The 2022 Honda Civic remains a go-to economy car, with low-key performance and high-economy powertrains. The Civic is one of the bestselling and best-known compact cars on the planet. Emerging now in sedan and hatchback body styles, it’s offered as a Civic LX, Sport, EX, or Touring. The hatchback swaps the EX trim for EX-L, and the Touring for Sport Touring.
The Si model, which is the focus of our review, bridges the performance gap until the Type R arrives, but no coupe will return. Other compacts that come as a sedan or hatchback include the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, and Subaru Impreza. With softened style, a jazzy interior, and fine ride and handling, the 2022 Civic remains top of its class.
The sedan now dips lower in the front and is more boxed off in the rear. The windshield and A-pillars have been pushed back by about two inches, leaving a long hood that makes the Civic look more stretched than it actually is. It has only grown by 1.4 inches in length, but looks like a mid-size car from a distance. The hatchback is 4.9 inches shorter than the sedan, with all of that length being chopped off at the rear.
Now it’s toned down, with a lower hood and relaxed roof pillars that draw out the shape better. Far fewer lines slash across the body—the tail, in particular—and even the cat-eye treatment of its side rear windows has matured. Sport models can be decked out with spoilers, badges, gloss black trim, and body kits, but without the high-output powertrains, the Civic fares better in plainer guise.
The Si wears different bumpers than the sedan, the better to show off the dual tailpipes; a rear spoiler and black trim pieces add subtle flair, like quirky socks peeking out of trouser cuffs. The hatchback gets a unique honeycomb grille up front and chops off 4.9 inches of rear overhang. This alters the proportions of the car, but the rear doesn’t look abbreviated and the rear glass tapers down nicely into a subtle rear spoiler.
The Si comes only as a sedan and only with the 6-speed manual, with significant influence from the Type R that includes rev matching. The 1.5-liter turbo-4 returns in the Si and makes the same 200 hp and 192 lb-ft. It’s good for a 0-60 mph time of less than seven seconds with a more sensitive throttle. A single-mass flywheel replaces the heavier dual-mass unit in the outgoing model; it makes the Si jumpier off the line and quicker to rev. The torque peak arrives earlier at 1,800 rpm (from 2,100 rpm in the old model), and the broader power band limits the need to downshift coming out of a turn because the power is often already there.
The manual transmission puts it right back, however, and is the only transmission on the Si and its satisfying 200-hp turbo-4. The Civic’s ride and handling have a sophisticated vibe, and even Sport and Touring/Sport Touring cars with 18-inch wheels soak up the streets. Gas mileage is a strong point, too, at up to 36 mpg combined.
The Civic Si earns its stripes with balanced and responsive handling. It’s an evolution of the same setup from the previous car, but this Civic sits 1.4 inches longer, which helps it feel even more stable. The front-strut and rear multi-link design has been tuned for better ride quality, already a strong point, and its Summer tires. The steering’s also in accord with the ride and handling, and communicates some of the road through the wheel.
The EPA rates the Civic Si with it’s standard 6-speed manual at 27/37/31 mpg rating. Every 2022 Civic comes with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and active lane control. Blind-spot monitors and parking sensors come with the more expensive models.
Inside a 9.0-inch touchscreen is fitted to Si models, which also get a 10.2-inch digital gauge display. Materials that showcase the Si are impressive, with metal accents on many of the switches and a fingerprint-resistant material on the center console. A clean unbroken mesh panel concealing the vents separates the upper and lower parts. It’s pretty and distinctive.
Interior space provides room for four large passengers, with a fifth possible in the back seat. The Civic’s front seats could use more lumbar padding, but otherwise feel plush, above its price range—and the view out is expansive. Trunk space and rear-seat room peg the usefulness meter, too.
Well-equipped and inexpensive, the 2022 Civic ticks many boxes especially the Si. With a standard manual transmission, the Si comes with a 200-Hp Turbocharged Engine, Drive Mode System, Helical Limited-Slip Differential, 18-inch Alloy Wheels with Summer Tires, LED Headlights, 9.0-inch touchscreen, Bose Premium Sound, Sport Seats, Automatic Climate Control, and a Power Moonroof for an incredible value steal of only $28,515. On all Civics, Honda’s 3-year/36,000-mile warranty comes standard.
The all-new 2022 Honda Civic Si is the most fun-to-drive Civic to date and also our top pick among small cars; there isn’t anything it doesn’t do well. Efficient, refined powertrains, entertaining handling, class leading safety, and impressive technology; the list goes on and on. All you need to do is find your favorite back road!