The Civic has been a huge sales success for Honda. It’s the 3rd-best selling car in the U.S. since 1973, so the designers and engineers faced enormous pressure to create a fitting replacement for the 10th-generation Civic. No need to worry, though: Based on our recent drive of the all-new 11th-generation Honda Civic, we can say with authority that they have succeeded in a big way.
The 2022 Honda Civic has grown up. While only an inch longer, the new Civic has a wheelbase that has grown by 1.4 inches, making for a roomier back seat. It also looks lower and wider than the previous model, for a sportier and more elegant appearance. Most notably, the Civic’s windshield pillars have been moved rearward a couple of inches, which makes for a longer hood and the dash-to-axle proportions of a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) car, which this Honda is not.
While the Civic chassis isn’t totally new, it has made quite a bit stronger thanks to multiple stiffening efforts and the liberal use of structural adhesives at the seams. In addition to the longer wheelbase, the new Civic has a half-inch wider rear track and revised suspension parts with reduced friction to ensure that it has the same excellent driving chops we’ve enjoyed in previous versions.
With a choice of engines (a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter or a turbocharged 1.5), a thoroughly updated safety suite, and a low new body with a glassy cabin and a more mature look, Honda’s smallest car will continue to appeal to a broad range of buyers. But will it get the attention of young buyers, those who flocked to the previous Civic? That’s precisely who the all-new 2022 Honda Civic Sport has in its crosshairs.
The Honda Civic is all-new for 2022.
What We Like
- Sophisticated redesign inside and out
- Digital dash with 9-inch touchscreen (Touring)
- Continuously variable transmission (CVT) works well, aided by a Sport mode
- Thin pillars, low cowl create an excellent forward view
What We Don’t
- Styling too sedate?
- No manual transmission
- Coupe discontinued
- Larger 9-in infotainment screen lacks a station knob
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 2022 Honda Civic EX, which is powered by the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, is rated at 33 miles per gallon city/42 mpg highway/36 mpg combined. The other Civic with the 1.5, the Touring — which is slightly heavier and has larger wheels and tires — is rated by the EPA at 31 mpg city/38 mpg highway/34 mpg combined.
Equipped with the 2.0-liter engine, the 2022 Honda Civic LX has EPA ratings of 31 mpg city/40 mpg highway/35 mpg combined. The other 2.0-liter model, the Civic Sport, is rated at 30 mpg city/37 mpg highway/33 mpg combined. The Civic Sport has the same larger wheels and tires as the Touring (235/40R-18s).
All 2022 Honda Civics have a 12.4-gallon fuel tank, and all run fine on regular unleaded gasoline.
Standard Features & Options
There are four trim levels of the Honda Civic for 2022. The Civic LX and Civic Sport are powered by a familiar 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque; the Honda Civic EX and Touring models get the new turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, which produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Note: All new Civics use a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), but the turbocharged cars are equipped with a beefier torque converter.
The 2022 Honda Civic LX ($21,700) is the base model. As such, it’s equipped with 16-inch steel wheels and 215/55R-16 tires. In addition to cloth upholstery and a 4-speaker stereo, the Civic LX is equipped with a push-button starter, LED headlights and taillights, a 7-inch digital instrument panel, a 7-inch color touchscreen, automatic climate control, and a folding rear seat. Also standard: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
As a Civic Sport ($23,100), this compact Honda sedan adds 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/40R-18 tires. The Civic Sport, the expected volume leader, also has shift paddles, an 8-speaker audio system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, sport pedals, and grippy seat fabric with subtle stripes. Visual mods are many; highlights include black window molding, black badging, and chrome exhaust tips.
The other two Civics — the EX and the Touring — have Honda’s turbocharged 1.5-liter engine.
As a Civic EX ($24,700), this 5-seat Honda sedan is luxuriously equipped with a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat that has a fold-down center armrest with two cupholders. Other notable standard equipment on the Civic EX includes 17-inch alloy wheels (with 215/50R-17 tires), a blind-spot indicator, and illuminated vanity mirrors.
How does the Civic Touring ($28,300) justify its price? With healthy amounts of luxury and technology. The Civic Touring comes standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats, power front seats, the 10-inch digital instrument panel, the 9-inch infotainment screen, a navigation system, and a premium 12-speaker Bose sound system.
What’s more, the Civic Touring has wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, a pair of rear USB ports, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. It also comes with slow-speed braking control, which applies the brakes automatically if it senses a possible collision in an environment such as a parking lot.
Somewhat unusual, the 2022 Civic is sold with no options. Honda simplifies matters by letting the standard equipment of each trim level speak for itself. But the new Civic, it should be noted, can be equipped with a Honda Performance Development accessory package. For $1,390, this dealer-installed package includes front and rear underbody spoilers, side skirts, a decklid spoiler, and an HPD badge.
The destination fee on all 2022 Honda Civics is $995.
