The Honda Civic has long been a top player amongst small cars. Ever since its 1973 release, the Civic has won new customers, increased in size, and is now arguably the best compact mainstream model.
Though the competition remains intense, the Honda Civic demonstrates that small does not just represent value, but beauty.
Generation Eleven: Honda Civic
The 2022 Honda Civic launches this model’s eleventh generation. It is a completely new vehicle with sedan and hatchback body styles available. Although only 1.4 inches longer than its immediate predecessor, the new Civic sedan seems as large as a midsize model.
Honda offers the Civic sedan in LX ($22,915), Sport ($24,315), EX ($25,915), and Touring ($29,515) trims. The late-arriving hatchback comes in LX ($23,915), Sport ($25,115), EX-L ($27,615), and Sport Touring ($30,415) trims. These prices include the $1,015 destination charge.
There is a lot to wade through with the 2022 Civic. Our test model was the Civic Touring sedan. We’ll cover the highlights before diving into our drive impressions.
2022 Honda Civic Review
The tenth-generation Civic shocked the senses with its provocative design. By far, it is the most stylish Civic built, but for the new model, Honda relaxed some of its design cues.
The current model has a lower hood, the front roof pillars sit back slightly, the window treatments seem more elegant, and the rear loses much of its lighting drama.
Although the new Civic tosses certain sporty elements, it trades that for a more polished, sophisticated look.
Inside, the cabin offers a simple and clean design. Soft-touch materials abound. Where hard plastics are evident, they mesh well with the interior. The padding extends to the doors and the Civic’s controls are detailed and strong. In some models the switches feel weak and cheap. Not so with the Civic.
No midsize model seats five adults in comfort, although the Civic comes close. Its slightly larger size means more passenger space, but it is the side-by-side rear seating that makes it difficult to call this a true five-seater.
Nevertheless, the rear seat offers decent head and legroom for adults; these are important attributes when shopping for a compact sedan.
The rear seat folds down on all models, with a 60/40 split on some trims and a full bench on the LX and Sport models. Upwards of 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space means there is plenty of storage capacity available.
Few sedans do it better. As for the hatchback, it will arrive later and bring with it excellent storage capacity.
As you might guess, the tech features are improved this year, enabling the Civic to keep pace in the segment. Most trims come with a 7-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility. Choose the Touring trim and a 9-inch touchscreen display comes in.
A four-speaker audio system is standard and an 8-speaker system makes it on the upper trims. Also available this year is a 12-speaker Bose audio system. Bluetooth and one USB port are standard.
Among the upgrades are an additional USB port in the first row and two in the back. HD Radio, satellite radio, navigation, a 7-inch driver information display, and a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster are available.
Wireless Apple CarPlay is available, but the same cannot be said for Android Auto. A wireless charging pad can also be had.
Strong Safety Features
The march to expanded safety features continues across the industry. In some ways, the mainstream manufacturers are doing it better or at least they are not charging customers handsomely for every upgrade.
The 2022 Civic is no exception. This year, every model comes with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control are standard.
Further, automatic high-beam headlights, traffic sign recognition, and a rear seat reminder are included.
There are a few spend-up driver-assist features available. These include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors.
Honda equips the LX and Sport sedans with a naturally aspired four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter motor makes 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the front wheels utilizing a continuously variable transmission.
As equipped, the Civic earns as high as 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway for a combined 35 mpg.
Move up to the EX and Touring trims and a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes over. This one develops 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the front wheels utilizing a CVT.
This model is rated as high as 33 mpg city and 42 mpg on the highway for a combined 36 mpg.
Why is there no manual transmission? That’s a good question, but as is common in this class, the sedan does not offer one. Choose the hatchback and a 6-speed gearbox is on the docket along with the CVT.
Moreover, next year the Sporty Si and Type-R variants return and they will have manual transmissions as well.
The standard Civics are no scream machines, but they offer a well-balanced ride. Indeed, the Civic is still small enough where understeer is not an issue. Credit the Civic’s designers for developing a car with communicative steering and agile handling to go with its exceptional ride.
Our test Touring model with the turbo engine was our whip. We found It offers capable step-off acceleration with strong passing power. The turbo spools rather quickly and the CVT is decidedly not annoying.
The CVT can operate in “manual” mode as it simulates seven forward gears. However, we left it alone as we went about our business.
On the straightaway, the Civic performs as expected. The sedan feels planted, composed, and imbues confidence. But we prefer to leave the highways for the byways to put our vehicles through the paces.
One of our favorite routes involves a fair share of twisty roads and curves. Here, the Civic showed its stuff. We did not have to fight with the steering wheel to maintain control. Also, the Civic stayed centered with relative ease.
We found good power when flooring it between 45 mph and 65 mph. And when we slammed on the brakes, the Civic came to a sure stop with no brake fade detected.
In all, the 2022 Civic proves its mettle. We can’t wait for the Si and Type-R versions to gauge their performance chops.
The Honda Civic faces a dwindling number of competitors as the compact car segment continues to shrink. Gone are all the domestic contenders, leaving models from Japan, Germany, and Korea to do battle.
Other challengers include the Volkswagen Jetta, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai Elantra, and the Kia Forte.
Honda Civic Parting Thoughts
Color us impressed by everything Honda has done to simply make the 2022 Civic better. We consider it the cream of the class with the Mazda3 a close second. As disappointing as having no manual gearbox for the sedan was, the hatchback still offers one.
Our personal choice is the hatchback with the upgraded engine and manual transmission. It has the edge in storage capacity too. In any case, you cannot go wrong with any 2022 Civic model.
See Also – What is the Honda BR-V?
Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.