2022 Honda Civic Si Review Update

Ron Sessions, Independent Expert | Mar 11, 2022

Introduction - Find the best Honda deals!

As Honda rolls out the 11th generation of its popular Civic compact car, the latest variant to go on sale is the Si. Since 1986, the Civic Si has offered an easy step up to affordable driving fun that has maintained the compact 4-door's focus on fuel efficiency and value.

The 2022 Civic Si builds on the clean, understated Accord-like exterior and upscale interior design that has made the 2022 Civic line such a success. Recently, the Civic was named North American Car of the Year by a jury of 50 independent automotive journalists in the United States and Canada.

The 2022 Honda Civic Si sedan arrives with:

  • 200-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo engine
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Available summer-only performance tires
  • Matte-black 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Exclusive sport bucket seats
  • 9-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Premium 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint 2 stereo

Currently, the Civic Si is only available in a 4-door sedan body style, priced at $28,315 including destination, and sitting between the Civic EX and Touring 4-door sedan trims.

Previously, J.D. Power reviewed both the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan and the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback. This review focuses on the updates to the sporty Si trim of the 2022 Civic Sedan and how they potentially impact its overall appeal to consumers.

What Owners Say About the Honda Civic - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Si Blazing Orange Pearl Front Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

The Honda Civic competes in the Compact Car market segment. According to data collected from verified new-vehicle buyers for the J.D. Power 2021 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, 58 percent of new Honda Civic buyers are male (vs. 55 percent for the segment), and the median age of a new Civic buyer is 44 years (vs. 50).

As part of the APEAL Study, owners rated the Civic in 10 primary categories. Listed below in descending order, you'll find their preferences from their most favorite thing about the vehicle to their least favorite:

  • Exterior styling
  • Driving feel
  • Fuel economy
  • Powertrain
  • Setting up and starting
  • Feeling of safety
  • Interior design
  • Driving comfort
  • Getting in and out
  • Infotainment system

In the 2021 APEAL Study, the Civic ranks third out of 10 Compact Car models.

What Our Independent Expert Says About the Honda Civic - Find the best Honda deals!

In the sections that follow, our independent expert analyzes a Civic Si sedan equipped with the following options:

  • Blazing Orange Pearl exterior paint
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 summer performance tires

The price of the test vehicle came to $28,910, including the $1,015 destination charge.

Manual Transmission Only

2022 Honda Civic Si Manual Shifter

Photo: Ron Sessions

Even more noteworthy than Honda offering a standard manual transmission in the 2022 Civic Si is that it's the only transmission currently fitted to that model. That's right; there is no automatic transmission option for the Si. If you don't want to shift gears, the standard Civic sedan and hatchback are your only choices.

Driving enthusiasts will appreciate the short-throw design of the Si's 6-speed manual shifter. It offers smooth action with low friction moving through the gates. And it has a more robust-feeling leather-wrapped aluminum shift lever similar to that of the Type R. Also adapted from the Type R is a rev-matching downshift feature with accompanying throttle blips. With a shorter final-drive ratio than the 6-speed in the Civic hatchback for improved acceleration, the Si's gearbox works through a helical limited-slip differential to improve traction and limit front-tire wheel spin.

The Si's clutch pedal has just-right effort. It's also easy to modulate with a broad engagement zone, so smooth gear changes are easy to pull off without jostling passengers. The shifter's gates are narrowly spaced, and until you get accustomed to the tight pattern, it's easy to grab, say, 5th gear, when you're going for 3rd, or more consequentially, finding 2nd when you simply wanted an easy downshift to 4th.

Standard 200-horsepower 1.5-liter Turbo Engine

The new Civic Si has 11 percent more power and 9 percent more torque than the 180-hp 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder in the regular-issue 2022 Civic sedan. In the Si, its retuned version of the 1.5-liter turbo delivers its 200 hp at a lofty 6,000 rpm, but the Si's 192 pound-feet of peak torque now arrives 300 rpm sooner than previously, at 1,800, and stays robust to 5,000 rpm. The broader torque curve helps the new Si be more responsive in part-throttle situations, especially around town. It also reduces the need to downshift when climbing highway grades.

In the Si, the 200-hp version of the 1.5-liter turbo doesn't provide a significant boost in performance, shaving just a few tenths of a second off the low-7-second zero-to-60-mph time of a regular-issue Civic EX or Touring with the 180-horse version of that engine. And some of the Si's modest acceleration advantage can be attributed to its shorter 4.35:1 final-drive ratio (compared to the 4.10:1 gears of the Civic hatchback). Honda says a lighter flywheel lets the Si rev more quickly as well.

