Skip to main content

The British are coming! Honda will import UK-built Civic hatchbacks to North America

Honda has all but confirmed that it is gearing up to send British-built Civic five-door hatchbacks across the Atlantic and into North American showrooms. The move is expected to help the Japanese automaker turn around its struggling European division. But it’s likely not the Civic hatch you’re thinking of.

Looking at the Honda product lifecycle, we have good reason to believe the U.K.-built hatches headed Stateside won’t be of the current generation — it just wouldn’t make sense to extend the current-gen Civic life that long. Instead, what is much more likely is that Honda will be a global Civic for all world markets, much like Ford has done with the Focus.

Honda — once famously tied up with England’s Rover — has operated a factory in Swindon, England, for the last 30 years. The company was hit hard by the economic crisis that sent shock waves through the Old Continent a couple of years ago and its sales have been steadily declining since, hampered by a small lineup and a relative lack of image. The Swindon factory can build up to 250,000 cars a year yet it only manages to churn out 100,000 units at best.

Company executives ambitiously believe that selling the Civic hatchback in the United States will allow them to boost the Swindon plant’s output by anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 units a year. Most of these sales will come from the Civic Sport (pictured), a sporty-looking warm hatch powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 140 horsepower. The U.S.-spec model will likely benefit from an up-sized engine.

An official announcement about the addition of the British-built Civic hatchback to Honda’s American lineup will be made in the coming months. The first cars are expected to land in showrooms in about a year and a half, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the model debut in New York.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
2020 Honda Civic hatchback keeps the manual-transmission faith
2020 honda civic hatchback specs and pricing



Read more
Honda extends the warranty of select CR-Vs, Civics after finding problem
2019 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe

The turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in Honda's CR-V and Civic models, two of America's best-selling cars, has a fuel leakage problem, according to industry watchdog Consumer Reports. The Japanese automaker has quietly extended the powertrain warranty of over one million cars to reassure owners that they won't need to cover an expensive repair bill if they encounter a mechanical problem.

The issue is seemingly limited to CR-Vs made during the 2017 and 2018 model years, and Civics manufactured between the 2016 and 2018 model years. Consumer Reports published a memo Honda sent to its American dealers that blames the problem on software settings or hardware failures, without providing additional information. Owners of affected cars will be able to tell that they have a problem right away; the defect causes cars to misfire, lose power, and run more loudly than usual. It might trigger a check engine light, and some owners have even complained that their car stalled, which can lead to a hazardous situation. The last thing you want is your car turning off when you're turning left across a busy road.

Read more
The Honda E Prototype is the electric car Apple should have come out with
Honda E Prototype



Read more