2022 Honda Civic Sedan Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Apr 28, 2021
  • Redesigned compact sedan
  • Minimalistic design and details
  • Improved comfort and convenience
  • Revised and refined powertrains
  • Reworked suspension and steering
  • Significant safety and infotainment upgrades
  • On sale by summer

Some people still prefer cars to SUVs, and for these consumers, the redesigned 2022 Honda Civic will likely be high on shopping lists. Popular across age, gender, and ethnic lines, the Civic is one of the best-selling vehicles in America. And, according to Honda, it has been for years.

Based on our hands-on examination of the all-new 2022 Civic, designers and engineers can expect to receive their annual bonuses because the car looks and feels better than ever. We'll soon find out how it drives.

2022 Honda Civic Touring Red Sport Blue

As of this writing, Honda has officially revealed the 2022 Civic sedan. Details about the 2022 Civic hatchback will come later, and the 2-door coupe went extinct after the 2020 model year.

Initially, the new Civic sedan is available in LX, Sport, EX, and Touring trim levels and offers a choice between a normally aspirated and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Each engine uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to power the front wheels.

For driving enthusiasts, a Civic Si sedan is likely to return in the future, and perhaps even with a manual gearbox. We'll see. Honda will undoubtedly keep the performance-tuned Civic Type R in the hatchback's lineup, too.

Exterior Features - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Touring Red Side View

If the redesigned 2022 Honda Civic looks a little plain to you, that's not a mistake. The automaker claims the overarching design approach adheres to the original Honda ethos of "Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum."

Highlights include:

  • Wheelbase stretched by 1.4 inches
  • Wider rear track
  • Low hood, fenders, and beltline
  • Full LED lighting
  • Open and airy greenhouse
  • Windshield pillars moved two inches farther back
  • Door-mounted side mirrors to maximize visibility

Though the new 2022 Civic resembles the current-generation Honda Accord, Honda says designers revisited successful concepts of previous-generation Civics for inspiration.

Sport trim will likely be the most popular trim level, according to Honda. It comes with Berlina Black 18-inch wheels, blacked-out exterior chrome, and an oversized exhaust outlet to present a sporty appearance.

Choose LX trim, and the car has 16-inch steel wheels. The Civic EX rolls on 17-inch alloys. Touring trim features 18-inch wheels, painted Shark Gray with machined edges. New paint colors across the lineup include Meteorite Gray, Sonic Gray (as seen on Accord), and Morning Mist Blue (exclusive to Civic for now).

Interior Features - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Dashboard Air Vent Detail

Honda calls its new interior design language "Simplicity and Something," with the "something" defined as detailing that makes the cabin a little "extra." In the 2022 Civic, that something extra describes the air vents, which seamlessly integrate with the metal honeycomb trim spanning the dashboard's width and continuing into the door panels.

Besides providing "simple, clean and modern" design in the new Civic, Honda promises high-quality materials for all touchpoints and refined operation of switchgear and controls. The automaker says it also paid particular attention to surface materials to hide fingerprints, smudges, and dust. Based on our first sampling of the Civic's new interior, these claims are accurate.

Honda also says it strove to provide excellent outward visibility. The flat dashboard has a minimum of seams and panels to reduce glare, the hood and cowl are low, and designers tuck the windshield wipers out of view. The result, according to Honda, is a "panoramic view" through the windshield.

Partial digital instrumentation is standard with LX, Sport, and EX trim, while the Touring gets full digital instrumentation on a 10.2-inch display. You can customize the Touring's data panel with two different visual themes and decide what data to display. A pictogram of a Civic shows the status of the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, helping to prevent situations where drivers are barreling down the road with only the running lights illuminated.

New front seats debut, employing a Body Stabilizing Seat approach that holds occupants firmly in place while enhancing long-distance comfort. We can report they're agreeable and supply plenty of leg support. However, the front passenger's seat still doesn't offer height adjustment.

The rear-seat room is on par with the previous Civic, supplying enough space for adults and children alike. Rear air conditioning vents remain unavailable, however.

Interior storage is generous, but the previous Civic's deep, roomy, and configurable center console bin is gone, replaced by a conventional design.

Trunk space measures 14.8 cubic feet, down from 15.1 cubic feet in the previous car. Honda says the reduction is due to the new rear seat's more comfortable backrest angle. With Touring trim, the trunk holds no more than 14.4 cubic feet of cargo because of the premium sound system's subwoofer.

