Having debuted in June, the Honda Civic Hatchback will be made available in its home market of Japan starting September 3. Ahead of its on-sale date, Honda has released full details on the 11th-generation C-segment model, including pricing, specifications and equipment.

The five-door body style is the only one offered in Japan, with the sole engine option being the ubiquitous 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine. Retuned to deliver more power, quicker throttle response and a more linear power delivery, it now produces 182 PS at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm – increases of 9 PS and 20 Nm over the previous engine.

Unlike the sedan sold in the United States, the hatch is still being offered with a six-speed manual gearbox option (now fitted with a shorter and more rigid shifter) in addition to the CVT. Honda is claiming a combined fuel consumption figure of 16.3 km per litre on the WLTP cycle for both transmissions.

As previously reported, the new Civic Hatchback measures 4,550 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,415 mm tall, making it 30 mm longer and 20 mm lower than its predecessor – although its rear overhang is actually 20 mm shorter. The wheelbase has also grown 35 mm to 2,735 mm.

Design-wise, the hatch builds on the more mature design of the sedan but with a few tweaks beyond the truncated rear. The front end with its slim LED headlights and aggressive triple air intakes is similar, but there’s also a larger concave grille that is exclusive to the hatch, replete with a hexagonal mesh in lieu of the sedan’s horizontal slats. The body-coloured bar above the grille is slimmer as a result.

Along the side, the longer bonnet and the distinctive chrome window strip that extends into the C-pillars have been retained. However, the strong shoulder line now leads into a rear end that is 125 mm shorter than the sedan’s, along with a full-width taillight design that integrates the third brake light. The rear windscreen has also been made larger to improve rear visibility, ditching the split design of the outgoing model.

Meanwhile, the lightweight composite hatch and the more outwards positioning of the hinges have allowed the top of the tailgate to sit 50 mm lower, creating a sleeker roofline without compromising rear headroom. Rounding off the sportier look are the large twin trapezoidal tailpipes and a black rear diffuser.

Inside, the hatch shares the sedan’s new Audi-like dashboard, featuring a freestanding infotainment touchscreen, a hexagonal metal mesh covering for the full-width air vents and the use of more premium soft-touch materials and tactile switchgear.

Larger rear side windows, including a new quarter light window, make for a more airy feel for passengers at the back – who also enjoy 35 mm of extra legroom. Boot space measures 452 litres, which is actually 26 litres less than before; however, the tailgate opening is now 40 mm wider to make it easier to load items in. The hatch also retains its 60:40 split-folding rear seats and the outgoing model’s novel side-pull cargo cover.

In Japan, the Civic is available in two variants. The base LX comes with full-LED headlights, 18-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels, heated part-leatherette seats, a seven-inch instrument display and a nine-inch HondaConnect infotainment touchscreen that is two inches larger than previously offered.

The EX adds LED fog lights, a darkened alloy wheel finish, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats (the latter being new to the Civic), a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, Ultrasuede upholstery, a Qi wireless smartphone charger and a new 12-speaker Bose sound system.

Both models come with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety systems, now upgraded with Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) that combines the functionality of the adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist to provide Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, even at low speeds (below 65 km/h). The EX is also the first Honda to come with an Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) function that blocks off certain parts of the high beam to avoid dazzling other road users.

Other new features include front and rear pedal misapplication control and low-speed autonomous emergency braking. They join the rest of the Honda Sensing suite that includes autonomous emergency braking, evasive steering assist, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and front departure alert. The Civic also now gets knee airbags for both front occupants, bumping up the airbag count to eight.

Under the skin, the Civic utilises ultra-high-strength steel in its construction along with an aluminium bonnet to keep weight down to a minimum. The chassis has been tuned to deliver nimble handling, greater cornering and straight-line stability, improved refinement and a sophisticated ride, enhanced by the inclusion of Agile Handling Assist brake-activated torque vectoring.

Pricing of the Japanese-market Civic Hatchback ranges from 3,190,000 yen (RM122,500) for the LX to 3,539,800 yen (RM135,900) for the EX. The impending launch is just the start, as Honda has already confirmed that an e:HEV hybrid model and a new Type R will arrive next year.