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Road test | 2022 Honda Civic hatchback: timeless

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The Honda Civic has been a tool of self-assertion for many adolescents and young adults in Quebec, a means of expression ensuring additional freedom. Inexpensive, extremely reliable and highly customizable thanks to countless parts, the compact has won the hearts of entire generations, much like the Volkswagen Beetle had done decades before it. We got behind the wheel of his 11e generation, hatchback, to better understand the evolution of this icon of automotive democratization.

Design


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This new five-door Civic is a true contemporary compact with a dynamic flair in the aesthetic treatment.

When it arrived in North America in 1973, the Civic had the appearance of a city car hidden by a dense forest of large engines whose legitimacy was challenged by a terrible oil shock. Forty-eight years later, its direct hatchback descendant is much more imposing with its meter longer and offers two additional doors. The connections stop at the simple historical fact, because this new Civic with five doors is intended to be a true contemporary compact with a dynamic flair in the aesthetic treatment. All in all low and visually stocky with its fairly low headlights, it benefits from a 35 mm longer wheelbase than the previous vintage, to which is added a windshield slightly set back by 50 mm and short overhangs. Added to this is a receding roof line at the rear, obeying the European tradition of sportbacks and this Civic mature in its reasoning. It’s smoother, less flashy than before.

On board


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The interior of the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback

Cultivating immense confidence in its approach, the compact now manages to compete with luxury proposals with its interior. From the outset, we denote this large metallic honeycomb piece elegantly used to hide the ventilation nozzles. Lower down, knobs and buttons allow you to adjust the heating / air conditioning system without having to leave the road for too long. It is also this sensitivity to the correct arrangement of the controls that impresses the driver. They are all logically placed and visible, regardless of the exterior light. The materials used, soft on the majority of surfaces, are also of much better quality. Honda also had the brilliant idea of ​​avoiding the use of gloss black on the center console, preferring a gray textured plastic that seems durable. With 693 L of volume accessed through a huge tailgate, the trunk of this car also easily rivals some compact SUVs in terms of capacity.

Under the hood


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The optional 2022 Honda Civic hatchback engine, a 180 hp 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder

Like the sedan, this new five-door formula bases its composition on two known mechanics. The seat version (LX) is docked to a naturally aspirated 2.0L four-cylinder (158 hp) while the Sport and Sport Touring versions inherit a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder. Driving the tested car, it has undergone slight modifications for 2022. Its 180 hp is supported by constant torque, whose 177 lb-ft are produced from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm. Aplomb in acceleration and recovery downgrades its atmospheric rivals, renewing Honda’s immense competence as an engine manufacturer. His bird’s appetite tops it off with a measured average of 6.5 L / 100 km during the fall test. If you want to play with the shifter, the offered manual transmission is undeniably the best in the segment. We perceive an unusual symbiosis in this price bracket between this box and the small mill it guides. A CVT box is also available.

Behind the wheel


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Gratified by an almost perfect driving position and excellent visibility, this Civic negotiates curves with immense skill.

Honda has reminded us many times when it was launched that the chassis of this hatchback livery was developed in Europe. This statement, overused by several manufacturers, nevertheless communicates a sensitivity to the dynamism of the product. Fortunately, the first kilometers swallowed confirm that it is far from being a show. Gratified by an almost perfect driving position and excellent visibility, this Civic negotiates curves with immense skill. We get great satisfaction from placing your front end with a steering that plays with finesse. The engine’s torque pulls us to the next corner to taste the powerful brakes, which intervene with a pedal that modulates naturally. During the exercise, the compact stays well in the saddle, keeping more control over its movements. Its direct rival, the Mazda3, undoubtedly plays less skill in such a context, because of its rigid rear axle, but has the advantage of better filtering the noises which infiltrate in the passenger compartment.

Embedded technologies


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The 2022 Honda Civic hatchback infotainment system

The Civic also takes a big step forward here, adding the latest generation of Honda’s infotainment system to its strengths. As is now customary, all operations are done using a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment screen in the most complete version (Sport Touring). There is very little to complain about its performance, allowing you to navigate smoothly from one menu to another without encountering slow loading. It’s very fluid and simple. It is complemented by a second instrumentation screen that is just as readable and fluid when you change its configuration. On the safety side, the Civic hatchback incorporates all the expected active assistance as standard. The active lane keeping system turned out to be rather well adjusted. The Bose chain present in the Sport Touring livery leaves rather ice in its rendering, a little bland on the low frequencies.

The verdict


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Never has a Honda Civic behaved so well, marrying exemplary stability with comfort that we appreciate on a daily basis.

Between electrification and insatiable demand for SUVs, the Civic is arguably going through one of its worst existential crises. To these challenges, Honda has responded with the mouth of its pencils by creating a compact that is sensitive both aesthetically and dynamically. Never has a Honda Civic behaved so well, marrying exemplary stability with comfort that we appreciate on a daily basis. The manual transmission also adds an additional sensory dimension to the experience. But of course, that shine comes at a price. At $ 29,815 in entry, this five-door Civic surpasses its direct rivals by several thousand dollars, while advancing many standard features to justify itself. Despite everything, this creation eloquently challenges the hegemony of the SUV with its undeniable versatility. For this simple fact, Honda deserves a warm hug.

Notebook

Chassis improvements

Like any car that passes the torch to a new generation, the Civic receives various improvements to its chassis, allowing it a greater rigidity of 19% in torsion. A more widespread use of adhesive materials has been made to promote its refinement and its tracks have been slightly widened for handling.

Mind your head

The slippery rear line makes this Civic hatchback elegant, but inevitably penalizes headroom. That said, the legroom is surprisingly generous.

The sedan, a little cheaper

If you want to go for the sedan body, which has a slightly different temperament, know that it will squeeze around $ 3,500 less from your wallet in the production variant.

The Civic Type R on the road

The more capable Type R version of the Civic is on the way with a five-door only body. It should carry the two-liter turbo four-cylinder reworked from its predecessor.

One bestseller

More than 2.2 million Honda Civics have been sold since 1973 in Canada as of last April, when the 11-year sedan was unveiled.e generation.

Technical sheet

  • Model under test: Honda Civic Sport Touring hatchback
  • Engine: L4 DOHC 1.5L Turbocharged
  • Power: 180 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 177 lb-ft from 1,700 to 4,500 rpm
  • Transmission: six-speed manual
  • Driving architecture: front transverse engine
  • Consumption (EnerGuide): 7.5 L / 100 km (manual transmission)
  • Price (with options): $ 36,815
  • Competitors: Kia Forte5, Mini Cooper 5-door, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla
  • Anything new in 2022? : new generation



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