Yup, the headline is no bait. The Volkswagen Scirocco is a constant presence in this Thai ad of the Honda Civic Hatchback. We don’t really understand the ad (Thai language experts, or those with friends from the Land of Smiles, help is welcome), but presume that this rare occurrence of a rival car in an ad means that Honda sees VW’s three-door, low-roofed hatch as a target. True rivals?

Honda launched the 2017 Civic Hatchback earlier this month in Thailand. The five-door hatch is available in a sole 1.5L Turbo CVT variant, priced at 1.169 million baht (RM149,094). Like the sedan, the L15B7 turbo-four produces 173 PS at 5,500 rpm and 220 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. No six-speed manual option for Thailand.

The Civic Hatchback’s styling is differed from the sedan with unique front and rear bumpers that have large, faux inlets and outlets, the latter of which is fitted with fog lamps. Meanwhile, the shortened rear hosts a tailgate and roof spoiler and C-shaped taillights.

Dimension wise, the hatchback shares the same width (1,798 mm) and wheelbase (2,700 mm) as the sedan, but it’s taller (+20 mm) and shorter by 112 mm. The hatchback also trades some rear passenger space for extra cargo room, where a claimed 727 litres is available with the rear seats up, against the booted car’s 519 litres.

Standard kit include 17-inch alloys (with 215/50 tyres), LED headlights/DRLs/fog lamps, dual-zone air-con, a digital instrument panel, seven-inch touchscreen head unit (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), paddle shifters, multi-function steering wheel and black leather upholstery.

Also in are smart entry and push button start, remote engine start, cruise control, auto brake hold, 60:40 split-folding rear seats, reverse camera, and powered front seats. Safety-wise, the Civic Hatch comes with six airbags, VSA and Hill Start Assist. Black Burgundy Night Pearl is the signature colour for the bodystyle, and it’s a 6,000 baht option. Also 6k baht dearer is Crystal Black Pearl, while Orchid White Pearl is a 10,000 baht option.

Like what you see? Will you have the sedan or hatchback, if the latter was sold here? For once, I’d have a sleek Civic sedan over a Civic hatchback, as this writer prefers straight backs (Golf, 308) over hunchbacks (Lancer Sportback, Suprima S, Mk2 Focus).

GALLERY: Thai-spec Honda Civic Hatchback