When aftermarket retailers think of a car that can be customized and personalized, the Civic is at the top of the list. It has long been the platform of basic transportation that an owner can take to the next level of personalization. It can be anything from a reliable commuter to a full-on sport compact. One common denominator that keeps the Civic selling so well is its flexibility. For 2022, Honda has released a new Civic and it looks like the best yet.
Michael Kistemaker of American Honda Motor Co. notes: “The Honda Civic has long set the standard by which other compact cars are measured, and this all-new Civic raised that bar in every conceivable way. We’re especially proud of the Civic development team in Japan and our production associates at our plants in Greensburg, Indiana, and Alliston, Ontario, where the 2022 Civic Sedan, Hatchback and Si are built.”
Civic Power Standards
Two 4-cylinder engines are available: a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter or a turbocharged 1.5-liter. Both are paired with an updated continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) tuned for each engine. My tester with the Touring trim level featured the 1.5-liter with its 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The CVT enhances fuel efficiency by using more a robust electric hydraulic pump that reduces the load on the mechanical pump. Amazingly, fuel economy has been improved over the outgoing model with 34 mpg overall.
It’s What’s on the Inside
We love the honeycomb treatment around the air conditioning vents as a focal point. According to Honda, it serves both form and function, creating a dramatic visual dividing line between the audio and information displays and the climate controls, while the intricate flow-through design conceals the air vents that would otherwise mar the uncluttered and harmonious look of the dash.
High-quality materials are used throughout the interior, especially on touchpoints. Materials were also chosen with an eye toward practicality, such as the new premium center console trim. It was designed to hide fingerprints and smudges to help maintain a high-end appearance.
The home of the infotainment system in the Touring is a 9-inch touchscreen. Unlike earlier Civics, it features a physical volume knob that customers clamored for. You’ll find easy-to-recognize icons and a simplified navigation structure with fewer embedded menus. On the left are hard buttons for Home and Back functions. Apple CarPlay is onboard and wireless charging available.
For the first time in the history of the Civic, there is an audio option by Bose. According to Bose engineers, “With Bose Centerpoint 2 and Bose SurroundStage digital signal processing, the new system was custom-engineered precisely for the Civic’s new interior so drivers and passengers – regardless of their seating position – are placed in the middle of the music, with a clear and spacious listening experience for all audio content. Expert audio engineers developed the Bose sound system with advanced components and technologies, working closely with Honda engineers to integrate the system early in the vehicle design process for optimal performance. Clear, impactful sound is delivered through high-performance Bose speakers, strategically placed throughout the Civic’s interior for exceptional music reproduction across all frequencies, low to high.”
It is a very good system … especially considering that it’s in a compact vehicle with a reasonable price point. The system features 12 drivers with a discrete Bose digital amplifier and custom equalization. A 3-inch driver is used as a center channel, with four 1-inch neodymium tweeters, two 6.5-inch midbass in the doors, four more speakers in the rear, and an 8-inch sub in the center of the rear deck. The system does a good job of imaging with the center channel. The aftermarket can improve on the great start with some careful DSP tuning, and an upgrade for the anemic 8-inch subwoofer system. A properly designed aftermarket 10-inch subwoofer system would slam.
Keep it Safe
The Honda Sensing safety suite is standard across the Civic range. To keep things flowing in traffic, Traffic Jam Assist allows the Civic to follow the lead car in traffic and gently creep ahead. The camera system software is now tied to the action of the brake pedal for more natural brake application.
The Honda Civic can now be loaded with the technology of luxury vehicles while retaining its economical engine. For some folks, an electric commuter is years off. The Civic uses today’s technology to sip gas while still offering a tech-loaded experience and a reasonably comfy ride. With an MSRP of just under $30K, it still is among the best bangs for the buck in the automotive world. Or, you could opt for a lesser model and add technologies through the aftermarket as budget allows.