Style, sports, politics, music, all swing on a pendulum. The latest fashion goes from Easter pastels in the '80s to grungy black and flannel in the '90s. Honda's car design seems to work on the same principle. The previous Honda Civic Hatchback looked like an origami artwork - angled, creased, sharp, and in your face, but the 2022 model - an all-new generation - has swung back to restrained design to better fight the swathe of compact hatchbacks that include the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, and Subaru Impreza. Restrained? Yes. Boring? Possibly. But is it likely to garner better sales as a result? Almost certainly.
New for 2022 is a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, while models further up the hierarchy get turbo power from a 1.5-liter four-banger with 180 hp and 177 lb-ft. It's still front-wheel drive, and you can still have a CVT, but the hatch is the only Civic for 2022 with a manual gearbox. We slipped behind the wheel to try out both options in Sport Touring specification.
The 2022 Honda Civic Hatch is all-new and will be built in the USA for the first time ever. The 11th generation Civic utilizes new construction methods that make it lighter and stronger than its forebears, allowing Honda to improve safety, fuel economy, and refinement.
While the styling has become more sedate, the interior has vastly improved. The 2022 Civic Hatch boasts the largest back seat of any Civic so far, and there's a host of new safety tech including next-gen front airbags and an expanding Honda Sensing suite, which includes traffic jam assist, improved adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. A rear-seat reminder and rear seatbelt reminder are now standard across the range, and available features for the 2022 range include a premium Bose sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a nine-inch color touchscreen on the top model.
The big news is the inclusion of the naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that we know from the sedan lineup. It's paired to a CVT which features a Sport mode. The new Civic Hatchback range includes four models, with Sport variants being offered in both CVT and manual configurations.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
|Sport Touring Hatchback||
1.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Despite the waning popularity of the hatchback in the US, the Civic's aesthetic has held up well in the past, and with the improved Euro-inspired fastback design for the new model year, the Japanese hatch will likely attract even more buyers who appreciate the sporty look. LED headlights and taillights are standard across the range, with top-end models gaining LED fog lights additionally. EX-L trims get a one-touch power moonroof, and Sport Touring trims have dual exhaust finishers. Base models have 16-inch alloys, the EX-L has 17s, but both the Sport and Sport Touring get a set of 18s. The Sport finishes off the window surrounds and other details in black.
With so much revision done to the new hatch, changes in dimensions over the outgoing model are expected. For 2022, the Civic Hatch is 179 inches long, stretched over a 107.7-inch wheelbase. Both metrics are a bit more than an inch longer than the 2021 model. Height comes in at 55.7 inches, and it measures 70.9 inches wide.
Curb weights range from 2,928 pounds for the base model with the CVT, to 3,102 lbs for the CVT-equipped Sport Touring. This is a slightly heavier car than the 2021 iteration that tipped the scales at just over 3,000 lbs in its heaviest guise.
The available color palette for the new Honda Civic Hatchback is limited. LX trims have a choice between Meteorite Gray Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic, and Crystal Black Pearl at no additional cost. At $395, Platinum White Pearl is the only other option. Moving up to the Sport model cuts Meteorite Gray, but adds more color with Rallye Red available without affecting the price, and Sonic Gray Pearl adding $395 to your bill. The iconic Boost Blue Pearl becomes available at this trim level and is worth the $395 surcharge. Exclusive to the EX-L models, Smoky Mauve Pearl replaces Boost Blue at the same cost and is an elegant alternative to the classic sporty look. At the top of the range, the Sport Touring is only available in no-cost Crystal Black, or the extra-cost Platinum White Pearl and Sonic Gray Pearl.
One of the big changes for 2022 is the addition of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to the range, with outputs of 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. It's standard on the LX and Sport, while EX-L and Sport Touring models come with the familiar 1.5-liter turbo-four. Specs from this powertrain are vastly more impressive, with 180 hp and 177 lb-ft available to play with. All cars are front-wheel drive with no AWD option, but despite not offering better all-weather traction, the Civic Hatch remains one of the most entertaining hatchbacks in the segment. Crucially, it's the only Civic model to retain a manual gearbox. Official 0-60 sprint times have yet to be released, but independent tests suggest you need around 7.2 seconds with the turbo-four and at least eight seconds with the bigger 2.0-liter motor to get to 60 mph. Top speed is estimated at 137 mph.
