Honda sells a lot of Civics, around 300,000 annual in the United States alone. Get into one and it’s immediately obvious why they’re so popular; it’s a solid combination of sleek design, very good fuel efficiency, a zippy drive, and an entirely reasonable price tag, making it a splendid first new vehicle for many young families. What most startled me about the 2022 Civic 1.5T 4D Touring car that Honda Motor Co. loaned me for the week is the Monroney, actually: The price sticker had exactly one upcharge, $395 for a premium color (Morning Mist). Everything else was standard with this trim level, a refreshing change from vehicles that start at a reasonable price but offer too darn much sticker shock when the final price ends up being double the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Nicely done, Honda.
The Civic Touring immediately reminded me of my parent’s old sedan (they had a Nissan Sentra) with its compact size, aerodynamic design, and classic, ground-hugging stance. Here’s what I drove:
This model included 18-inch alloy wheels and a surprisingly responsive 180hp 1.5-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission. The fact that a 180hp engine can offer this sort of drive experience speaks to the strides that car manufacturers have made in the last decade: No need for a gas-guzzling V8 monster on a vehicle of this weight, and indeed, I clocked about 37 mpg across the few hundred miles I drove it, eminently acceptable and one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles I’ve driven so far in 2022.
Jump into the driver’s seat and the dash layout is fairly typical:
The 9-inch color touchscreen was plenty enough for navigation and infotainment tasks and exhibited none of the quirks that so frustrated Honda customers a few years ago. What was most striking was the grill design of the climate fans, as you can see in the above photo. With a tiny joystick to control flow directionality, it was a nice sportscar-inspired touch to an otherwise fairly pedestrian dashboard. This featured black leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with a matching shift knob, lending an additional touch of luxury.
Honda has really focused on safety features, including the Honda Sensing suite, and this vehicle was stuffed to the gills with tech to help keep the driver and passengers safe, including adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and traffic jam assist. In addition, like all modern vehicles, the Civic Touring includes anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, and airbags all over the place. What’s best about these features is that most are just “forget until needed” for the typical driver. You don’t have to enable Honda Sensing, it just works to keep you safer. Exactly how tech should work in a moving vehicle.
Having said that, here’s the main gauge display, which maybe is a bit overloaded:
Nice to have an actual temperature gauge on the far left. There’s a lot going on with this display, though, from the current speed limit and exterior temperature to what music I’m listening to, distance on Trip A, and even a bar that shows real-time fuel efficiency. In that light, notice I saw 37.1 mpg about 65% through my first tank of regular unleaded gas. The car graphic in the middle even shows how well you’re staying centered in your lane as part of the LKAS (lane keeping assist system).
Fortunately, the steering wheel control buttons are simplified and easily understood:
This model also included paddle shifters, though I’m convinced less than 1% of drivers use them. Do you? Tell me about it in the comments! There’s quite a mix of knob and control types, but the symmetry of the design made it really easy to understand and use, even when driving at high speed.
Modern cars need to help with smartphone use and connectivity too, and the 2022 Civic 4D Touring has a nicely designed Qi wireless charging section with plenty of other plugs for thirsty devices:
If you’re old school, you’ll appreciate the 12V “cigarette lighter” plug – handy for modern radar detectors – while more modern users will like the dual USB-A ports. I was surprised not to see a USB-C port for charging and connectivity, but cables are cheap so it’s easy for drives and passengers to bring the right connector once they know their options. Not a big deal, for sure.
Stepping outside of the car, there’s a decent amount of legroom for backseat passengers, fairly typical of this class of sedan:
Would I want to sit in the back seat of this car for an 800-mile marathon all-day drive? Not so much. But it’s probably no worse than cattle class domestic coach seating on a modern passenger plane!
The trunk has lots of room for your luggage on that long drive, however, and in a pinch you can fold down the back of either side or both sides of the rear seats for a bit more room for skiis, etc:
While Honda hasn’t broken any new ground with its interior and exterior design on the 2022 Honda Civic, if you have a winner, there’s no reason to mess with it either. The curb appeal is obvious, though, and I had a number of people checking out the car and asking me about it while I had it for the week. Part of that is the Morning Mist color; light blue at some angles, it’s grey from other angles and in different lighting. Quite attractive!
What really sold me on the Civic, however, was the combination of its snappy, responsive drive and great fuel efficiency, combined with a total vehicle price less than half of what I’ve been reviewing for the last few months. High-end vehicles have charms all their own, but most people are interested in a vehicle that reliably gets them from the proverbial Point A to Point B. If it looks pretty, has some style, and includes some must-have safety features, all the better. And the Civic does look pretty:
As a tall driver, however, the only thing I didn’t enjoy was bending to slip into the driver’s seat, particularly in a crowded parking lot when I couldn’t fully open the driver’s door. I’m spoiled by my SUV, which is significantly higher up off the roadway. Younger drivers are much less likely to be bothered by this, but it’s one reason you want to take one for a test drive before purchasing it, to ensure you won’t find it bothersome yourself.
All in all, however, I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the 2022 Honda Civic 1.5T 4D Touring. It’s fun, zippy, has oodles of safety features, and plenty of curb appeal for its category. Definitely worth checking out, and it might just be ideal for a young family with Acura dreams and a 20-something budget (along with dreams of homeownership too).
2022 Honda Civic 1.5T 4D Touring, in Morning Mist, with Black interior. Powered by a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission. MSRP: $28,300.00. The only optional feature included with this model was a premium paint fee for the color. TOTAL AS DRIVEN: $28,695.00
Disclosure: Honda Motor Co loaned me the Civic for a week in return for this review. Thanks, Honda!