Honda Civic: Best Car To Buy 2022 nominee

December 13, 2021

The redesigned 2022 Honda Civic rewrites the expectations of the compact car. Divorcing itself from the cheap vibe of a budget car, the Civic proves that style, space, and fun can still be had for about $25,000 and it doesn't need to be a crossover. Praise. 

The eleventh-generation Civic comes in sedan, hatchback, and sporty Si variants (the forthcoming Type R was unavailable for testing.) In any form, it sheds the angry insect skin of its predecessor for a milder look of quiet confidence that could easily be mistaken for a mid-size sedan. It's only 1.4 inches longer than last year's model, but Honda pulled back the windshield and A-pillar by about two inches to make the nose appear longer, broader, and more muscular. The hatchback trims nearly five inches off the rear of the sedan, and the nipped tail tucks nicely into a modest rear spoiler and dual exhaust pipes, which also frame the rear of the Si. 

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si

The interior reflects the biggest changes to the Civic. A metallic honeycomb band spans the dash, concealing the vents except for their joystick controllers. A clean climate panel studded with dials and buttons sits under a 7.0-inch or available 9.0 inch touchscreen. The textured center console that matches the door panels looks better than gloss black plastic. It's a good look, free of clutter or cheapness.

The pulled back A-pillar provides good looks from the driver's seat, as well. The base 158-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 with a CVT makes for an efficient commuter car, while the 180-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4 packs more punch higher in the rev range. That's just one reason we prefer the hatchback to the sedan: owners can choose a no-cost 6-speed manual that puts the power back in the driver's hands with a forgiving clutch and short throws that make it great for learning the joys of a stick shift. The Si's turbo-4 is tuned to 200 hp, and only comes with the manual and as a sedan. The gears can feel long, and the shifts notchier due to the influence of the Type R, but the front-wheel-drive car handles with more balance and control even though this iteration lacks adaptive dampers.  

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

Still, we'd opt for the hatchback and its generous cargo space, which expands on the sedan's 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space to 24.5 cubes in the hatch, with 60/40-split rear seats that make it even more versatile. The standard features at this price really impress: automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility. Even the most expensive Civic, the hatchback in Sport Touring (until the Type R), barely eclipses $30,000, and comes with everything from leather seats to Bose sound. 

We give the 2022 Honda Civic a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10 for its all-around goodness. Is it good enough to win our Best Car To Buy award? We'll announce the winner on January 3, 2022.  

Follow along as we crown The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2022 on Jan. 3, and reveal the best vehicles in 15 categories to help you choose the best cars, trucks, and SUVs. Vote for our annual Driver’s Choice awards and tell us what you think is best in every category. We'll also announce the winners from our sister sites, Motor Authority and Green Car Reports 

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