There are two powertrain options in the range, with the base engine being the same 2.0-liter I4 equipped in base Civic Sedans. It's good for 150 hp and 138 lb-ft and is paired to a standard CVT automatic in both the LX and Sport, although the latter has the option to fit a six-speed manual transmission instead. The upper two trims carry over the 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder motor from last year, with 180 hp and 177 lb-ft mated to a CVT, but the Sport Touring can be had with the manual 'box, too.
The CVT-equipped Civic Hatch, like the sedan, gets a Sport mode for the first time. That mode quickens the throttle and keeps the CVT closer to the Civic peak output point of 6,000 rpm. We're generally against CVTs, but when they're programmed for aggression, they can be fun too. Still, the manual is the way to go here if you want performance thrills.
We only drove the Sport Touring trim with the 180-hp engine, which seemed to enjoy being pushed on Michigan's backroads.
The Honda Civic has always been above average in the fun-to-drive department. That's why they were some of the first Euro-tuners and why they were used in the early part of the Fast and Furious franchise. They were inexpensive, readily available and generally easy to modify. We can't comment on that last part, but we can promise the new Civic hatch will be readily available and cheap.
The steering effort on the Civic is a little lighter than we'd like, but the ratio feels pretty quick. There's also a bit of feedback when you load up the suspension in corners, letting the driver know what those front tires are doing. Honda adjusted the electronic power steering system for this.
Even with the 18-inch wheels on this Sport Touring model, the Honda still takes bumps and potholes without upsetting the cabin. This isn't a sports car, remember, so it doesn't need to be tuned within an inch of its life. With the front wheels powering, you can dive into the inside edge of the road, grind over some broken pavement and floor it on your way out, without worrying about the front end bouncing around.
Models with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the manual gearbox manage EPA-rated gas mileage figures of 26/36/29 mpg, while the CVT-equipped LX gets 30/38/33 mpg. The Sport with the CVT fares slightly worse at 29/37/32 mpg. 1.5-liter turbo models are more frugal overall, with the EX-L CVT managing the best fuel consumption of all at 31/39/35 mpg. Sport Touring trims get estimates of 30/37/33 mpg with the CVT, while the manual variants do 28/37/31 mpg.
All models come with a 12.3-gallon fuel tank, which means the most frugal Civic hatch will be able to cover about 430 miles on a full tank of gas. We returned an indicated 28 mpg combined in mixed but aggressive driving and don't doubt light-footed drivers could do even better.
According to Honda, this iteration of the Civic Hatchback has the roomiest back seat ever. There's 37.4 inches of legroom back there, and 37.1 inches of headroom, while the front passengers get the lion's share with 42.3 inches and 39.3 inches, respectively. The simplified interior makes it feel even more spacious than it actually is, and the overall layout is ergonomic. Although base models have manually adjustable front seats and only the top trims offer eight-way power adjustment, the driver's position is good and visibility is clear. Heated front seats and leather upholstery are standard on the top-end models, and with the safety suite offering more standard tech than before, the Civic Hatch is a great place to spend your time.
Inside, Honda wanted to focus on clean, simple and sporty, and we think it succeeded. The Sport Touring trim sports soft leather seats with a new seat frame and cushion. Honda says it improves support of your "sitting bone" and offers additional thigh and chest support. In practice we found them extra comfortable, but a little flat for zigging through S-curves.
The dash is dominated by the cool metal honeycomb panel that hides the vents. Below that we get gorgeous climate control knobs, and on the Sport Touring they have a metal finish. They also have a satisfying click when turned, making it easy to adjust while driving. Rotary dials are the best way to control that feature, hands down.
The A-pillars were pulled back giving a wider view of the road ahead, and all of the controls are easily within reach, including automatic gear selector, which is canted towards the driver. The rear feels comfortable for an average sized adult, and those passengers also get their own USB ports. It's equipped for five passengers, but we think four would be plenty for a long trip.
Black cloth is what you'll have to settle for on the LX and Sport trims, while you can have leather on the EX-L and Sport Touring. Black leather is standard on these trims, but if you choose Meteorite Gray Metallic or Platinum White Pearl exterior paint on the EX-L, you get the option of gray leather upholstery, too.
The minimalist interior looks neat and uncluttered, and while there are many plastic touchpoints, all models except the entry-spec version get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
At the time of writing, Honda has only released figures for the cargo capacity with the rear seats in the upright position: 24.5 cubic feet is allocated in the trunk, which is much more than the 14.8 cubes that the sedan variant has on offer. Folding down the seats in a 60/40 split opens up even more space if you need to load larger items.
