The Honda Civic is a great compact car. It’s been popular since its introduction in the 1970s and keeps getting better. It comes in sedan and hatchback body styles and in many different trims and configurations so you can get the Civic that’s right for you. Anyone shopping for a small car should check it out.
The Si is the sporty version of the Civic. It returns for 2022 after a year off in 2021. It’s one of a shrinking number of new cars that comes with a manual transmission. In fact this trim doesn’t even offer an automatic transmission. While it doesn’t have the performance chops of the Civic Type R, The Si is still a lot of fun to drive.
Base Price: $27,500
As Tested: $28,910
Mileage: 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway/31 mpg combined
The five-passenger Civic Si comes in just one well-equipped trim and starts at $27,300. You can add high-performance summer tires for an additional $200. Front-wheel-drive is standard; all-wheel-drive isn’t offered.
The Si gets some special exterior touches to set it apart from the regular Civic including matte-black 18-inch alloy wheels, black window trim, larger exhaust tips and a small spoiler on the rear.
It’s powered by an updated turbocharged high-output VTEC 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Honda says the six-speed has been reengineered with greater shift feel and 10 percent shorter throws. The Civic Si also gets a sport-tuned suspension and limited-slip differential. The Drive Mode system lets you choose from Normal and Sport settings, as well as a new Individual mode which lets you customize the settings.
The Civic Si is ready to rock! Press the accelerator and you’re off with little turbo lag. The rev-matching six-speed transmission does shift quickly and easily. Peak torque now comes 300 rpm sooner than in the outgoing model, and peak horsepower doesn’t drop off as quickly above 6,000 rpm. So that makes the Si easy to drive around town or at higher speeds on the track or the freeway. Steering and braking are responsive. The suspension is firmer than a regular Civic but not jarring. Visibility is good to the front and sides but constricted to the rear due to the smallish rear window.
Fuel efficiency is good for a performance-oriented small car. EPA ratings for my tester are 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway with a combined rating of 31. I got 31 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior gets some special Si touches including sport seats with bolstering, Si logos in the headrests, and spiffy red accents and stitching throughout the cabin. The sport seats are indeed comfortable and supportive. There’s good leg- and headroom for adults up front, and two adults will fit comfortably in back. The cabin is not particularly quiet—road and wind noise are noticeable.
Standard features include push button start, rearview camera, automatic climate control system, sport pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum shift knob with leather, seven-inch color LCD instrument display, infotainment system with nine-inch HD color touchscreen, a new 12-speaker Bose premium sound system with subwoofer, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, 12-volt power outlet, power moonroof, auto high-beam headlights, rear seat reminder and rear seatbelt reminder.
Missing are heated seats. They are not available on the Si and would have been nice on some chilly spring mornings.
Available features include summer performance tires and special paint colors.
Standard driver assistance technologies include the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance technologies with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, and blind sport information system with cross traffic monitor, traffic sign recognition, and driver attention monitor.
The infotainment system looks great with its large high-def touchscreen. Menus are organized logically and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. A volume knob and some other physical controls make it easy to perform common functions. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard.
Cargo space is decent for a sedan with 14.1 cubic feet of space in the trunk. The rear seats split-fold 60/40 but the pass-through opening from the trunk is rather small.
Good fuel economy
Relatively affordable price
Lots of standard features and tech
Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
No heated seats
Road and wind noise can be noticeable in the cabin
My tester starts at $27,500. Blazing Orange paint is $395. Destination fee is $1,015 bringing the grand total to $28,910.
The 2022 Honda Civic Si boasts sporty performance, good fuel efficiency, a comfortable and attractive cabin, and comes well equipped, all at a reasonable price for a compact sporty ride.