Honda's new Civic hatch goes official, with more sophisticated styling, a hi-tech cabin and the option of hybrid power from 2022.
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The 2022 Honda Civic hatch has been officially unveiled ahead of its Australian launch in the fourth quarter of 2021 (October to December) – and it will eventually come with the option of hybrid power.

Following the unveiling of the new Civic sedan in April, Honda has taken the wraps off the 11th-generation Civic hatch, the sole body style for Australia as the sedan will be dropped locally.

Previewed by patent images in late 2020, the new-generation Civic opts for a more conservative look than its edgy, sharply-creased predecessor, with slim LED headlights and sporty lower intakes all shared with the sedan – though the hatch does benefit from unique honeycomb grille patterns and a tweaked upper grille.

A single, sharp body line follows to the hatch’s unique rear end, where there’s an Accord-like D-pillar graphic, a large ‘liftback’ tailgate, dual exhaust outlets, and LED tail-lights connected across the rear by a full-width light bar (which draws some visual parallels with the rear-drive Kia Stinger).

Inside, the sedan’s cabin is all but carried over to the five-door, with a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto and satellite navigation taking centre stage on higher grades (with cheaper models sticking with a 7.0-inch unit).

A 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver on flagship models – a first for the Civic hatch – replacing a 7.0-inch part-digital cluster on base grades. Drivers grip a new steering wheel design with multifunction controls.

As per the sedan, the honeycomb grille pattern stretching across the width of the dashboard doubles as the air conditioning vents, while physical infotainment controls return for the new year.

Available interior features include leather upholstery, heated seats, wireless phone charging, and a 12-speaker premium Bose sound system.

A full suite of Honda Sensing active safety technologies are on offer, including forward autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, traffic-jam assist, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and low-speed reverse AEB.

A total of 10 airbags feature, including rear-side and redesigned frontal airbags designed to reduce head trauma during a collision.

2022 Honda Civic hatch engines – and there's a hybrid!

Australian models at launch will be powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – spelling the end of the entry-level 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated engine offered in base versions of the outgoing model.

Outputs have yet to be locked in for Australia, though Honda promises it will be "uprated" over its predecessor – likely mirroring the 134kW and 240Nm outputs claimed in the US. Expect it to be mated to a CVT automatic transmission with front-wheel drive.

Of more interest will be the all-new 'e:HEV' hybrid option, set to reach Australian showrooms sometime in 2022 – granting the Japanese brand a rival to the segment-leading Toyota Corolla Hybrid, after a long hiatus.

Outputs and fuel economy figures for the powertrain have yet to be confirmed, though Honda's confirmation that the system features dual electric motors suggests it's related to the HR-V small SUV's hybrid powertrain, which develops 96kW.

American buyers will be also be offered a 118kW/187Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder on entry-level cars, along with a six-speed manual transmission – though whether either will ever be offered in Australia isn't clear.

Above and below: US-spec Honda Civic hatch shown, versus Japanese models shown elsewhere.

Three drive modes (Econ, Normal and Sport) are available. CVT-equipped cars feature paddle shifters for the transmission's simulated gear 'ratios', while the manual claims to offer shorter shift throws and a new dual-mass flywheel.

The flagship Type R will return for another generation in 2022, with the Japanese brand recently confirming it will retain its six-speed manual transmission – suggesting the much-rumoured switch to plug-in hybrid power might not happen after all.

2022 Honda Civic hatch dimensions and practicality

The new Civic hatch measures in at 4549mm long, 1801mm wide and 1415mm high, riding on a 2736mm wheelbase – 34mm longer overall, 2mm wider, 6mm lower and 36mm longer in wheelbase than the outgoing model.

For a sportier appearance, the windscreen pillars have been pushed back by 50mm, while the car's rear track has been widened by 13mm.

It rides on a new platform shared with the sedan, claimed to offer 19 per cent greater torsional rigidity, improved noise, vibration and harshness, and reworked suspension components for a more dynamic driving experience.

Honda quotes 693 litres of boot space – though that figure has been measured up to the roof, rather than the window line, the latter standard used in Australia. The hatch opening is 41mm wider than before, while the second row can fold in a 60:40 split.

There's claimed to be a 35mm-increase in rear legroom. Rear headroom is similar to the outgoing model despite a lower overall body, thanks to redesigned tailgate hinges.

When will the 2022 Honda Civic hatch launch in Australia?

Honda Australia has confirmed the 2022 Honda Civic hatch will go on sale in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2021 (October to December inclusive).

The hybrid model will follow in 2022, with the halo Type R due the same year.

It has yet to be confirmed where the new model will be built.


Below: The outgoing Honda Civic hatch