The 2022 Honda Civic sedan looks like a solid improvement over its predecessor, except there’s one problem: The manual transmission is gone, leaving only a continuously variable transmission. But fear not, 11th-gen Civic shoppers, there is a hatchback, and that one gets the stick. Here’s a first look.
A few weeks ago, Honda invited me to a studio to take photos of the new Civic hatch next to its sedan sibling. Overall, I’ll say I liked the new five-door’s look, especially in the Boost Blue Pearl color typically found on the current-generation Civic Type R.
In its press release, Honda’s pushing the Civic hatchback as a sportier model than the sedan, mentioning the “distinctive grille mesh with a slight concave shape,” unique taillight design, 4.9-inch shorter rear overhang, and wide center high mounted stop lamp (CHMSL). Here’s a look at that for all of you CHMSL enthusiasts:
Here are a few close-ups:
Engine options are a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four cylinder making 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft and a 1.5-liter turbo pumping out 180 HP and 177 lb-ft. Both engines offer the stick option, with the 2.0 stick being the Sport trim and the 1.5-liter vehicle with the manual transmission being the Sport Touring.
Suspension, like on the sedan, is a multilink rear and a MacPherson strut front.
Headroom in the back isn’t great, but I also sat in the sedan, and that vehicle’s sloping roofline made for similarly limited rear noggin-space. I’m five-foot-eight, and was perfectly comfortable, but I realize I’m among the more diminutively-statured adults out there.
The composite rear hatch has these odd outboard hinges that I think are worth mentioning:
Honda mentions the hinges as key enablers for the vehicle’s overall look, writing in its release:
The Hatchback’s smoother, sleeker roof line is made possible by a new lightweight composite hatch and by moving the hinge mechanism outward, allowing a roof height reduction of 50 mm in the hinge area.
Here’s a look at the cargo area:
Let’s zoom in a bit closer:
Here’s more cargo area goodness:
Here’s 60 percent of the rear bench folded down:
Here’s the remaining 40 percent turned into a flat floor:
I don’t think the overall cargo volume is much (if at all) bigger than that of the sedan, but the big difference is the geometry of the cargo area. Shoving a large ficus tree into this isn’t going to work out:
Also, I’ll mention the interior, even though it’s no different than the sedan’s. This is just fantastic:
It’s a good-looking machine that will roll off of Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana assembly line later this year.
We’ll see what the fuel economy numbers look like. Honda claims improved fuel economy over the current car, which manages 32 MPG combined, with 29 in the city and 37 on the highway. This could be a fun-ish, efficient little hatchback with a nice interior, and who doesn’t want that?