Honda CUV sales make April noteworthy. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – May 2, 2017 2017 Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback w/ the 180 hp – on 91 octane fuel - and 162 lb-ft of torque 1.5L Turbo mated to a wide ratio CVT - $29,135 to start incl. the $835 D&H charge provides owners a 30/36 mpgUS city/highway rating. The 180 hp and 177 lb-ft. of torque 1.5L turbo diesel in the Sport trim hatchback provides owners with a 30/39 mpgUS city/highway rating. By comparison, the slightly less powerful - on 87 octane gasoline - 174 hp and 162 lb. ft. of torque 1.5L Turbo mated to the wide ratio CVT in the much more aerodynamic sedan provides a higher 32/42 mpgUS city/highway rating. This week's ride is courtesy of Honda in the form of the eye catching Silver Metallic 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback that is almost a stealth compact fighter in the late evening dark overcast skies over the Pacific across much of Southern California this week. Remember the first hint that we would receive one was from the Geneva Auto Show early last spring? 2017 Honda Civic Hatch shows its face in Geneva The 2017 Civic Hatchback joins the 2016 North American Car of the Year – the Civic Sedan, but with five-door utility while keeping the Civic sedans superb driving dynamics and Honda’s super-efficient and powerful direct-injected and turbo charged 1.5L I4 as spelled out above. The all-new for the U.S. Civic Hatchback provides owners with 97.2/25.7 cu. ft. of passenger/cargo volume in the LX and Sport w/out the Power Sunroof and 94.8/22.8 cu. ft. of passenger/cargo volume in EX, EX-L Navi, and Sport Touring w/ the Power Sunroof. This compares very favorably to the sedan with its 97.8/15.1 cu. ft. and 95.0/15.1 cu. ft. as an LX w/out the power roof and the EX, EX-T, EX-L, and Touring with. 2017 Honda Civic Hatch Deep enough for large suit cases and tall enough to allow the hatch to close with the same. With the rear seats folded down, the Civic Hatch offers an excellent 46.2 cu. ft. of cargo volume. This is in the compact CUV cargo volume territory without having to drive a compact CUV! The great looking 2016 Honda Civic is easily beating its competitors in the hotly contested retail sales compact segment and the hatch only adds to its sales prowess as seen in the April 2017 sales report below. 2017 Honda Civic Hatch Trims The 2017 Honda Civic Hatch is available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring trims and all are equipped with the 1.5L turbo I4 engine. What is really interesting is that the CVT will be available on all trims and the 6-speed MT will be available on the LX and Sport trims. The CVT equipped Civic Hatch is expected to receive a 31/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined rating. Honda did not report any EPA results for the stick and they added the adjective “performance” before the 6-speed MT so expect the BS short ratios and shifting between 1st and 6th before 32 mph. In any case, in our experience with Honda sticks, they are more efficient despite the short ratios Honda equips all of them with. Available on most trims (and standard on the Sport Touring we are driving) is the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) integrated with CMBS, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Other available features include Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (EX and above trims), heated front seats and heated side mirrors, power driver and front-passenger seats, remote engine start and more. The Civic Hatch Sport Touring trim includes Honda Sensing, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlamps, rear seat heaters standard. 2017 Honda Civic Hatch The 2017 Civic Hatchback is exclusively manufactured by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in its Swindon, UK plant. 2017 Honda Civic Hatch First Drive To begin, I saw two 10th gen Civic owners eyeballing the really sharp looking Polished Metal Metallic – matte gray - hatch as they were paralleling me in very heavy rush hour traffic on the 405/5 corridor between LAX and Carlsbad, Calif. This vehicle incorporates the capless refueling system so I am using Carcus’ own 1.5L Turbo equipped sedan aFCD offset detail for the fuel economy calibration going forward. While I left LAX early enough, I had a meeting in one of the LA suburbs requiring over 5-miles of heavy light to light driving before getting back on the 405 after 04:00 pm. Meaning right into the heart of the worst traffic in the country. And yet the fully loaded 30/36 mpg rated 17 Civic Hatch in Sport Touring Trim proved itself worthy. 