 1.7 million units of the 10th-gen model sold since it was introduced in 2016.
There, the Civic Hatchback will be offered with either a 158hp naturally-aspirated two-litre engine or a 1.5-litre turbo good for 180bhp and 240Nm of torque. The latter marks a 10bhp and 20Nm improvement over the Honda Civic Turbo currently sold in Malaysia. While a CVT soldiers on to meet the demands of customers who want an automatic, a six-speed manual transmission is offered as an option for the higher-end Sport and Sport Touring models. Honda claims the gearbox has been 'revised for an even sportier feel with improved rigidity and shorter shift throws'. There's also a new dual-mass flywheel in place for drivetrain NVH reduction.
Honda credits its European R&D division for the suspension and steering properties of the new Civic Hatchback. The rear track has grown 13mm wider and the wheelbase has been extended by 36mm, while new rear lower arm control bushings, low-friction ball joints and a re-tuned electronic power steering all work in tandem to give the car ride and handling properties befitting "the most fun-to-drive Civic Hatchback ever".
It's a really bold claim that gives us more reason to believe that the next-gen Type R will be built on the Hatchback's platform just like its predecessor. The model has been greenlit for sales in the carmaker's home market after all (see grey unit in gallery below for Japan-spec Civic Hatchback). That said, the hatch isn't exactly less passenger-oriented than its sedan counterpart, with rear legroom extending by 36mm – the same improvement as the wheelbase – while the opening of the rear hatch has been widened by 41mm at its base for easier loading and unloading.
Inside, the American-spec Civic Hatchback is equipped with 'Body Stabilising Seats', a fully-digital, 10.2-inch LCD instrument cluster, 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Qi wireless charger and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. A new, single-camera Honda Sensing suite of driver aids is naturally present. The system includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, low-speed braking control as well as pedestrian and cyclist detection among others. There are even side airbags embedded in the rear seat for added safety.
Although the 10th-generation Civic Hatchback was officially sold in the Asean region in markets like Thailand and Indonesia, Honda Malaysia has chosen to solely rely on the strong sales of the sedan thus far. Will the new Civic shift the tide? As fans of hatchbacks who don't exactly disagree with some of the less-than-favourable comments directed at the new sedan's tame looks, we certainly hope so.