One smooth operator. That’s the phrase that came to mind in short order after hopping behind the wheel of the redesigned all-new 11th-generation 2022 Honda Civic -- a vehicle that just so happens to be a newly announced finalist in the running for 2022 North American Car of the Year. After spending a week in one, I can see why. It’s a stylish, fun to drive, impressively redesigned ride that checks all the yes boxes.
The new Civic sits on a slightly longer wheelbase and is an attractive, dare I say Audi-esque, compact sedan in some new design respects. I love the belt line changes for 2022. As you can see from the below comparison photos of the 2020 Civic compared to the 2022, its new lines are much crisper.
My 1.5 Turbo Touring model in Lunar Silver Metallic rides on sharp-looking 18-inch alloy shark gray insert wheels, and sports a low hood, wide-set LED headlamps and tail lamps, and an upswept trunk lid. It’s great to see the extensive use of LED exterior lighting, including the daytime running lamps and Touring’s fog lights.
My test vehicle’s 1.5 Turbo 4-cylinder engine delivers 180-horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a transmission so smooth and fast when you use the paddle shifters that you can imagine my surprise to learn it is a CVT! Upon further research it all makes sense. Honda says the 1.5T’s uniquely tuned CVT features improved torque converter performance, while also adopting revised Step-Shift programming. The powertrain delivers 34 mpg combined and idle stop-start isn’t noticeable but can be deactivated. Under 200-horsepower suits this Civic’s purposes just fine, however, if you long for more, Honda offers it on other driver-enthusiast geared Civic models like the Si and Type R.
Designers did a fantastic job on the roomy, stylish and uncluttered interior. The Touring trim features upscale attributes like leather-trimmed seats, soft touch materials both on the front and rear passenger door panels along with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob. A long silver mesh accent piece stretching under the dash uniquely hides A/C vents with toggle-style controls.
The front seats are comfortable and Honda says a new-generation front seat design is designed to enhance comfort on long drives. Standard Touring features include an 8-way power driver’s seat and 4-way passenger’s seat, heated front seats, dual zone climate, moonroof, push-button start, rain sensing wipers, front AND rear beverage holders and a sunglasses holder. Remote engine start is available on all but the base trim.
The Civic is roomy in the second row. The Touring has a drop down center armrest and 60/40 rear seat split. While there are 2 USB ports back there, one seatback pocket, and rear heat ducts, you won’t find A/C vents.
There was plenty of trunk space and a compact spare sits underneath the cargo floor. An electronic remote trunk release is standard across the lineup.
The Touring debuts the Civic’s first 10.2-inch all-digital LED instrument display. It’s colorful, customizable and easy to read. A new 9-inch HD touchscreen (and the standard 7-inch) comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its multi-view rear camera delivers a great picture.
While a knob to control the audio is great -- I found myself wishing it was located further down with the A/C controls and more within reach. Other Touring tech goodies include Navigation and voice recognition along with a wireless charger. Voice recognition works like a charm changing stations. A Civic-first premium 12-speaker BOSE Audio system sounds terrific. Connectivity includes Bluetooth, HD Radio and available SiriusXM Radio.
Ride and Drive
The Civic sits low to the ground with a lower hood than I’m typically used to. I wasn’t sure how those dimensions would play out in highway driving, but I was happily surprised at its confident stance. The 1.5T’s new Sport mode gives you the sportiest, most engaged ride. Honda says it updated the suspension and steering for improved handling and ride. Steering, as well as breaking, felt responsive.
The Civic lineup comes with an expanded standard Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive and safety technology that adds Traffic Jam Assist and a smoother, more natural feeling to functions, such as Adaptive Cruise Control and the Lane Keeping Assist System. New rear seat reminder and rear seatbelt reminder are standard across the lineup. The Touring is also equipped with Blind Spot Monitoring with CrossTraffic Monitor and the Civic’s first use of low-speed braking control.
Honda even updated the Civic’s airbags. The lineup sports next-gen front airbags designed to reduce traumatic brain and neck injuries, as well as Civic-first rear seat side airbags.
It’s no wonder the 2022 Civic is a finalist for North American Car of the Year. This is an impressive redesign of a compact sedan that delivers an engaging ride, impressive features and great fuel economy at a terrific value. My test model, with no options, MSRPs for just under $30,000. An all-around outstanding job by Honda.
- What I Liked Most: Looks, smooth acceleration, ride and handling along with the new BOSE audio system.
- What I would change: Relocate the touchscreen volume knob.
- MSRP: Base $28,300; as equipped $29,295 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: 31 city/38 highway/34 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 5,042 miles.
- Weight: 3,077 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Compact spare.
- Length-Width-Height:184.0” long/70.9“ wide/55.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.4 gallons with the fuel filler on the driver’s side. Capless Fuel Filler.
- Official Color: Lunar Silver Metallic.
- Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds.
- 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in a few words: The new Civic is an impressive package bound to attract new mainstream compact sedan buyers looking for style, tech and handling.
- Warranty: 3-Year 36,000-Mile Limited Vehicle Warranty;5-Year/60,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty; 5-Year Unlimited-Miles Corrosion Limited Warranty
- Final Assembly Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
- Manufacturer's website: Honda