The listed price for the FL1 Honda Civic Hatchback means that there’s an almost-RM 40k premium for the hatchback variant. Keep in mind that the unit we checked out is the upper-spec EX trim.
So, what does the additional money get you? Let’s dive straight in.
First things first – the unique body design. The current-generation FL1 Honda Civic Hatchback can be considered as a unicorn in these parts of the world, seeing that Honda does not officially offer the FL1 Civic Hatchback in Malaysia, Singapore, or even Thailand.
A couple of years ago, Honda did offer a hatchback version of the FK1 Civic Hatchback in Thailand, but due to sales being only a fraction of the sedan, it’s no surprise why they decided not to continue with the FL1-generation model.
At a quick glance, the FL1 Civic Hatchback looks very similar to the FE1 Civic sedan, but pay more attention to the smaller details and you’ll notice the subtle differences between the made-in-Saitama and made-in-Pegoh models.
For example, the headlights. Yes, while both the Japan-market and our local Civic offer LED headlights, that’s where the similarities end. The Japanese FL1 Civic Hatchback, in the EX trim, offers LED projectors up front, as well as two LED cornering lights on the edges.
Our Malaysian-spec Civic, regardless of variant, only offer LED reflector headlights.
The front grille also differs – the Japan-spec FL1 Civic Hatchback gets honeycomb-type front grille inserts, as opposed to the horizontal inserts on the Malaysian-spec Civic.
In fact, if you looked closely at the passenger-side mirror, you’ll notice that it lacks the LaneWatch camera that most Honda owners are familiar with, as Japan is one of the few markets where Honda has gradually phased out LaneWatch in favour of Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM).
Lift the tailgate up and you’re greeted by a 404-litre boot, marginally smaller than the sedan’s 497-litre boot.
The hatchback gets a nifty retractable tonneau cover. Being retractable means that it’s more convenient and easier to stow away when you need to transport larger objects in the boot.
Stepping inside and the FL1 Civic Hatchback is nearly identical to the sedan we’re familiar with, but with some minor differences.
The most obvious difference is the Japanese language in the 10.25-inch fully-digital instrument cluster and infotainment system. There’s also the customary ETC 2.0 on-board device, responsible for both toll collection and receive real-time traffic information. As nice as it sounds, the ETC 2.0 device obviously does not work here.
Being the top-spec EX variant (barring the FL5 Type R, that is) also means that this FL1 Civic Hatchback comes with a 12-speaker Bose sound system.
Even the air-conditioning system has some subtle differences. We noticed that this particular unit is equipped with seat heater for both front seats, as well heated side mirrors. Turning the air-conditioning on also revealed that this Civic Hatchback is fitted with the Panasonic PlasmaCluster ionizer.
Towards the centre console, the Japan-spec FL1 Civic Hatchback offers Auto Start/Stop, as evident from the button behind the Drive mode selector. In our Malaysian-spec Civic, said spot is a blank, regardless of variant.
One ace where the Pegoh-assembled Civic has over its Japanese sibling is the inclusion of the space saver spare tyre; the Japanese car does not offer a spare tyre, only a tyre repair kit.
With all said and done, the FL1 Honda Civic Hatchback does offer several differences compared to the FE1 Civic we’re familiar with. Whether or not it’s worth the RM 37,500 price premium, that one is entirely up to you.