The Right Spec: 2022 Honda Civic Sport

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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.

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.

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.

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.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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4 of 23 comments
  • Focaltac Focaltac on Jul 08, 2021

    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.

  • Russycle Russycle on Jul 08, 2021

    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.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jul 08, 2021

      @dal20402 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.

  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.