2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Review:Driving Impressions

Christian Wardlaw, Independent Expert | Oct 12, 2021

Fun to drive, comfortable, practical, and by all indications quite safe, the new 2022 Honda Civic hatchback is an appealing vehicle, especially in Sport Touring trim.

Will There Be a 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback?

Yes, there will be a 2022 Honda Civic hatchback, which you’ll see in the photos below. Based on the recently redesigned 2022 Honda Civic sedan, the new compact 5-door hatch shares plenty with its 4-door sibling. However, unlike the previous-generation Civic hatchback, this new one is made in the U.S.A. instead of the U.K.

Honda offered me seat time in two different versions of the Civic hatchback Sport Touring. One arrived in Rallye Red paint and was equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the other featured Sonic Gray Pearl paint and a 6-speed manual transmission. Driving impressions follow, and for more detail about the new Honda Civic hatchback, be sure to see J.D. Power’s full preview of the car.

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Price and Release Date

Honda says the 2022 Civic hatchback price structure is as follows:

  • LX ($22,900)
  • Sport ($24,100)
  • EX-L ($26,600)
  • Sport Touring ($29,400)

These prices are up to $1,000 more than equivalent Civic sedans, and Honda charges $1,015 to ship the Civic hatchback from the Greensburg, Indiana factory that builds it to your local dealership. With Sport and Sport Touring versions, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with the CVT available at no extra charge.

I drove two different Civic hatchbacks, each with Sport Touring trim. One had Rallye Red paint and a CVT ($30,415), the other had extra-cost Sonic Gray Pearl paint and a stick shift ($30,810). Both prices include the destination charge. With the manual transmission and Sport Touring trim, Honda restricts your paint color options to black, white, or gray.

The Honda Civic hatchback went on sale on September 20, 2021, according to the automaker. If you’re interested in finding a 2022 Civic hatchback for sale near you, you’ll find inventory listings on JDPower.com.

Independent Expert Opinion: Interior Design, Comfort, and Utility

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Rallye Red Front Quarter View

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

Walking up to the new Honda Civic hatchback, you’ll notice a cleaner, more conservative look compared to the car it replaces. Whether you like the approach or not is entirely dependent on personal preferences. I happen to like the new Civic hatchback’s styling, especially when viewed from the car’s rear quarters. It still has a stubby butt and too much visual weight over the front end, though.

The 2022 Honda Civic hatchback interior is essentially identical to what you’ll find in the Civic sedan – and that’s a good thing. Differences include the available manual transmission and, of course, the large rear liftgate that gives the Civic hatchback an edge when it comes to utility.

Quality and attention to detail are pervasive in the new Civic, and Honda has solved the ergonomic flaws that plagued the previous-generation car. The seats are quite comfortable front and rear, offering occupants proper leg support. 

As far as comfort goes, my family pointed out two big misses. First, my better half complained about the lack of a front passenger’s seat height adjuster. Second, as pointed out by my teenager on a warm and sunny Southern California day, the Civic hatchback lacks rear-seat air conditioning vents. 

Open the hatch, and the Civic hatchback supplies 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s nearly ten cubic feet more than the Civic sedan offers. The hatchback’s load floor isn’t level, though, ramping up to where it meets the 60/40-split back seat when it’s folded down. An innovative 2-piece cargo cover helps you to easily maximize volume without needing to remove and store it.

Honda does not provide a maximum cargo volume measurement for the Civic hatchback, but you can expect to cram twice as much into the car when you fold the back seat down.

Independent Expert Opinion: Infotainment, Technology, and Safety

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Interior Dashboard CVT

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

Honda equips the new Civic hatchback with the same new infotainment system and next-generation Honda Sensing advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) that you’ll find in the Civic sedan. However, Honda reserves the good stuff for the Sport Touring trim level.

What do I mean by that? With Sport Touring trim, you get a larger 9-inch touchscreen infotainment display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 10.2-inch digital instrumentation display is also standard with Sport Touring trim, along with an impressive 12-speaker Bose premium sound system, a navigation system with real-time traffic data, satellite radio, and wireless smartphone charging. Getting all of this tech is one good reason to upgrade to the Sport Touring version of the car.

The tech works beautifully, including the voice recognition system. It responded quickly and accurately to my standard testing queries and commands. However, it could not change satellite radio stations to a SiriusXM music genre (reggae) and, evidently, climate system adjustments are not available through voice commands. The screen is mounted high on the dashboard, it is easy to get to the home screen tiles to switch views, and there is a power/volume knob with tuning buttons right below.

Honda Sensing is a comprehensive collection of ADAS. With the debut of the 2022 Civic, it has grown to include new features such as Traffic Jam Assist and Low-Speed Braking Control. Naturally, both require the CVT.

