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The Honda Civic has been all about practicality, reliability, and value in the U.S. car market since 1973. Over the years it’s taken many shapes and forms, from cute little round hatchback to plucky little coupe to a wild, five-door beast. Now, a new 11th-generation Civic has debuted for the 2022 model year, and it seems like a solid continuation of what people have been liking about these cars for decades. In fact, with a very nice interior, more grown-up looks, and improved handling chops, it might be the best Civic generation yet.

Even though the car is, in Honda’s words, an evolution of the 10th-generation (rather than a clean sheet completely new car), there are still a lot of upgrades and improvements to discuss. The first batch of car reviewers to drive it have published their impressions, so it’s time for another Review Rundown! As usual, we’ve assembled a compilation of key takeaways from some top names in automotive journalism.

Cleaner, More Grown-Up Looks

We dug the look of the 10th gen Civic lineup. It seemed a little too wild at first, but over time we really took a shine to it. The new, 11th-gen Civic sedan looks substantially different, resembling the old one only slightly here and there, and generally looking more crisp and grown-up.

Conner Golden for Motor Trend:

“At face value, the new 2022 Civic immediately addresses one of its predecessor’s few rough spots by rounding out and nip/tucking the insectoid Transformer-tastic styling. Think of this glow-up as the Civic taking after big bro Accord, wearing its older sib’s more mature hand-me-down duds in place of its collection of anime graphic tees.

The Accord’s sleek, tapered vibe slips snugly over the prior Civic’s bones, pushing the A-pillars back by about 2.0 inches, complimented by a nearly 1-inch drop in the front beltline. Both height and width are unchanged—at least on the sedan—but overall length stretches by 1.3 inches and the wheelbase extends an extra 1.4 inches. The cutting continues in the rear, with 1.2 inches lopped from the area beneath the C-pillar.

Honda claims this improved dash-to-axle ratio imposes a bit of a rear-wheel-drive stance to the front-wheel-drive Civic, but we just think it looks right. We’ll hardly lose sleep over the removal of the outgoing car’s garish crab-claw taillights, and we welcome the suppression of the wacky-for-the-sake-of-being-wacky attitude.”

Jon Wong for CNET Roadshow:

“The 11th-generation Civic adopts a more mature design that isn’t drastically different from its predecessor, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The fast roofline remains, while the body wears more defined and less curvy lines.

The new Civic’s A-pillars have been pulled back roughly 2 inches to elongate the hood and the beltline is now lower, providing more side glass for better outward visibility, and giving the back quarter an almost Audi-like appearance. I do miss the outgoing car’s shapelier and more distinctive rear end, though, as the new one looks soft by comparison.”

Solid Standard and Optional Tech

Keeping up with the times, Honda offers a solid amount of convenience and safety tech on all trim levels, with top trims getting some very nice additions.

Clint Simone for Motor1.com:

“The upper two trims, EX and Touring, sweeten the deal with a 9.0-inch touchscreen and a full-digital 10-inch instrument cluster. All new Civics come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though the bigger touchscreen offers wireless connectivity.

In practice, this new infotainment setup is high-class, recalling Audi’s latest MMI with big, easy-to-follow apps on the home screen. And for any current Civic owner that desperately wishes for a volume knob, that comes standard on every trim, too. You’ll be using it often because the optional Bose audio system is great here just like it is in other compact sedans like the Mazda3. Hop in, drop your phone on the wireless charging pad, wirelessly stream your music through Spotify, and turn up the volume. It’s a simple indulgence, but one that makes the new Civic feel that much more premium.”

Jon Wong for CNET Roadshow:

“The range-topping Touring gets all of Honda’s available bells and whistles, like a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster, stellar-sounding 12-speaker Bose audio setup and responsive 9-inch infotainment touchscreen. There’s also onboard navigation with real-time traffic information, Bluetooth and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. It all works as advertised with nice physical controls and intuitive menus, with the only hiccup being a noticeably longer bootup period for the multimedia tech.

Non-Touring Civics come with a few less goodies. The gauge cluster is just partially digital with a small driver information screen, the center infotainment display measures 7 inches, you only get 4 or 8 speakers for the audio system depending on trim and CarPlay and Android Auto require a wired connection. Disappointingly, no matter what Civic model you get, a Wi-Fi hotspot is not available.

