Well, we have a first here Autoblog baggage test HQ: The first time I’ve done the next generation of a brand/model that’s already been tested in the luggage. I know, right, very exciting. This is the first time I can report on how a vehicle performs in comparison his immediate predecessor. How this is the Honda Civic Hatchback, I can also show you how it compares to the Honda Civic sedan and the mechanically related Acura Integra. So many. comparisons!
In short, the Civil is a definitive example of why you can’t really compare the cargo volume numbers of a sedan and a hatchback (or station wagon, SUV, or any other hatchback). The specs say the hatchback has 24.8 cubic feet of space while the Civic sedan has 14.8, but as I’ll show you in a moment, the sedan actually has more room to hold bags or whatever. This is already a phenomenon that I have covered with the Integra and its 24.3 cubic foot trunk. Apparently that half cube makes a difference as it actually made it easier to load bags into the Civic hatch.
Above Civic hatchback, below left Civic sedan, below right Integra
Some important observations here with this trio. The Civic sedan is 4 inches longer than the Civic hatchback, which is almost entirely behind the rear axle. This gives its trunk a longer length than the hatchback, which is more useful for loading luggage. The Civic hatchback (and Integra) has more height, which increases the cubic foot count, but doesn’t really help in this test as I don’t pack on the roof for safety, visibility, and consistency.
If you lower the rear seats, it’s a whole different ballgame, but I’ll get to that later.
Now to the bags. As with every luggage test I do, I use two medium-sized trolleys that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two trolleys that just about fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller trolley -Aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I’m also adding my wife’s fancy holdall just to spice things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
You can really see the difference in stem length here. In the sedan (above right) you can attach the small roll-up bag behind the four largest bags in a row. This is definitely not possible with the tailgate at the top left.
In short, all bags fit in all cars (with a few asterisks). It fit in the sedan much more easily, though, and you can see there’s some extra room on either side of the egg-breaker hinges. The bags are squeezed very hard into the tailgate, with the chic bag stacked on top. It’s held in place by the headrests, however, and doesn’t obstruct vision significantly more than the fixed headrests themselves. It was a similar situation in the Integra, but it was definitely a tighter fit, as the fancy bag was crushed and the tonneau cover had to be removed.
Speaking of cargo area covers…
Like its predecessor, the latest-generation Civic hatchback features a unique tonneau cover. It runs left to right across the cargo area cover in an easy to remove and store cartridge. So I didn’t see the need to do this test with and without the tonneau cover like I usually do. If you get stuck and need the maximum cargo space and forget to remove the cargo area cover, it doesn’t matter at all.
However, I left the second load compartment cover in place. Pictured above, bottom right, it fills the gap between the cartridge cover and the base of the rear window. It didn’t hinder loading at all, but you could remove it if you wanted or wanted it.
The Integra basically has a larger rigid tonneau cover of this variety, which again I had to remove to match the number of bags stored in both Civics. Hold it in place, and not only will you leave a bag behind, but one of the fellow passengers dislodged the cover from its locking point when the hatch closed.
To conclude the comparison bit, your order is: the Civic sedan holds the most luggage and does so easily, followed by the Civic hatchback and then the Integra. The gaps between them are all significant.
OK, so now let’s expand this discussion of the Civic hatchback cargo area literally…
You can’t stuff that huge box up there in a Civic sedan, but as you can obviously see, it did in the tailgate.
Do you see, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer L was not the only test vehicle that helped me with my last move. I’ve had an automatic and very blue Civic Touring Civic Touring about a month after the gray manual shown above and have definitely put it to good use.
Top left is some luggage, a furniture truck on top of something I don’t remember/can’t identify, and a disassembled Little Tykes toddler playground. On the top right is a medium-sized plastic bucket, a home entertainment soundbar, and a whole ton of vacuum storage bags filled with clothes. Not only did all of this fit in the Civic hatchback with the rear seat lowered, the hatchback made it WAAAAAAAY easier to load than it would have been in the sedan. And as we’ve already seen, I enjoyed more space than in the Integra.
With the rear seat folded up and luggage, the sedan is king. The hatchback is significantly more versatile, however, and I’d argue that that versatility would probably be more appreciated in the long run.
And wow, I almost forgot: how it compares to the last-gen Civic hatchback I tested in December 2019 in the form of the Type R (and remember, everyone new 2023 Civic Type R is also a hatchback).
As you can see, the Tetris formation was similar, but the fancy pockets are much higher and closer to the roof. It’s close to being disallowed by the baggage test judges (me). This definitely illustrates the 2 cubic foot difference between the last Civic hatchback and the new generation.
So, to repeat the order again: Civic sedan, Civic hatchback, vintage Civic hatchback, Integra.
Is there anything else to cover? No? Have a nice day. Yay civics.