By: Roger Rivero |
It is increasingly difficult to find a simple car, without complications that to some extent only serve as a distraction to the only purpose with which these machines have been conceived, that of driving. That’s why it has made me so happy that my test car, a Civic hatchback Sport, gives me back the confidence that there are manufacturers like Honda, who still want to please those who feel the sensations behind the wheel, without being aware of whether the stereo does not. Delivering the bass notes clearly enough, or if my windscreen wipers have not started to work automatically activated by rain. The Honda Civic hatchback Sport with manual transmission is one of the simplest cars you can find today.
Honda did not have 5-door hatchbacks in the market for some time, and on its return with its new generation, the number 10, is trying to excel among the competition that has gained ground with models such as the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 , Volkswagen Golf or the Hyundai Elantra GT. He does it with a somewhat “wild” style where there are plenty of aerodynamic ornaments that provoke opinions, some of them maybe negative, but something is clear, it is a car that does not go unnoticed in the street, and that is what Honda has proposed . It is impossible not to recognize that the Civic Hatchback Sport is a breath of fresh air in the sector.
Even more interesting is his behavior on the road. With 180 horses, this is not a “hot” hatchback, but it’s still fun to drive. Honda’s sporting credibility is part of its history, and making practical and economical cars that go in and out of the corners is something the new generation of the Civic has recovered. Reaching the 60 miles at 7.5 seconds is not a jumping mark, but there is genuine sportsmanship in its handling that makes you want to throw it on the road in ways you normally would not do with a compact sedan.
The six-speed manual transmission is docile, short and encourages you to use it as often as possible. The steering is light, although with limited road response, and the power of the engine is delivered fairly linear.
Something I did not like was the reduction delay in revolutions when you apply the clutch. There is perhaps a second in which the revolutions remain high, something that I provoke a certain exasperation.
Like Hatchback, this Honda does its job admirably. Although the inclined line of the roof suggests otherwise, there is ample room for five passengers – four would go better – and cargo. The advantage of this type of car, compared to the sedans on which they are based, is precisely a larger space for packaging, 25.7 cubic feet compared to 11.9 in the Civic sedan.
The base model LX Civic Hatchbacks starts at $ 19,700, and comes equipped with reverse camera – very necessary because the visibility of this car is not the best – automatic climate control, Bluetooth and 5-inch display for audio. The Sport model costs only $ 600 more, including 6 additional horsepower, leather trim on the steering wheel and shift lever, aluminum pedals and other exterior trim.
From the Sport, like the one we tried, the complexities and conveniences of which we spoke at the beginning begin to appear. The EX, EXL or Sport Touring ramp up prices by as much as $ 28,000 in basic price, and come with sunroof, lane assistance, 7-inch touch screen with HondaLink, Android Auto and Apply CarPlay, Front seats, digital and satellite radio, blind spot assist, right side camera, 540 Watt audio, and Honda Sensing security suite. In short, everything you do not need – but many appreciate – for a simple and enjoyable driving experience.
The return of Honda to the Hatchbacks was expected, but the surprises that will come based on this model have aroused great expectation. Soon to be marketed the Honda Hatchback Type R, a 2.0-liter, 306-horsepower turbo with manual transmission, which has enthusiasts very impatient.
For now, the best consolation prize is this Hatchback Sport, which has reminded us so much of the essence of a good car: simplicity and good handling. Is it that I am getting old?