The Civic is priced from $24,465 in Canada, $21,700 in the US.
For the moment, only the sedan is available. It will soon be followed by the hatchback.
The Civic has been one of the best-selling cars in North America for decades.
The Honda Civic is my generation’s Volkswagen Beetle. The Bug was the car from my parent’s generation that everyone had come into contact with in one way or another. As a mid-way Gen Xer, I more or less witnessed the passing of the torch. I know many people, including my Boomer parents who owned Beetles, and I know even more people who’ve been linked to the Civic.
At home, the wife and I own two, albeit not your typical Civics as we have a del Sol and a CR-X. Even so, between the spouse and my immediate family, we’ve called no fewer than seven as our own over the last 30 years. For anyone between the ages of 35 and 50, the Honda Civic was a rite of passage. And now, in 2022, Honda is celebrating 50 years and 11 generations of their ultra-popular compact car.
Not my Civic
Or your father’s Civic for that matter. Honda’s not taken any chances with the new 11th-gen car. Knowing full-well that it now competes with the likes of the HR-V and CR-V in its own showroom as well as direct adversaries like the Mazda3, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra, Honda’s had to up the game.
And they have as this new Civic is the most refined and civilized ever. The car’s styling is the first hint that this isn’t my Civic. From most angles, especially from the front, the current-generation Accord’s influence is clear and present. The new Civic, despite its subdued design compared to the 10th generation car, looks sportier thanks in large part to the pushed-back “A” pillars, longer hood, and lower roofline. Muscular and determined, the 2022 Civic is farther than ever to the econobox of old.
The car’s simple lines are flatter and broader than previously projecting a more mature and premium image. This sense of width carries into the completely revamped cabin. Of the visual improvements, the 2022 Civic’s interior is the most appreciable. It starts with a wonderful horizontal and narrow grille that integrates the vents. Audi-esque in presentation, the vents are controlled via joystick-like knobs for a dash of fun in an otherwise far more serious environment.
The tested vehicle was a $30,265 Touring trim. With it are included real leather seats, a 9-inch touchscreen display, and a 10.2-inch digital instrument layout. Combined, the Touring is without a doubt aimed at Honda enthusiasts debating between a Civic and an Accord. The generally comfortable front seats could use a little more lumbar support however the afforded space upfront means that all appendages are at ease. The same goes for the rear seating positions where average adults will find plenty of room.
Part of the appeal to the Civic is its overall build quality. Still assembled in Canada, the new Civic is solidly put together with select materials that give the impression that they will stand the test of time. And this is important as Civic owners tend to keep their cars for a long time.
Non-Touring for the masses
Unfortunately, another auto manufacturer has selected its top trim vehicles for us to test when in all likelihood, it will represent the lowest sales volume. The Touring is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine which now produces 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. Still and only mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the power is sent to the front wheels only.
With very little lag to speak of, the Touring happens to be fairly quick. The torque-rich mill delivers maximum twisting power from 1,700 rpm to 4,500 rpm and the CVT works well within these parameters. It will mimic shifts but its goal is efficiency, which it delivers. Most drivers will average about 7L/100km or better as that’s what I managed to get.
Other than the power advantage, the 1.5T also does not bring with it a fuel consumption penalty as the standard 158-horsepower 2.0-litre engine with the standard CVT returns the same numbers. But frankly, I’d likely stick to an EX or Sport for the 2.0.
Honda has long been known to create cars that are pleasant to drive. The new 2022 Civic is no different, and yet it’s quite different. The reinforced and now stiffer structure filters out shakes and rattles, enabling the fully independent suspension to deliver the goods.
The ride quality is wonderful albeit a small step behind that of the Mazda3 in all-out refinement. Even so, no Civic has even been this cosseting and well sorted. To transition from a 2012 Civic into a 2022 will be like exploring a new planet. The other highlights of the driving experience are steering and brakes. The former is quick to respond, perfectly weighted but never sharp. The latter benefit from positive pedal response and the right amount of travel and performance.
Compared to a 10th generation Civic, the new car feels better sorted in every way. This experience alone leads me to believe that the next Civic Type R will be epic and too “clean.” This is why I think the 2021 Type R will be the final great raw and unfiltered of its kind.
The Civic or?
The answer is simple: The Civic. The Toyota Corolla is the perennial global juggernaut compact car and rightly so. If anything, once you’ve considered the lovely Mazda3 and new Nissan Sentra, your bases are properly covered.
For those who love their Civics with a manual transmission, Honda will bring it back in the hatchback. This does mean that it won’t be inexpensively priced somewhere between an estimated $25,000 and $26,000.