This is our first look at the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback in the wild, though we already know what it’ll look like.
The 11th-generation Civic hatchback will have a subtler design than the outgoing hatch, as both the leaked patent images and these pictures from our spy photographers show.
While the current sedan and hatch have virtually identical tail lights, the new sedan and hatch differ in this respect.
The hatchback’s tail lights are situated higher than those of the sedan and have a different shape, and are connected by a strip – possibly illuminated – that spans the width of the hatch’s rear.
The current hatchback differs the most from the sedan in its racy rear bumper with large cut-outs. In stark contrast, the new hatch has a conservative new rear bumper for a cleaner look.
The beltline has also been lowered and no longer rises sharply aft of the B-pillar, though there’s still an upkick past the C-pillar.
It also appears there’s now a third window, though it’s been heavily camouflaged on the example our spy photographers captured.
The lower belt line appears to be a nod to Civic and Accord models of the 1980s and 1990s, and Honda says it’s also aimed for a “thin and light” body design with a low bonnet and front fenders.
Up front, the bumper is more conservative than before and the appearance of the headlights and grille resembles that of the larger Accord. Indeed, the overall look of the 2022 Civic hatch is aligned more closely with the Accord and the North American Insight.
The reveal late last year also showed Honda’s adopted a cleaner look for the interior, too, with a straightforward dashboard and air vents hidden within a full-width mesh accent.
For the first time, Honda will offer the Civic with a digital instrument cluster. The touchscreen infotainment system also grows from 7.0 inches to 9.0 inches.
The company says it’ll introduce “multiple new active and passive safety systems” and “multiple new airbag designs”, while a more rigid body structure improves occupant and pedestrian collision protection and improves refinement, ride quality and handling.
The sedan won’t be offered here as part of the 11th-generation range though the racy Type R hatch will live on.
“The Civic nameplate will continue as a core model in Honda’s line-up in Australia with the next generation, however, the sedan bodystyle will be run-out locally when the current model reaches the end of its lifecycle towards the middle of next year,” said a spokesperson from Honda Australia.
“The 11th generation Civic will be offered in the hatchback bodystyle preferred by the majority of small car buyers in Australia, including the performance Type R variant.”
Our hatchbacks will continue to be sourced from Thailand, though it appears the Type R may come from the US now that Honda’s Swindon plant in the UK is closing.
Honda has yet to reveal what will power the Civic.
The current car offers a choice of naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre (104kW/174Nm) and turbocharged 1.5-litre (127kW/220Nm) four-cylinder powertrains, both mated with a continuously-variable transmission.
The hot Type R has a 2.0-litre turbo four with 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque, mated with a six-speed manual.
While Honda has toned down the Civic’s styling for the 11th generation, the current generation’s sharp design undoubtedly helped revive Civic sales in Australia.
Introduced mid-way through 2016 in sedan form, with the hatchback following around 12 months later, the 10th generation has proven more popular than its predecessor.
Honda has sold more than 10,000 examples of the current car in each full year it’s been on sale until 2020, most years cresting 13,000 sales.
In contrast, the ninth-generation Civic exceeded 10,000 annual sales only twice during its 2012-16 run.