When the all-new Honda Civic was revealed and shown off with impressive updates and features throughout, the question on the minds of a lot of people was simple, “When do we see the Civic Si?!” Fortunately, the wait wasn’t too long, and Honda recently unveiled the stunning 2022 Honda Civic Si. For lifelong fans of this legendary, budget-friendly performance vehicle, it was a bold and rewarding revelation, showcasing everything we’d been waiting for. But if you’re new to the Civic Si, then you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.
Fortunately for you, I’m here to guide you through the history and legacy of Honda’s beloved vehicle – a model that’s long been the dream car of many enthusiasts. I’m not one to solely look backward, however, so we’ll also check out the 2022 Civic Si and take a look at what it has to offer. We’ll compare it to the standard Honda Civic, and it won’t take long for you to see why so many people are excited to get one of these on the road and explore the performance and nimble sportiness it has to offer.
History of the Honda Civic Si
Before getting into the latest version of the Civic Si, let’s take a moment to talk about where we’ve been with this fantastic piece of machinery. Everyone has their own personal favorite when it comes to cars – especially fans of sports cars. While the Civic Si isn’t exactly what a lot of people picture when you mention “sports car,” there’s no denying that it’s an enthusiast’s dream and represents an amazing combination of value and performance.
Honda got its start with motorcycles and became a leading manufacturer of them in the 1950s, following that up by breaking into the car market in the 1960s. The Honda Civic was first introduced in 1972 and became one of Honda’s biggest hits in the auto industry, allowing them to beat out a lot of other manufacturers. First introduced as a two-door model, a four-door quickly followed, and a hatchback became a popular option too. A second-generation model was released in 1979, but the Civic Si didn’t come around until the third generation, which launched for the 1984 model year.
The Sport Injected (Si) version of the Honda Civic was released in Japan with the launch of the third generation, but the Si didn’t reach the US until 1985 with the release of the Honda Civic CRX Si. This CRX model was a two-door, two-seater that was quite popular, and the Si version featured a 1.5L engine that delivered 91 hp (impressive in the 1980s). In 1986, the US received a hatchback version of the Civic Si with the same engine and rear seats.
When the fourth-generation Civic launched for 1988, there was a CRX Si model available, but the standard Si was missing. Fortunately, this only lasted a year, and a hatchback Civic Si became available for the 1989 model with a 108 hp engine that could go from 0 to 60 in 8.1 seconds, straight from the factory. What really set the Si apart over the years, which you can still see today, is that it wasn’t a stripped-down version with a powerful engine. The interior had great features, including a power sunroof, 14-inch wheels, deep bucket sport seats, and more.
A fifth generation for the Civic ran from 1992 to 1995, and the Si featured a 1.6L 125 hp engine that could go from 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds. Sadly, there was no Civic Si available here in the US from 1996 to 1998 – that was a rough time, and a lot of people looked for used models to get their fix. When it reappeared in 1999, it was only available as a coupe, but that was better than nothing. In the years that followed, the Si badge primarily became a US-specific offering, as the Civic Type R took over the high-performance slot in other markets.
While some people have speculated that the Si would once again disappear since the Type R is now available in America, Honda has instead found room for both options. Where the Type R has established itself as the high-performance option at the expense of everything else, the Si delivers a fantastic blend of power and luxury. We can get terrific power and speed with the Si while still enjoying surprising tech features and comfort.
The 2022 Honda Civic Si
What does the Honda Civic Si look like today? Honda has certainly learned from the past, and the modern incarnation is a terrific combination of power, comfort, and value. Starting at $27,300 MSRP, there’s really just one trim of the Civic Si, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on anything (there are two options, but we’ll get into them further down). How does it stack up to the standard Civic?
The 2022 Civic Si is powered by a 1.5L turbocharged I-4 that delivers 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. There’s no automatic here – pure manual control – but the transmission now features a new automatic rev-matching mode borrowed from the Type R. By comparison, the standard Civic also has an available 1.5L turbocharged I-4, but it only gives you 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission is also the only option for the regular Honda Civic, but paddle shifters are available.
With the standard Honda Civic, you get 16-inch wheels, though 17-inch and 18-inch wheels are available, wrapped in all-season tires. The Si features 18-inch wheels standard to ensure the best stance and traction possible, plus it has an improved exhaust system to boost engine performance on the road or the track. Just like the standard Civic, the Si is a four-door sedan with a luxurious and comfortable interior.
Standard features in the 2022 Civic Si include illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls, push-button start, and automatic climate control. You get alloy sport pedals in the Si, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an aluminum shift knob with leather details. The Civic Si features a 9-inch color infotainment display with a volume knob, plus a digital driver information display. You get standard support for Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus every model comes with a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system that includes a subwoofer. Some of these features are available on the standard Honda Civic, though only at higher trims, so the Civic Si has all the luxury you could ask for.
Two Options, One Difference
If you check out the 2022 Honda Civic Si, you might notice what looks like two different trims to choose from: the Si and the Si HPT. At first glance, that might seem like there’s something important to consider, but it really just comes down to the tires. The Si has 18-inch all-season tires, while the HPT (“High-Performance Tire”) model features 18-inch summer tires. That’s it – that’s the whole difference between them. Since the HPT model costs just $200 more, I think it’s worth it to get the summer tires that will give you better traction when the weather is warm. Just remember to switch to winter tires if you live in a cold area and the temperature starts dropping below 40 degrees.