2017 Honda Civic Hatchback revealed ahead of Type-R

Honda sells its Civic by the bucketload, so anticipation is high for this, the all-new 2017 Civic Hatchback due to arrive at US dealerships this fall. The third body-style of the latest Civic to see a release, it's of particular interest to American fans of the compact since this is actually the first time they'll be able to buy the five-door version.

Honda started its Civic assault with the Civic Sedan, which we drove back in late 2015, promptly winning 2016 North American Car of the Year. It followed that with the Civic Coupe earlier this year, but the hatchback promises to be the most flexible version yet.

That's because, even though it's built on the same platform as the sedan and coupe, it offers both more cargo and passenger space and – courtesy of that fifth "door" – more readily-available space too. Compared to the Civic Sedan's 97.8 cubic feet of interior space, the Civic Hatchback has 122.9 cubic feet.

Under the hood will be a single engine option, Honda's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, tuned either for 174 HP and 162 lb-ft. of torque in the LX, EX, and EX-L trims, or for 180 GP and 162 lb-ft. of torque in the Sport and Sport Touring.

LX, Sport, and EX models will optionally be fitted with a six-speed manual transmission; otherwise, you're looking at a CVT which Honda claims has been tuned for more sporting feel than you might typically expect. EPA fuel economy ratings haven't been finalized yet, though Honda is predicting 31/40/34 mpg on the tougher 2017 city/highway/combined tests.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available on EX or higher models, as will heated front seats and side mirrors, power seats in the front, remote engine stat, and Honda Sensing, the company's various active safety systems. When fitted, that'll include adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane-keeping assistance, and all the other features we've tested on recent Honda cars and trucks, most recently the 2017 Ridgeline.

Of course, much of the excitement round the Civic Hatchback is because of the upcoming Civic Type-R which, as with the European version of the hot hatch, will be based on the five-door model in the US, too. That's expected to hit American forecourts in 2017, though Honda is keeping details like performance close to its chest.