The Honda Civic hatchback is a car I have mixed feelings about. It’s a nicely-equipped, roomy, affordable, comfortable, fuel-efficient, versatile little hauler with an above-average 1.5 liter turbo motor. These are all good things. But it’s also fugly. Why’d you have to make it so bad-looking, Honda?

The problem with the Civic hatchback’s styling is it takes an already awkward-looking car in the Civic sedan, and compresses it into a shorter overall length. All the weird styling elements like the windows with chrome trim along their top but not bottom edge, get smushed to look a little bit worse.

Seriously, I hate the chrome window trim on all of the body styles of this generation of Civic. It’s crap. It’s extra terrible on the hatchback because unlike the sedan which has real C-pillar quarter windows, the hatchback has stupid fake black plastic C-pillar quarter “windows” that aren’t windows at all.

Also, the hatchback has gaping not-vents in its bumpers that try to look sporty which totally don’t go with the small base wheels and tall tires. Those are most definitely not sporty-looking.

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The only thing positive I can say about the hatchback’s styling is it’s not quite as awkward as the coupe.

Fuck that window trim, and fuck this green color, in particular.

I also kinda hate that the Civic Si with its slightly uprated horsepower, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, and lovely-lovely close ratio manual transmission with an honest-to-god helical gearset LSD are not available on the hatchback. Yes yes, I know the hatchback is made in England and the Si is unique to America and only made in American factories that aren’t set up to build the hatch, but still. Honda went out of its way to make not one but two Sport trims on the hatch but you only get the actual good sporty stuff on the sedan and coupe. Or the Type-R hatch, of course.

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But the other day, I happened to see a Sonic Gray Civic Sport hatchback. All Civic hatchbacks have blacked out grilles but the Sport replaces all the chrome trim, adds some tacked-on looking black lower body spoilers, and bigger wheels that at least flow with the styling while also making the brakes look tiny. Fog lights get added to the lower corners of the front bumper to visually break up the ridiculously large wannabe-Lamborghini not-vents.

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I definitely noticed it, because it’s an almost non-metallic looking gray, kinda like the original Audi TT, and overall it made the styling more...something.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it looks good, but it at least looks less bad. So that’s something, I guess.