This is the slightly sportier, slightly more efficient 2022 Honda Civic
civic duty —
The next Civic looks less like a starfighter, inside and out.
Jonathan M. Gitlin
In the past, I have been guilty of comparing the Honda Civic’s looks to starfighters and Gundams. For that I’m sorry, and it definitely won’t happen anymore. That’s because there’s a new Honda Civic on the way, the 11th generation to bear the nameplate. And this one looks more grownup and less like it might transform into a robot, at least based on the photos of the Civic sedan that Honda has shared with us.
The new vehicle is a complete redesign of Honda’s bestseller, which dare I say looks Audi-like from some angles? Honda exhorts that the key to the new Civic’s looks is the fact that the A pillars have moved about two inches rearward, which extends the hood while also visually connecting the pillar to the front wheel hub. The new body shell is stiffer than before, which makes it handle and ride better, with less road and wind noise.
The interior is similarly all new, with a strip of honeycomb mesh across the dash that cleverly conceals the air vents. As with the previous Civic, Honda has opted for a traditional transmission lever as opposed to the push buttons that you’ll find in many of its other vehicles.
Plenty of other buttons are ready for you to push, though. While other brands are barreling toward all-touchscreen interiors, Honda has stuck with physical controls for the climate controls and so on, although there is a choice of two different touchscreen infotainment systems (both with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) depending upon trim level. The LX, Sport, and EX get 7-inch screens, the Touring gets a 9-inch version, as well as a 10.2-inch LCD panel for the main instrument display (the lower trims use a mixed main instrument display that marries a 7-inch LCD with a physical analogue speedometer).
As before, two different four-cylinder engines are available. The LX and Sport trims get a naturally aspirated 2.0 L, which provides 158 hp (118 kW) and 138 lb-ft (187 Nm); the EX and Touring both use a turbocharged 1.5 L engine that produces 180 hp (134 kW) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm). As before, there is but a single choice of transmission, which is still a continuously variable transmission. However, Honda has squeezed out a little more efficiency from the powertrains. The LX achieves a combined 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km), the Sport makes 33 mpg (7.1 L/100 km), the EX reaches 36 mpg (6.5 L/100 km), and the Touring hits 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km).
Honda’s press kit says that the new Civic handles better than the current one (although we would be surprised if the literature said otherwise). The wheelbase is a little longer (1.4 inches/36 mm), and the rear track is 0.5 inches (12.7 mm) wider, plus there are new bushings, low-friction ball joints and damper mounts, and retuned power steering.
The 2022 Civic will benefit from that new “catcher’s mitt” passenger airbag that has already appeared in some Acuras, and the standard Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver-assistance systems now uses a camera with a wider field of view as opposed to the old system, which combined a camera with radar. And it can handle low-speed braking, so the car now comes with traffic-jam assist as well as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping to make those days inching forward in traffic a bit more bearable.
The one thing we can’t tell you just yet is how much the 2022 Civic will cost; Honda will announce that closer to the car’s arrival in showrooms.
Listing image by Honda