All 2022 Honda Civics come with 10 standard airbags (four more than last year, including knee airbags) and HondaSensing. In addition to a forward-collision warning and mitigation system with automatic emergency braking, the HondaSensing safety suite includes adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning, road-departure mitigation, and lane-keeping assist.
Of note, the lane-keeping assist system now employs a single wide-angle camera that’s better at seeing road lines, other vehicles, and pedestrians. And when automatic steering corrections are needed to, say, keep the Civic in its lane, they’re made with a gentler and more natural touch.
The 2022 Honda Civic has not been tested yet by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Honda, however, says it expects its new Civic to be awarded the highest safety ratings, including a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS.
Of note, the 2022 Honda Civic is now equipped with frontal airbags that offer better head protection in angled front impacts. In simple terms, they more effectively catch the head to reduce the rotation than can cause brain injuries.
Behind the Wheel
Autotrader recently drove a pair of 2022 Honda Civics — a Touring and a Sport.
The Civic Touring, the top model, made a big impression. This is a Civic that has moved up a class in content and quality. Moreover, the luxurious cabin has an open and airy feel, with a great forward view made possible by the thin windshield pillars and low cowl.
Similarly impressive was the new turbocharged 1.5-liter engine. Smooth and quiet, this direct-injected powerplant produces 180 horsepower in a linear fashion. Turbo boost arrives quickly, and although we were prepared to be underwhelmed by the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), we were impressed by its responsiveness to the throttle and shift paddles. It made the Civic feel especially peppy in Sport mode, which keeps the engine at no lower than 2,000 rpm, so it’s always ready for a burst of acceleration.
This new Honda is a roomy and luxurious compact sedan with a comfortable highway ride and totally sporty manners. It feels low and wide. It reminds us that cars are much more fun to drive on twisty roads than SUVs.
The 2022 Honda Civic Sport, with the 158-horsepower 2.0-liter engine but the same suspension tuning and tires as the Touring, felt similarly sporty though not quite as quick. Its comfortable seats are covered in a grippy fabric that holds you well in the corners, and the leather-covered steering wheel adds to the sporty ambiance, along with a leather-covered steering wheel and shifter.
Other random notes: Four tall adults can fit with ease inside the new Civic sedan; the new fuel-saving automatic start/stop system, which you can shut off, is super smooth; the Civic dash, highlighted by a metal honeycomb grille spanning its width, looks handsome and uncluttered; and the 12-speaker Bose audio system of the Touring model sounds especially rich, better than any stereo we can remember in a Civic.
Look for a Honda Civic hatchback to arrive late in 2021, with a sporty Si and an even sportier Type R coming later, perhaps in 2022. The latter two Civics will be available exclusively with a manual transmission.
Other Cars to Consider
2021 Toyota Corolla– The longtime rivalry with Toyota lives on with the Corolla. These two butt heads in both reliability and affordability, but the Civic is a better driver’s car.
2021 Hyundai Elantra– The Elantra springs out of obscurity and into the limelight with an all-new model. Improved styling and driving dynamics make this one to watch in the small, affordable car segment.
2021 Nissan Sentra– Nissan is surprising critics with both styling and driving performance. The Sentra gets design language cues from its larger siblings and a surprising boost in the drivability area with the all-new model.
Used Honda Civic– If a less expensive car is required, look no further than Honda, just a year or more earlier. A used Civic with low miles and a CPO warranty will outperform most new cars in the category.
Used Honda Accord– Spending the same amount of money on a slightly older but better equipped or larger model is a great option. The Accord wins award after award for reliability and resale values and is always worth a look.
Questions You May Ask
Will there be a Honda Civic with a manual transmission?
The new Civic sedan will not be available with a manual transmission. However, the upcoming Civic Si and Type R models will be available exclusively with a manual gearbox.
When does the 2022 Honda Civic go on sale?
The new Civic sedan arrives at Honda dealers in June as a 2022 model.
Is the new Civic bigger than the current one?
It is slightly larger. The 2022 Honda Civic sedan is a 184.0-in vehicle with a 107.7-in wheelbase, whereas the previous Civic sedan is a 182.7-in car with a 106.3-in wheelbase. Also, the new Honda Civic is about 100 pounds heavier than the 2021 Civic, thanks in part to its four extra airbags.
Are there any suspension differences between the Honda Civic Sport and the Honda Civic Touring?
Although you’d think the 2022 Honda Civic Sport would be firmer than the Civic Touring, it’s not. Both models have the exact same suspension tuning and 235/40R-19 tires.
With the 11th-generation Civic, Honda has another hit on its hands. Thanks to its sophisticated new styling and improvements throughout, the 2022 Civic has become a better car without losing the youthful appeal of Civics past. Although a Civic Sport is a really good deal (only $1,400 more than a Civic LX), we’d opt for a Touring model with its turbocharged engine, larger digital instrument panel, bigger infotainment screen, navigation system, and fantastic Bose stereo. Find a Honda Civic for sale