Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Civic Hatchback Creates Open-Ended Debate

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Civic Hatchback Creates Open-Ended Debate

Article excerpt

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring: Better than the sedan?

Price: $29,175 as tested (no options on test vehicle). A base hatchback can be had for aa little as $19,700.

Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver magazine liked the "look-at-me design, great balance of fun and comfort, tons of tech" but not the "get-a-look-at-that-guy design, no volume knob."

Marketer's pitch: "Beyond bold."

Reality: There must be magic in the hatch.

Civic war: Regular Driver's Seat readers will know that Mr. Driver's Seat has had his issues with the Honda Civic. A revamp for the 2012 model year left myself and many other reviewers underwhelmed, and a more recent review of a 2016 version left the old spine so twisted as to conjure up images of Berks County's own Sturgis Pretzels (no relation).

So with some trepidation, I scheduled the all-new Civic Hatchback. Although readers may believe otherwise, writing bad reviews is not the joy of my miserable little life. I especially don't like writing bad reviews about Hondas, whose PR team can be a sensitive lot.

What is it: It's a Civic with a hatchback, as the name implies. No real mystery. The new look - with a rounded off hatch - is strictly love it or hate it. I loved it; 16-year-old Sturgis Kid 4.0 hated it.

"A fun little car": When the fleet driver who delivered the Civic arrived with those words, I was heartened. I called the 2012 "a comfortable, sensible, sturdy shoe."

On the road: The Civic Sport was no Si, but it definitely lived up to the Sport name. Handling on curves was enjoyable, and the Civic exhibited a sprightly feel.

Driver's Seat: This item has become the backbone of my contention as a Civic complainant. Many drivers like a lot of lumbar support, but I tend to turn it all the way off. In the Civic, there was no off, leaving me with a sore back and thigh pain that disappeared two days after the car left.

Not so the Civic Hatchback. I spent a week in complete comfort, and my kidneys were able to relax after being braced for the worst. (If you've ever walked around with nervous kidneys, it's not fun.) The leather-covered seat is not soft by any stretch, but no columnists were harmed in the making of this review. …

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