Refined and One Step Closer To Perfection
The 2022 Honda Civic sedan has been completely redesigned–and for many that will be a good thing. The new handsome styling forgoes sharp edges and a busy design for a more mature and finished look that hints Euro. Honda’s best-selling passenger car–and their second best-selling model behind only the CR-V crossover–will not lose any sales with this newly designed sedan and hatchback.
Two Engine Choices
Honda gives drivers options of two four-cylinder engines for the front-wheel drive Civic sedan. Standard on the LX and Sport, the non-turbo 2.0-liter puts out 158 horsepower (hp) and 138 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. Opt for the EX and Sport Touring models and the turbocharged 1.5-liter ups the power to 180 hp and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is tuned a bit different for each engine with Honda programming “step shifts” that simulate gear changes. Using the controls on the center console, the CVT gives the driver selectable drive modes of Eco, Normal and Sport plus a Manual mode that uses paddle shifters.
Running on 87 octane, the EPA rates the Civic 1.5L turbo at 31 mpg city/38 highway/34 combined. In 205 miles driving through Southern California, we averaged 36.6 mpg combined, with a 90-mile all-freeway run, using the adaptive cruise control set at 65 mph, the average bumped up to 40.8 mpg. Fuel economy numbers reported by Clean Fleet Report are non-scientific and represent the reviewer’s driving experience. Your numbers may differ.
If you opt for the 2.0L non-turbo, fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg city/37 highway/37 combined. In both cases, the emissions have been reduced and fuel economy and performance increased compared to the 2021 Civic.
Hitting the Road
The 1.5T Civic Touring performed well, with zero-to-60 times around 7.4 seconds. It felt peppy and had plenty of power for almost all driving situations. The dreaded turbo lag has been eliminated, resulting in a more linear throttle response. Honda has really done a nice job with the 2022 Civic as the drivability is wonderful.
Opting for the Sport mode delivered the best performance where the steering stiffened, and the CVT’s simulated shifts were programmed to hold the rev bands just a bit longer. For some fun or when extra engine braking is needed, the paddle shifters gave crisp shifts.
The Civic can get-up-and-go when called on, but it offers far more than straight-line speed. Hard acceleration is the only time you will know the engine is running as it is quiet, smooth and with no vibrations when highway cruising or in-town driving.
Eco is best used on long stretches of flat or gently sloping roads to squeeze-out every last drop of fuel, but in this setting the acceleration and air conditioning are reduced in favor of saving fuel. The Normal drive mode offers nearly the same efficiency as Econ, but with better acceleration and no reduction in the air conditioning function. Honda has done a very good job delivering economy and spirited acceleration. Our take on the CVT is it is one of the best we have driven.
The 3,007-pound Civic handled calmly on the highway with a stable, confident ride that smoothed-out bumps. For the all-new 2022 Civic sedan Honda has stiffened the chassis, making for tight and predictable handling. The electric power steering, with good road feedback, is programmed with a neutral feel, with the steering weight providing for a good connection with the road.
The MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspensions were augmented by stabilizer bars front and rear. The 235/40 Goodyear Eagle Sport all-season tires, on 18-inch wheels, provided good traction and ride quality with little tire slippage when cornering hard. Stopping was solid with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, and ventilated front and solid rear discs.
Aerodynamically Efficient Exterior
Now in its 11th generation, (first launched in 1972), the 2022 Civic has gone through a complete exterior re-imagination. There are few sharp edges in the clean redesign, which uses aerodynamics to achieve increased efficiency. The LED head and driving lights are sleekly integrated next to the small upper grille, which sits above a slightly larger lower grille and LED fog lights in the outer fascia corners.
The nose, front bumpers and hood are smooth, designed to direct air flow down the smooth sides and over the roof. The trunk lid height, diminutive integrated lip spoiler, LED tail lights and rear bumper/fascia all were optimized with airflow in mind. It is obvious Honda spent a considerable amount of time with the Civic in wind tunnel testing.
Our Civic, painted in Morning Mist Blue Metallic, had body color-keyed bumpers, door handles, shark fin antenna and power exterior mirrors. Chrome was kept to a tasteful minimum, found around the windows and on the badging. Exterior pallet options includes Rallye Red, Aegean Blue Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Sonic Gray Pearl and Meteorite Gray Metallic.
Honda says the 2022 Civic is the first time its all-new interior design direction has been revealed. Front visibility is excellent due to the rake of the hood, narrow A-pillars and hidden rain-sensing windshield wipers. The low-slung dash, with a unique and attractive honeycomb mesh panel covering the air outlets, is covered in soft touch materials with gloss black trim.
Clean Fleet Report’s Civic Touring had a solid black interior with tasteful chrome touches around the touchscreen, display hood, controls for the dual zone automatic climate system, door handles and on the steering wheel.
The perforated seats, center padded armrest, door armrests, shift knob and steering wheel are trimmed in leather, with the seats, shift boot, armrests and steering wheel getting white contrasting top stitching. The door panels and center console have an interesting surface that hides scratches and resists fingerprints. Honda has improved cabin quietness by using urethane spray foam in key places, and added sound insulation on the underside of the hood, floor, fenders, carpet and dashboard panel.
