August 14, 2022
Exterior of the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail The development of manuals

Exterior of the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

The development of manuals dwindling into obsolescence appeared confirmed when Honda first unveiled its redesigned 2022 Civic final 12 months. For the primary time, Canada’s best-selling sedan wouldn’t be obtainable with a stick shift. However then Honda flipped the development with a hatchback obtainable with three pedals and a brand new Civic Si sedan that solely comes as a guide.

This stick shift gained’t save any cash versus the automated, which has been the case with most vehicles. With both transmission, the hatchback LX begins at $28,000 – much more than the $24,465 for the LX sedan. All are powered by the identical 158-horsepower, 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine. That mentioned, the LX trim is new for the hatchback, so the worth of entry is lower than final 12 months when solely Sport and Touring had been provided.

Two different 2022 hatchback trims, Sport ($31,500) and Touring ($35,000), graduate to the 180-horsepower, 1.5-litre turbo engine, now with the identical outputs whatever the transmission (beforehand, there was much less torque with the CVT); on the sedan the 1.5T is unique to the Touring trim and asks $30,265.

Six-speed guide shifter on the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

I drove the hatchback with each transmissions, and regardless of being a die-hard stick-shifter, I’m not in love with the Civic’s guide. The clutch is okay and the shifter has a well-defined, short-throw gate, however the lever motion is stiff. To the Civic’s credit score, there’s little turbo lag, and the ability builds linearly. However on the flip facet, there’s no level when the engine actually “kicks.” It’s all a bit flat. I’m wondering if that is a kind of turbo engines that might profit from premium gasoline, though formally it’s fantastic on common.

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The engine doesn’t sound as tuneful as, say, a Golf GTI, and paired to the six-speed it sounds busier on the freeway than with the CVT. Whereas gearhead ears could also be bothered by the CVT’s seamlessly steady ratio shifting and “random” surging and sagging of engine velocity, its skill to all the time be in the fitting gear, proper now, delivers easy efficiency.

Maybe one cause Honda expenses a lot is the dwindling competitors within the hatchback class. Volkswagen now affords solely the GTI and R editions of the Golf in Canada. The Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus are historical past, and Hyundai hasn’t reprised a 5-door model of its Elantra.

However, hatchback variations of the Kia Forte, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla all additionally supply guide gearboxes – and comparable efficiency to the Civic’s base engine – for hundreds of {dollars} much less. For about the identical worth as a Civic Hatchback Sport, a Golf GTI brings 241 horsepower, and Civic Hatchback Touring cash may get you a Mazda3 Sport GT Turbo with as much as 250 horsepower and all-wheel drive.

Honda’s engineers have performed their job effectively, however the advertising and marketing individuals want to present their heads a shake.

Tech Specs

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

Worth: $28,000 – $35,000

Engines: 2.0-litre, 158-horsepower naturally-aspirated four-cylinder; 1.5-litre, 180-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission/drive: 6-speed guide or CVT automated/FWD

Gasoline consumption (L/100 km): 2.0 6MT: 9.1 metropolis/6.6 hwy; 2.0 CVT: 8.0 metropolis/6.2 hwy; 1.5T 6MT: 8.5 metropolis/6.3 hwy; 1.5T CVT: 7.7city/6.3 hwy

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Alternate options: Kia Forte5, Mazda3 Sport, MINI Clubman, Subaru Impreza Sport, Toyota Corolla Hatchback, Volkswagen Golf GTI

LOOKS

Exterior of the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Exterior of the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Other than its five-inch “trunk-ated” tail, the 5-door largely shares the extra refined styling of the 2022 sedan, with out all the previous fake air vents – but in addition with out the earlier dual-centred exhaust pipes.

INTERIOR

Within the age of the crossover, the Civic continues to be unapologetically a automotive, constructed low to the bottom and with a correspondingly low-slung driving place – albeit adjustable up to some extent, with an eight-way energy seat on the Touring and six-way guide on the decrease trims. Oddly, I discovered the padding at the vanguard of the seat cushion quite obtrusive, which is uncommon, as a result of in most vehicles I can’t get sufficient thigh assist.

Show on the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Entrance seats on the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Visibility and ergonomics are exhausting to fault. There are many hard-button alternate options to utilizing touch-screen icons with the notable exception of radio tuning. The centre display is nine-inches on the Touring and seven-inches on others and the Touring additionally has a configurable digital gauge cluster.

A large rear cabin with ample legroom provides as much as near-midsize-sedans’ price of inside quantity.

PERFORMANCE

Anticipate the hatchback 6MT with the bottom engine to be a aggressive performer, and with the 1.5T, faster than most rivals – say, 0-100 kilometres an hour in about eight seconds. That’s peppy, however not fairly pocket-rocket tempo, and most unbiased exams present higher outcomes with the CVT. Different points of driving dynamics are extra spectacular: Honda says it benchmarked European sport sedans, and it reveals within the Civic’s mix of a pliant trip, direct steering and lithe, assured cornering.

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TECHNOLOGY

Sprint on the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

The driving force-assist stock might not be class-leading, however it’s shut. There’s no all-speed lane-tracing help, however the Touring’s traffic-jam help can do this in sluggish visitors. All trims have adaptive cruise (together with low-speed comply with with the CVT), ahead collision warning and emergency braking, lane-keeping help, and blind-spot data. Rear cross-traffic warning is exclusive to the Touring. On the infotainment facet, there’s the standard Bluetooth and smart-phone integration, wi-fi charging plus Siri and WIFI tethering. The Touring provides Navigation and an audio improve with HD Radio and SiriusXM.

CARGO

Trunk on the 2022 Honda Civic HatchbackJeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Honda made the a lot of the house obtainable, so the trunk is considerably irregular in form. There’s no hidden, under-floor storage or a bi-level deck and there’s a ramp as much as the folded seat-backs. However the 693-litre cargo quantity, whereas barely lower than the earlier mannequin, nonetheless beats most rivals. A versatile cloth cargo cowl that pulls out from the facet avoids the issue of the place to retailer a inflexible cowl whenever you want it out of the best way.

VERDICT

All of the goodness of the North American Automotive-of-the-Yr Civic sedan, plus hatchback versatility and an obtainable guide transmission. However what’s with the pricing, Honda?

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