By on April 29, 2021

The 2022 Honda Civic sedan has finally arrived, donned in conservative body panels that make the automobile come across as more attractive and adult than its predecessor. While the tenth-generation model had a lot going for it, its appearance was quite polarizing. Honda designers created an angular buffet that made every Civic look as though it had been customized inside a videogame where caricatures of gearheads argue with each other about who will become the local street racing champ.

It was perhaps too exciting for a vehicle that’s primarily designed for mundane tasks, which is why Honda ran in the complete opposite direction with the eleventh generation. Reminiscent of the straightforward fifth-generation model, the newest Civic boasts the cleanest bodywork we’ve seen in decades and will provide a significant amount of wiggle room for designers to better differentiate performance variants. 

The interior has followed suit. Honda is promising better materials but the design itself is the real achievement, reaching this nice equilibrium between contemporary and classic. Ergonomics also seem solid, with the manufacturer opting against putting every single control on the 7.0-inch touchscreen that juts out of the dashboard. HVAC knobs remain in play and the same goes for volume and tuning, proving Honda has learned its lesson. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, though customers can option higher trimmed sedans to get access to the  9.0-inch touchscreen (and larger instrument cluster) offering complete wireless mirroring.

While we shrug off most advanced driving systems as gimmicky trash that’s just making everyone a crappier driver, manufacturers have been marketing these features like crazy and consumers are beginning to take an interest in them. Just know that the 2022 Honda Civic is offering everything its rivals have and we’ll need to test it ourselves to see if its suite of digital nannies are better than what’s on the Toyota Corolla.

However, the powertrain options are a sure thing since the Civic sedan is carrying over the tenth generation’s motors. A naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four will be the standard mill inside LX and Sport models, while EX and Touring trims will get the more exciting 1.5-liter turbo. Sadly, these all come with continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) that make us slightly concerned.

Despite being exceptionally efficient for drivers and cost-effective for manufacturers, CVTs have a bad habit of sucking all the personality from a vehicle — regardless of who manufactured it. But they’ve gotten better over time and Honda has promised that its system has been modified to enhance responsiveness. It has also been made more robust, thanks to the inclusion of an upgraded electric hydraulic pump and secondary shaft using ball bearings.

Those that still find that unacceptable will be pleased to know that Honda plans on offering manual transmissions on both the Civic Si and Type R. Performance units will also boast substantially higher outputs than the standard powerplants, too. But they’ve also seen a few enhancements. The 2.0-liter motor (158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque) comes with a new stop-start system to help save on fuel while the 1.5-liter turbo (180 hp and 177 pound-feet) sees a slight bump in performance vs its predecessor.

Fuel economy is similarly refined. Honda is estimating 31 city/40 highway for LX models, 30/37 for the Sport, 33/42 with the EX, and 31/38 on the Touring trim. Weight also isn’t half bad with all sedans coming in between 2,877 and 3,077 pounds.

Eleventh-gen Civics receive frontal MacPherson struts boasting low-friction ball joints and front damper mount bearings. The sedan’s wheelbase has also been stretched 1.5 inches with the track getting a half-inch wider. According to the manufacturer, this comes with “an 8 percent improvement in torsional rigidity and 13-percent improvement in bending rigidity versus the previous generation.”

This bundle of little changes will hopefully make the 2022 Honda Civic more appealing to consumers. With sales declining since 2018, the model has lost some of its relevance — which we can probably blame on the sudden popularity of crossover vehicles. Still, the prior generation took some risks that didn’t pay off and the new Accord Jr. look definitely addresses them. Maybe we’ll even start seeing Civic sales back on the rise.

The hatchback faithful will need to keep waiting. But those interested in a Civic sedan should be able to find one over the summer. Pricing should start somewhere around $23,000, though we’ll have to wait on Honda to provide official confirmation.

 

[Images: Honda]

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59 Comments on “2022 Honda Civic Sedan Restores Dignity With New Exterior, Plenty of Updates...”


  • avatar

    Finally! A Civic that looks like a Civic should, and not so ANGERY with too many styling details. I think sales will increase with this more grown up looking one.

    I haven’t seen any reporting that I can recall on the coupe’s return, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Perhaps the hatchback version of this will be closer to a usable shape, like a Wagovan or 90s Impreza hatch.

    Also, I really enjoy the hidden vents behind the full-width mesh design on the grille. Looks nice and is functional – no visible vent dust!

    • 0 avatar
      turiMaximo

      The Coupe is dead. Honda already announced it quite a while ago. Hatchback lives on.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Sedan sales arr in the dump! With the Civic and Accord down, -20% and -26%, there is no amount of styling that will save them. But even Honda suvs are not doing that well either.

      • 0 avatar
        johnds

        Norm, why do you attack your own company? You know GM and Honda are in a partnership, so you should stop this funny business.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Out of curiosity, have you seen the Honda SUV/CUV sales figures? The only constraint they have is production due to lack of microchips. My local dealer, like the Ford, Toyota, and Subaru dealers nearby, has a very thin inventory. Apparently transaction prices nationwide are way up, as are profits.

