2017 Honda Civic Hatchback from Family Wheels

The basics:

Starting price: $21,490 + tax
As tested: $22,790 + tax (base LX trim with a CVT which adds $1400)
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 6.9 L/100 kms (34 US MPG)
Competition: Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3, VW Golf, etc

– Like we’re seeing on so many Hondas these days (from the Civic to the Ridgeline), the standard equipment is really competitive
– The interior is nicely and intuitively designed with solid feeling surfaces and a bright, modern digital instrument cluster – even on the LX trim
– A 1.5 litre turbo engine also comes standard – like we see in the CR-V or as an option in the Civic. It meets a great balance between a peppy drive and fuel economy with surprisingly little turbo lag out of such a small engine
– It’s great that a 6 speed manual is still an option on all trims (from LX to Touring) in Canada. In the states, you can only get a continuously variable transmission in the touring trim
– But if you do go for the CVT, it’s really good. It does however, bring a terrible droning engine note
– Unlike many of its competitors, Eco mode in the Civic hatch actually does a good job of keeping the vehicle in an (albeit less exciting) impressively efficient state
– You can add Honda’s sensing package for an extra $1000 on the LX and sport trims and it comes standard on the Touring trim
– While the hatch hasn’t been specifically tested by the IIHS, the Civic sedan which is based on the same platform, achieved a top safety pick rating

– I’m not sure whether I like the looks are hate them. It depends on my mood and the angle. The front looks fantastic! The back end, I’m not so sure about
– Steering feel is really numb and disconnected. It was something both my wife and I noticed immediately when behind the wheel
– And while we’re talking about the steering wheel, the switchwear in the cabin all feels really good with the exception of the buttons on the wheel. They feel like cheap, little Chiclets under your hand
– It would be nice to have paddle shifters or a tiptronic shift function in the CVT to get a bit of a sportier feel and get the most out of this little engine
– Seat comfort seems good at first but after a long drive, my butt got a bit sore. The foam isn’t as supportive as we see in the Golf or Elantra
– The Civic sedan is 100 mm longer and as a result offers a little more rear legroom versus the hatch – but in comparable sporty hatches, this has best in class rear leg room and it handles both front and rear facing car seats deceptively well
– While the trunk offers 300 litres more cargo space than the Civic sedan, it’s not very usable for bigger items like a chariot or a dog because of its slanted rear window. Even though it’s a smaller vehicle, I’ve ultimately found the Honda fit to be a more versatile hatch

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (62 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4/5
Family Wheels trunk score: 3/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4/5
Family Wheels value score: 4.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 39.5/50= 79%

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