Honda Civic Hatchback
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Honda Civic Hatchback:
Honda Civics used to come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, from the stubby little CRX to the tall, all-wheel-drive Civic wagon. But long ago, the funneling effect of mainstream consumer tastes (another way to say that we are all sheep) caused Honda to pare the Civic line to its two biggest sellers, the sedan and the coupe.
Well, that Anglo-American pipeline is back in business as Honda’s Swindon, England, assembly plant once again swings into action to produce a Civic hatchback for America. The return of the hatch as a younger, sportier, and more male-oriented alternative to the sedan and coupe was made possible by last year’s introduction of a common Civic platform for all global markets.
Now that there is One Civic to Unite Us All, Honda has a better business case for importing less-popular variants to the U.S. Here, the hatchback, which carries a $500-and-up premium over the sedan, is being plugged into the compact segment as a way to grow incremental volume—basically, it’s found money—and, possibly, as a way to stanch the outflow of compact-sedan buyers to crossovers. Honda finally sees some movement in America’s long-dormant ardor for hatchbacks and is hoping for 40,000 to 50,000 sales per year, a number that would give total Civic volume a healthy bump indeed. That is, assuming they aren’t mostly swiped from the Civic sedan and coupe buyer pool. The forthcoming hatch-only Type R will certainly help draw attention to this new bustleback body style as well.
The most obvious physical differences, besides the lack of a trunk, are the goth black face paint for the exterior trim and the faux duct inserts in the bumpers, which make the hatchback seem less like a car and more like a robot with terminally flared nostrils. As we said, it’s supposed to appeal to youth, who, apparently, want to be seen as having a lot of hot gas to expel.