        Personally I think this is a huge improvement for Honda and the Civic. I’d certainly consider one when the time comes to replace my daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      I don’t know if you’ve looked around at the other cars on the road, but the current styling hasn’t exactly hurt sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      With the death of the Civic coupe I am hopeful that Acura sells a coupe version of this car. Integra badges would be a win as well.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This is good. But I want to know about the next Insight. I’d think Honda, like Toyota, would want to slowly ramp up the take rate of hybrids now that it’s clear fuel economy requirements will be going up. And the current-generation Insight is, by quite a lot, the best-looking member of the Civic family.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Seems to be 9/10s an Accord, at least in terms of size.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    Very conservative design, but a definite improvement over the current Gundam on wheels look.
    It reminds me of 90’s Honda like 5th generation Accords and Ascot Innova on the outside.

    Still hate the iPad on the dashboard and with they could’ve slimmed it down a bit, but otherwise the interior looks much improved too.

  • avatar
    redapple

    #1- Humble suggestion for Car Review Writers. Please clearly spell out if the start/stop can be turned off. I will not buy a car with it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed, and the start/stop should be able to be permanently disabled – not requiring the driver to do it every single time they get in.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        “The start/stop should be able to be permanently disabled – not requiring the driver to do it every single time they get in.”

        From your keyboard to God’s inbox. It would also be nice if most of Honda Sensing could be turned off – and stay off through key cycles. But I’m not holding my breath on that one. If anyone from Honda is reading, know that I would buy an Si if I knew that auto start-stop and the driver assist features could be permanently disarmed.

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          I have a 19 accord sport and the vehicle allows you to defeat lane keep assist, radar cruise control and auto high beams with features remaining off after you start the car up again.

          Radar cruise is awful on every car I have ever driven with the feature. Insanely frustrating whenever there is anyone else on the road, it just doesn’t work for the way people actually drive, more of a drivers ed instructor set of parameters.

          Thankfully no start stop system to turn off. My wife’s car has one that has to be turned off every time you start it up. I really don’t mind having to push a button, at least the option is there.

          As for the Civic, it looks nice, maybe a little too far on the conservative side. Interested to see the hatch. The interior looks great. I really don’t mind the screen sticking out of the dash, just one of those things that ends up fading into the background, a non issue.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            I will offer a counterpoint concerning radar cruise control. My ’20 RAV4 has it and is wonderful in crawl and go city freeway traffic. It is good to full stop with a resume ability from a full stop.
            Otherwise it sucks. The last straw was moving out to pass a semi, and the road bent to the left. That put the semi “in front” of the RAV and it slowed to match the semi’s speed.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good point, but this story was likely based on a press release from the manufacturer, who may or may not have spelled that out.

      • 0 avatar
        Urlik

        I suspect that EPA would not allow it to be permanently turned off. Just a version of emissions cheating.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        TTAC GREG

        Radar cruise:
        I rented a mazda cx 5 last year. Ditto. Slight curve and the car picked up the car in the next lane over and hit the binders.
        My 18 Forester has NEVER done this in 40,000 miles.

        >Urlick-
        Bingo. I think you re right. EPA violation on defeat forever startstop off.

        Just a point of reference.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Even with the occasional hit the binders moment, I still like radar cruise.

          I did think it sounded nuts when they started offering on high end motorcycles, with their leaning, swerving around etc. But riders claim it works well. Perhaps even better than in most run-of-the-mill car editions, since the only bikes which have it, are fully loaded ones with IMUs (lean sensors), so they are aware that they are turning, and how sharply.

          A general problem with all machine-driven vehicles, is less one’s own vehicle, but more that other vehicles behave erratically. Weirdly slamming on brakes for no immediately apparent reason etc.

          The companies hawking the stuff, may well try hiding behind the tired, old tripe that drivers coming from behind, are fully responsible for avoiding a collision come what may, but that’s also something which doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny, as it, in extremis, would require everyone keeping max alert every single instant, as well as highly unrealistic distances from everyone else. People don’t work that way. Machines can work that way (until they don’t), hence can be made to interact well with other machines. But not with humans.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Finally, the Elantra gets some competition.

    I like so much about this Civic, but the tacked-on display is so 2015.

  • avatar
    Lynchenstein

    I’m digging that metal grid on the dash way more than I think I should. It looks frickin’ awesome to me. The rest looks far better than the outgoing model, and I hope they don’t go too far with taming down their designs so they end up looking like 2005 Toyotas.

  • avatar
    here4aSammich

    A Civic Sport that is only available with a CVT. What is this world coming to?

    Sooner or later I’ll need to give my ‘13 Elantra commuter to my teenage driver. What do I replace it with? If I could get the 2.0 liter and a conventional auto box, it would probably be in my driveway next year. Alas, all I can get is a cvt. I just want simple and reliable. Like Honda’s used to be.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      You can still get a manual on the Corolla, Forte, Veloster, Mazda3, and Jetta.
      The Hyundai, Mazda, and VW also have conventional automatics.

