2017 Honda Civic RS hatch review: Long-term report six – farewell

$32,290 Mrlp
  • Fuel Economy
    6.1L
  • Engine Power
    127kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    142g
  • ANCAP Rating
    N/A

Our three months in the 2017 Honda Civic RS flew by, and now Matt Campbell doesn't want to give it back.

I’m going to miss my 2017 Honda Civic RS hatch. Notice how I’ve called it mine? That’s because, after living with it for the past few months, I’ve got to know it really well. And I wish it was mine.

I’ve grown accustomed to its idiosyncrasies and quirks, but more importantly, I know why I’ve been charmed by it. There are three main reasons, and I have to tell you them before they make me hand it back.

A lot of what I like about the Civic comes down to the overall impression I get from the drive experience.

I mean, sure – this is the RS model, and I kinda hate that it’s called the RS, because it’s not really sporty at all. It’s just a sporty looking model, where other RS hatchbacks in this class are properly kick arse – like the Ford Focus RS, for example.

That said, the Civic RS has some hallmarks of a hot hatch. Like the steering, which is direct and really fast, meaning it feels really easy to change directions in corners. It’s fun to drive fast.

But not all of us drive through a series of bendy bits every day. And that’s the next reason I’ll miss this thing: it’s a brilliant commuter car.

The seating position is excellent, and you can sit down really low in the car if you want – which is a huge bonus to me, because I want a small car to feel like a small car, and that’s what this driving position does. You’re hunkered in. Not only that, the seat comfort is really good, but it doesn’t have memory settings – which is a pain if you’re swapping drivers a bit.

And the ride comfort is, for me at least, the best you can get at this price. There’s a great combination of control over bumps and cushioning, too. I struggle to find much to complain about, there.

And point number three as to why I’ll miss the Civic? The interior – it’s a really nice place to be, not just because of those seats, but because it’s got some of those Honda smarts when it comes to interior storage.

The massive bin between the front seats is capacious enough that you could lose a small child in there, and the door pockets are big, too. It’s a smart space, with the clever little shelf in front of the shifter offering you an option to poke through your phone cable to keep things tidy.

According to some of the dads in the office the height of the Civic’s back seat is a bit of a pain if you’ve got kids – I guess that’s where the CR-V comes in, because it offers a more load-friendly height. But for adults there’s good space in the back seat.

The boot is great, too – even this RS model, which has a smaller capacity due to those silly twin exhausts, is handy in size.

All that leads me with my biggest question over the Civic hatch: its styling.

I did a quick ask around the office to see what everyone in our Sydney team thought of it – is it good looking, or not? – and here’s what they said:

  • “It’s interesting.”
  • “I really like it – it’s quite modern.”
  • “I’m not a fan – I think it has two too many doors.”
  • “It’s very sporty, it makes me want to jump in the car and go for a spin.”
  • “I really like it, there’s a bit of formula one tech on the spoilers and the winglets, particularly at the rear – I really love the rear.”
  • “I reminds me of a mullet – business at the front, party at the back. But that’s not a party I’d want to go to.”
  • “The RS is supposed to look sporty, but I don’t see much sport in this.”
  • “If you’re into sci-fi it’s probably a positive, because it looks like a Storm Trooper from Star Wars.”
  • “Some people may not like it, it could be a bit too over the top. But, you know, don’t buy it!”

It’s not my job to tell you if a car is attractive, but to me, the big concern would be how it will age. I mean, I wasn’t aware of the lines and curves when I was sitting inside the car, but when I’d walk back to it after I’d been into the shops, I did find myself thinking: “hmmmm… this may not age too well”.

All that aside, I will miss my Civic hatch. Don’t get me wrong – I’d totally buy the sedan instead, because to me it looks sooooo much better – but this is still an impressive offering in the small car space.

  • Odometer reading upon vehicle return: 6565km
  • Travel over life of loan: 5165km
  • Fuel consumption average over life of loan: 6.8L/100km
  • Fuel cost over life of loan: $422.55

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