With a Civic, you pretty much think you know what you’re gonna get. However, this ones a little bit revolutionary. The 2017 Honda Civic 5-door exceeded my expectations. I’ll run through the bullet points of what really stood out.
You can get the Civic 5-door Sport, with the 1.5 TURBO engine, and the 6-SPEED transmission, for just 22.5K window sticker. That’s a sweet spot! And that INCLUDES the Sport aero package (ground effects), the center-exit exhaust tips, and the 18-inch wheels. If you’re going to use this car as a tuning platform of any sort, that’s a pretty great starting point.
And if you’re just using it as a basic commuter, that’s a ton of value & visual appeal for the money.
The 5-door Civic is manufactured in the UK & shipped to the US. Pretty cool. Also, Honda will not make an Si version of the 5-door in the US. The Si models will come in the coupe, and the sedan chassis (both made in America)… and the Type R will be the 5-door. All of which makes that $22,000 price tag look more pure & enticing.
The 1.5 turbo engine is quick out of the box. It’s probably not gonna blow your socks off… but it’s a solid starting point for the Civic, and definitely enhances the 22K price tag. The excitement is not what horsepower ‘it makes’… but rather what it ‘will make’ in the aftermarket. Forced induction changes the game for the Civic. Even simple bolt-ons & flash-tunes are going to have big results. And the aftermarket has already developed plug-&-play tunes that are substantially bumping horsepower – without having to turn a wrench.
The clutch is awkward. Honda must have stuck a heavy flywheel in the car (or something), in order to keep revs from falling-off between shifts. Maybe they did it in an effort to keep the car ‘in boost’ & keep the power up. But from 1st-to-2nd gear, and 2nd-to-3rd gear… the RPMs want to spike when you push the clutch in (that’s backwards). I thought maybe there was just a learning curve to it, but after a week, it still didn’t feel natural. It works fine, but you literally have to back out of the gas all together, and then wait for a split-second before you push in the clutch. The effect decreases as you move up through the gears, but 1-2 and 2-3 are annoying. A clutch/flywheel would be on my short-list mods for this car, if I were planning to modify it.
Honda did a great job making the interior of the Civic 5-door ‘fit’ really well. Driver/passengers sit fairly low in the car, the console is at elbow level, and the windshield feels wide & stretched – all in a good way. It gives you a natural sensory connection to the Civic. You don’t feel like you’re driving the Civc from a park bench, you feel like you’re driving it from a cockpit. The Sport model has a nicely trimmed black interior. It has everything you need, and nothing you don’t – no gimmicks. Fit & finish is Honda clean, Honda functional, and built to last.
The driving ‘feel’ of the 5-door Civic Sport might be a little light… but push it through a corner, and it still gets the job done without slowing the pace. That’s just kind of the Honda way. Steering & clutch have little resistance to them. Same with the gear-shifts: They’re light, but also precise & deliberate. Perhaps I would like a little more feedback, to engage me more with the car. Having said that… driving this car is easy-peasy, and that counts for something. So perhaps it’s good just the way it is.
The 5-door has a seriously impressive amount of useable cargo space. With the rear seats folded down, I was able to slide my mountain bike in the back… without having to remove the wheels! If you’re not used to bikes as a unit of measurement lol, this is straight-up a feat of mystery in what is labeled as a ‘compact car’.
Even with the rear seats up, there is a lot of trunk space to be used on the daily. In fact, if you’re seriously packing things in, I think the ‘weight’ of the cargo might add up & be an issue before the ‘size’ of the cargo. The pure functionality of this car is amazing. And even with all the space, the Civic Sport does not feel bulky. That’s what amazed me. In fact – it’s a very trimmed, maneuverable car.
It’s hard to put the words ‘sensible’ and ‘performance’ in the same sentence, but that’s honestly what the 5-door Civic Sport does.