Published on June 24th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
11th Gen Honda Civic Hatchback Launched In North America
The big news here is that this new Civic hatch can still be had with a six-speed manual ‘box.
While the Civic to many Malaysians is the epitome of the mid-sized sedan, it is worth remembering that this iconic Honda model nameplate initially began life (way back in 1972) as a hatchback.
And incidentally, Honda is still lopping the rear quarter off the Civic till this very day. Just that we Malaysians don’t (and won’t) ever see it here, bar the notable exception of the Type R of course.
This all therefore ties in neatly to the recent launch of the 11th generation FE Civic Hatchback over in North America. Touted to be a sleeker, sportier version of its newly unveiled sedan sibling, what exactly are Malaysians going to be missing out on?
Well kicking off with the major changes first and starting with the exterior, the Civic Hatchback naturally features a wholly different rear quarter over the sedan on which it is based. Not only is it some 12.5 cm shorter round its rump, this booted Honda also features a different (and slightly sportier) rear-end look that comes courtesy of an almost Stinger-esque connected rear light cluster and an integrated hatch lip spoiler.
Speaking of the hatch, the new Civic Hatchback now features a slightly wider opening (by 4 cm) as compared to its predecessor. There is however a trade off in cargo capacity, as the 700 litre boot in this upcoming model is actually 30 litres shy as to what is offered in the outgoing iteration.
Rear seat passengers should nevertheless be more comfortable in this upcoming generation of Civic Hatchback, as rear legroom has grown by 3.5 cm. In terms of the rest of interior meanwhile, it is basically the same as what was seen in its new sedan sibling.
Running through the highlights very quickly, what Honda claims to be a ‘human-centered cabin design’ features a straight edged dashboard layout topped with a digital instrument cluster (7- or 10.2-inches depending on trim level) and a floating central infotainment display that ranges from 7- to 9-inches based on variant. Other notable tech featured within the interior of the Civic Hatchback includes the availability of wireless CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, and a round gearknob that is connected to a six-speed manual transmission.
Yes, the 11th-generation Civic Hatchback can still be had with what Honda dubs to be a ‘short throw’ row-your-own gearbox option. A transmission option available with the higher two Sport and Sport Touring variants, it will be paired to a 158 hp/187 Nm 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-pot in the former and a 180hp/240 Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder in the latter trim level.
For those who prefer to let a computer do the shifting however, both these engine options can also be hooked up to a CVT. In fact, it is actually the only transmission offering for the lower-tier LX and EX-L grades.
Now just rounding up the changes made to the Civic Hatchback, Honda has apparently been fettling around with the suspension and steering to give it a sportier feel than its sedan sibling. A stiffer body shell also aids in that department, while a comprehensive suite of Honda Sensing safety tech keeps the mildly revised front end (new honeycomb grille and more aggressive bumpers) looking pristine.
The first Civic Hatchback to be built in North America at Honda’s Greensburg plant, it is set to go on sale over there come September time. Prices have yet been confirmed thus far, but what is almost certain however that it won’t be coming to Malaysia any time soon.
PRESS RELEASE: Honda revealed the 2022 Civic Hatchback tonight, the latest addition to the all-new 11th-generation Civic lineup. Building on the 2022 Civic Sedan that arrived in Honda dealerships earlier this month, the most fun-to-drive Civic Hatchback ever combines striking, Euro-inspired exterior styling and five-door versatility with an even sportier driving experience. Available with a 6-speed manual transmission, Civic Hatchback is designed to meet the needs of young, active buyers. It will be built in the U.S. for the first time, with production to begin later this year at Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana auto plant. The Civic Hatchback premiered during the Civic Tour “Remix” performance on the Honda Stage YouTube Channel, and can be viewed here: youtube.com/HondaStage.
Inspired by the coupe-like profile of European sportbacks, the 2022 Civic Hatchback builds upon the Civic Sedan’s new clean and simple exterior design direction in a fresh and exhilarating new way. It also promises driving enthusiasts an even more dynamic experience, with ride and handling developed in Europe and an upgraded 6-speed manual transmission available with both the naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter and 1.5-liter turbocharged engines.
Civic Hatchback includes all of the technological updates made to the 2022 Civic Sedan, including a new standard single-camera Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies. Key options include a 9” color touchscreen, Bose premium sound system and a 10.2-inch all-digital instrument display.
“Civic Hatchback plays a critical role in the Honda lineup and we expect the all-new 11th-generation model to be even more popular than its predecessor,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With its sporty, fun-to-drive driving character, Euro exterior styling and flexible interior packaging, the new Civic Hatchback will appeal to those all-important young and active buyers.”