Under the Hood - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Touring Turbocharged 1.5-liter Engine

Honda updates rather than replaces the Civic's drivetrains. A normally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard with LX and Sport trim, generating 158 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 138 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. This year it adds standard automatic engine stop/start to make it more efficient and lower emissions.

A turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard with EX and Touring trim. It is more potent than before, delivering 180 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (+6) and 177 pound-feet of torque from 1,700 rpm to 4,500 rpm (+15). This year, Honda says the engine includes Variable Timing and lift Electronic Control (VTEC) for the exhaust valves.

Each engine pairs with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Tuned specifically for use with each power plant, the CVT includes revised Step-Shift programming for a more natural sound and feel than the previous-generation Civic. Paddle shifters are standard with Sport and Touring trim.

The Civic LX and EX have Normal and Eco driving modes. Sport and Touring trim levels add a Sport mode. Sport mode alters the drive ratios and throttle mapping for a more engaging driving experience and changes the Touring's instrumentation lighting theme to red.

Eco mode reduces throttle and transmission responsiveness and reduces air conditioning output to improve fuel economy. All versions of the car are more fuel-efficient for 2022, except the EX. In combined driving, the range is from 33 mpg for the Civic Sport to 36 mpg for the Civic EX.

Honda claims engine sound, power delivery, and refinement are improved over last year, while a stiffer vehicle architecture, revised steering, and refined suspension result in better ride and handling traits. 

According to Honda, upgraded MacPherson struts improve steering feel and self-centering, while the new Civic's wider rear track and other modifications enhance straight-line stability and turn-in response. The re-tuned electronic power steering provides better feedback and straight-line stability, according to the company.

Overall, says Honda, the changes result in a smoother, more linear, more precise feel in turns and a greater sense of responsiveness and synchronicity to the driving dynamics. Additional benefits include a 20% reduction in road shock, a quieter cabin, and less noise, vibration, and harshness.

Safety Systems - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Touring Digital Gauges Blind Spot Warning

Honda uses a next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) vehicle architecture for the 2022 Civic. It's lighter and uses more aluminum, high-strength steel, and structural adhesives to meet all current and expected future safety standards. Honda also designed it for even greater crash compatibility with larger and heavier vehicles. 

Safety engineers also focused on improving frontal angled collision protection, and Honda upgrades the side-impact protection with new rear-seat side airbags and structural enhancements. Modifications to the Civic's front structures aim to improve pedestrian protection, while specially-engineered front airbags reduce traumatic brain and neck injuries in angled front-end collisions.

Honda Sensing, the automaker's collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), is standard. It uses new single-camera technology with a broader field of view than the previous radar-and-camera system. More robust processing of data and software advancements mean it responds faster and more accurately than before to pedestrians, cyclists, road lines, and road signs. Honda also says the adaptive cruise control is smoother, especially concerning braking application, while the lane-keeping assistance feels more natural and linear.

Unfortunately, Honda restricts blind-spot warning to the EX and Touring trims, and rear cross-traffic warning is only available with Touring trim. The most expensive Civic is also your path to the new Low-Speed Braking Control system, which prevents bumper bumps while parking, and Traffic Jam Assist, which combines the adaptive cruise and lane-centering for a less stressful commute. 

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Interior Dashboard

All 2022 Honda Civic models except for the Touring have a standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It includes both power/volume and tuning/selection knobs. Hard buttons line up in a row under the screen to offer shortcuts to phone, media, radio, audio, and other functions. The standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto require a USB-connected cable.

Touring trim has an all-new 9-inch high-definition touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is the largest screen of any Honda (for now), and while it loses the standard tuning knob, it gains tuning buttons along with a Home button. Wireless smartphone charging is also standard with Touring trim.

Exclusive to the Civic Touring, a 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint 2 premium audio system with SurroundStage digital signal processing is standard. Honda says it was custom-engineered for the Civic's interior and acoustics, placing the driver and passengers "in the middle of the music" for a "clear and spacious listening experience." We sampled it within a quiet studio, and it sounded terrific. It won't be long before we find out if wind and road noise change that impression.

2022 Honda Civic Competitors - Find the best Honda deals!

2022 Honda Civic Sport Blue Rear Quarter View

Compact cars remain one of the best pathways to leap from used-car to new-car ownership, and there is no shortage of choices in the segment. 

Alternatives to the new 2022 Honda Civic include the:

Time will tell if the Civic continues to set the bar. And the sales records.

Honda and the author's observations of a pre-production car in a private studio are the sources of information in this article. It was accurate as of April 26, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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