From its humble beginnings to being the best-selling car in Canada for 24 years straight, The Honda Civic is undoubtedly one of the most important cars to us Canucks. We spent some time with this high-trim 2022 Honda Civic Touring to how Honda has improved this Civic for the eleventh generation.
On first impression, the Civic appears to have taken the attractive styling offered by the previous model and elevated it by refining all aspects of it. This evolution of the previous design includes a more modern front fascia, and crisp new LED headlights with a trick DRL/ turn signal combo.
Although the exterior design of the Civic does look a lot more upscale and will probably look great for years to come, it’s unfortunate that it seems to have lost a bit of the uniqueness that was associated with the previous generation. From the rear, Honda seems to have taken more than a hint from the Volkswagen Jetta. Overall, with the stylish 18-inch wheels fitted to our test car, as well as the lovely Sonic Grey Pearl paint applied, on the styling front the Civic is quite smart.
The interior of the 2022 Civic is certainly one of our favourite aspects. Gone is the multi-tiered dash setup and in its place is a clean, single-tier layout. Materials quality is also top notch, and on initial inspection everything seems to be put together well. Most materials are soft touch and the large honeycomb mesh dash insert adds a bit of zest to the interior and does a good job of hiding the HVAC vents. There is still a large amount of piano black plastic which we would really like to see exchanged for some other material as even on our relatively fresh example of the Civic, it was marred in several areas.
Switch and button quality was excellent and felt very premium, the standard touch screen for the Civic line-up is a seven-inch affair whereas our Touring tester was sporting a bright, vivid nine-incher. The user interface is intuitive, and the graphics feel up to date. Honda has opted to keep physical buttons for key features such as a home button – hurrah. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on tap here, and for the Touring and Si are wireless accompanied by charging of the same cord-free variety. The Touring boasts a twelve-speaker Bose Premium sound system, which is nice for the segment.
The all-digital instrument cluster that was introduced in the previous generation has been modernized and comes in two flavours, a seven-inch model for the LX, EX and Sport trims and a ten-inch model for the Touring and Si. We loved the vehicle animation that shows where the car is in between lane markings, the turn signals and brake lights and even shows if the headlights are illuminated. In this segment these charming touches really help the Civic feel more upscale than it really is.
The Civic also offers an incredible amount of tech. Features such as land departure warning, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring and active cruise control are standard. It should be noted that the frontal collision warning went off without reason twice when driving around the city. It was quite abrupt and almost resulted in a rear-end collision, we’re not certain of the cause but luckily the system can be defeated. All of the other driver assist tech worked well and was easy to turn on or off.
On the road, the 2022 Civic Sedan is comfortable and smooth. The cabin is spacious and visibility is also remarkably good considering the sloping roofline, also contributing to taller rear seat passengers feeling cramped. Cargo capacity is also excellent at 408 liters, with the seats folded down and the wide trunk aperture, hauling around daily baggage will be a breeze.
Behind the wheel, the Civic really shines. We found that the suspension tuning in this non-Si model was definitely geared more towards comfort rather than sportiness, but remains very composed and confident when chucked into a corner. The only real gripe we had with this tester was the larger 18-inch alloys fitted to it, causing it to feel a bit crashy over larger potholes and bumps.
As standard the Civic is offered with a 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine, and while that is okay for daily duties, the Touring model has the more exciting 1.5-liter turbo four banger, good for 180 horsepower and 6,000 RPM and 177 lb-ft. of torque for almost half of the power band. This is really impressive and makes the turbo engine feel peppy and responsive throughout the rev range.
As good as this engine is, there is still some doubt with reliability especially in colder climates. It struggles to get warm and as a result has oil dilution issues. In our week of testing, ambient temperatures were hovering around a crispy -15 degrees Celsius, and we observed that it does seem like the temperature gauge never really got to what we’d call normal operating temp.
The CVT is a vast improvement over the previous generation and in daily driving feels seamless. Under hard acceleration, there is a bit of delay in getting power going to where it needed to go, but for application, it’s just fine. One of the main reasons automakers opt for CVTs in place of conventional automatics is for fuel economy.
Fuel consumption is rated by Honda at 7.6L/100km city, 6.1L/100km highway for a combined 6.9L/100km. We observed 8.4L/100km combined, which we attribute to the cold ambient temperature. Also, even though the Touring trim features the turbocharged four, it doesn’t require premium fuel like the Si does.
The base 2022 Honda Civic starts at an all-time high $24,465, however with the amount of standard equipment and excellent build quality, this still seems fairly reasonable. The Toyota Corolla L CVT is a frugal $21,250 with an option to save an additional $1800 if you choose to shift the gears yourself. Hyundai’s Elantra can be had for as little as $18,099 however you will miss out on a lot of features that are standard on both the Corolla and Civic. Our touring tester kitted out with a nice $300 Sonic Grey paint job comes in at a grand $30,565.
Overall the 2022 Honda Civic Touring is an excellent progression of the long-time favourite. With the more mature styling, as well as the interior design language Honda will surely target not just first-time car buyers, but anyone looking for a reliably fun, comfortable, tech-filled runabout. Although there are cheaper options, the Civic will win over Canadians with its premium feel and excellent build quality.