Reintroduced to the U.S. market with the 10th-generation Civic in 2016, Civic Hatchback has proven itself a breakout hit and has grown to account for more than 20 percent of all Civic sales. With more than 1.7 million units sold in 10th generation form, Civic has been the No. 1 selling vehicle in America – car or light truck – with first-time buyers, Millennials, Gen Z and multicultural customers over the last five years.
- Sporty Euro-inspired exterior styling with a coupe-like profile
- Simple, clean interior design with improved outward visibility
- New lightweight composite hatch structure reduces hinge size for a clean roofline
- Enhanced structure with 19-percent increase in torsional rigidity
- Cargo opening widened by 1.6-inches
- Distinct front-end styling adds to sporty character
- Available short-throw 6-speed manual transmission (Sport and Sport Touring)
- Available 1.5-liter turbocharged engine makes 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque on regular unleaded
- New Boost Blue Pearl and Smoky Mauve Pearl exterior colors
Key Features (shared with Civic Sedan)
- Standard new 7” color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ integration
- Available new HD 9” color touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ integration
- Bose premium sound system with 12 speakers (Sport Touring)
- Qi-compatible wireless charging (Sport Touring)
- Improved body structure stiffness and crashworthiness
- Updated suspension and steering tuning for improved handling and ride comfort, and a somewhat sportier flavor than Civic Sedan
- Groundbreaking new front airbags designed to reduce the risk of traumatic brain and neck injuries
- Rear seat side airbags
- Updated single camera Honda Sensing® system with new Traffic Jam Assist (standard), and Low Speed Braking Control (Sport Touring)
Sporty Exterior Design
With a coupe-like profile inspired by European sportbacks, the 2022 Civic Hatchback builds upon the Civic Sedan’s new exterior design in a distinctive and sporty way. Its low hood, front fenders and horizontal beltline grounds the body, accentuates the wheels and tires, and enables an expansive, airy greenhouse. Compared to the 10th-generation Civic Hatchback, its windshield pillars also have been moved rearward by nearly 2 inches (1.96 inches), its wheelbase is 1.4-inches longer and its rear track is 0.5-inch wider.
Civic Hatchback incorporates unique styling cues to give it an even sportier attitude, including a distinctive grille mesh with a slight concave shape. For a sportier coupe-like profile, the Hatchback’s rear overhang and overall length are 4.9-inches shorter than the Civic Sedan’s.
The Hatchback’s smoother, sleeker roof line is made possible by a new lightweight composite hatch and by moving the hinge mechanism outward, allowing a roof height reduction of 50 mm in the hinge area. A unique taillight design, and center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) that spans nearly the entire width of its hatch, further emphasize Hatchback’s wider rear track.
Eight colors are available on the 2022 Civic Hatchback, including two new hues: Boost Blue Pearl and Smokey Mauve Pearl.
Versatile Human-Centered Interior Design
Civic Hatchback’s interior features many of the ame design and packaging elements as the new and critically acclaimed cabin of the Civic Sedan. By evoking the human-centered cabin design of early generations of Civic, the Hatchback’s new interior is simple, clean and uncluttered with exceptional visibility, intuitive ergonomics, extraordinary passenger volume and driver-focused technology.
Also like the Civic Sedan, outward visibility is enhanced by Civic’s pulled-back A-pillars, low hood, flat dashboard, low cowl and repositioned outside mirrors, which are now mounted on the doors. The instrument panel is designed with a minimum of cutlines to reduce windshield reflections and visual distractions, and the attractive new metal honeycomb instrument panel accent isn’t just visually striking, it hides the air vents. Class-above materials are also used, especially on touchpoints, and careful attention has been paid to the premium action of all switchgear and controls.
In the rear, Civic Hatchback features larger side windows, a new small corner window in the C-pillar and a single piece rear window to enhance rearward visibility, creating a more spacious and airy feeling for rear seat passengers.
Civic Hatchback rear legroom has been improved by nearly 1.4 inches and rear headroom has been preserved, thanks to the new hinge design for the new composite hatch.
Interior versatility is key to Civic Hatchback’s unique character, with generous cargo space more easily accessible thanks to a 1.6-inch wider lower hatch opening and low lift-over height. The standard 60/40 split seatback can be quickly folded for expanded capacity and the side-pull cargo cover makes it easy to quickly open or conceal the rear cargo area.
