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2022 Honda Civic Si Review: Ultimate Refinement in a Six-Speed Sedan

Newsweek logo Newsweek 5/29/2022 Jake Lingeman
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More than 18 million Honda Civics have been sold to date with numerous iterations coming down the pipeline over the years. The current 11th-generation Civic is available in sedan and hatchback body styles in a number of trim levels and variations. For driving enthusiasts there's the 2022 Honda Civic Si.

Until the new Civic Type R is revealed later this year, the Civic Si is the most performance-focused version of the car you can buy.

It borrows much of its looks from the family tree, with a lower rear window for increased visibility, fresh honeycomb grille that matches interior dashboard design, stylish headlights, and sweeping tail lamps.

A gloss black rear spoiler sits on the truck and adds downforce, matching the mirror and window surrounds. An Si-exclusive Blazing Orange Pearl paint color is available. Ten-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels finished in Si-specific matte black are standard. The Si is also offered in blue, black, red, white and silver.

The 2022 Honda Civic Si is front-wheel drive and only comes with a manual transmission. American Honda Motors

The 2022 Honda Civic Si is front-wheel drive and only comes with a manual transmission. American Honda Motors
© American Honda Motors

Inside, the new high-performance Civic comes with the company's sports seats with better thigh and shoulder support than previous versions. Red stitching on the steering wheel matches similar red accents in the honeycomb vent cover that stretches the length of the interior. The shift knob is aluminum with leather and red trim and sport pedals are standard.

The driver cluster consists of a 7-inch color LCD screen while a 9-inch touch screen is used for navigation and infotainment. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is a new Bose 12-speaker sound system.

Dropping into the cabin, buyers will realize why Honda has sold so many Civics. The seats are soft, comfortable, and adjustable, and the cloth material is grippy when speeding through corners. The volume knob on the touchscreen is within reach along with the excellent in form and function climate control knobs.

The Honda's USB ports are below the climate knobs, along with the drive mode adjustments, parking brake and plenty of storage space for drinks and phones, when they're not in the wireless charging area.

The 2022 Honda Civic Si comes with red-accent seats. American Honda Motors © American Honda Motors The 2022 Honda Civic Si comes with red-accent seats. American Honda Motors

The back seat fits three passengers and feels spacious with the front seats adjusted for average sized adults. It folds down in a 60-40 layout offering 14.4 cubic feet of storage space. The seats can fold down to offer pass-through access to the trunk.

After working with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for years, the 2022 Civic Si now uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 200 horsepower (hp) and 192 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. There's no automatic transmission available here. The engine is only paired with a six-speed manual transmission and the front wheels. The six-speed has Rev-Match Control, meaning when the driver shifts down, it automatically blips the throttle to make the change smoother.

The Si also comes standard with a limited-slip differential, which sends power to the front wheel with the most grip. That's usually the outside wheel in a corner, which makes staying centered through that corner much easier, and more comfortable for both driver and passenger, even when on the throttle.

This Civic, like many Si vehicles before it, is sublime to drive. The engine isn't loud, but it sounds smooth and there doesn't seem to be any hesitation while the turbocharger gets up to speed. It loves being shifted near the redline, and that physical shifter is one of the best in the business. However, on the expressway in sixth gear, the Si still has plenty of power for passing moves.

The 2022 Civic Si only comes with a six-speed manual transmission. The 2022 Civic Si only comes with a six-speed manual transmission.

The shift knob might be a little small for bigger hands, but the action is smooth and the gear gates are easy to find. The clutch pedal is easy too. If one was learning to drive a stick shift, this would be a good vehicle to practice on.

The steering is easy, but quick and accurate. There isn't much road information transmitted, but the whole vehicle feels light and easy to maneuver through traffic. The Si comes with 18-inch wheels and one of the only option boxes that can be checked is summer tires for $200. Those wheels are reasonably sized, which means average road imperfections aren't noticeable.

The suspension, contrary to the platform-sharing Acura Integra, is non-adjustable, but had a good balance of handling and ride comfort. The wheels are offered in black or non-painted.

Drive modes include Normal, Sport and Individual, and adjust the steering effort, engine response and instrument panel display color. Sport mode seems to be the best way to drive this vehicle as it was intended.

The 2022 Civic Si gets an expanded Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistive and safety technology with Traffic Sign Recognition, a driver attention monitor, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and more. It also has a rear seat reminder, new and standard across the lineup.

The new sporty Honda Civic Si ($28,315 with destination) lines up perfectly with the Hyundai Elantra N Line, which delivers 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The Hyundai is a good bit less expensive at $24,350. For buyers that fancy a larger car, the Kia K5 GT sedan comes in at $30,590 with 290 horsepower. And there's always the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, which starts at $31,295.

Those are all fun sedans to drive daily, but the 2022 Honda Civic Si delivers the promise that it always has. It has the ace refinement of a car that has been produced almost 20 million times with the restrained aggressiveness buyers know and love. It certainly has more competition than it used to, which is a comment on how good the market is for car enthusiasts. If buyers are looking for efficient, inexpensive, quick sedans, there are many, but the Civic Si is a good place to start.

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