Furthermore, Honda Sensing operates in a smoother and more refined manner than before. And, with the 2022 Civic, Honda drops the old Lane Watch technology for a blind-spot warning system. Unfortunately, this critically important safety technology is available only with EX-L and Sport Touring trim, and a rear cross-traffic warning comes only with an upgrade to the Civic Sport Touring. This limitation represents yet another reason why getting the most expensive version of the Civic hatchback is worthwhile.

In use, Honda Sensing is mainly unobtrusive, but not entirely so. Drivers can quickly call up system settings using a button on the lower left side of the dashboard and switch things on and off using a menu in the instrumentation display. With the ADAS active, a pictogram appears between the gauges to show a visual representation of system activity. It also notifies the driver when the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are active.

With the manual gearbox, Honda provides a reminder chime when speeds drop below a certain level and the adaptive cruise control is no longer operational. For example, while driving in moderate traffic in fourth gear, the car’s chime reminded me that I needed to downshift and take complete control as the traffic ahead slowed to a crawl.

Independent Expert Opinion: Driving the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Rallye Red Rear Quarter View

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

Driving the new 2022 Civic hatchback is a joy, but I’ll reserve this judgment for the turbocharged models. 

With EX-L and Sport Touring trim, you get a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder making 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, the latter spread evenly between 1,700 rpm and 4,500 rpm. This is an improvement over the standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the LX and Sport versions of the car, which offers 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet at 4,200 rpm.

Regardless of engine choice, most people will get a Civic hatchback with a CVT. In the turbocharged EX-L and Sport Touring, this isn’t to their detriment. Most of the time, you won’t notice it. And when you do, the droning is pretty muted. With Sport Touring trim, the EPA rates this transmission to return 33 mpg in combined driving. My result was 32.1 mpg, which is in the right neighborhood.

As a driving enthusiast, my preference is for the manual transmission, and it’s terrific. Throws are short, gates are close (maybe a little too close), and the clutch is a delight to modulate. Unfortunately, Downshift rev-matching is absent, but perhaps the upcoming Civic Si and Civic Type R variants will offer it. The stick’s official EPA fuel economy estimate is 31 mpg in combined driving, and I averaged 30.2 mpg.

In typical driving situations, the Civic Sport Touring feels firm but not uncomfortably so. Like the Sport trim, the Sport Touring rides on appealing 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 235/40 Continental ContiProContact tires. Get the Sport Touring onto a favorite mountain road, and it proves quite fun to drive – up to a point.

While the turbocharged engine’s flat torque curve puts a smile on a driver’s face, and the manual gearbox makes it easy to snick between gears, the suspension can feel a little soft on undulating pavement. Nevertheless, the Civic Sport Touring is tossable, predictable, and enjoyable to drive on a favorite stretch of road.

However, if you’re thinking you’ll buy a Sport Touring to rip around in on twisty 2-lane roads, know that the 11.1-inch front and 10.2-inch rear discs are not suitable for repeated hard application when running down a mountain grade. Deer Creek Canyon Road near Malibu cooked them. So when you start to feel them fading, back off because they go pretty quick.

Ultimately, the Civic hatchback Sport Touring’s name is appropriate. For outright driving pleasure, and performance you can count on, you’ll still need to wait for the Si or Type R to arrive.

Independent Expert Opinion of the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

Consumers are buying small crossover SUVs in droves, so the compact hatch segment is drying up. 

Subaru still offers the Impreza with standard all-wheel drive. Toyota still offers the Corolla with more standard power than the Civic. And Mazda still offers the Mazda3 with more standard and available power as well as an available AWD system. But, of this list of alternatives, the artistically designed and decidedly upscale Mazda Mazda3 poses the greatest threat to the Civic hatchback’s success.

But Mazda inexplicably struggles to attract attention, so Honda should have no trouble dominating the Mazda3 in terms of sales. And the new 2022 Honda Civic hatchback has more than just brand recognition and nameplate consideration going for it. 

Aside from its higher price and nose-heavy appearance from certain angles, it is the better version of the automaker’s popular compact car. Fun to drive, comfortable, functional, and by all indications quite safe, it’s an appealing vehicle. Just remember, Honda reserves all of the best feature content for the most expensive Sport Touring trim level.

One last thing before you go: if you found this 2022 Civic hatchback review helpful, be sure to read our more detailed 2022 Civic sedan review.

Christian Wardlaw is a veteran digital automotive journalist with over 25 years of experience in test-driving vehicles. In addition to JDPower.com, his work has appeared in numerous new- and used-car buying guides, newspapers, and automotive industry trade journals.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2021 J.D. Power

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