A new low-restriction exhaust adds some voice from the Si's prominent dual outlets. Also, Honda uses Active Sound Control to supplement the organic pipe music with synthesized sounds emanating from the car's radio speakers.

The good news is the Si's incremental performance gain has only a minor impact on fuel economy—always a Honda brand pillar. EPA estimates show only a slight falloff in fuel economy for the Si's 200-horse, 6-speed manual-equipped sedan from that of the 180-horse/6-speed manual Sport Touring hatchback, dropping to 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway/31 mpg combined from 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway/31 mpg combined. In a week of mixed city and highway driving, the Si test car's trip computer displayed a 32.5-mpg average fuel economy reading.

By sport compact sedan standards, the Si's 200 hp is modest, considering the 276 under the hood of the first-ever Hyundai Elantra N, 250 in the Mazda3 Turbo, 241 in the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and 228 offered by the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, all of which are capable of sprinting from rest to 60 mph in the mid 5- to low 6-second range. In the sport compact realm, the Civic Si is more of a scalpel than a broadsword. Enthusiasts who want more beans in the Civic will have to wait until later this year when Honda unleashes a new Civic Type R hatchback with an estimated 320-plus horsepower from an updated 2.0-liter turbo engine.

Upgraded Interior with Sport Seats

2022 Honda Civic Si Interior Dashboard

Photo: Ron Sessions

Priced between the EX and Touring trims of the sedan, the Civic Si forgoes the leather seat trim, heated power-operated front buckets, and wireless phone charger of the Touring. It does, however, add upgraded infotainment in the form of the Touring model's 9-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, static-free HD Radio, free trial of SiriusXM satellite radio, and 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint surround-sound premium audio system.

The Si's cloth-covered sport front bucket seats have built-in head restraints and extra bolstering for the thighs, shoulders, and lower torso that keep their occupants planted, and the lower cushions tilt up at the front for added under-thigh support. The two-tone design includes red accents and contrasting stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, doors, center armrest, shifter boot, and knob. Heated front seats, however, are not available.

The driver faces a 7-inch color instrument display with a digital tachometer, analog speedometer, and center information display.

Sport-tuned Underpinnings

Skewed toward comfort that can sometimes get bouncy over undulating pavement, the regular-issue Civic sedan is nevertheless tossable and enjoyable to drive on most roads. While never harsh, the Si's higher spring rates and firmer shock damping address that by helping to maintain good vertical body control in those situations. Also, in the Si, thicker stabilizer bars help check body roll in turns. Reinforced front MacPherson strut mounts are employed to withstand higher cornering forces, and stiffer suspension bushings and rear suspension arms borrowed from the Type R aid stability. Slightly quicker-ratio steering with a more rigid internal torsion bar for improved response and more tactile feedback also aids the Si's cause.

A significant improvement, especially when descending a long, curvy stretch requiring repeated hard brake snubs, is the Si's upsized 12.3-inch front/11.1-inch rear brake rotors. The rotors in the Si are nearly 10-percent larger and thereby better at dissipating heat than the binders in the regular Civic sedan and hatchback. A $200 option, sticky 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 asymmetrical-tread summer performance tires can generate up to 0.94 g of lateral grip in the Si, according to Honda. The Si test car came with these summer-tread tires, and the turn-in response was appropriately crisp.

The Si also adds a new Individual mode to the existing driver-selectable Normal and Sport modes that allow drivers to customize the driving experience.

Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Si Blazing Orange Pearl Rear Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

Shorn of its recent Rocket Boy styling, the 2022 Honda Civic Si sedan is all grown up with a classier exterior and interior. The new Civic Si also has more advanced infotainment and driver-assistive features while doubling down with sharper handling and turbocharged performance that make it a smart choice for sport compact sedan buyers.

Down five hp from its 2021 version, the 2022 Civic Si isn't exactly retina-detaching quick compared to sport compact competitors such as the Jetta GLI, Golf GTI, Elantra N, and Mazda3 turbo—or even a bevy of new mainstream compact electric sedans such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5Kia EV6, and VW ID.4. But what the Civic Si brings is a nuanced, well-rounded package of affordable performance that enhances the sedan's fun-to-drive quotient without degrading its usefulness as an everyday transportation machine.

Ron Sessions is a seasoned vehicle evaluator with more than three decades of experience. He has penned hundreds of road tests for automotive and consumer websites, enthusiast magazines, newsletters, technical journals, and newspapers.

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. © 2022 J.D. Power

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