2022 Honda Civic
Did you know that the Honda Civic debuted 50 years ago?
It has been a nameplate that has been Honda’s cornerstone worldwide. It was a small car – initially available with a trunk, a 1.2-liter engine, simulated wood trim, and a radio. This car came at the right time, just when the OPEC Oil Crisis started to affect the American automotive industry.
This year marks the arrival of the eleventh generation of Honda’s “universal car.” The Civic has grown tremendously over the past 50 years. However, it retains the crown as one of the best-selling sedans and hatchbacks in this country.
Does today’s Civic still give consumers what they really want – reliable transportation for everyone?
The reigning North American Car of The Year took some cues from the previous generation model and applied them on the roofline. With a choice of sedan and hatchback, the Civic gets a subtle evolution in design with a slimmer front end and a new set of horizontal taillights.
Our hatchback tester has its own distinctive rear design with the roofline meeting the taillights. The rear lighting signature is more distinctive than in the sedan. It is also three inches shorter than the sedan, with both body styles riding on the same 107.7-inch wheelbase.
In the Sport Touring trim, the Civic gets its own set of 18-inch dark-and-chrome alloy wheels and an aggressive, but subtle honeycomb upper grille. In all, the Civic looks ready to play anytime.
The honeycomb trim is also found on the interior. They form as a grille for the climate control vents up front. They also compliment a stylish instrument panel that includes a fully digital instrument cluster and a nine-inch touchscreen on top of the center stack. Honda’s controls received an update with added logic and improved accessibility.
The leather-trimmed front seats are big, comfortable, and supportive. You can find a good driving position easily between the seat and steering wheel adjustments. Rear seat leg room is fine, but taller folks may want to be careful with the headroom. Cargo space behind the rear seats measure out to 24.5 cubic feet. For extra room, you can remove both tonneau covers – one attached the hatchback, the other between the wheel wells - and fold down the rear seats.
The Sport Touring tester get the more powerful of the two engines available for the Civic hatchback – a 180-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. You can choose between a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission, as selected in our tester. The driveline is responsive and offered plenty of power when pushed. It can also cruise quite comfortably.
In terms of fuel economy, we averaged 30.1 MPG. The Environmental Protection Agency states that this model should average 33 MPG in combined driving.
The Civic balances sporting moves with a comfortable ride. In Normal and Eco drive modes, that is exactly what you get – a compliant ride and some nice handling overall. Putting the Civic into Sport weighs down the steering weight, providing improved cornering without any penalty on ride quality.
In terms of steering, the Civic’s system provides plenty of feedback from the wheels. While Sport mode improves on-center feel, there is plenty of in-lane control in Normal and Eco modes. The brakes offer great stops in normal, panic, and winter situations. Pedal feel is solid, and the system is very responsive overall.
Pricing for the 2022 Honda Civic lineup starts at $22,350 and is available in a sedan or the hatchback we’re testing here. Each body style is available in four trim levels, plus an Si sedan model. Our Sports Touring hatchback model came with a sticker price of $31,260.
As it remains the cornerstone model of the Honda lineup, the Civic is also one of the best-selling cars in its class – as well as an award-winning model. Consumers have compared the Civic to the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Impreza, Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte, and Volkswagen Jetta. Only the Corolla, Impreza, and Mazda3 come in a hatchback body style.
Whether you choose a sedan or a hatchback, the Honda Civic is truly a winning combination in a segment that has seen fewer competitors over the years. It stands tall above the rest today, as it did 50 years ago.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors