Review: 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback is the way to roll
The 2022 model year marks the 11th generation of the Honda Civic. Completely rethought for the new-gen, the Civic keeps with its previous penchant for “fun in the first 10” and daily driving affordability.
There are a still few marks in the negative column, mainly related to the Civic's lower price point and compact size. Road noise is heavy, especially at highway speeds, and Honda’s advanced safety features often provide false positives as annoyances.
At a Glance
- Both sedan and hatchback versions available with or without turbocharging
- Better vehicle balance with the hatchback
- Lots of highway and road noise
- Manual transmission available
- Fun drive dynamic remains
The 2022 Honda Civic comes in both sedan and hatchback designs. We drove both, but prefer the hatch. Body-wise, the hatchback has a longer roofline and more beef at the rear versus the more clipped fastback styling on the sedan. This means the hatch has a little more cargo space and (to us) better visual and physical balance. More good news is the availability of a manual transmission for the Civic Hatchback as well as both a standard and turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For those looking for an electrified experience, the Honda Civic doesn’t have it, but its near-twin the Insight does.
The engines for the 2022 Honda Civic start with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 158 horsepower (117.8 kW) and 138 pound-feet (187.1 Nm) of torque. To get those, though, you’ll have to rev the engine fairly high, though the torque comes earlier in the curve. This engine is just enough to propel the car without feeling too sluggish and it still has Honda’s “0-10 mph” jumpiness; a signature for the brand. Going up to the turbocharged option, however, returns far better results.
The turbocharged upgrade is a smaller displacement 1.5-liter four that outputs 180 hp (134.2 kW) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm). Those peaks come earlier, thanks to the turbo, and give the car a much more sporty feel. It still won’t break any quarter mile records on the drag strip, but it’s much punchier in everyday driving. The turbo option is EPA rated for 42 mpg (5.6 l/100km) highway versus the standard engine’s 40. You can expect to lose about 3 mpg if you opt for the manual transmission in either case (per the EPA). With either the base or turbocharged engines, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. To get the manual transmission, the Sport or Touring trim levels must be selected. Our own highway loop test in the Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Turbo with the manual transmission returned 40 mpg (5.9 l/100km). That’s on our standard 42-mile loop with manual filling and topoffs for fuel and calculation, independent of the car’s computers.
At the base level, the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback comes standard with automatic climate control, push-button ignition (with stop/start), a 7-inch infotainment screen with CarPlay and Auto, and Honda’s basic suite of advanced safety features. Those include forward collision mitigation/braking, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam headlights, a driver attention monitor, and a traffic sign reader. The anti-collision system and traffic sign reader were often giving false positives for us, however, and became somewhat annoying. The braking system, especially when adaptive cruise is enabled, will often slow the car for no reason in turns, seeing a vehicle in the other lane as in front instead. The sign reading setup would routinely ignore speed limit signs or read them incorrectly, posting the wrong limit on the driver information screen.
Our test vehicle was equipped with low-speed automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts as well. These worked well in most situations, but the braking would often engage while parking the car in tight spaces.
Like most small Hondas, the Civic Hatchback feels good to drive around town. It’s quick, handles well, and gives the driver good visibility. It’s entertaining, especially with the manual transmission, and tends to go where one points it. The manual transmission offers a nice balance between tight and accommodating, giving a less sport-centric and more everyday feel to shifting and clutch movement.
On the highway, the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback gives a lot of tire noise and wind buffeting. This is to be expected in the low-end small car segments, of course, but is still a downer. Some competitors like the Kia Forte have better sound dampening by comparison.
The base model 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback starts at about US$26,000 plus delivery. Our test model Sport Touring had a price tag of about $33,000 delivered. For comparison, we also drove a 2022 Civic sedan with the same engine and automated (CVT) transmission.
Our overall takeaway is that the Honda Civic is much better in its hatch variant and more fun to drive (at least for us) with the manual transmission. It’s comfortable, useful, and efficient as a small car. It’s quirks are mostly annoyances, and are offset by its generally sporty nature and good looks.
Product Page: 2022 Honda Civic