By on July 7, 2021

2022 Civic front

Like it or not, the Civic perpetually resides at or near the top of automobile sales charts in America. Even in 2020, a notably tumultuous year, Honda sold over a quarter-million of the things, good enough for eighth place on the best-seller list (they also sold over 333,502 CR-V crossovers, if you’re wondering).

While we’re eons away from the old days of Civic Nation and underglow lights, any new compact sedan from the Big H is worth talking about. There are four trims on offer at launch – LX, Sport, EX, and Touring. Which is our favorite? You know we’re gonna ask you to click the jump and find out.

A base model LX starts at a reasonable $21,700 with the Sport trim commanding just $1,400 more. This may be a worthwhile play in the American market, where the Sport is not saddled with a moonroof and actually comes offered in a variety of colors. The no-charge Rallye Red is shown here. It’s arguable those 18-inch black alloy wheels belong on a much more expensive car, though the gloss-black power side mirrors could be confused for base trim cheapness.

2022 Honda Civic

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 158 horsepower, all of which show up for duty just 300 revs short of the 6,800 rpm redline. Sport is the last stop before Turbo Town, though only 22 extra ponies are present in the pressurized 1.5-liter mill. Torque’s a healthy 40 lb-ft higher, however. And, yes, the only transmission available at launch is a CVT. This pleases no one in our audience or newsroom, but is likely a smart play for wide swaths of real-world Americans who plan to buy this thing. A stick will show up in the hatchback later this year.

Various active safety and driver-assistive tech is standard across the board, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping, and forward-collision warning. Blind-spot monitoring is not part of the deal on LX or Sport, so be sure to cast a glance over your shoulder when changing lanes. LED lamps are installed on both ends of the car, though you’re outta luck for fog lamps unless you pop for the spendy Touring sedan.

2022 Honda Civic

Selecting the Sport trim brings better touchpoints, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles (the irony of “Fake News” gears in a gearless transmission is not lost on us). Air conditioning is standard, as it is on most cars these days, along with an eight-speaker sound system and automatic climate control. Small cars no longer need be a penalty box, apparently. That sound system plays well with your smartphone, offering up a 7-inch touch screen and a quick-charge USB port. SiriusXM is absent except for the top-tier trim, a detail that has become an infuriating Honda trademark.

2022 Honda Civic

With all this in mind, we submit the Sport to be The Right Spec. Its inclusions (safety kit, decent infotainment, natty wheels, and color choice) play well with new notable features it doesn’t have – chiefly the moonroof which rudely scuppers 1.7 inches of headroom. With packaging like that, it’s easy to predict the Civic will remain on the list of America’s best-selling vehicles – even if no one’s putting underglow neons on them anymore.

Please note the prices listed here are in American dollars and currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

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23 Comments on “The Right Spec: 2022 Honda Civic Sport...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    I think I’d have to go for the Touring. That’s the only way to get the turbo engine, the extra “sport” accoutrements that the EX trim lacks and some other features that my lifestyle has become accustomed to.

    So $29,300 with destination. That’s pretty spicy for a Civic without a performance badge.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Not terrible, but I don’t like the dual fads of black wheels and stick-on displays. And I’ll avoid CVTs as long as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      Speaking of CVT’s, which I hate, I drove last week as a rental a new CR-V, unusual because Honda’s are not typical rentals. It had, of course, a CVT and the 1.5T motor. It was shockingly good. It was both the best turbo and the best CVT I’ve ever driven by a wide margin and an absolute pleasure to drive. Very responsive, linear and predictable, it was so good I’d take it in preference to a stick shift. And I own a stick shift CR-V (18 years old).
      This week I’m driving a RAV4. 2.5 engine with 8-speed auto. Horrible. Simply earful. Unacceptable.
      All I can say is: drive that Civic with a CVT and see what you think, I bet it’s damn good and might challenge your preconceptions.

      • 0 avatar
        islander800

        Interesting. As a current owner of two (older) Hondas (Element and Fit) with traditional automatics, I was appalled that they only offered CVTs on new Civics and CRVs as automatics. I had a preconception that CVTs were the ultimate “slush boxes”. Buick Dynaflows on steroids. But your observations make me rethink before dismissing…

    • 0 avatar
      happycamper

      I was shopping for compact SUV’s a few years ago, and tested: Escape, Equinox, RAV4, Sportage, Tuscan, and Cherokee. I did not test the CRV because everyone claims that CVT transmissions are horrible.

      I finally relented and decided I should test drive a CRV, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Sure enough, the CRV ended up in my garage a few weeks later.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Too soon for this question. I’d wait until more manual transmissions are available and there’s pricing and specs for next year’s Si and Type-R models.

