Honda Civic Hatchback: test drive…

The new hatchback version of the 2022 Honda Civic is, in my opinion, the best-looking Honda in many years. At least in the US. While the sedan looks like a smaller Accord, this just looks like a new car.
The top of the line Sport Touring version I was driving comes with great-looking 18-inch wheels. Looking darker or lighter depending on the surrounding light.
The Sonic Grey is also a fantastic-looking color on the car.

As expected, the interior is the exact same as the sedan. Which means it is very roomy front and back.
With a great-looking “kind of retro” dashboard. 
Although git still lacks lumbar adjustments for the front seats and rear vents.
And the screen still doesn’t belong to the rest of the interior design and looks like an afterthought.
But everything works well and feels nicely put together and very solid. The whole car does feel more expensive than it is. And that 12 speaker Bose sound system is the best I have heard for under $30 000.

Of course, the good-looking hatchback creates a large and convenient cargo area. Some people will even be able to camp and sleep inside the car. (if you are under 5″11)
I posted more details about the hatchback and cargo area HERE.

After driving the Touring Sedan equipped with the standard CVT I had serious issues with the transmission. It was hard to tell if the 1.5 Liter Turbo was to blame for some of the rough behavior or not. After spending almost a week with the 6-speed manual, I am happy to report the Turbo engine is just fine. The CVT is, of course, the main culprit.
With the manual, the new Civic is a much-improved car. The engine is almost always super smooth and quiet. It is quick with no delays. And the 6 speed is a joy to use. 
I do understand the vast majority of buyers are not even interested in driving a manual. But if you are OK with it, you will really enjoy the Civic at its full potential…
It is just too bad Honda doesn’t offer a good automatic option on this car.
The 6 speed is available as a no-cost option on the Sport and Sport Touring models. While the LX and EX-L models only come with the CVT. (EX is only available with the sedan)

Besides the obvious difference in transmission, the driving experience is, of course, very similar to the sedan. 
Although, for some odd reason, I found the Sport Touring Hatchback a bit more comfortable.
I drove both cars on the same roads (including a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park) and thought the hatch version was a bit smoother and quieter. Maybe it was just because I was expecting more road noise or a harsher ride than I had experienced with the sedan?
The car was just very comfortable and road noise was never a problem. Except on some really noisy part of the horrible 10 freeway between L.A and Palm Springs. But that’s with any car…
The Civic 1.5 Liter Hatch 6 speed is rated at 28/37 MPG.
My best number around town was 27. Or about the same as the CVT sedan I drove earlier.
But I easily got 48MPG on the freeway. Which is just a little bit less than the CVT.
Although both are much better than the official numbers. (For some odd reason?)

At $29 850 before destination, the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring is easily one of the best cars you can get for the money.
If you like the way it looks, you will be hard-pressed to find anything wrong with it.
It drives great, feels as solid as a “compact” tank, and gets fantastic gas mileage. It is also about as convenient as a small crossover while looking and driving much better.
The only problem I had was a USB plug under the dash that didn’t seem to work. 
 I would also miss the lack of interior color choice. At least in the Sport Touring that is only available with a leather black interior (not my favorite…)
I also wish for a larger sunroof. Especially in 2022.
This loaded version of the Civic actually made me think of the upcoming 2023 Acura Integra.
It will have the 1.5 Liter Turbo/6 speed combo standard. With a more upscale interior (And maybe a better-integrated screen?). 
And will start at under $30 000. It will be interesting to see if the Acura will be worth the few $1000s extra over the loaded Civic Hatch.
And let’s hope the Integra offers a real automatic instead of the CVT.
For now, the new Honda Civic Hatchback is really one of the best choices out there. If you can find one…

 

Conversation 4 comments

  1. I like this Civic Hatch in Sonic Gray way more than I thought I would, considering I really didn't care for the color on the Accord or CRV. ..the Boost Blue color I saw at the dealer really was meh. Too powder blue.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts on the car. Can't say I enjoy that hatchback rear, it looks like a blob. But the front is fine and color is very 2010s/ early 2020s. It will be a color in the future that every associates with this time period like how turquoise was in the 90s. Chrysler/Dodge started this gray color way back in the early 2010s and now every brand has one. lol.

  3. I like this Civic hatch way more than the very conservative and kind of stubby looking sedan. So much so, that when (if) the market ever simmers down, I could easily see myself buying this exact model and color. 48mpg on the hwy just seems way too good to be true. Thanks for a great review Vince.

  4. Although I was trying to get the best MPG, I don't think you can get under 45 in pure freeway driving. Which is great.
    On my 470 miles trip to the desert and back, my average was 43MPG. Mostly freeway but also quite a bit of small-town driving.

    Makes you wonder how amazing the gas mileage will be on the upcoming Hybrid version…

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