58.5 mpg over 93.0 miles indicated - 94.6 mi actual. .9915 * aFCD=Actual mpg or 58.0 mpgUS actual. Without the city excursion, I am sure the Civic Hatch with the CVT would have allowed a low 60s result. Not quite the sedans low 70 mpg result but almost double its 32 mpg combined rating gives it an A in my book. I am heading out in just a few minutes to collect the Speed vs FE data so expect that tomorrow. Another cool thing I noticed is how the Civic engineers were designing the lower front air dam to be higher than the average curb. I was quite surprised by this actually. More detail later… Honda April 2017 Sales Overview Honda’s April 2017 U.S. sales of 138,386 were down 7.0 percent below the 148,829 sold in April of 2016. On a daily selling rate basis, sales were off 3.4 percent. YTD sales of 503,679 vehicles was down 0.6 percent from the 506,532 sold through the same period of 2016. On a YTD DSR basis, the iconic Japanese Automakers results were 0.4 percent higher. Honda's own sales of 124,254 slipped 6.3 percent from the 132,623 sold in April of 2016. On a DSR basis, sales were off 2.7 percent. Acura sales of 14,132 vehicles were off 12.8 percent from the 16,206 sold in April of 2016. On a DSR basis, sales were off 9.4 percent. The Honda CR-V and HR-V continue to set sales records as both achieved record April sales. HR-V sales of 8,527 were up 22.4 percent over the 6,969 sold in April of 2016. YTD sales of 28,223 were up 25.5 percent over the 22,484 sold through the same period of 2016. Besides the always Top 3 Domestic Pickup trucks in the U.S. monthly sales tally, Honda’s CR-V climbed to 4th as the bestselling Car or CUV in America. The CR-V achieved sales of 32,671 in April, up 13.0 percent over the 28,913 sold in April of 2016. On a DSR basis, sales were up 17.3 percent. YTD sales of 126,728 are up an even stronger 26.6 percent over the 100,101 sold through the same period of 2016. On YTD DSR basis, sales were up 27.9 percent. Civic achieved monthly sales of 31,211 vehicles, Civic was easily the best-selling passenger car in America on a retail basis for the first four months of 2017 The U.S. Automobile April 2017 vs. April 2016 Market Share results. It was a tough month for GM in terms of their profit center(s) with the Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon being outsold by the F-Series. Notice the RAM. For the second month in a row it outsold the Silverado. The Accord broke back into the Top 10 with the Altima falling off. Notice the highly regarded 2017 Toyota Prius Prime outsold the Volt for the first time and took the top spot in the electric segment. Kia’s Niro achieved sales of 2,939 sold and its sales volume is still climbing with another 235 units added from last month’s 2,704 sold. U.S. April 2017 Sales vs. April 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers GM April 2017 Sales Down 5.8% with 244,406 Vehicles sold Ford April 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 214,695 Vehicles sold Toyota April 2017 Sales Down 4.4% with 201,926 Vehicles sold FCA April 2017 Sales Down 6.6% with 177,441 Vehicles sold Honda April 2017 Sales Down 7.0% with 138,386 Vehicles sold Nissan April 2017 Sales Down 1.5% with 121,998 Vehicles sold Hyundai April 2017 Sales were up 1.3% with 63,050 Vehicles sold Kia April 2017 Sales Down 5.6% with 53,358 Vehicles sold Subaru April 2017 Sales Up 3.9% with 52,368 Vehicles sold Mercedes-Benz April 2017 Sales Down 8.7% with 29,490 Vehicles sold VW April 2017 Sales Up 1.6% with 27,557 Vehicles sold BMW April 2017 Sales Down 12.2% with 26,105 Vehicles sold Mazda April 2017 Sales Down 7.8% with 24,164 Vehicles sold Audi April 2017 Sales Up 5.1% with 18,711 Vehicles sold Jaguar/Land Rover April 2017 Sales Up 34.5% with 8,441 Vehicles sold Mitsubishi April 2017 Sales Down 13.4% with 8,375 Vehicles sold Volvo April 2017 Sales Up 15.4% with 7,121 Vehicles sold Porsche April 2017 Sales Up 2.2% with 5,529 Vehicles sold In April, Honda moved ahead of Nissan, Kia ahead of Subaru, and both Mercedes-Benz and VW moved ahead of BMW. U.S. Automobile April 2017 sales were off 4.0 percent on a volume basis (1.44 million vs 1.50 million) but just 0.7 percent on a DSR Daily Selling Rate basis. 26 selling days in April of 2017 vs 27 in April of 2016. The industry is beginning to slow. How long the OEMs will be able to maintain profit margins with mildly sinking sales remains to be seen. Ford's weak quarter announced last week may be just the start of a longer term decline for the industry. There will still be profits but lower financial results on lower volumes are probably in the cards for the U.S. market over the short to intermediate term.