First Drive: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

First Drive: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

The all-new Civic looks grown up with a touch of European elegance.

The Honda Civic’s impact is especially felt in Canada, where the Civic has been produced right here at the factory in Alliston, Ontario since 1986 and has been Canada’s best-selling car for the 23 years. For many young drivers, myself included, a used Honda Civic is the de-facto first car where memories are created and the love for all things automotive are formed. Recognizing the large footprint, Honda took the task of redesigning the eleventh generation seriously and offered us early opportunity to put the 2022 Honda Civic Touring to a week of testing.

The all-new 2022 Honda Civic looks grown up with a touch of European elegance. The fastback styling has evolved nicely into an elongated design and the Civic now features a much more sophisticated silhouette than any of its previous generations. It features LED lighting all around for a trendy appearance and the top-of-the-line Touring model adds a set of two-tone 18-inch wheels to round out a premium look that is surely going to attract many young buyers.

Moving inside, we observed an equally impressive improvement with the completely redesigned cabin. Last year’s segregated digital instrument cluster is replaced with a fully digital LCD display that looks vivid even in broad daylight, and we love the corresponding vehicle animation between the clusters showing drivers where the car is positioned in between the lines and responds to the car’s lighting systems including turn signals and brake lights.

The standard touchscreen is a seven-inch unit while the Touring model gets an upgraded nine-inch one to house the infotainment system. The system gets an update with a more user-friendly interface and better graphics, but its touch responsiveness could be improved. We like that Honda has kept the physical buttons for major functions, and there is standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration on all models. Touring models can connect Apple CarPlay ad Android Auto wirelessly for a clutter-free experience.

Materials and craftsmanship are top notch for the segment. The textured interior trim pieces feel premium to the touch and are resistant to fingerprint and smudges. The metal honeycomb mesh accent breaks up the otherwise monotonous interior and cleverly conceals the air vents for a cleaner design. The power adjustable front seats are supportive for long journey and we were pleasantly surprised to find three levels of heating function for both rows. This top-of-the-line model is also equipped with a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system that pumps out some of the best quality music in the compact segment.

There is good space and visibility inside the cabin. The front seats can be adjusted to a lower position than the average sedans to offer more headroom for those who need it, and there is good legroom for all occupants inside. Taller passengers will feel tight in the back seat due to the raked roofline but overall it is one of the roomier options in its cohort. Cargo capacity is rated at 408 litres which is average for the class, but the opening is wider and more accommodating than most others.

We observed good on-road comfort in the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan. The suspension is well tuned for street use with little harshness and vibrations transmitted inside. On the flip-side, the combination of the optional 18-inch wheels and 235/40R18 tires negatively impacted the ride quality more than we would have liked. Your mileage may vary with smaller wheel options on lower trims.

The 2022 Honda Civic comes standard with a 2.0-litre engine that produces 158-horsepower and 138 lb-ft. of torque, with the Touring model getting an upgraded 1.5-litre turbocharged engine. Maximum output of the 1.5T powerplant is rated at 180 horsepower at 6,000 RPM which is plenty, and the 177 lb-ft. of peak torque is very usable in getting the Civic going effortlessly.

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is much improved from the previous generation and is seamless in delivering power to the front wheels. No manual transmission is available on the non-performance sedan models of the new Civic. Those looking for more driving thrills should look for the Civic Si and Civic Type R joining later to the 11th-gen Civic lineup.

A big part of the Civic’s DNA is in delivering a fun and engaging drive, and the 2022 Honda Civic achieves a much-improved driving experience when compared to last year’s model. While it is not the best handling option in its class, an award belonging to the Mazda3, it is well balanced with an incredibly communicative steering rack. Honda engineers’ effort in creating a stiffer body structure is clearly evident here and the end result is a car that is well suited for a fun daily commute and one that reminds us of its roots as a great learner’s car.

Fuel consumption is rated at 7.6L/100km in the city and 6.1L/100km on the highway for a combined figure of 6.9L/100km. We observed a slightly higher than expected 8.0L/100km over our week of mixed commute, likely due to the car being within its break-in period, and we expect it to fall closer to the norm in normal operation. It is similarly efficient as the standard powertrain and all models accept regular grade gasoline into the 46.9-litre fuel tank.

As important as its driving dynamics, Honda has also placed emphasis on ensuring the safety of its occupants. The 2022 Civics are equipped with all-new front airbags that are designed to reduced severe head injuries in the event of an accident, and all models come with standard Honda Sensing that includes driver assistance features such as auto high beam, Forward Collision Warning and Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Blind Spot Information systems.

The Touring model gets an additional Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system and low-speed braking control to further assist its drivers. These systems performed well throughout our road tests but we noted that the image quality from its rear-view camera system still looks a bit distorted and could use a software update.

Pricing of the 2022 Honda Civic starts at $24,465 for the base LX CVT model which is notably higher than the base $21,150 Toyota Corolla L CVT. The Touring model starts at $30,265 with the only add-on being the $300 Sonic Grey Pearl paint job. In the heated compact sedan segment, the Corolla remains the most comfortable option and the Mazda3 is the go-to option for driving enthusiasts, but the well-rounded Honda Civic has emerged as the frontrunner in the segment for simply being above-average in every aspect.

The 2022 Honda Civic Touring is an excellent effort in ensuring the Civic can stay atop sales charts as well as keeping the compact sedan relevant in a trend that is going against anything with a traditional three-box design. Its matured appearance and premium packaging are going to attract many buyers who are looking for a sophisticated commuter without breaking the bank and is well on its way to please a wide array of shoppers.

See Also:

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2021 Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition

2021 Nissan Sentra SR

Ben So
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