    But for the masses, I’m agreeing with ajla and would spend the extra money on the Touring trim. It’s loaded and has the stuff people will want at trade in time (when it’s time to get the Si or Type-R). And this is one of the few sedans that looks good in red, although I’m not sold on the black wheels. One curb incident and they look trashed.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    The Honda ‘Sport’ trim of late has bothered me. I blame the Jeep XJ for making ‘sport’ a popular budget trim. Leave the LX (formerly DX) as the base trim, and bump Sport up as a butch alternative to EX. You’d think that’d actually add to the bottom line. Sport seems about as popular if not moreso than LX in my area, and it’d be nice to get some extra frills to go with the blackout look.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      On the Accord the “Sport” trim is available with both the 1.5T and 2.0T. It would be nice if Honda did that here as well and the made the turbo available on the Civic Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        At least the foglights are on all Accords but the LX, and SiriusXM is standard on the EX and above. If I had to go Civic, I’d pop for the Touring, but it sucks that the lower trims have so many compromises unlike with the Accord and even previous-Gen Civics!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The only right move with this Civic Sedan is to wait for the Si. If you can’t wait for the Si, go for the hatch and its Sport Touring trim.

  • avatar
    2kriss2kross

    The right spec IMO is the EX just for the heated seats, sunroof (a must in CA), and dual zone climate control. I’m jealous of our Canadian “neighbours”, their sport models for both the Civic and Accord come more loaded. Loved the idea of getting the aesthetic pizzaz of the higher models with EX amenities while here in ‘Murica you get the pizzaz but with LX level amenities.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The Accord Sport with the 2.0T is EX-level, although there’s a “Special Edition on 1.5Ts that adds a leather interior and a couple other doodads to the mix, an otherwise LX-spec car.

      On the Civic, you get no nicer Sport trim with the 1.5T — it’s an N/A 2.0 with LX-spec appointments or nothing.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Civic is the *only* Honda that I wouldn’t try to talk someone out of. (For any other Honda vehicles, there are probably better choices. Just visited the webpage to confirm.)

    I spend about 2% of my vehiclebrainspace on Honda. This is my current thinking. If I’m wrong, tell me why. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      johnds

      Wow someone obviously hasn’t driven the Accord. Definitely the best midsize car. As far as other Honda’s go, at least they are usually still driving 20 years later with 250-300,000 miles on them, whereas the “Better” performance cars are in the junk yard.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Am I the only one that thinks Honda went the wrong way- stylistically speaking, with this new car? The previous gen Civic took the old, boring Civic and made it look fantastic, even in base trim. Sure, they could have toned it down *a little* on lower trims and a *lot* on the Type R, but this new one looks like they copied off of VW’s Jetta homework while taking Dramamine, which is also phenomenally boring.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Admittedly, at 73, I am not the target Civic demographic, but I have purchased or influenced the purchase of at least 8 Honda sedans in the last 40 years. I HATE the black wheels. I would spring for the EX just to get something different. Also I think that the extra few dollars is worth it for additional safety equipment. Lastly, the 40 additional foot pounds of torque makes the EX upgrade a no brained.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Admittedly, at 73, I am not the target Civic demographic, but I have purchased or influenced the purchase of at least 8 Honda sedans in the last 40 years. I HATE the black wheels. I would spring for the EX just to get something different. Also I think that the extra few dollars is worth it for additional safety equipment. Lastly, the 40 additional foot pounds of torque makes the EX upgrade a no brained.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Black wheels look horrible. Cheap, like steelies for snow tires where the owner can’t even find the time to get wheel covers…..

    The problem is, dealerships won’t give credit when swapping wheels on new cars, and then take the wheels and sell them as new.

  • avatar
    focaltac

    Looked over both a ’22 LX and Sport while my ’20 LX was serviced. Rear speakers are now in the doors instead of the shelf and washer nozzles relocated to the wiper arms. The windshield pullback and door mounted mirrors really open up the sight lines. The front chairs felt a lot better. Some downsides; both trims lost soft touch on the upper doors, the LX lost keyed ignition, and the satisfying thud when closing the door is no more – it’s boomy and tinny.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    If I have to have a slushbox, I’ll hold out for the turbo. I just don’t see a CVT finding those ponies at higher revs. With a stick the Sport would be a solid buy.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Honda CVT will happily hold the engine at the power peak under full-throttle acceleration.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Agreed!

        I’d rather have the 10-speed automatic over the CVT in my Accord, but sometimes, the “busy-ness” while under normal acceleration, constantly upshifting to keep the engine in the meat of the torque/boost curve, is a little annoying. Backing-off the, or giving a little more, throttle usually helps. No such option in the Civic, though I’d bet that the 10-speed with that 1.5T in the Civic would probably beat the gas-mileage numbers for the CVT, particularly on the highway.

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