2017 Honda Civic RS Hatch
A Wannabe Type R?
Want a Honda Civic Type R but can run to the 50K+ asking price?
Then take a look at the Civic RS Hatch.
It’s not within a bull’s roar of the Type R in performance and handling terms but is getting close in the looks department.
And to be honest, the 1.5.litre, turbo petrol engine under the RS’s bonnet delivers plenty of zip especially when hooked up to Honda’s impressive, slick shifting CVT auto with paddles.
There are the twin, centre mount exhaust pipes hanging out the back and overt body aero add ons to boost RS’s looks. Wheels are conservative looking 17-inch alloys.
You’ll save about $20 grand into the bargain, not an insignificant amount at all.
In terms of bragging rights down the pub, you’ll come off second best up against the legendary Type R but you’ll be able to shout more often with the extra dosh in your kick.
Honda launched the Civic hatch earlier this year complementing their sedan.
In my opinion, neither is a good looker especially the rear end. The front is fairly `agro’ looking while the side profile looks like a fastback. Two ticks there.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE
The engine is good for 127kW and 220Nm giving the RS reasonably quick acceleration and strong roll-on response.
Fairly economical too at around 7.0-litres/100km (on test) using 91 unleaded without issues.
It has quick steering thanks to a novel dual pinion system and ride is sporty/supple thanks to conventional strut front suspension and a multi-link rear end.
The RS can be enjoyed when driven hard as in the winding mountain road scenario.
Equally, it is totally civilised in most other driving environments but only has a smattering of advanced driver assist technology.
It’s no match for Hyundai’s i30 SR though.
The RS is big, medium size really and has a large boot, plenty of luxury kit including HondaConnect infotainment.
Button start, 7-inch touch screen, decent audio, LED headlights, reverse camera and leather figure among a generous list of standard kit.
But no hard wired satnav, that has to be streamed through your phone.
➔ Impressive engine performance
➔ Happily runs on 91 unleaded
➔ Roomy interior
➔ Distinctive looks
➔ Agile handling
➔ Snappy CVT with paddle shift
➔ Can be economical
➔ Scores LED headlights
➔ Some driver assist tech’
➔ Heated front seats and leather
➔ Decent infotainment system
NOT SO MUCH
➔ Confusing side left turn rear view CAMERA
➔ No hardwired satnav
➔ Not enough driver assist technology
➔ Ugly rear end
ENGINE: 1.5-litre turbo, direct injection, petrol four cylinder 127kW/220Nm
TRANSMISSION: CVT `auto’ with paddle shift
THIRST: 7.0-litres/100km (tested)
0-100KMH: Approximately 6.756 seconds
Holden Astra RS $30,740, Ford Focus Titanium $32,690, Hyundai i30 SR Premium $33,950, Mazda 3 SP25 Astina $33,490