Honda has been making its popular Civic compact since 1972, making it one of the most successful cars in automotive history. The current generation was introduced in time for the 2015 model year, but not surprisingly, Honda decided it was time to make some upgrades to the Civic that should be coming to your local Honda dealership soon. The 2022 Civic represents the 11th generation of this popular compact, so the question arises, what is the difference between the 2022 Honda Civic vs 2021 Honda Civic? This is answered by looking at the incremental changes that have been made over the previous year’s model.
Keep in mind that these changes have only been made to the Honda Civic Sedan at this point. Honda has yet to announce if it will be making similar modifications to the Civic Type R, Civic Si, and Civic Hatchback models. As a result, we are going to focus solely on the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan in comparison to the 2021 model.
The first thing you are going to notice about the 2022 Civic is that Honda has eliminated the EX-L trim, which pretty much was an EX model with a leather interior. Instead, there will be four models of the 2022 Honda Civic to choose from instead of the five offered in 2021: the base LX, the Sport, EX, and Touring. The LX and Sport have a different engine than the EX and Touring and also do not have a power moonroof.
Engines and Performance
The engine options on the 2022 Civic Sedan remain largely unchanged from the 2021 model. The LX and Sport trims feature a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC I-4 gas engine, just like on the 2021 Civic LX and Sport models. This engine produces 158 horsepower, generates 138 pound-feet of torque, and comes paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Sport model features paddle shifters to give you greater control over engine performance. This engine is pretty much the same one on the 2021 Civic.
The 2022 Civic EX and Touring models utilize a 1.5-liter 16-valve DOHC VTEC Turbocharged I-4 gas engine, also with a CVT transmission. The Touring model adds paddle shifters like the Sport model. This is the same as the 2021 Civic EX and Touring models. However, Honda has boosted the output on this engine to provide you with greater performance. Where the 2021 models with this 1.5-liter Turbo I-4 engine produce 174 horsepower and generate 162 pound-feet of torque, the 2022 Civic models with this engine produce 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. As a result, you are going to get better acceleration with the 2022 Civic EX and Touring models than on the 2021 model.
In addition, the Sport and Touring now provide a toggle switch so drivers can choose a Sport mode. This alters the drive ratios on the Civic’s engine, providing boosted acceleration and a sportier overall feel to the ride.
Honda has also taken steps to improve the fuel economy on the Civic, which was already one of the most fuel-efficient compact cars with a conventional gas engine on the road today. For example, the 2022 Civic LX is estimated to get 31 miles per gallon in the city, 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and a combined 35 miles per gallon. This represents a 2 mile per gallon improvement over the 2021 Civic LX.
Similarly, the 2022 Civic Touring gets an estimated 31 miles per gallon in city driving, 38 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 34 miles per gallon combined. This is one full mile per gallon better than the 2021 Civic Touring, despite the fact that the 2022 model sports an engine with boosted horsepower and torque. This may be due to the use of a lighter aluminum front subframe on the 2022 Civic Sedan, reducing overall vehicle weight. It may also be a result of the new low-drag front brake calipers and low-friction front and rear wheel bearings. These have been designed to reduce rolling resistance and friction while improving both braking distance and fuel economy. Honda solves two problems with the use of a single technology.
The 2022 Honda Civic has a longer wheelbase than the 2021 model. Where the prior year has a 106.3-inch wheelbase, the 2022 Civic has a 107.7-inch wheelbase. This has translated into more passenger space in the new model, giving it a much roomier interior. In fact, total passenger space in the Civic Sedan has increased from 97.8 cubic feet in the Sport and LX models and 95 cubic feet in the EX and Touring to 99 cubic feet and 96.6 cubic feet in the comparable 2022 models. This represents almost two additional feet of space for you and up to 4 passengers. This change is especially felt in the back seat of the Civic Sedan. For example, there is more hip room and shoulder room in the back seat of the 2022 Civic, something which the folks sitting in the back are sure to appreciate.
The only place where the numbers decreased slightly is in trunk space. Where the 2021 Civic Sedan offers you 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space, the 2022 model offers slightly less, 14.8 cubic feet. Still, overall, you are going to find the 2022 Civic Sedan the roomiest model yet of this venerable compact car.
Technological Upgrades for Safety and Infotainment
Honda has always been a leader in vehicle safety, and the 2022 Civic Sedan builds off the standard set with the 2021 model. The 2021 Civic comes standard with the suite of Honda Sensing technologies. The 2022 Civic Sedan improves upon this by using a new single-camera system as well as eight sonar sensors. The single-camera provides a wider field of vision than the prior system and also has been better coordinated with onboard computers to allow for more accurate identification of road lines, road signs, other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
As a result, Honda has made Traffic Sign Recognition standard on all models of the 2022 Civic. The sonar sensors allow Honda to equip the 2022 Civic with low-speed braking control for added safety. Honda has also added traffic jam assist to the Honda Sensing suite on the Civic Sedan, allowing you to better navigate your way through traffic.
The frontal airbags have also been improved on the 2022 Civic Sedan. One concern with airbags has been their tendency in some cases to create conditions for head or brain injuries. Honda has applied a new frontal airbag design to better control head motions in collisions. The donut-shaped structure of the driver’s side airbag and three-chamber design of the front passenger airbag cradle and holds the driver and front passenger’s heads to reduce rotational motion that can cause head and brain injuries.
Honda has also used technology to improve the infotainment system on the 2022 Civic. Where the 2021 model has a 5-inch LCD color touchscreen mounted in the dashboard, with a 7-inch touchscreen standard on the Civic Touring model, Honda has increased the standard touchscreen to 7-inches with the Touring sporting a 9-inch touchscreen. There is also the inclusion of a Head-Up Display located on top of the dashboard, so you won’t have to take your eyes off the road in order to access the various features and apps, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the infotainment system. It also gives the dashboard a cleaner and less cluttered appearance.
Audiophiles will be happy to hear that the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring is the first Civic model to feature a Bose stereo system. This includes Bose Centerpoint 2 and Bose SurroundStage digital signal processing for perfect sound distribution throughout the Civic Touring’s cabin. This 12-speaker system utilizes 12-channels of custom equalization and advanced digital signal processing to give you the best audio experience possible.
A New Civic Sedan for a New Generation
The 2022 Civic Sedan shows Honda continuing to move in the right direction with improved performance and a roomier interior than the 2021 Honda Civic model. Honda has also upgraded the safety and infotainment systems on the 2022 Honda Civic, making it the most technologically advanced compact in the 11 generations of this popular compact sedan.