In a Honda presentation for members of Hispanic Motor Press (the organization that groups Hispanic automobile journalists), the manufacturer communicated a piece of information that I found interesting.
Honda is the manufacturer with the most penetration in the segment of drivers aged between 22 and 35 years. Models like the Accord, CR-V, or Civic are popular with Millennials and Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012), and this fact may be the envy of other manufacturers, in a constant fight to find “fresh meat.”
The new and eleventh generation of the Honda Civic that debuts with the 2022 model, may well be to show a button, due to the interest that the manufacturer puts in making its product attractive to first buyers.
In the previous two generations, Honda seemed to have lost its way, showing off a clunky and adulterated Civic, full of unnecessary angles and trim.
The week that I have spent with the 2022 Honda Civic gives me the certainty that there are still serious attempts not to let the sedans die. Buyers under the age of 40 are interested in this type of car almost as much as they are in SUVs, and for them, the new Honda Civic will be a captivating encounter.
From outside and inside
The dimensions of the new Civic are slightly larger than the previous model, but the effect is impressive. At just 1.5 inches longer and half an inch wider, the designers have managed to present us with a compact car that, from a distance, can be mistaken for the older brother Accord.
They are effective tricks that make the new Civic appear more grounded, larger, and with an appreciable appeal that brings it closer to fastback form, with a more upright front grille, elongated hood, and all-LED front and rear lighting.
Honda has outlined a simple cockpit with a thin honeycomb strip of trim that hides the air vents and curiously becomes the centerpiece of the redesigned compartment.
The quality of the materials and the finish are as expected from Honda, but the environment is very different from the previous model, showing maturity and refinement.
All versions come with a 7.0-inch diagonal touchscreen, but the Touring trim gets a 9.0-inch screen and leather trim.
The front seats have been redesigned, now more ergonomic and firmer. Unfortunately, we encountered discomfort adjusting a correct driving position.
To be within the advised distance from the steering wheel, my right knee inevitably collided with a bulge in the center console, so I had to modify my driving position, something I don’t like to do, and which would definitely make my review if I were considering a 2022 Honda Civic to buy.
The rear seat has not been updated, maintaining an acceptable distance for the legs. The trunk has seen its capacity diminished very slightly, but with 14.8 cubic feet of space there, the Civic remains among the widest among compact sedans.
Equipment and safety
The 2022 Civic comes standard with a 7.0-inch infotainment system touchscreen, a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen being available, as well as a 10.2-inch digital gauge display behind the wheel.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come in any Civic and wireless connectivity can be obtained when the larger screen is chosen. Other options at additional cost include in-dash navigation, a Bose stereo system, and a wireless charging pad for smartphones.
During my test, I noticed the system was somewhat slow to start up, while the operation, including navigating the menus, was relatively easy, as well as the synchronization with Android Auto.
The Honda Sensing Safety Suite provides every Civic with a wealth of safety features, such as forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with vehicle maintenance assistance, and adaptive cruise control.
New for 2022 is traffic jam assistance and traffic sign recognition. EX and Touring models also come with Blind Spot Alert, but you’ll have to pay for it on other models, as well as Rear Cross-Traffic Alert or parking sensors.
We tested semi-autonomous driving that was able to keep the car centered in the lane, maintaining distance and slowing down smoothly, but the time it takes to take your hands off the wheel before an alarm goes off is ridiculously short.
On the road
The Honda Civic has few rivals in its segment when it comes to road performance. Possibly only a Mazda3 can surpass you in driving satisfaction, and for the new 2022 edition, some changes introduced to improve the compact sedan’s composure.
The new Civic has a longer wheelbase and receives several engineering improvements and more adhesives that increase the rigidity of its body. Dynamically, the 2022 Civic feels tighter and more composed, while cornering is controlled with little roll and satisfactory weight on the wheel.
There are two motorization options that are intended for different finishes. Lower-tier LX and Sport Civics models get the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower.
Top EX and Touring trims are equipped with an upgraded 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo that now delivers 180 horsepower. Both engines are already familiar to the Honda lineup, but they benefit from a few tweaks here and there to make them more efficient and produce the odd extra horsepower.
Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission or CVT, and to the surprise and anger of the 12 people who were thinking of buying a new Honda Civic with a manual transmission there is no such choice (the 12 person thing is pure sarcasm, but we all know that every day there are fewer of us who know how to drive cars making the exhausting physical and mental effort of manually entering the gears … more irony of course)
The Civic hatchback, Si or Type R will maintain a manual transmission option, as well; Do not panic.
The 2022 Civic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) has been updated with new programming and a downshift feature, which uses the brakes to make the car feel more lively and engaging to drive.
Suspension and shock improvements are welcome and noticeable when driving the Civic on curvy roads, but if you’re the type of driver who goes the longest on the highway, you’ll also enjoy a much quieter Civic perfect for long trips.
You’ll also notice the fuel efficiency on those types of trips, as 42 miles per gallon (mpg) or 5.6 liters per 100 kilometers make this one of the most efficient compacts on the market.
The 2022 Honda Civic comes in sedan and hatchback body styles. The Civic sedan like the one we tested is available in four trims: LX, Sport, EX, and Touring.
The LX and Sport models come with a 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine, while the EX, EX-L and Touring / Sport Touring models have a 180-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder.
The base LX for $ 21,700 comes well equipped, but a “push” of $ 3,000 would put you in an EX, with amenities like a sunroof, blind-spot alert, or heated front seats and mirrors among others.
The most expensive of the 2022 Civic is the Touring, which starts at $ 28,300. Although the competition has diminished, it is still vast and of excellent quality. The eternal rival Toyota Corolla stands out, and we can add to the list the Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Jetta, or the Hyundai Elantra.
The 11th-generation Honda Civic exhibits one of the model’s most dramatic design changes in nearly half a century of production, but it is accompanied by many interiors, handling, and performance enhancements that ensure it remains among the best, perhaps the best, compact sedans. From the market.
It has a lot to offer for an acceptable price, and the greatest joy it provides is the realization that there are still manufacturers like Honda, interested in promoting a car model that seems to be in disgrace today, the sedan.