When asked to describe the Honda Civic, many drivers would respond with a positive buzzword or phrase, such as "economical," "family-friendly," or "good daily driver." All of these terms are, in fact, correct. But how soon do we forget the power and ingenuity that comes from Honda Racing. There is an entire division of the brand dedicated to speed and performance, and quite frequently, that engineering makes its way into the road-legal side of the business. Such is the case with the 2022 Honda Civic Si.
While Honda's Civic Type R dives directly into racing engineering and aesthetics, the Civic Si is more of a conscientious racing enthusiast. It has all the right pieces and parts for a sporty racing feel, but it's still well-behaved enough to make sense as your only car. With the release of the 11th generation Civic for 2022, the Honda Civic Si has also been fully redesigned and updated. Let's take a look at what makes the 2022 Honda Civic Si more exciting than ever and why those buzzword-delivering drivers might pause to take a second glance at the Civic they thought they knew.
The 2022 Honda Civic Si is clearly related to the regular sedan version of the best-selling car, but even a quick glance will tell you that it's a different type of vehicle. If not the available Blazing Orange Pearl paint job, the low, aggressive, windblown styling will give away the secret. If subtlety is more your thing, fear not - Blazing Orange is not the default, but just a new color added to the 2022 lineup.
It all starts under the hood. The Si enjoys a high-output VTEC 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which has been tinkered with to provide ideal performance. Maximum torque of 192 lb-ft now kicks in at 1800 rpm, resulting in responsive turn recovery and a punchier takeoff than the outgoing model. Honda also continues to include a mechanical limited-slip differential, helping you put all that power to the ground with minimal wheel spin. However, despite its enhanced performance, the Si doesn't lose much of the standard Civic's "economical" title. This is one performance car that makes for an incredibly practical daily driver.
In a rarity in the modern market, there is no automatic transmission option - the 2022 Civic Si is still equipped with a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission. For 2022, the Si has borrowed some of the shift lever equipment and styling from the Type R, resulting in a snappier shift feel and an overall more enjoyable driving experience. If you are looking for one of the best manual transmissions in the segment, this is it.
Part of the key to the 2022 Civic Si's stellar performance is a 26% lighter single-mass flywheel for an even better throttle response. A lighter flywheel also reduces dreaded rev-hang, allowing for smoother and faster upshifts. Also on board is a new auto rev-matching system that was first used in the Civic Type R, taking some strain off the driver when downshifting. If you want to rev-match yourself, don't worry - you can turn the system off at the touch of a button.
In addition to having all the right power in all the right places, the 2022 Honda Civic Si has been particularly tuned for what Honda has called "the best-handling and most fun-to-drive Civic Si ever." While power is vital in a performance car, it has always been handling that sets the Si apart from the crowd, and the 2022 redesign has kept handling at the forefront. In fact, despite the increase in size and features, total weight gain was kept under 50 pounds, keeping this car easy to handle in the sharpest corners.
With great power comes great responsibility, and the Civic Si is designed to handle its job from every angle. The torsional and bending rigidity has been increased to provide a stiffer body. And, like all 2022 Civics, the wheelbase has been made longer and wider to create a more stable platform. Now measuring 107.7 inches, the Si has the longest wheelbase in its class. Combined with the 0.5-inch increase in the rear wheel track width, this creates a solid vehicle that can respond instantly to upshifts, downshifts, and turns.
Additionally, the Si has been tightened up with stiffer spring rates and custom-tuned dampers, along with reinforced MacPherson struts for impeccable turns that don't require slowing down to a crawl or straining a muscle. The Si also includes a selectable Driver Mode system. Previously, drivers could enjoy Normal or Sport mode, but the 2022 Si includes an additional Individual mode. When in Individual mode, drivers are able to set custom engine response, steering assist, and auto rev-matching to create their ideal comfort zone.
Honda maintains a long-running reputation for creating safe and reliable automobiles, and even the sporty new Civic Si has been designed to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. Just because you are driving a performance car doesn't mean you need to sacrifice modern safety features.
The Si features Honda's own Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body design. While the details of ACE are proprietary, the goal of the design is to direct the force and damage from a crash away from the passenger cabin while simultaneously reducing damage to other vehicles involved in an accident. On the exterior, the Civic Si offers a front bumper beam safety plate to reduce leg injuries to pedestrians. Additionally, the hood structure has been designed to provide greater protection to pedestrian heads and necks.
The same courtesies have been extended to the passengers inside the Si. The driver and front passenger airbags have been redesigned to lower the chance of injuries when the airbags are deployed. The driver's airbag is now doughnut-shaped to create a stabilizing cushion, while the passenger's version is staged in three chambers for a similar effect.
Onboard, as always, is Honda's Sensing safety and driver assistance package. New for 2022 is an updated and improved camera system, which increases the range of view over previous years' radar and camera combination. This allows the Sensing technology to more quickly and accurately react to dangers and obstacles, as well as increase its road recognition capabilities.
Regardless of whether the Blazing Orange Pearl paint option is for you or not, the 2022 Honda Civic Si is designed to stand out everywhere it goes. It includes two spoilers - one under the front of the vehicle and one in the rear, perched on top of the trunk lid. Gloss black exterior features give the Si a sense of mystique, while LED lights are standard for both front and rear.
Inside, drivers are treated to seats that complement the ride. Since traditional padded and upholstered seats would dampen the sharp, tight responsiveness of the Civic Si, this wild child is given exclusive stabilizing sport seats with support for the head, shoulders, and thighs. This not only reduces unnecessary movement but provides support for longer journeys.
Technology is key for the Civic Si. A 7-inch instrument display and digital tachometer provide drivers with key vehicle performance information, while a 9-inch hi-definition color touchscreen controls the infotainment system, which connects wirelessly with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Listen to your ultimate cruising tunes through a standard 12-speaker premium Bose audio system, which includes Centerpoint 2 and SurroundStage digital processing. The result is much like being at a high-performance concert while heading to the destination of your choice. Could anything be better?