2022 Honda Civic Si

PHOENIX — After skipping the 2021 model year Honda has brought back an 11th generation 2022 Civic Si to go along with the complete redo for the entire Civic lineup. All the things we liked about the new Civic introduced earlier this year are carried over to the Si. It isn’t the most eye-catching sedan on the market or even in its class, but handsome just the same especially with my test Si adorned in Blazing Pearl Orange metallic paint with black and red interior.

Along with the new exterior styling, the interior is where most of the redo was noticeable, an interior that screamed for a complete fashion makeover. The center stack is new and thankfully along the lines of “minimalism.” The standard 9-inch touchscreen is now vastly easier to use and comes equipped with also-standard wireless CarPlay and Android Auto.

A 12-speaker Bose Audi setup, complete with subwoofer is a huge improvement. There’s a much-welcomed volume knob and a few other physical buttons.

We especially liked the honeycomb vent trim bifurcating the dash including the trademark Si red accents that extends to the doors, steering wheel and other interior surfaces. There’s an exclusive set of sport seats with added bolstering including Si logos stitched in the headrests taken straight from the 10th generation Type R Civic (sans the logos). Unfortunately, and oddly the Si isn’t available with heated seats.

The new Si is now turbocharged powered by a 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder delivering 200-hp, five less than the previous Si, and 192-lb-ft torque connected to a brilliant and silky-smooth shifting 6-speed manual shifter that simply requires a flick of the wrist to find the desired gear, short, crisp and precise and made even better with its automatic rev-matching feature. And yes, it can be turned off if desired.

I spent a day negotiating the two-lane blacktop through tight curve-etched canyons and central Arizona as the front-wheel drive Si gobbled up the miles. The Si handled excellently with only a small touch of understeer, thanks to Honda engineering that decided to switch out the adaptive dampers of the previous generation Si in favor of stiffer springs, a stronger torsion bar, and increased structural rigidity.

The power band of the turbocharged engine and throttle is well-tuned to the engine response and transmission up and down shifting resulting in power being delivered precisely whether you’re tracking the car or around town for your daily commute. While the Si is faithfully fun to drive being lighter, better handling and light steering feel, we 200 hp far less satisfactory than class competitors like the Volkswagen Jetta GLI with its 2.0-liter 241 hp turbocharged four-cylinder or the Subaru WRX with 271 hp.

Other than some exterior colors, the only option available for the Si is summer tires (add $200) that we wished our test Si included.

Overall, the new Civic Si is more refined, quieter, a significantly improved interior, better handling and without question a more entertaining sport compact than ever before, and at a price point that most car enthusiasts can afford and completely enjoy.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $27,500
Price as Tested: $28,910
Engine/Transmission: 1.5-liter 200 hp turbocharged I4 engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Fuel Economy: 27/37/31 mpg City/Highway/Combined
Seating: 5

Crash Test Safety Ratings: Highest possible 2022 Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Where Built: Allison, Ontario, Canada

Competes With:
Hyundai Elantra N
Mazda3 2.5 Turbo
Subaru WRX
Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Fab Features:
An affordable car that’s great fun to drive
Freshly restyled inside and out for 2022
Best manual transmission outside of Porsche

— Jim Prueter