US-built 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback combines sportiness and practicality

Honda’s redesigned 2022 Civic compact sedan made quite an impression when it debuted earlier this year, and now it is joined by its hatchback sibling, which looks to build upon that winning formula.

The hatchback has two roles to fill as the coupe is not returning on the 11th generation Civic. It will be both the sportier option and the more practical choice than the sedan, offering a 6-speed manual transmission and more cargo room. 

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

Seeing the hatchback in person confirmed what our earlier spy shots showed: It has more of a fastback profile than the chunkier look on the previous hatchback. Honda says this is in part because of a new composite liftgate. The liftgate’s lighter weight allowed for a smaller hatch mechanism and therefore smoother styling. The hatchback is 4.9 inches shorter than the sedan, with all of that length being subtracted from the rear overhang, and it makes the hatchback look abbreviated when viewed in profile. 

Otherwise, styling between the two models is similar from the B-pillar forward. The hatchback gets a honeycomb grille and a slightly lowered hood cowl to make it look sportier, but those changes are very subtle. The good news, though, is that the hatchback won’t be confused for an Accord.

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

Underpinning the 2022 Civic range, including the hatchback, is a more rigid version of the outgoing Civic’s front-wheel-drive platform. In the sedan, those changes result in a car that steers with greater confidence and rides well on both city streets and the highway. We expect the same behavior with this body style as well.

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Powertrains match those from the sedan. A base 2.0-liter inline-4 rated at 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque is found in the LX and Sport trims, while a spicier 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 180 hp and 177 lb-ft comes in the EX and Sport Touring models (the latter replaces the sedan’s Touring trim). A continuously variable transmission is still standard in the hatchback, which will also offer a 6-speed manual as an option for the Sport and Sport Touring. Honda says the manual’s throws have been shortened and it uses a dual-mass flywheel to reduce drivetrain noise and vibration. The manual will especially help the base engine, which has a pretty narrow powerband.

Honda has not yet commented on future performance variants of the hatch, but we’re hoping to see it in both Si and Type R form at some point. The 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 in the outgoing Si makes 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, and the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 in the outgoing Type R spits out 306 hp and 295 lb-ft. Hopefully those numbers can grow a little bit as well.

The cabin design is basically the same as the sedan. This means digital screens for the gauge cluster (a partial digital screen is standard and a full digital screen is available on higher-line models) and infotainment, as well as standard wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Sport Touring will be the best equipped of the four trim levels by far; it will be the only way to get the larger 9.0-inch multimedia screen, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a wireless charging pad.

The 2022 Civic hatchback also offers a leg up on the sedan in cargo capacity, with 24.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. That slightly trails the last generation Civic hatch’s 25.7 cubic feet, but it easily beats the 2022 Civic sedan’s 14.8 cubic feet. The rear has a pair of privacy screens, one attached to the window and another that can be pulled across the top of the cargo area, to keep prying eyes away from valuables stored in the back.

While the sedan is being built at a plant in Alliston, Canada, the hatch will be sourced from a plant in Greensburg, Indiana. It will be the first time a Civic hatchback has been sourced from a U.S. plant. On-sale timing has not been announced, but Honda said the 2022 Civic will show up “later this year.” In the meantime, we are keenly on the watch for pricing and fuel economy numbers. 

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