Everyone knows the Honda Civic. First introduced in 1972, over 20 million have been sold across the globe since–with over 12 million of those sold right here in the U.S. The Civic consistently rates high for longevity and reliability and is known for being a car that depreciates more slowly than average, making it not just a quality car to drive but a sound investment. Besides that, people love its comfortable yet sporty styling. If you’re looking for the most sporty Civic, the Type R is the Honda racer for you with its performance tuning, including a special engine and a lighter frame. The Civic Si is the magic middle child, introduced with the third generation of the Civic in 1985. Now approaching its fourth decade, the redesigned 2022 Honda Civic Si is just as performance-ready (and is even looking to become more of a force on the racetrack) while still being the reliable sedan we all know and love.
Stats & Specs
All Civics, including the Si, got an overhaul for the 2022 model year. The new 2022 Honda Civic Si has a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. More powerful than either the standard or the turbo options in the typical Civic, this engine has 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The most dedicated of Civic Si statisticians may notice this is actually five fewer horses than in the previous generation. However, that tiny difference isn’t enough for the average driver to notice. What is noticeable is that peak torque kicks in sooner and is more evenly distributed. So while you won’t miss the forward movement of those five horses, you will appreciate that the general responsiveness of the engine has improved. Also improved just slightly from the previous model: the gas mileage. EPA-estimates for the 2022 Honda Civic Si are 27 MPG city and 37 MPG highway, for a combined average of 31 MPG.
One feature that appeals to many drivers looking for more power in their commute is that the Si continues to only come with manual transmission for the 2022 model year. This newest generation has a 26% lighter flywheel, which translates to easier transitions between RPMs and means shifting gears feels more dynamic, like you and your Si are better connected. Taking a cue from the performance-heavy Civic Type R, the 2022 Civic Si has, for the first time, automatic rev-matching for easier downshifting. Rev matching syncs the speeds of the engine and transmission, so you don’t have to manually blip the throttle on the shift. This is especially handy for those who are less comfortable with driving manual. If heel and toe is second nature to you, don’t worry, you can disengage this feature.
The 2022 Civic Si has borrowed some other performance tuning from the Type R, as well. This new generation has a stiffer frame, springs, and stabilizer bars. The stiffer your chassis and suspension are, the more predictable the car’s handling will be. This improved handling is most obvious when it comes to steering response times and when taking corners. This new Si also has a wheelbase that is nearly an inch and a half longer than the previous generation, and that adds to the overall stability as well. It may not sound like much, but each little bit further the front wheels are from the back smooths out the ride.
When it comes to looks, the Si stands out from the standard Civic with glossy black exterior accents, including a rear spoiler. There’s actually a front spoiler, as well, hidden underneath but still adding the downforce you want for stability at higher speeds. The wheels are matte black, the car’s stance is lower and more aggressive than that of its siblings, and there’s a dual exhaust. Inside you’ll find seats that Honda calls “body stabilizing.” They have extra padding for when you’re traveling the windiest of roads and a grippy cloth surface. While the seats cradle your body while cornering, that extra padding, especially on the bottom of the seat, means they’re also good for a long road trip. The redesign of the eleventh gen Civics even includes a better view of the road thanks to an adjustment of the thin front A-pillars.
While you’re enjoying the comfortable seats, wide-open views, and smooth handling, you can listen to some smooth tunes, thanks to a standard 12-speaker premium audio system from Bose, complete with a subwoofer. And those tunes can easily come from your own favorite playlists or streaming stations, thanks to Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A nine-inch touchscreen allows easy access to the infotainment system. It’s also worth noting that the new Civic Si benefits from the entirety of the Honda Sensing Suite. These driver-assistance safety technologies even include adaptive cruise control, almost unheard of on manual transmission cars, especially mass-produced ones with an MSRP of under $24,000.
From the Driveway to the Raceway
Some people who are probably not using the 2022 Honda Civic Si’s adaptive cruise control? The drivers of the infamous 25 Hours of Thunderhill. This race is the country’s longest on a closed course. Running from 11 a.m. on the first Saturday in December through noon the following day, the first 25 Hours of Thunderhill was held in 2002 and had 48 teams competing. This year, Team Honda Research West (THRW) entered two Civic Si’s–not just the traditional Civic Type R racer. For what it is worth, HPD (Honda Performance Development) has had its own Civic Si TCA race car for a while, but the THRW version is more closely aligned with the road car you can go buy today.
Honda first teased this race-ready Civic Si in October 2021, and it did so with testing photos from the Thunderhill Raceway. These photos and videos hinted at not just the big race to come but what the 2022 Si would have to offer from right off your local dealership’s lot. Although no one really expected the gigantic spoiler on the decklid to make its way to everyday driving, it was known that improved tuning, stiffer suspension, and sport seats were on the way. At SEMA (the automotive industry’s specialty equipment trade show) the next month, people were able to get a closer look at the racy Si.
Hondata, the popular tuning company, is currently using data from the Thunderhill endurance racers to calibrate a tune that anyone can use on their road-ready 2022 Honda Civic Si. One of the great features of the Civic Si has always been its extensive aftermarket support, and while the eleventh gen Civic has only just hit the market, suppliers are already gearing up to give drivers the customization options they want.
Power and Performance for the Not-So-Everyday Driver
Honda is calling the new-and-improved 2022 Civic Si “the best-handling and most fun-to-drive Civic Si ever.” That’s an awfully bold statement, given that the Si was already ahead of the curve on all of the curves and corners, but the car’s new, more rigid base takes that handling to the next level. And while the Civic Si has competitors with an available manual transmission, the fact that the Si is built for it puts it well at the head of the class. Besides that handling, it’s also got a great price and those standard safety features. For 2022, the Si remains the cool sibling in the family of popular and dependable Civics.