Honda launches yet another new Civic model.
The market for small cars continues to shrink, but the remaining players remain locked in a fierce battle for customer attention. The Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Nissan Sentra dominate the segment, but other manufacturers remain competitive. If you are shopping for a well-equipped entry-level model for $25,000, the Honda Civic is the best amongst its peers.
What’s New for 2022
Nearly everything about the 2022 Civic is new as this model launches its eleventh generation. Notably, fresh exterior styling, a new interior, and updated tech and safety features chart the changes. The engines are carried over, while the manual transmission is no longer available with the sedan. The Civic is a front-wheel-drive model available as a sedan or a hatchback with room for five.
Honda Civic Model Overview
The 2022 Honda Civic sedan is available in four trims: LX ($22,915), Sport ($24,315), EX ($25,915), and Touring ($29,515). If you prefer a hatchback, this one is available in LX ($23,915), Sport ($25,115), EX-L ($27,615), and Sport Touring ($30,415) trims. All prices include the $1,015 destination charge.
It does not seem all that long ago when Honda took the wraps off the tenth-generation Civic. With that particular release, the Civic suddenly became the sportiest looking model in the segment, thanks to its deep cutouts, signature character lines, and alluring color choices. This year, though, Honda eased some of the styling theater by slightly lowering the grille, pushing the front roof pillars back by two inches, and easing the lighting elements. As a result, the Civic is a slightly larger, even more sophisticated model that comes in just shy of the midsize segment. That category is, of course, occupied by the Honda Accord.
Inside, the cabin is slightly roomier than before. We can’t call it a true five-seater for adults, but four grownups can sit comfortably. Notably, the Civic’s rear head and legroom make this one of the roomier compact models.
The cabin is simply constructed with ample soft-touch materials present. Padded doors are an unexpected feature and the switchgear feels firm to the touch. There are plenty of storage compartments available in both rows. Moreover, the drop-down rear seat expands the cargo space, which measures 14.8 cubic feet in the trunk alone.
Tech & Safety
Improvements in the tech offerings are evident this year. A 7-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is standard. Select the Touring edition and a 9-inch touchscreen display is in place. The standard audio system features just four speakers, but most trims have an 8-speaker scheme. In addition, an available 12-speaker Bose audio system is optional.
All trims come with Bluetooth and one USB port. The list of upgrades includes an additional USB port in the first row and two more in the back. Furthermore, HD Radio, satellite radio, navigation, a 7-inch driver information display, and a 10.2-inch digital instrument collection are available. Lastly, a wireless charging pad can also be had.
Just as the Civic advances a robust tech environment, it features numerous standard driver-assist items. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane control. Further, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, traffic sign identification, and a rear seat prompt come standard. Among the extra-cost features are blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, as well as parking sensors front and back.
On the Road
Honda supplies a pair of engine choices. The LX and Sport trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. Power moves to the front wheels utilizing a continuously variable transmission. This model averages 35 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
The EX and Touring trims have a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is also paired with a CVT. This engine generates 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. It’s also slightly more economical than the standard engine, delivering a combined 36 mpg. Thus, all Civic models are amongst the most efficient in the segment.
This year, the sedan no longer offers a 6-speed manual transmission. It keeps with a trend whereby manufacturers are only offering automatics. The good news is that a manual is still available with the hatchback. It will also be found in the late-arriving Civic Si and Type-R models.
Our test Touring model with the turbo engine demonstrated several wonderful points about how the Civic behaves. Firstly, the step-off power is strong. Secondly, the engine kicks things up a notch when flooring it to reach highway speeds. The CVT, which does cause the engine to hum a bit, works well here. We also laud the Civic for a few other strong points, including communicative steering, nimble handling, and firm brakes. Inasmuch as the Civic succeeds on the highways, it performs quite well on curvy roads. The only missing ingredient is performance, but that will follow with the two sporty models due in a short course.
As much as we like and can easily recommend the Civic sedan, it is the body style not tested that may be the better choice. Indeed, the Civic hatchback offers a manual gearbox and supplies expanded cargo capacity when needed. The latter is especially important for anyone giving up the convenience of a utility vehicle for a car. The reward is a nicely equipped model for about $25,000 or thousands of dollars less than a similar-size SUV.
See Also — First Look at the 2023 Models
Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.