Every new Civic receives a substantial list of standard safety tech. The Honda Sensing suite comes with forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist and updated adaptive cruise control. New for 2022 are traffic jam assist and traffic sign recognition. EX and Touring trims benefit from standard-issue blind-spot monitoring, too.”

And let’s not forget about how this is packaged with improved passive safety, like airbags, too.

Erin Marquis for Jalopnik:

“…(Honda Sensing) also senses road signs and lines with much greater ease. Using lane-keeping assist and Traffic Jam assist, the car was better at staying in its lane, using gentler corrections and more natural braking when the car began to stray. The dash now shows a little animation of your car as the cameras and radar sense the lane markings. It even animates traffic around you. These are cool little details you expect on something like a Tesla, but not really a Honda.

Passive safety has also been improved: The front passenger airbags, for instance, have been redesigned to prevent brain injuries in the even of a crash by reducing head movement. The Civic’s body structure has been updated to better handle crashes with larger vehicles, a very real concern for sedan drivers in a world with roads increasingly full of trucks and SUVs. Overall, the new Civic is 8-percent stiffer in torsional rigidity, and 13-percent stiffer in bending rigidity.

An Interior That’s a Great Place To Be

We didn’t have any qualms with the old Civic when it came to its interior, but it’s great to see that Honda stepped up its game anyway.

John Beltz Snyder for Autoblog:

“The interior is a place of serenity, and it almost feels like there’s more room to breathe. The flat, low dash and taller windows give a confidence-inspiring view of the world outside. Materials in our Touring model were nice, including the leather upholstery, steering wheel and shift lever. The metal honeycomb mesh across the dash is the centerpiece of the interior, and it looks retro, fresh, simple and interesting all at once. It also neatly obscures the air vents, which can be manipulated with tactile knobs that fall into place with a nice detent when pointed in the dead forward position. The Bose speakers in our Touring tester are cleanly integrated, rather than emphasized. Honda even chose materials that would better resist fingerprints and reflections in order to keep the interior looking as tidy as possible.

It’s comfortable, too, as we’d find over the course of several hundred miles and many hours in the cockpit. The seats — which Honda redesigned for greater comfort in just this sort of situation — remained supportive throughout our long drives. In the rear seat, the headliner is a little too close for comfort, at least in our sunroof-equipped tester. There is extra space carved out directly above the head there, but it dips down just in front of that, giving the illusion that your head is much nearer to the roof. Either way, there was plenty of room for a high-back booster seat, and no complaints from our young passenger.”

Erin Marquis for Jalopnik:

“The speedometer and other dials are clear as day on a LCD screen in front of the driver. Gone are the weird plastic dividers that made viewing the important information difficult. The infotainment unit has been moved up to the dash, reminiscent of Mazda. You can get a 9-inch screen in the Touring, Honda’s largest on offer. The clunky vents are gone, hidden by the honeycomb design that stretches all the way from the instrument cluster to the passenger side of the car. The air vents sit behind the faceplate and come with satisfying-as-fuck little nob controls. The HVAC controls have tiny digital displays on their faces It’s a much less cluttered. This interior feels like a classic in the making.

Getting rid of visual noise is now the name of the game for Honda’s designers. The piano black stipe in the interior is finger smudge resistant. And believe me, as soon as a PR person tells me something can’t be smudged, I was in there putting my sticky, unclean blogger hands all over it. True to their word, however, it stayed jet black in all but the brightest sunlight (and even then the piano black only showed a ghost of a smudge).”

When the Road Gets Twisty

One aspect of the new, 11th-gen Civic that’s definitely music to our ears is its improved handling. We enjoyed the 10th-gen in the twisties, and it sounds like the new model has gotten even better.

Conner Golden for Motor Trend:

“Through a combination of adhesives and additional structural componentry, Honda claims an 8 percent increase in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity. The suspension is retuned, as is the electric steering, and dimensionally, there’s an extra 0.5 inch added to the rear track. 

