2017 Honda Civic Hatchback vs 2017 Volkswagen Golf

The first Honda Civic was a hatchback, but the style went out of vogue for a while and Honda followed the trend that was so obviously leaning toward sedans. Things are changing, and the Civic Hatchback has returned due to popular demand. Competition remains stiff, however, which is why so many shoppers find themselves comparing the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback vs 2017 Volkswagen Golf. It’s a fair comparison, too, because these two models started off as close competition from the start. Unlike Honda, VW never decided to lose the hatchback body style, but does that give the German automaker an advantage?

Despite a 12-year hiatus, it seems the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback is making a strong return. Like the Golf, the Civic Hatchback benefits from a turbocharged engine for more power output, but the engineers over at Honda used clever engineering to make a much more efficient option.

New Honda Civic Hatchback


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback LX (manual) vs 2017 Volkswagen Golf S (manual)
1.5-liter turbo four; 174 hp, 167 lb-ft Engine 1.8-liter turbo four; 170hp; 199 lb-ft
30 city/39 hwy * Fuel Economy 25 city/36 hwy
25.7 cu. ft. Cargo Space 22.8 cu. ft.
122.9 cu. ft. Total Interior Space 116.3 cu. ft.

Is the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback better than the VW Golf?

One of the reasons the Civic and Golf became so popular, back when the Golf was known as the “Rabbit,” is because the models were both inexpensive and provided surprising power for their size. Now, more than four decades later, the same proves true. If you happen to have been cruising around back in the day, you’ll note that things have changed in many ways. Styling is less boxy and more focused on a sporty exterior, at least for Honda, and interior space is a lot more impressive. Neither brand is offering up a model that feels like a budget option, even if they are both affordable, because standard features include things like Bluetooth, power functions, and infotainment systems—things that simply didn’t exist in the 1970s.

So with modern options available, how do you decide between the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback and the 2017 Volkswagen Golf? We think the answer is easy. Power figures are similar, so you won’t be suffering for acceleration with either, but you will certainly notice the difference in fuel economy, especially for city driving. This is even more pronounced if you upgrade the Honda Civic Hatchback from the manual transmission to the ultra-efficient CVT. The Golf only offers a six-speed automatic upgrade, and it doesn’t offer a substantial increase to fuel economy figures.

Another main reason shoppers opt for a hatchback is undeniably the increase in space. You’ll notice the Civic Hatchback not only has more overall space, but you’ll definitely notice the extra space behind the rear seats.

One final thing to note is that the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback comes in four trim levels, which is double what the 2017 Volkswagen Golf is offering. It’s true you can move up to other Golf models in the Volkswagen lineup, but you’ll be paying more for style rather than additional features. If you’re simply looking for safety or convenience upgrades, like navigation and driver assistance, you’d be better off sticking with Honda.

Still not sure? Contact us here at Cale Yarborough Honda to see how you can get behind the wheel of a 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.

*Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Transmission
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Steering Wheel and Gauge Cluster
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Exhaust
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Rear End

2017 Honda Accord Florence SC
2017 Honda HR-V Florence SC