      A Mazda3 might be up your alley. That platform and powertrain has been around for some time now.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The most reliable thing in the class is a Corolla Hybrid, with Mazda3 and the conventional Corolla close behind.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      I ordered my ‘03 CRV with a manual. I didn’t think id be driving the same car 18 years later, and it’s not pretty anymore, but it’s been dead reliable. Conservatively designed 2.4L engine, 5-speed manual, 240,000 miles, and it’s still in the original clutch. A CVT would have cost me a small fortune by now, no thanks.

  • avatar
    turiMaximo

    Exterior is way too conservative and boring. Me don’t like. Interior looks functional and clean, but nothing to write home about – except the metal hexagon vent detail which is a stroke of genius. Really makes up for the whole IP design.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Looks much much better. More mature and less boy racer.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I dig the looks of this, outside and inside. What an improvement.

  • avatar

    I dig how design looks inside out.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    It would be interesting to see how the dash grille interplays with the directional aim of the AC vents.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    No manual, which is great news. Finally!

    This leaves more time for Tik-Toking on the commute. Honda finally recognizes what enthusiast want.

  • avatar
    EX35

    At this price the 1.5T should be standard in all trims. And for god sakes, drop that awful CVT.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Three observations from Socially-Awkward Possibly-Autistic Guy:

    a) Those vent controls are fun until someone loses an eye.

    b) With regard to styling, Honda have taken Automotive Journalists out of the loop. [OR – they are back to their old game of ‘every-other-generation-looks-slightly-weird’ – they did this for awhile]

    c) Honda has a new goal of “Zero traffic collision fatalities involving Honda motorcycles and automobiles” – I am doing my part to reach this goal, by not driving any Hondas.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Looks good, will kill the Accord. Interior is vastly improved, although this whole ‘glue the screen to the dash’ thing seems like an industry-wide failure of imagination.

    • 0 avatar
      islander800

      The whole “glue the screen to the dash” thing is more than an industry-wide failure of imagination. It’s a NHTSA failure of oversight. During the 1960s, manufacturers were forced to make changes to interior design for safety reasons, to lessen the chances of accidents and to mitigate injuries during crashes, such as removing chrome trim around windows (to cut down on bright sunlight reflections) to making knobs out of softly-rounded plastic instead of sharp metal weapons. But now, sticking a sharp-edged screen on top of the dash that could shatter into deadly shards in an accident is no problem? It’s time the regulatory agencies upped their game by banning these things. They’re not only a potential hazard during a crash, they obstruct views the rest of the time. Which brings me to calling a driver assist feature “autopilot” – anyone hawking autos that calls it such (I’m talking to you, Musk) should receive a cease and desist order from the NHTSA to STOP IT – people are believing you and getting killed.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Thanks very much for re-stating that. I have the very same concerns. If auto makers can just ‘glue a screen’ to the top of the instrumental panel then what happened to the standards/designs introduced after the Sammy Davis Jr accident?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I really want to commute in this…but that’s about it…

  • avatar
    KOKing

    I think they’ve swung a little TOO far in the other direction. As an owner of the most obnoxious of the 10th gen family, I actually appreciate the move away from even the base models with fake vents, etc. I really liked where the current Accord lands stylistically, and the Insight is similar, but this IMO is kinda snoozy. I do dig the interior, with the exception of the usual pop-up screen. It looks simplisticly upscale in a modern Mazda way.

    I guess we’ll see where sales go. 10th gen numbers were very strong in spite of… or maybe because of the aggressive styling vs lookalike crossovers.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I like the exterior styling much more than my 2017 Civic. The interior on the new one is awful simply because they went away from an integrated display to the glue the iPad on the dash laziness. Real shame you wont be able to get a manual without going the SI route. I would not own my current civic if that had been the case in 2017. I’m otherwise surprised to see an all new civic so soon. Hopefully they have solved the gas dilution issues in the 1.5. Now if they would only offer a wagan version of this I could overlook the CVT, maybe..

  • avatar
    Mackie

    Better. But still no looker.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If you listen to Scotty Kilmer he is not a fan of CVTs but he said if you are going to get a vehicle with a CVT it should be a Toyota (Aisin) or Honda (Honda builds their own) since both have not had the problems that other manufacturers have had with CVTs. He also says don’t buy a Nissan with the Jatco CVT they are endless money pits. Scotty says the Toyota Corolla with a CVT has a launch gear which makes them better than most CVTs.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    To me that dash looks so much like certain dashes from the 60’s that I almost expect it to be made out of painted stamped steel. I guess they are aiming at a younger crowd that wouldn’t remember cars that old.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Can we please stop with the tacked-on iPad-on-the-dash look?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      There’s a practical side to the “ipads on a dash”. It puts the information up high where you can see it without looking down. Functionally, it’s a good thing. Lots of gauges might look good, but for some, functionality is more important.

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