Our Rides: Our Honda Civic Has Matured
Let’s talk about the “universal car.”
It is a vehicle that attracts a wide consumer base. It is a vehicle that does not discriminate. Nor should it. These universal vehicles are loved by all people for their reliability, dependability, affordability, and efficiency.
One of those vehicles is the Honda Civic.
We love the Civic. It is practical, efficient, comfortable, dependable, reliable, and trustworthy. It is also a common car amongst us – something that we’ll drive no matter who we are.
For those of us who are humble by nature, the Honda Civic is the car you’ll drive until it can no longer repaired.
Here’s another tidbit of trivia: Did you know that the Honda Civic has been around for 50 years?
In 1972, Honda developed a small car for global markets that was more mature than any four-wheeled it sold until that point. The handsome Civic two-door became the starting off point for new technology Honda was developing for its cars, such as the ultra-efficient and cleaner CVCC engine.
Over the decades, the Civic’s previous ten generations pushed the envelope with efficient drivelines and design advances, while raising the bar in terms of customer satisfaction with a solidly built and engineered car.
Here we are. Fifty years later and Honda has just introduced an eleventh generation Civic. One that continues the story of this superb compact car. One that continues to lead in the sales charts among sedans and hatchbacks.
The new 2022 Honda Civic offers a cleaner look compared to the last generation model. All of the lines have been smoothed out. The front end is more straightforward. The wheelbase is longer for the sedan and hatchback models, even though the latter body style is shorter by just three inches.
The rear end treatment is where Honda did the most work. The both the sedan and hatchback have a cleaner finish to them, along with distinctive horizontal taillights for each body style.
My tester was the hatchback model, which is really my pick of the two. Not because of its instant practicality, but I truly like the overall look. This was enhanced with the 18-inch alloy wheels and honeycomb upper grille treatment found on the Sport Touring trim level.
When you step inside the 2022 Civic, you will see where most of the changes for the new generation model has taken place. One is a new dashboard featuring an instrument cluster screen that is cleaner and easier to read. No more gimmicky gauges and readouts! The screen also feels a bit upmarket, which will attract those looking for something even better than their older Civic.
I would be remised if I did not mention the honeycomb trim pattern for the vents across the dashboard. Talk about a cool touch to a very cool layout!
The center console has been cleaned up a bit, along with the climate controls. The nine-inch infotainment screen crowns the center stack offering wireless smartphone integration and device charging. Bose pumps out a lovely sound from its twelve speakers throughout the cabin.
For front seat occupants, you are spoiled with larger chairs upholstered in the Sport Touring leather. You get a more mature level of comfort and support up front. While rear leg room has improved, taller passengers may have to negotiate the sloping roofline when sent to back of the Civic.
Behind the rear seats, you can load up to 24.5 cubic feet of shopping or vacation goodies. The hatch opens wide and high for better loading. The loading lip is a drop down that won’t hurt your luggage. Fold down the rear seats, and longer items are more than welcome inside the Civic hatchback.
The Civic lineup offers three performance levels across nine different models. My Sport Touring hatchback tester was equipped with the 180-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Connected to a continuously variable transmission that send power down to the front wheels, this driveline is the right choice for daily commuting, long distance cruising, and a run to the store.
It is efficient, but I know you will average better than the 30.1 MPG I got in this tester. I blame it on winter temperatures and conditions – yeah, let’s go with that…
The overall driving experience was really good. It rode very well and absorbed what it can from our wintry pockmarked roads. Handling was definitely sharp, thanks to a good steering rack and tight turning radius. On-center feel is good, but you can get a heavier steering feel when putting the Civic into Sport mode.
Brake pedal feel was good and responsive down to the wheels. It also exhibited good stops in all situations and conditions.
Pricing for the 2022 Honda Civic lineup starts at $22,350. My Sport Touring hatchback tester came with a sticker price of $31,260.
There is a lot to love about the 2022 Civic. It elevates all of the good things we know about this car. Even in its new skin, mature demeanor, and enhanced underpinnings, it still gives off the “universal car” vibe for us.
For good measure, the 2022 Civic was awarded the prestigious North American Car of The Year for 2022, beating out the Volkswagen Golf GTI/R and the Lucid Air.
My bottom line is this: If you search high and low for a new car in this tough market we’re in – check out the Civic. If you find one that you like, bring it home!