Standard on all Civic Hatchback grades, Honda’s new Body Stabilizing Seat enhances comfort on long drives. In addition, Civic Hatchback is available in EX-L grade, offering the same perforated leather seats with added shoulder support as available in Sport Touring grades. Civic Hatchback LX and Sport feature cloth and combination seat trim, respectively.
New Rigid Body Improves Dynamics and Safety Performance
Civic Hatchback’s new body structure shows significant gains in rigidity, with a 19 percent improvement in torsional rigidity versus the previous generation. The stiffer structure supports improvements in ride, handling and refinement. Reductions in noise, vibration and harshness are further augmented with the extensive use of structural adhesives, spray-in foam in the pillars, and additional sound deadening in the firewall and under the floor.
To meet present and anticipated future collision standards while minimizing additional weight, Civic Hatchback uses the next generation of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. This is realized through careful design coupled with the use of lightweight materials, such as aluminum and various grades of high-strength steel, as well as the additional structural adhesives.
Sporty and Fun Powertrains
For the 11th-generation, Civic Hatchback offers two engine choices for the first time, and both will be available with a 6-speed manual transmission. LX and Sport grades feature a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, producing 158 horsepower at 6,500 rpm (SAE net) and 138 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm (SAE net).
It’s coupled with a revised CVT that enhances fuel efficiency through the use of a more robust electric hydraulic pump that reduces the load on the mechanical pump, and a ball-bearing secondary shaft to reduce friction. The CVT also has been programmed to provide early downshifts during braking and features revised Step-Shift programming that simulates physical gear changes under hard acceleration for a more familiar and enjoyable driving experience. Fuel efficiency and emissions are notably improved due in part to a new standard idle-stop system (CVT only) and a new catalytic converter design.
Powering EX-L and Sport Touring trims is a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder producing 180 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (SAE net) and 177 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,700 to 4,500 rpm (SAE net) on 87 octane gasoline. Multiple measures contribute to improved fuel economy ratings, including new more efficient turbo plumbing and the addition of Variable Timing and lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) to the exhaust valves. The CVT for the 1.5-liter turbo features improved torque converter performance, while also adopting revised Step-Shift programming.
A new 6-speed manual transmission is available in Sport and Sport Touring grades. The transmission has been revised for an even sportier feel with improved shift rigidity and shorter shift throws. A new dual-mass flywheel helps reduce noise and vibration transmitted through the drivetrain.
In addition to the standard Normal and Eco driving modes, 2.0L Sport and 1.5L Sport Touring trims of the 2022 Civic Hatchback with the CVT now feature a user-selectable Sport mode. Using a toggle switch on the center console, the new Sport mode alters the drive ratios and mapping for a sportier feel. Eco mode reduces throttle and transmission sensitivity, as well as air conditioning output to help preserve fuel efficiency.
Chassis Tuned for Responsiveness, Fun-to-Drive and Comfort
For maximum driver enjoyment, Civic Hatchback’s suspension and steering were developed in Europe and fine-tuned for North America. Civic has long been recognized as the benchmark for sporty handling in the compact class, and this is the most fun-to-drive Civic Hatchback ever.
Similar to Sedan, the front MacPherson struts feature new low-friction ball joints and front damper mount bearings to improve steering feel and self-centering. The spring and damper alignment has been optimized to minimize operational friction, and a new larger compliance bushing with an improved bushing axis minimizes harshness.
The rear track’s 0.5-inch additional width adds stability and the additional 1.4-inches of wheelbase help smooth out its ride quality. New rear lower control arm bushings promote better straight-line stability and turn in, while reducing noise and vibration inside the cabin. The electronic power steering has been re-tuned to provide better feedback and improved straight-line stability.
These suspension and steering upgrades result in a smoother, more linear and more precise feel in turns, with the reduction in yaw delay leading to a more responsive and synchronized feeling behind the wheel. Additionally, the reduced suspension friction and improved bushings help reduce harsh road shock, such as when going over railroad crossings, by 20 percent.
Additional chassis updates include new low-drag front brake calipers, and low-friction front and rear wheel bearings to reduce rolling resistance, helping improve fuel economy ratings. The all-new aluminum front subframe, with an efficient truss and rib structure, provides rigidity and stability.
Technology that Serves the Driver
This is also the most technologically advanced Civic Hatchback ever featuring digital meters for the first time and larger touchscreens for the 2022 model year. Civic LX, Sport and EX-L grades are equipped with a new 7-inch color LCD instrument display which features an all-digital speedometer and tachometer on the left side, and a physical speedometer dial on the right.