On the viciously squiggly canyon roads that snake through Malibu, California, this all adds up to a fabulously tight little car. We quickly found the regular Civic sedan’s chassis significantly outpaces the Touring’s and the Sport’s standard 235/40 18-inch all-season tires. With a set of summers or even ultra-high-performance all-seasons, we reckon the Civic Touring would pull an impressive imitation of a Volkswagen GTI. 

It feels solid. Inputs are Porsche-like in their weight and mapping, with a firm brake pedal and a reasonably snappy throttle. The electric steering is understandably light, but it’s neither overly quick nor artificial, with predictable load-up. Damping is almost hot-hatch tight and impressively smooth over broken pavement and regular surface streets, with a level of sophistication usually reserved for VWs or base-level compact luxury cars. “

Clint Simone for Motor1.com:

“To put it plainly, this Civic had better steering feel than the 2021 Acura TLX Type S that we drove to the Honda event. While that’s not such great news for the Type S, it’s a big win for the H-badged sedan, which provided surprisingly great feedback as we chucked it through the canyons of Malibu, California. We also gave high marks to the chassis tuning, which felt tidy when pushed but didn’t come across as too stiff, like the Toyota Corolla.”

Acceleration Is Good, But Not Great

One slight bummer about the new Civic is it seems to have gotten slightly slower. This could be due to gaining a few pounds over the old generation in the name of safety, efficiency, and comfort. Numbers are good, but not great. On the flipside, economy is impressive.

Annie White For Car & Driver:

“The fuel economy gains vary by trim level. The EPA estimates the 2.0-liter engine’s efficiency will improve by 1 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway in the base LX trim—that’s 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway for the new car. The 1.5-liter turbo engine has bumped up its EPA rating by 1 mpg in the city in both the EX and Touring trims for 33 and 31 mpg, respectively.

Our test of a 2022 Civic Touring suggests that those efficiency tweaks may have affected acceleration. With the turbo engine, the new Civic needs 7.5 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph and 15.8 seconds to cross the quarter-mile mark. We wrung out plenty of previous-gen Civics with the 1.5-liter turbo and a CVT, and they were all in the neighborhood of a 6.8-second sprint to 60 and a 15.2-second quarter-mile. The new car carries 130 more pounds, possibly gained in the interest of greater structural rigidity, but we’d expect that sort of weight gain to add just a tenth to 60-mph acceleration times.”

Though, despite these figures not being as ideal, it apparently still feels zippy. Perhaps that’s what truly counts.

John Beltz Snyder for Autoblog:

“Low-end torque from the turbo-four is ample, and the 1.5-liter is happy to spin the tires gunning it from a stop. Sport Mode only governs accelerator and transmission behavior, making throttle tip-in really snappy. The sound isn’t something that’ll quicken your pulse, but it isn’t too droney thanks to the behavior and simulated shifts of the CVT. Engine noise is further reduced by sound deadening and things like a more rigid crankshaft and oil pan, lighter pistons and a number of other unseen revisions.”

Clint Simone for Motor1.com:

“We spent our day interacting with the turbocharged unit, which remains a great little powertrain to work with. As before, there’s a decent bit of turbo lag before the juice comes on, but once on the move, the 180 ponies on offer feel like plenty for everyday driving. There is also a minor gain in fuel economy, with the new Civic achieving 31 city, 38 highway, and 34 combined – 1-mpg improvements around town and overall.

Honda is leaving the manual transmission option to the performance versions, so a CVT is the only way to go on the standard Civic. It hardly disrupts the driving experience though, rarely hanging revs or exhibiting any bad manners.”

Photos

Here’s a healthy crop of images Honda put out of the car parked and rolling around Southern California, so you can check it out from every angle.

Pricing and Availability

Though not typically part of our Review Rundowns, Honda just announced that this car started arriving at dealerships on June 16, and shared some list prices so we’ll wrap up with that:

TrimEngineList Price
+ Destination Charge
EPA Fuel Economy Rating
(City/Highway/Combined)
LX2.0$22,69531 / 40 / 35
Sport2.0$24,09530 / 37 / 33
EX1.5 Turbo$25,69533 / 42 / 36
Touring1.5 Turbo$29,29531 / 38 / 34
Numbers from Honda

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