Ultimate refinement in a six-speed sedan

To date, more than 18 million Honda Civics have been sold, with numerous iterations coming into the pipeline over the years. The current 11th generation Civic is available in sedan and hatchback body styles across a range of trim levels and variations. For driving enthusiasts, there’s the 2022 Honda Civic Si.

Until the new Civic Type R is unveiled later this year, the Civic Si is the most powerful version of the car you can buy.

It borrows much of its looks from the pedigree, with a lower rear window for better visibility, a fresh honeycomb grille to match the interior dashboard design, sleek headlights and curved taillights.

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

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

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

When they drop into the cabin, buyers will realize why Honda has sold so many Civics. The seats are plush, comfortable, and adjustable, and the cloth material is grippy when hurtling through corners. The volume control on the touchscreen is within easy reach, as are the climate controls, which are excellent in form and function.

The Honda’s USB ports are located below the climate knobs, along with drive mode settings, the parking brake, and plenty of storage for drinks and phones when not in the wireless charging area.

2022 Honda Civic Si
The 2022 Honda Civic Si features seats with red accents.
American Honda Motors

The rear seat seats three passengers and feels roomy, with the front seats set for average-sized adults. It folds in a 60-40 layout and offers 14.4 cubic feet of storage. The seats can be folded to allow walk-through access to the trunk.

After years of going with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2022 Civic Si now uses a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. There is no automatic transmission here. The engine is coupled only to a six-speed manual gearbox and the front wheels. The six-speed features Rev-Match control, which means the rider automatically applies the throttle when downshifting to make the change smoother.

The Si also comes standard with a limited-slip differential that transfers power to the front wheel with the most grip. That’s usually the outside wheel in a corner, making it much easier to stay centered in that corner and more comfortable for both rider and passenger, even when you’re on the gas.

This Civic, like many Si vehicles before it, is great to drive. The engine isn’t loud, but it sounds smooth and there doesn’t seem to be any hesitation while the turbocharger revs up. It loves to be shifted near the red line and this physical shifter is one of the best in the business. On the highway in sixth gear, the Si still has plenty of power for overtaking manoeuvres.

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

The shift knob might be a bit small for larger hands, but the action is smooth and the shift gates are easy to find. The clutch pedal is also easy to use. If learning to drive a stick shift, this would be a good vehicle to practice on.

The steering is simple, but quick and precise. It doesn’t transmit a lot of road information, but the entire vehicle feels light and easy to maneuver through traffic. The Si comes with 18-inch wheels, and one of the only optional boxes to check is $200 summer tires. These wheels are a reasonable size, meaning average road bumps are imperceptible.

The suspension isn’t adjustable, unlike the cross-platform Acura Integra, but it had a good balance of handling and ride comfort. The wheels are available in black or unpainted.

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

The 2022 Civic Si gets an expanded Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance and safety technologies with Traffic Sign Recognition, a Driver Awareness Monitor, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and more. It also has a rear seat reminder, new and standard across the range.

The new sporty Honda Civic Si ($28,315 with target) is a perfect match for the Hyundai Elantra N Line, which delivers 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The Hyundai is a fair bit cheaper at $24,350. For buyers who fancy a bigger car, the Kia K5 GT sedan is $30,590 with 290 horsepower. And there’s always the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, starting at $31,295.

These are all fun sedans to drive every day, but the 2022 Honda Civic Si delivers on the promise it always has. It has the racy refinement of a car nearly 20 million in production, with the understated aggressiveness that 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, affordable, fast sedans, there are plenty, but the Civic Si is a good place to start.

https://www.newsweek.com/2022-honda-civic-si-review-ultimate-refinement-six-speed-sedan-1710187 Ultimate refinement in a six-speed sedan

Rick Schindler

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