2022 Honda Civic Sport test drive: Sporty looks…

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There has been a lot of talk about the all-new generation Honda Civic design. In spy shots and actual photos, it was becoming clear that it could end up looking like a small Accord. And not as modern as the previous model.
Which is exactly the case in real life. It always takes you a couple of seconds, or a second take to realize this is the new Civic and not the Accord.
I am not going to comment too much on the design, since it is a matter of taste. But have to say the previous generation made more of an impact when it came out.

I know many people are, but I am not a fan of black wheels on cars.
But the design itself does look great.
The Sport trim includes these 18-inch black wheels. Black spoiler, and a sport mode with paddle shifters. (and 2 more speakers for some reason)
My test car included the $1417 HPD accessory package which includes rear underbody spoilers, decklid spoiler, and HPD emblem.
(Something I would never order myself…)

The interior is pretty classic. The main area of style is the cool-looking (almost retro) vents surrounded by the piano black trim.
It adds quite a bit of originality to the interior and also does look quite upscale. 

The physical switchgear for climate control looks and feels great, and delicate. Again, it helps bring a more upscale feel to the car.

Unfortunately, that “upscale” feel is ruined by the screen that just sits on top of the dash. With zero effort to integrate it into the car’s interior design. In general, this is a much worse design than before.

Some bizarro “wannabe sporty” trim on top of the console is part of the Sport trim.
The switch for the start/stop system is conveniently located. So is the mode switch.

As you can see, the Sport trim is basically the base model with a few “Sporty looking” bits added. 
It is more of a package on top of the base model than a true “Sport” version.
The interior is pretty basic. Besides the top of the dash, there is no soft-touch plastic anywhere. The inside of the trunk is as low rent as it gets. The seats have good side bolstering, but the black vinyl/cloth combo also looks really basic.
While the front driver seat has a height adjustment, the passenger seat doesn’t. Which makes most passengers feel they are sitting way too low. The back seat is very roomy. Not as much as the Accord, but more than some mid-sized cars.
Although the interior isn’t fancy, everything does feel pretty solid. And the 8 speaker stereo sounds really good for the price range.

The first thing I noticed when getting into the car, is how low the door handles are. I am not that tall, but it feels lower than almost any cars I have driven in the past years (Except the VW CC)
The second thing you notice is how smooth, refined and quiet the 2.0 Liter engine is. Actually quite remarkable.
But you quickly realize how slow the car is when taking off (Thank you CVT). There is no problem once it gets going, but it always feels slow from a standstill. Unless you floor it.
The Sport mode does help a bit. But the engine ends up revving at around 3200RPM at 55MPH.
I guess you can just keep it in Sport mode when driving around town. But the CVT then reacts pretty abruptly. making the car pretty hard to drive smoothly, especially during take-offs.

Road noise is also quite noticeable. It’s not really bad, but it’s enough to notice, even around town.
I blame the tires for this. Which are probably specific to the “Sport” version (Although the Touring “luxury version” also has 18-inch wheels.)
The steering is quite fantastic. Never too light and always precise. But the ride is quite firm. Almost too much so. Especially for a slow car. (why?) It does become a problem on anything but smooth roads.

The 2022 Honda Civic Sport is rated at 30City and 37HWY. The best I got around town was about 27MPG.
While I averaged almost 39HWY. As usual, the 1.5 Liter Turbo available on the EX and Touring versions get better numbers.

Basically, the new 2022 Civic doesn’t really feel or look that new. I already saw a few in traffic during my week-long drive, (they will be everywhere soon) and they were totally invisible.
For my taste, the interior is not as nice as the previous generation either.
And it doesn’t drive any better. I know I must be in the minority since most reviews I have read praised the improvements for the new generation. 
The previous Civic I test Drove was a Touring Coupe, a few years ago. With the Turbo engine.
The CVT works much better with the Turbo in general. And I remember the ride being a bit smoother too.
Otherwise, I don’t really think the 2022 generation is an improvement.
The Hinda Civic has been a good car for years, and it still is. 
I just wish it looked and felt more “new”…
My test car was priced at $23 100 before destination. Which is a really good price these days.
But, the Honda Accord starts at less than $2000 more. I know, $2000 is $2000. But the Accord is a fantastic car. And much better than the Civic IMO. To me, well worth the extra $2000…
Plus, the base model comes with a turbo engine that plays much nicer with the CVT
(Speaking about pricing, right now, the lease on a 2022 Civic Sport is $209 a month. )

Conversation 7 comments

  1. People wanted boring after that daring change for 2016, so they got it. In the meantime, the Lambo Civic (as I call it) will always look newer than this one to me. It's almost as if they swapped the generations and that this was supposed to be the 2016 model, while the real 2016 would have fit right in as a brand new 2022 model.

  2. I couldn't agree more with Soul2Stinger. Vince, unlike you, I have never mistaken the new Civic with the much more modern and sleek design of the Accord. The only design feature that even resembles the Accord to me is the shape and trim of the rear 1/4 window. The Accord has much more rake to it's front windshield and sportback looking rear alike. This Civic's hood is too long, windshield too verticle, and just looks stubby in comparison to the Accord. I also think the more integrated infotainment screen of the 10th gen looks far more modern. At least the wheels look good on the Sport though.

  3. Honda went from having one of the best looking mainstream compact sedans on the market to having one of the dowdiest and awkward looking sedans. This new gen Civic looks like a dull geriatric mobile. I hope it can sell based on Honda's reputation because it definitely is NOT a gotta-have-it type of design. There is nothing remotely cool or worthwhile about it.

  4. Thanks for this review. Most of the press skips to the top level 1.5 (press car) spec trims to review. However the old school Honda fans want the port-injected 2.0 engine. No fewr of furl dilution, which is why I sold my gdi Elantra Sport this summer. Mechanically the 10th gen Civic is pretty much the same and I prefer it’s styling to the new car overall.

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