There aren't a lot of cars that stir emotions quite like the Honda Civic Si. The affordable performance icon has been around in the US off and on since 1984, and it's often the benchmark other automakers use when building their own compact sports cars.
For 2022, the Civic Si looks familiar but sharpens up. Now available exclusively in four-door guise, the sedan sports cleaner sheet metal and a fully revamped cabin. Under the hood, the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine from last year remains, but it's been thoroughly reworked. Add to that a more aggressive suspension setup, and the Civic Si feels grown up, but more fun than ever.
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|2022 Honda Civic Si HPT
|Turbocharged 1.5-liter I4
|200 Horsepower / 192 Pound-Feet
|26 City / 37 Highway / 31 Combined
|$27,300 + $1,015 Destination
Gallery: 2022 Honda Civic Si: Review
- Exterior Color: Blazing Orange Pearl
- Interior Color: Black And Red
- Wheel Size: 18 Inches
The front end of the Civic Si looks clean, with a large lower opening on the bumper and slim headlights that sink seamlessly into a smaller grille up top. The taillights are sharp, too, blending into a trunk lid that has a unique double-winged spoiler sitting atop it.
Every photo you've probably seen of the 2022 Honda Civic Si is in the same color – including the car pictured here: Blazing Orange Pearl. The $375 paint is the most alluring of the bunch compared to the more basic hues. And when joined by standard 18-inch matte black wheels and gloss black accents, the eye-searing orange pops even more.
The Civic Si certainly has a cohesive look and one that improves on the funky styling of the previous generation. But where other automakers have taken big risks design-wise in this segment, like Hyundai and Subaru, the Civic Si still almost feels too safe.
The interior, much like the sheet metal, forgoes funky angles and unnecessary accents for a simpler, subtler look. But that straightforward thinking works better here than it does on the exterior. A combo of black and red cloth covers the seats, faux carbon fiber accents dot the center console, and the unique mesh material that covers the air vents in the standard Civic carries over, but now with a red outline. It all looks very good.
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Cargo Capacity: 14.1 Cubic Feet
The suspension is stiff – really stiff. The Civic Si is uncomfortable to drive on anything other than perfect pavement, crashing over minor bumps and undulations with an awful thud. The 18-inch wheels and low-profile, high-performance tires (part of the HPT trim) are big contributors to that poor ride.
To the Civic's credit, poor ride quality isn't uncommon for this class; the Elantra N-Line and Volkswagen Jetta GLI aren't exactly poster children for cushiness. And the Civic Si makes up for that harshness with great sound deadening and superb front chairs. The cloth buckets cradle the driver and passenger with perfect bolstering and ample butt and back support – but they are manually adjustable only, and Honda did remove the heating elements for 2022.
The Civic Si doesn't necessarily feel cramped from the driver's seat – there's plenty of elbow room and the cockpit doesn't enclose the driver in a tight compartment. But on paper, the Civic Si has the worst front headroom at 37.6 inches, and the front legroom is a modest 42.3 inches. At least the cargo hold is competitive for the segment at 14.1 cubic feet, better than the WRX and matching the GLI.
|Honda Civic Si
|37.6 / 37.1 Inches
|42.3 / 37.4 Inches
|14.1 Cubic Feet
|Hyundai Elantra N-Line
|40.6 / 37.3 Inches
|42.3 / 38.0 Inches
|14.2 Cubic Feet
|Kia Forte GT
|38.8 / 37.5 Inches
|42.2 / 35.7 Inches
|15.3 Cubic Feet
|39.8 / 36.7 Inches
|43.1 / 36.5 Inches
|12.5 Cubic Feet
|Volkswagen Jetta GLI
|38.5 / 37.2 Inches
|41.1 / 37.4 Inches
|14.1 Cubic Feet
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Honda Civic
- Center Display: 9.0-Inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: Partially Digital 7.0-Inch
- Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes
Honda won't ask you to shell out extra cash for a bigger touchscreen or advanced tech. The Civic Si gets a standard 9.0-inch display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, with a partially digital instrument cluster joining it. The only downside is that the fully digital cluster available on the standard Civic’s Touring model doesn't make its way to the Si, nor does navigation.
But this setup is still easy to navigate, with options arranged neatly on the home screen in color-coordinated boxes. Touch responsiveness is smartphone-quick, and even though the instrument cluster is only partially digital, it does allow for multiple configurations on the left display. Also standard on the Si is a 12-speaker Bose audio system that sounds good.
- Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-liter I4
- Output: 200 Horsepower / 192 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Six-Speed Manual
Along with so-so styling, this Civic Si technically has less power than its predecessor. If you’re looking purely at the numbers, the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine now produces 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet, as opposed to 205 and 192 last year. It's paired to the same short-throw six-speed manual transmission, still powering the front wheels exclusively.
So does this Civic Si feel slower? Not in the slightest. There's more low-end shove off the line thanks to max torque that’s available at just 1,800 rpm compared to 2,100 in the previous gen, and the 30-percent lighter flywheel means less rotating mass to move under hard acceleration. At the higher end of the spectrum, the Civic Si shows plenty of grunt. Even though its redline is still 6,500 RPM, peak horsepower now hits 300 RPM earlier than it previously did, and it feels like there's still power to give – Honda is assuredly saving that for the Type R.
The six-speed manual is remarkably slick; in fact, the throws are 10 percent shorter here than they were, which makes it easier to snap the gearbox into place quickly. Joining the party for 2022 is the Type R's rev-matching system, and I, for one, welcome any technology that makes me a better driver. Downshifting without heel-toeing and watching redline jump is a satisfying feeling that makes it easier to push the Civic even harder. That said, if you're feeling exceptionally confident, you can turn it off via the touchscreen.
That ultra-stiff suspension – while not the most comfortable – makes the Civic Si an absolute joy to flog. The entire structure is stiffer, and that newfound tension gives the Si more composure through tight turns and near-perfect balance. The new electric steering rack provides more heft than the setup it replaces, too. Around town, it's almost too weighty, but it's perfectly beefy for putting the Civic Si through its paces.
You will notice some front-drive torque steer if you take an especially tight corner too quickly, even though this car has high-performance tires and a standard limited-slip differential. And the clutch pedal is squishier than I'd like – but those are minor gripes. The Civic Si is a tremendous performance car in nearly every respect.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Five Stars Overall
- IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick Plus
Honda Sensing comes standard here as it does on nearly all modern Honda models. The active safety suite includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Plus the Si adds a rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring at no extra cost.
On the highway, the adaptive cruise control and lane-centering tech are a perfect combo. They keep the car centered in the lane and apply smooth braking and acceleration inputs depending on the flow of traffic. Honda’s system even works in between gearshifts – hit “resume” from a slow crawl and the car will gather speed, pausing briefly while you work the clutch and stick.
- City: 26 MPG
- Highway: 37 MPG
- Combined: 31 MPG
The Honda Civic Si is the MPG king when it comes to compact performance sedans. Achieving 26 miles per gallon city, 37 highway, and 31 combined, the Civic beats the next-best Forte GT and Jetta GLI by one combined MPG overall.
My time with the Civic Si included a mix of city and highway driving, with occasional stop-and-go traffic and healthy usage of the adaptive cruise control on long highway bouts. The average fuel economy during my week with the Civic hovered in the high 20s.
|Fuel Economy (Manual Transmissions):
|Honda Civic Si:
|Hyundai Elantra N-Line:
|Kia Forte GT:
|Volkswagen Jetta GLI:
- Base Price: $27,300 + $1,015 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $28,315
- As-Tested Price: $28,515
The 2022 Honda Civic Si starts at $28,315 with the $1,015 destination fee included, which puts it at the upper end of the pricing spectrum for the class. Only the Subaru WRX ($30,065) and Volkswagen Jetta GLI ($31,990) are more expensive for 2022.
The car tested here – a Civic Si HPT – starts at $28,515 with the extra-sticky rubber equipped from the factory. The lone option on this car is the Blazing Orange Pearl paint, an extra $395. There is a $1,706 package for gloss black 18-inch wheels and $1,112 package for the HPD trim, which adds emblems and an underbody spoiler – but neither seems worth the cost.
For just south of $30,000, the Honda Civic Si is well-equipped, with class-leading safety equipment out of the box and tons of features. Most importantly, though, this car is fantastic to drive. Even though it technically loses grunt from last year, the enhanced application of power and the much better suspension setup make the Si feel hugely improved, and way more fun.
|Honda Civic Si
|Hyundai Elantra N-Line
|Kia Forte GT
|Volkswagen Jetta GLI