2022 Honda Civic 2.0L 4dr Sport - Review by David Colman +VIDEO
Maybe the best new car deal in town
Story And Photos By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Honda has come up with the perfect ride for your son or daughter's first new car. It will even work wonders for you. The completely revamped eleventh generation Civic has just begun arriving at Honda dealerships. And the best looking one of the bunch is the Civic Sport, which carries a shockingly affordable base price of $23,100. Our test model was finished in a subtle shade called Lunar Silver Metallic, which played nicely off the Sport's satin black exterior trim and racing striped cloth and vinyl interior.
Lately, Toyota has been giving Honda some stiff competition in the youth-oriented market. Toyota's stealthy Nightshade and TRD models carry street credibility the new Civic Sport matches with its optional HRD Kit (Honda Racing Development). For the privilege of advertising your allegiance to HRD, you'll pay an extra $1,417.80. The HRD Kit consists of front, side and rear underbody spoilers, decklid spoiler, plus seven strategically deployed HRD emblems. The kit imparts a purposeful look to the sleek lines of the redesigned Civic. The striped seat treatment and addition of Sport Mode paddle shifters lend a racy feel to this newest Civic. Pay an extra $144.41 and you'll complete the visual statement with a set of gloss black Honda, Civic and Sport emblems.
Because the 158hp Civic Sport lacks the 180hp turbo motor of more expensive Civics like the Touring model, the aero-kitted Sport looks a lot faster than it really is. Most parents will look on this state of affairs with great favor. The Sport is also equipped with a full set of Honda Sensing safety measures, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Traffic Jam Assist.
Since we were the first tester to drive this Honda after its arrival in the press fleet, all the safety nannies were fully engaged. We drove it that way for a couple of days and had the following observations. The Lane Keeping Assist constantly intervenes with a flashing orange warning light and a jiggle of the steering wheel if it senses you might be deviating even slightly from what it perceives to be your lane. This gets old in short order. The second feature we couldn't wait to lose was the warning sign that starts blinking the instant you exceed the posted speed. Due to these twin annoyances, the Civic was far from being Sportive.
Enter a protracted bout with the Owner's Manual. After careful reading, we determined that the nannies could be defeated with a multi-step process requiring manipulation of switches and buttons on the left spoke of the steering wheel. We deactivated Lane Keeping Assist, which freed us up to drive without unwonted intercession. We also learned that the speed limit sign could be set to flash in 2mph increments over the posted limit, or turned off completely. We opted for the latter. These two easily achieved modifications transformed the Civic Sport into a most enjoyable ride. Instead of fighting its driver for control, it became a pleasure to operate.
Honda has fitted the Sport with gloss black 18" alloy rims shod with beefy (235/40R18) Goodyear Eagle all season radials. With the driving mode dial set to Sport, the Civic earns its "Sport" nameplate on back roads where it combined exceptional traction with a willingness to clip apexes like much more expensive German machines. A 1.2 inch increase in wheelbase has eliminated the choppy ride quality of the previous Civic. The only element lacking here is the 22hp stronger 1.5 liter turbo motor of the Touring Civic.
If, however, you are a parent searching for a perfect first car for your offspring, the Sport's rather lackluster straight line performance will be viewed as a plus. It's really hard to get into trouble with this package, especially if you leave the safety nannies in full control as delivered from the factory. And what if you aren't planning on making the new Civic a gift to offspring? Well, it could just be the best new deal in town for you. You will love the size and clarity of the 10.2 inch digital dashboard which houses Civic's first-ever LCD instrument cluster. Honda has added a 7-inch color touchscreen to the peak of the dash, the largest ever offered in the Civic line. We were especially intrigued with the look and operation of the honeycombed dash wide insert which encases the HVAC vents in a novel and handsome way. The interior redo, like the exterior revision, is a winner in both appearance and function.
2022 HONDA CIVIC 2.0L 4DR SPORT
ENGINE: 2.0 liter inline 4, DOHC, I-VTEC
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 30MPG City/37MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $25,657.21
HYPES: Easy On The Eyes and Wallet
GRIPES: Sport Model Needs Turbo Motor
STAR RATING: 8.5 Stars out of 10