2022 Honda Civic Touring
Sometimes the name speaks for itself, you don’t have to explain it further. In automotive world, Honda Civic carries that title. You don’t have to be a car guy, but you probably know what a Honda Civic is. We have had a chance to review the 2022 Honda Civic, one of the most popular cars in Canada, in North America, or many other places in the world.
Honda Civic is very important for automotive industry, as it represents something that is affordable and accessible by middle class, it is a proof of how an automobile can get mainstream and can offer reliable transportation for the last several decades. With the new generation, Honda took it to the next level by offering more refinement and upscale feeling all around the car while still keeping the fundamental features that makes the Civic an icon.
Exterior and Interior
As you can see, it has been completely redesigned this year, in fact it is completely different than the previous generation. It has been evolved in a good way, compared to previous generation it definitely feels more mature. Previous generation was more like an experimental design that had a lot of sharp edges all around the car, both in sedan and hatchback. This time, Honda decided to implement more traditional design language into the new generation.
One of the reasons why Honda decided to take more traditional route is that they want to make the Civic look more like a premium entry in compact segment, competing with the new Mazda 3. Front end design looks similar to Honda Accord, and there are nice design features such as the front grille that has the same body color instead of a chrome piece. Overall, front end looks simplified yet elegant for the compact sedan segment.
The rear end design is also more mature compared to the previous generation with the big taillights. It comes with dual exhaust but they are tucked in behind the rear bumper. To be honest, it does not look anything like other older Hondas, so it must be a new design language and guessing that new generation Accord will look like this one. Though it does not have sharp body lines like the previous gen, it still has some on both sides that connects the taillights to headlights. I think Honda did a good job with the exterior design.
Like the exterior of the new Civic, when you get behind the steering wheel, you immediately feel that it does not feel like a budget oriented car. Previous generation Civic was an improvement over the older gen, but this one took it to another level by combining different materials. Such as honeycomb shaped vents, soft touch plastics and leather. I’m very glad that Honda didn’t use any gloss black, except few small places that you don’t touch regularly.
The level of refinement is not just the looks, but the materials are also high quality for the price range. Honda kept physical buttons for essential features such as air conditioning, volume knob, or even shifter level. However, buttons feels more tactile, you feel and hear the clicking noise. This shows that they definitely aimed the new Mazda 3 in terms of interior quality and material choice.
Jumping on to the back seats, you immediately realize that how spacious the new Civic is. It is not that surprising though, as Civic gets bigger every generation so much that it is almost as big as an Accord from 2000s. It offers class leading rear legroom with decent amount of headroom, and without seeing the exterior, you would not realize that it’s a Civic by just seeing the rear legroom space. With the Touring trim, you also get heated rear seats but there is no A/C vents for the rear passengers which isn’t good, as you offer so much rear seat accommodation, it should have been standard at least with the top trim.
Like the rear seat accommodation, new Civic Sedan has plenty of cargo space. Touring trim has 408 liter of cargo space, whereas lower trims has slightly more (418 liters) cargo room. Honda added a strut to slow down the movement of trunk lid when it’s open to make it feel more premium, but I wish they also added plastic trims so that you don’t have to see electrical wiring harness, a pretty cheap part that was standard with older gen Civics, but not anymore.
Engine and Drivetrain
2022 Honda Civic comes with two different engine options, at least for now. The base engine is a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. If you choose the top trim, called Touring, it comes with 1.5 liter turbocharged direct injection engine that produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Our tester has this turbocharged engine that is also used in previous gen Civic and other Honda models.
The turbocharged 1.5 liter engine has quite significant power bump compared to naturally aspired 2.0L base engine, and you feel the torque curve is much better at down low RPM. Thanks to the CVT transmission, you don’t need to spin the engine RPM too high to accelerate. Turbo spools very quickly and you can just hand around 2000-2500 RPM. As a result you get great fuel economy numbers. We averaged around 7.0L / 100 km but if you drive within the speed limits, it’s not that hard to see lower fuel economy numbers.
Speaking of CVT transmission, there is no manual transmission option and no All-Wheel Drive option. Civic has always been based on front wheel drive platform, even with the sportiest Type-R, and it looks like Honda will keep it this way for a foreseeable future. Considering there are some important rivals that offers such as Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza has AWD as an option, I think this is one of the biggest missing opportunity about the new Honda Civic.
Driving Impressions and Features
As it is completely redesigned this year, you immediately feel the new design language of Honda that I am sure they will use it in other Honda models. 2022 Honda Civic Touring no longer feels budget oriented compact car, where the compact segment gets “un-compact” in terms of refinement, I think it’s the right move. The new generation Honda Civic feels more like a mini-Accord in terms of daily drivability.
Honda did not copy and paste current gen Accord features, but took it further with the new Civic. For instance, it has fully digital cluster instead of half analog that comes with the Accord. It is highly customizable, you can choose which screen you want to see on left and right side separately. It doesn’t end there, but Touring trim comes with Wireless Apple CarPlay, which we used to see in much more expensive entries in the past.
2022 Honda Civic may not have the most exciting drivetrain for now, but this particular engine and transmission is more than enough for daily driving. Compared to the previous generation, there is no significant change in terms of drivetrain choice, 1.5T engine allows you to have fun to a certain extent with more sophisticated driving dynamics of the new chassis. The steering feeling is not too bad for a regular compact sedan, it offers good amount of road feedback.
The suspension feeling is also tuned pretty well for daily driving, as expected from a compact sedan. It still comes with multi-link rear suspension and it provides decent amount of road comfort. Despite having big 18″ rims, the suspension can keep up nicely. As an 8th gen Civic owner, road noise levels are great, it is impressive to see how far Civic has come along in terms of road comfort after driving an older gen Civic.
Pricing and the Verdict
Honda Civic has always been the volume seller and it never targeted the premium market in the past. It seems like things have changed with the new generation Civic, as it’s feels more like a premium entry than ever. New gen targets the new Mazda 3 more than Toyota Corolla.
I think the 2022 Honda Civic shares the “best-in-class” title with the Mazda 3, as they target totally different types of buyers. Civic is focused more towards comfort, practicality, and overall space, whereas Mazda 3 has optional AWD, more powerful engine, sportier driving dynamics as well as slightly better interior quality. After driving both entries this year, it’s obvious that the new Honda Civic is the best daily driver in compact segment.
It is mind blowing to see the difference between a Honda Civic from a decade ago and today. It’s not only the driving refinement, but also the overall dimensions got so much bigger. Though people still call it “Compact” segment, they are almost as big as mid size sedans from 2000s. It’s all because of increasing prices and people expect more out of their vehicles, so all cars get bigger for more versatility including the compact segment.
At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with the Civic. It’s a car that reshaped the whole compact segment, and it has always been a solid choice. 2022 Honda Civic starts at $24,465 and if you choose the top “Touring” trim, it sets you back at $30,265. For more details – please visit www.honda.ca