2022 Honda Civic Si First Look Review: Young Enthusiasts Matter

First Look / Comments

The affordable performance icon returns.

Honda understands something not all automakers do. Driving passion matters and accessing models that cater to enthusiasts shouldn't have to be expensive. They should also be packaged into something that's a suitable daily driver and, if necessary, handle family transportation duties.

Introducing the all-new 2022 Honda Civic Si. Available only as a sedan, the new Civic Si is based on the eleventh generation Civic compact sedan. It picks up right where its immediate predecessor left off, only now it's more refined, easier on the eye, and even more thrilling to drive. Honda even added a few features from the more powerful (and pricier) Civic Type R hot hatchback. Inside and out, the 2022 Civic Si has its own unique look separate from that of the base sedan. That will greatly satisfy buyers that want people to know they opted for something special.

Front View Driving Honda
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Slick-Looking Exterior

Honda wanted to give the Civic Si a unique look, in order to distinguish it from the standard Civic. A series of aerodynamic changes include a new front upper bumper with a more aggressive look. The rear bumper was reshaped in order to accommodate two large oval exhaust tips. Look carefully and you'll notice a front spoiler hiding under the car, while a gloss black rear spoiler is bolted on top of the trunk lid to aid downforce and high-speed stability.

Exterior enhancements are rounded off with more gloss black trim found on the side mirrors and window surrounds. LED headlights and taillights are standard fare. Also coming standard are sharp-looking 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels finished in matte black. Buyers can opt for the Si-only Blazing Orange exterior color, pictured here.

Like the standard 11th-gen Civic, the Si coupe is dead. It's now a sedan only.

Front Angle View Honda
Rear View Honda
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Interior Made For Driving

One of the chief complaints made of the previous-generation Civic lineup was its busy dashboard layout. That's been fixed now with a simplified, elegant, and sport design. It's still very driver-focused. The Civic Si receives its own series of upgrades such as body stabilizing sports seats with built-in head restraints and enhanced shoulder and lower thigh side supports. Fine details like the lower cushion being raised by half an inch for improved thigh support will get enthusiasts' attention.

Drivers will further enjoy goodies like sport pedals, red contrast stitching on the doors, steering wheel, center arm rest, and the shift knob. The metal honeycomb dash panel gets Si-specific red trim. A 7-inch digital instrument cluster is standard but there's still a physical speedometer dial. The 9-inch HD touchscreen comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at no extra charge, as does a 12-speaker Bose sound system.

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Gear Shifter Honda
Front Seats Honda

Power And Handling

Under the hood lies an enhanced 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Peak hp kicks in at 6,000 rpm while peak torque is between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. A short-throw six-speed manual with rev-matching from the Type R, the sole gearbox option, routes power to the front wheels through a limited-slip diff. Honda says the manual has 10 percent shorter throws and a more rigid shift lever mounting bracket.

Engineers added a dual-coil silencer exhaust system capable of increasing exhaust flow by 27 percent compared to the Civic Touring. An Active Sound Control system improves engines noises inside the cabin. Additional upgrades include a new single-mass flywheel that's 26 percent lighter than the previous Si's dual-mass unit. Inertia has been reduced by 30 percent for better throttle response.

The new rev-matching system comes straight from the Type R. When in Sport mode, driver's will get a "blip" when the system detects a downshift. Better handling is achieved by an 8 percent increase in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity. Rear spring rates are 54 percent stiffer compared to the standard Civic. Steering is enhanced by 60 percent thanks to a torsion bar.


Pricing And Competition

Honda has yet to announce pricing but it shouldn't be significantly different than the previous model, which began at around $25,000. The new model is totally worth a slight price increase given the sheer number of improvements that have been made.

The competition in the compact sports sedan segment, at least in this price category, boils down to the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, Kia Forte GT, and the Hyundai Elantra N-Line. Those who are looking for something a bit more extreme have the upcoming all-new Honda Civic Type R hot hatch. There's also the brand new Hyundai Elantra N sedan and Veloster N hot hatch.

Considering Honda will likely price its new Civic Si at less than $30k, this thing is an outright bargain. Few other compact sport sedans offer this much bang for the buck. You get that slick six-speed manual with rev-matching, bold looks, and Honda's famous razor-sharping handling. You can't go wrong.


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