Behind the Wheel

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback — One Fun Driver

2022 Honda CivicModel tested: 2022 Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback

Engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Horsepower: 180

Torque: 177 lb.-ft.

EPA Ratings: 28/city, 37/highway, 31/combined

Base Price: $30,415

As tested: $31,145

Overview: Besides being among one of the world’s most popular cars, the Honda Civic compact sedan and hatchback have been redesigned for 2022. The Civic has been streamlined outside and impressively upgraded inside. It’s popularity stems from the fact it’s well equipped and affordable, and its leading-edge ride and handling are coupled with ample room in the rear seat for two passengers, with the possibility for a third. Our test driver was the hatchback Sport Touring Edition and this review will focus on that model.

Walkaround: The overall styling of the new Civic is similar to previous versions but evolutionary. Gone are most of the edges and creases, which have been replaced with striking lines and a 2-inch-longer hood. The hatchback boasts a unique honeycombed grille to separate it from the sedan. Additionally, the hatchback is 5 inches shorter than the sedan, with that length subtracted from behind the rear wheels. However, it doesn’t look shorter thanks to the rear window stylishly tapering down to the rear lip spoiler. Plus, the Sport Touring model features optional body kits with glossy black trim, spoilers and emblems.

2022 Honda CivicInterior: The redesigned cabin has a clean and appealing look featuring soft-touch materials that include matte surfaces and fingerprint-resistant plastic on the console, plus some metal switches. One distinctive touch is the mesh strip hiding and separating the adjustable climate vents. Instrumentation appears designed with a future electric Civic in mind. There’s a 9-inch touchscreen controlling audio, climate and more. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, with USB ports front and rear. The eight-way power leather seats are plush and heated, offering good bolstering. The Touring version’s 9-inch touchscreen is 2 inches bigger than other models. The 60/40 split rear seat is contoured for two but can seat three if needed. The hatchback reveals 24.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seatback dropped, and there’s screens that conceal the contents.

Behind the wheel: The 1.5-liter turbo and six-speed are a great performance combo making the hatchback responsive and fun to drive. Steering offers good feedback and handling is well-balanced. The standard wheels are 17-inchers, which deliver a comfortable ride; 18-inchers are available. The cabin isn’t always library-quiet as road noise creeps in on some surfaces, but it’s not unpleasant. The rear-sloping roofline impacts rear vision somewhat, but that’s where cameras help. The major negative is the 38.1-foot turning radius, which impacts parking some.

Bottom line: The 2022 Honda Civic still tops the economy-car list — in spite of being bigger and more expensive than ever. The upscale performance versions with turbo power and more charming road manners offer the most fun. However, the unpretentious models offer lower price tags and better fuel-economy ratings. Buyer’s choice.