Small items can be stored in the center console's storage compartment, which features a sliding armrest. There are door pocket storage bins front and rear, but only the front gets cupholders on the bottom trims, with rear cupholders added for EX-L and Sport Touring, as well as passenger-side seatback pockets. Only the Sport Touring gets a sunglasses holder overhead.
Base models come with automatic climate control, push-button start, adaptive cruise control, and the Honda Sensing driver assist suite. This includes collision mitigation, road departure warning, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition system. The cabin is trimmed in durable, upscale cloth upholstery. Heated front seats and leather upholstery are added from the EX-L, as is a one-touch power moonroof and dual-zone automatic climate control. You also get blind-spot monitoring, a power sunroof, and eight-way power adjustment for the driver from this level while the Sport Touring adds front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic monitoring, wireless phone charging, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and four-way power front passenger seat adjustment. It gains a 10.2-inch driver information display, which is larger than the regular seven-inch display on other trims. Low speed braking control comes standard if you equip the CVT to the top-spec Sport Touring.
The standard infotainment on the LX, Sport, and EX-L is a seven-inch touchscreen on top of the dash which is easier to see, with a nine-inch touchscreen fitted to top-spec Sport Touring trims. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability is also standard, though wireless connections only work on the bigger display. This is also the only setup that gives you HD Radio and SiriusXM.
You can move your frequently used apps to the front screen, while other shortcuts are created automatically through predictive learning on the nine-inch. Everything seems to work quickly and swapping between apps was a breeze. We love the analog volume knob on the screen and the standard home button to get out of Apple CarPlay quickly.
We were only able to experience the premium Bose setup as this is the standard sound system for the Sport Touring we had on test. It comes with 12 speakers including a subwoofer and sounded good enough that we switched off our normal podcasts for West Coast gangster rap. The standard system on the base model is a 160-watt four-speaker unit, while the mid-grade trims get a 180-watt eight-speaker system.
As a brand-new model, the 2022 Civic range was recall-free at the time of writing. J.D. Power awards 2022 Civic models an 82 out of 100 for quality and reliability; even the previous generation suffered from few recalls with the most recent being a single one in 2020 for a potential fuel pump failure.
All new Civics come with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and coverage for the powertrain for five years or 60,000 miles.
The NHTSA has not yet subjected the new Honda Civic Hatchback to review for safety. Although last year's model is a different generation, it stands to reason that the manufacturer would carry over what works - 2021 models scored full marks from the NHTSA on all tests.
The IIHS has conducted a thorough review of the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback, however, and it scored top marks in all crash tests, earning it a Top Safety Pick+ award.
All Civic hatch models come with the Honda Sensing Safety Suite of driver assist technologies, which includes a collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition. Adaptive cruise control is also standard with low-speed follow assist, but this pertains only to CVT-equipped cars. The same applies to traffic jam assist. Blind-spot monitoring is added from the EX-L trim, and the Sport Touring gets cross-traffic monitoring and parking sensors.
For 2022, Honda has added a rear seat reminder to all cars. Every Civic comes with a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines and the expected active safety systems like tire pressure monitoring, ABS, and stability and traction control. There are ten airbags on the Civic hatch, including driver and front passenger knee airbags, side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, and rear-seat side airbags.
If you're looking for a compact hatchback, the Honda Civic Hatch should be high on your test drive shortlist. It's technically a hatch, but it feels more like a sedan or sportback. Toyota sells a ton of Corolla Hatches which might make it onto your shortlist too, but if you're looking for a fun drive, you really should only be looking at the Honda and the Mazda 3.
This is the first year of a new generation of Civic, so we don't have info on the longevity or initial quality. And normally the first year is a little dicey, but this is Honda we're talking about, and Civic, so we would recommend this to a friend without a thought.
The Civic's manual transmission, which can be had with either engine, is a joy to drive and probably the setup that we'd pick to teach someone how to drive stick. The clutch is easy, the shifter is true, and the brake pedal sits close to the gas for easy heel-toe downshifting, though that's probably more of an advanced move. And that's what has made the Civic so popular, both in practice and in car culture overall. They're good looking, if a little milder this year than last, cheap to buy and maintain and still fun to drive. If every new car came to market like this, we'd both be better drivers and get more enjoyment out of the daily commute.
The price of the new Honda Civic Hatchback starts at $22,900 MSRP for the base LX, increasing to $24,100 for the Sport, regardless of whether you opt for the manual gearbox or the CVT. The EX-L will cost you $26,600 while the Sport Touring goes on sale for $29,400 with either transmission. These prices exclude Honda's $1,015 destination and handling charge.