Civic’s new all-digital LCD instrument display is standard on the Hatchback Sport Touring model. This 10.2-inch display features a configurable high-definition full-color LCD panel with either a traditional layout of round needle-and-dial gauge displays or a bar-graph style design.
Drivers also can display a variety of user-selectable information, such as the current music selection and a trip computer, on the left and right side of the screen. The middle of the display is used to indicate the status of various Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive systems, and the Civic icon on the screen features brake lights, headlights and turn signals that turn on and off with those functions.
LX, Sport and EX-L grades come standard with a new 7” color touchscreen, the largest standard screen in Civic history, with physical power/volume knob and a tuning/selection knob. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration are standard and a row of hard buttons at the bottom allows drivers to easily skip music tracks, navigate the audio menu, and select between phone, radio, Bluetooth® or USB media.
Civic Hatchback Sport Touring features an all-new 9” color touchscreen, which is the largest touchscreen ever offered in Civic, wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration, and standard Qi-compatible wireless charging.
In addition to large, easy-to-recognize icons and a simplified navigation structure with fewer embedded menus, the 9” touchscreen features a physical volume knob and hard buttons for Home and Back functions. A 0.8-inch finger rest immediately below the screen on all Civics provides a stable surface to rest your hand, so using the touchscreen is easier and less distracting while driving.
Bose Premium Sound System
A new available Bose audio system takes Civic audio to the next level, thanks to Centerpoint 2 and Bose SurroundStage digital signal processing that is custom-engineered precisely for the Civic’s new interior. Regardless of seating position, drivers and passengers are placed in the middle of the music, with a clear and spacious listening experience for all audio content.
Expert audio engineers developed the Bose sound system with advanced components and technologies, working closely with Honda engineers to integrate the system early in the vehicle design process for optimal performance. Clear, impactful sound is delivered through high-performance Bose speakers, strategically placed throughout the Civic’s interior for exceptional music reproduction across all frequencies, low to high.
Helping to preserve the quality of the listening experience, Dynamic Speed Compensation technology automatically adjusts volume and tone based on vehicle speed, reducing the need for drivers to manually adjust settings while on the road.
Bose Premium Sound System details:
- One 3.25-inch (80 mm) Bose Twiddler mid/high-range speaker in the center of the instrument panel
- Four 1-inch (25 mm) lightweight neodymium tweeters – one in each A-pillar and one in each rear door
- Two 6.5-inch (165 mm) wide-range speakers – one in each front door
- Two 5.25-inch (130 mm) wide-range speakers – one in each rear door
- Two 3.25-inch (80 mm) Bose Twiddler mid/high-range speakers – one in each C-pillar
- One 8-inch (200 mm) woofer housed inside a custom enclosure mounted in the right rear quarter panel
- A Bose digital amplifier with 12 channels of custom equalization and advanced digital signal processing
New and Advanced Safety Performance
As with the Sedan, Civic Hatchback includes multiple new active and passive safety systems. This includes the world’s first application of driver and passenger frontal airbags designed to better reduce the likelihood of injuries from severe brain trauma associated with angled frontal collisions. The new front driver’s airbag uses an innovative donut-shaped structure to cradle and hold the head to reduce rotation. The passenger-side front airbag uses a three-chamber design to achieve a similar result, with two outer chambers designed to cradle and control head rotation.
Civic’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure is enhanced for improved compatibility with larger vehicles. This includes improved occupant protection in angled frontal collisions, with a new upper A-pillar structure, side frame and lower firewall structure – all designed to route crash energy around the cabin. Side impact protection has been improved, with stiffer structures in the roof, side sill and B-pillar, doors, and the rear wheel arch and C-pillar.
Standard on all Civic Hatchback grades is a new Honda Sensing® suite of active safety and driver-assistive technologies that uses a new single-camera system providing a longer, wider field of view than the previous radar-and-camera based system. Combined with software advances and a new, more powerful processor, the system is capable of more quickly and accurately identifying pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles, along with road lines and road signs.
Honda Sensing® also adds Traffic Jam Assist, and the new camera-based system improves on existing functionality, such as more natural brake application and quicker reactions when using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). It also has more linear and natural steering action when using the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). Sport Touring grades feature new Low-Speed Braking Control, and front and rear false-start prevention with the addition of eight sonar sensors.
Honda leadership in advancing pedestrian safety continues. The 2022 Civic features a new front bumper beam safety plate designed to decrease leg injuries and a hood with an embossed inner structure designed to improve head protection performance.