The heated front seats are a new design for Honda that uses multiple internal structures to provide improved support across the entire body, with the driver getting eight-way and the passenger four-way power adjustments. The tilt and telescoping steering column has good range so the driver has plenty of options to find a comfortable driving position.
The rear leather-trimmed seats are made for grown-ups, holding two comfortably, but three for short jaunts. The padded fold-down armrest, with cup holders, is part of the 60/40 rear seat. Down, it provides a large and accommodating cargo space that rivals some midsize sedans. The trunk opening is tall and wide, with a low sill, making loading items easy. Overall, the interior build and material quality are at a high level.
The cockpit design is driver friendly with customizable digital gauges, and a 9.0-inch, high-resolution color touchscreen that is only available on the Touring trim line. Our Touring model had the 12-speaker Bose premium audio system with Centerpoint and Surround Sound, which is the first time ever for a Civic. The touchscreen handled the 3D navigation and rear view camera and, for entertainment, the AM/FM HD radio, SiriusXM (90-day free trial), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and four 2.5A USB ports.
The Bluetooth with voice recognition worked very well, as did the steering wheel-mounted audio controls and the Qi wireless phone charging. A wish list for the audio system would be to add a channel selection knob (which would join the volume knob), and it needed more channel pre-sets, especially for SiriusXM. Both of these would make the system more user friendly, convenient and would aid driver safety.
Safety and Convenience
All Civic models come standard with active and passive safety features. The driver and front passenger get front, knee and side air bags, while the rear passengers get side and curtain airbags, the latter having a rollover sensor. Honda Sensing, the company’s advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) includes forward collision and road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, blind spot with cross traffic monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors.
Additional safety and convenience features on the Touring trim level include idle stop and go, automatic brake hold, one-touch power moonroof, remote keyless entry, security system, push button start/stop, sliding center armrest, a tire pressure monitoring system, remote engine start, an automatic dimming rearview mirror equipped with Homelink, and an electric parking brake. The Driver Attention Monitor is a helpful driving aid that detects a lack of attention by the driver. Warnings begin with a cup of coffee graphic, then visual flashes are followed by an audio alert and the steering wheel vibrating. If you are nodding off, this system could save your life.
The 2022 Civic has not been safety rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the 2021 Civic was a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the US Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded it their highest rank of a Five Star rating. Clean Fleet Report is confident the all-new 2022 Honda Civic will also meet these high safety standards.
Pricing and Warranties
The 2022 Honda Civic sedan comes in four trim levels, with a choice of engines and options. All base prices below include the $1,015 destination charge.
LX 2.0L $22,715
Sport 2.0L $23,115
EX 1.5T $25,715
Touring 1.5T $29,315
Clean Fleet Report’s Civic 1.5T Touring, with $395 in options and the $1,015 destination fee, had a MSRP of $29,690.
All 2022 Civic models come with these warranties.
- Powertrain – Five years/60,000 miles
- New Vehicle/Basic – Three years/36,000 miles
- Anti-perforation – Five years/Unlimited miles
- Roadside Assistance – Three years/36,000 miles
Observations: 2022 Honda Civic Sedan 1.5L Touring
The completely new 2022 Honda Civic sedan just may be the most significant Civic yet in its almost 50-year history. The exterior styling is clean, elegant and more mature than the outgoing model that had more scoops than Baskin-Robbins. The interior is as welcoming as anything on the market.
The quick take is the 2022 Honda Civic 1.5T Touring offers spirited driving with reasonable performance in a well-built compact sedan. The ride is accommodating, the cabin quiet, the fuel economy very respectable, and it is priced competitively. Our test car, which was fully optioned, came in under $30,000.
The Civic offers comfort for four, with the large rear seat passenger room making attaching a rear-facing child car seat easy. The trunk is larger than expected and will swallow-up gear for that long, fuel-efficient road trip. The full suite of advanced safety systems are only available on the upper EX and Touring trim levels, but they are worth getting when buying your new Civic.
Built in North America (engine and transmission from America, final assembly in Canada), the Civic carries with it the well-earned reputation of Honda quality. Personal note: I own a 1997 Honda Civic EX with 181,100 miles, which I bought new. The engine hums like a sewing machine, and even with all those miles, still gets 30+ mpg and doesn’t burn or leak a drop of oil. I am sure you know someone with a similar Civic story.
Next up for Honda, at the end of 2021, will be the Civic Hatchback that will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission. Not enough performance for you? Then keep your fingers crossed Honda will offer both a Civic Si and Type R. In the past, these models have been a blast to drive!
The Honda Civic was America’s best-selling compact sedan in 2021. To be more accurate it has been the best-selling compact sedan in America for the past several years. To truly appreciate how good this car is, go into your Honda dealer and request a lengthy test drive that should include highway onramps and a few tight corners. You just may be driving home in one.
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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and Honda.
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.
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