There are four models to choose from for 2022: LX, Sport, EX-L, and the Sport Touring. The first two come standard with a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-pot, while the upper two trims have the 180-hp 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder equipped. A CVT is standard across the range, but both the Sport and Sport Touring can be had with a six-speed manual transmission instead.
The LX is fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels and boasts LED headlights, brake, and taillights. It has standard automatic climate control and power windows. Push button start and a manually-adjustable driver's seat, a four-speaker audio system, and a seven-inch touchscreen round out convenience. The Honda Sensing safety suite is included from the base model, taking care of advanced driver assists like collision mitigation, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
Sport models add 18-inch wheels, but get some nice upgrades inside - an eight-speaker sound system is fitted, and the steering wheel and shift knob are wrapped in leather. Crucially, this model can be had with the six-speed manual transmission.
One step up, the EX-L offers more luxury and conveniences like heated front seats, leather upholstery, a one-touch power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat. This model rolls on 17-inch wheels and adds blind-spot monitoring to the safety suite. It also gets the best gas mileage in the range.
Topping the range is the Sport Touring, once again available with the manual gearbox. It offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and adds a cross-traffic monitor to the list of safety features. Audio is channeled through a premium Bose 12-speaker sound system while the touchscreen display is upgraded to a nine-inch unit with standard navigation. The driver information display is also the largest in the range at 10.2 inches and the front passenger seat gets power adjustment. A wireless phone charger rounds off the spec sheet.
Honda only makes a few packages available, but these mostly pertain to splash guards, floor mats, and cargo trays. A $797 HPD Package can be equipped to the hatch, which adds a front underbody spoiler, HPD emblem, and a tailgate spoiler. A variety of accessories and standalone options can be fitted, including roof racks, spoilers, badging, and body moldings, and an engine block heater for $87. The Civic Hatch is a take-it-or-leave it range, so choose your model carefully.
The 2022 Honda Civic is priced right, with the base LX model starting at $22,900 and the Sport coming in at $24,100. But we'd start our journey with the EX-L and the 1.5-liter turbo. That trim gets 17-inch wheels, a moonroof, leather and power seats, heated front seats, the dual-zone climate control and a few other pieces. It doesn't come with the larger digital gauge cluster nor the bigger touchscreen, but you do save about $3,000. Sadly, it can't be had with the manual gearbox, so if that's high on your list of priorities, shoot for the Sport Touring.
There isn't too much to add after that. Pick a good color like the free Rallye Red or the $395 Smoky Mauve Pearl. There's a sub-$800 Honda Performance Package that comes with spoilers and badges that's cool. With both of those you're still under $29,000.
The Sport Touring trim adds low-speed braking control, rear cross-traffic alert, LED fog lights, navigation and wireless connections for your phone, but we think we'd still stick with the EX-L. If you want the extra tech, and the extra safety features and better radio, you'll have to spring for that trim, which is still a great deal.
Toyota's Corolla Hatch is a great-looking car and we think that it may find more fans than the Civic would, although the refreshed model for this year is better looking than previous iterations. The Corolla Hatch starts at $21,915 while the most expensive model stays under the $25k mark. The Corolla Hatch has only one engine option for the new model year, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. You do have the option to equip a manual, as with the Civic. Toyota's generosity with features makes this an excellent value proposition, and even base models come with a six-speaker audio system and an eight-inch infotainment display. The safety suite is similarly comprehensive, and even the airbag count is the same for these rivals - so what's the deal breaker? We think the Civic Hatch is worth the slightly higher starting price for the way it drives, especially when fitted with the manual gearbox. It also has more space and feels just a little more premium.
Comparing apples to almost apples, the hatch versus sedan showdown is simpler than you might think, considering these two siblings are pretty evenly matched in most regards. The 11th-generation Civic look is shared between these two, with the hatch being slightly more appealing aesthetically, thanks to its fastback design. The powertrain lineup is largely the same, with LX and Sport models featuring the 2.0-liter four-pot and the upper trims having the 1.5-liter turbocharged unit. But the sedan lacks the option of the six-speed manual found on the hatch in Sport and Sport Touring trims. In terms of fuel economy, the four-door sedan manages marginally better EPA figures, but loses a point to practicality with only 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space to the hatchback's 24.5. However, as is expected of a sedan, there's more space and comfort to be had in the back seat for passengers - so really, the choice here comes down to whether you need space for regular rear-seat occupants, cargo, or whether you want that extra engagement offered by a manual. If it were up to us, we'd stick with the Honda Civic Hatchback over the 4-door sedan.
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