2022 Civic vs 2021 Civic – Which Civic Is the Best Civic in Our Civic Showdown?

July 9th, 2021 by

A grey 2022 Honda Civic Touring is shown parked outside a coffee shop.

The all-new 2022 Civic takes the practicality, affordability, and style of the outgoing 2021 Civic and simply adds more of all of the above. The Honda Civic has always been the ultimate car of the people, capable of being just about anything to just about anyone. This new 11th generation Civic is a continuation of that legacy, improving on what came before. When visiting your 2022 Honda Civic Dealer, you will discover that nearly every individual aspect of the vehicle has been changed and upgraded. From the classy and modern new exterior lines to the mature and timeless interior setup, and even the powertrain under the hood, the eleventh-generation Civic is ready to impress.

A Revamped Interior

The interior of the new Civic is cleaner and more timeless than the design it replaces. This new interior actually indicates where the whole of Honda interior design will soon be heading. It can be thought of as a preview of unreleased future Honda models.

While its style is timeless, the new interior is full of high-tech features that enhance all aspects of the driver and passenger experience. These include comfort features, electronic amenities and infotainment systems, and dependable safety tools. In terms of safety, few cars can beat the updated Honda Sensing system. The new version of the already capable system adds a new front camera with a wide-angle view, plus Traffic Jam Assist and Low Speed Braking Control on the Touring model.

Next-generation airbags are installed, which reduce the chance of traumatic head injuries in even the worst possible accidents. The airbag package also includes rear-seat side airbags. This is the first time this type of system has been featured on a Civic, and it improves side impact protection significantly.

In terms of infotainment, the new Civic Sedan supplements the standard central screen with an available all-digital instrument cluster. Available on the Touring model, this display is highly customizable and quickly allows you to access different kinds of information, setting up the screen to show you the exact combination of data you need. As for the center infotainment display, a new seven-inch color touchscreen is standard. This screen also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

While the base seven-inch color display is highly capable on its own, the same intuitive interface is also available with a larger nine-inch high definition display. Navigation and app usage gets noticeably easier on the more premium screen, which can be paired with another Civic-first: a Bose premium sound system. This premium system features twelve speakers for crisp yet powerful sound across a huge range of frequencies, putting competitor’s vehicles and even some luxury cars to shame. The system includes an eight-inch subwoofer and a 12 channel amp with custom equalization.

Another high-end feature now available on Touring models of the Civic is Qi-compatible wireless charging. This feature allows a wide variety of compatible phones to charge without needing to connect cables. When combined with the CarPlay and Android Auto integration, this feature effectively connects the phone to the Civic as a single, seamless unit.

The black interior and infotainment screen is shown in a 2022 Honda Civic Touring.

A Clean Exterior

The design of the new 2022 Civic Sedan is simple, clean, and respectable. Modern yet understated, the Civic design moves towards timelessness with subtleness and crisp character lines. The exterior of the new Civic manages to be both modern and sophisticated without being aggressive. This is achieved in the front with the clever application of LED lighting. The new LED running lights are seamlessly integrated into the standard headlights, providing that undeniable modernity without drawing attention to themselves.

What is less visible to the eye is how the aerodynamics of the car have been improved. While the Civic doesn’t look spectacularly different from any normal sedan you might find in traffic, this design has spent many hours being honed in the wind tunnel. This tuning wasn’t done necessarily in search of top speed or the other standard performance metrics but to improve efficiency and reduce wind noise. Moving a car-sized object at highway speed disturbs a lot of air and induces a large amount of aerodynamic drag.

That drag quite literally holds the vehicle back at speed, requiring the engine to work harder to keep the car at that speed. Less drag means less fuel usage, and in some cases, even less engine wear over long periods of time. The Civic achieves drag reduction through wind tunnel testing and refinement, further improving the previous car’s already highly capable design. The high gas mileage figures of the Civic attest to this, but an often overlooked benefit is that there is less noise, vibration, and general harshness when the car moves through the air more smoothly. This leads to a better and more luxurious experience overall. The look of the Civic was never by accident, but the design is more evolved now than ever before.

Modern Mechanicals

The 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four powering the Civic has been upgraded, with more power and torque available at many points across the rev range. The L-series small-displacement turbocharged engine has proven to be a highly reliable and potent option for the vehicles it has powered. Now that same L-series gets a noticeable refresh, allowing more to be extracted from the engine’s existing components, including greater power and better gas mileage. Additionally, the 2.0-liter K-series engine continues to be offered and gets an upgrade as well, with improved fuel economy and power delivery.

While additional power and fuel economy are great, the enhanced smoothness and refinement the engine upgrades deliver are important as well. The Civic is no longer the vibrating buzz bomb it was in decades past, but a vehicle so highly refined that casual passengers won’t notice the difference between it and many higher-end luxury vehicles on the inside. The engine and powertrain contribute to this enhanced experience thanks to their greater refinement and lack of intrusiveness.

Despite the engines of the new Civic Sedan lacking roughness, they do not lack power or efficiency. The naturally aspirated 2.0-liter K-series produces a respectable 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque, all while enabling the lightest and most affordable Civic trims. There are few cars that come close to the Civic’s refinement and practicality while sharing its price tag of just over 20,000 dollars. Meanwhile, the 1.5-liter turbocharged L-series engine now makes 180 horsepower standard, all while being capable of 42 miles to the gallon on the highway.

The chassis of the new Civic has also been updated, with enhanced structure and better steering gear. The improved backbone of the Civic leads to a stronger and safer body, all the while improving ride comfort and handling by making the suspension’s job easier.

A black 2022 Honda Civic Sport is shown from behind driving through a city after leaving a 2022 Honda Civic Dealer.

The Next Generation Is Here

The 2022 Civic is a heavily retooled car when compared to its immediate predecessor but retains all of the capable engineering that car had. The eleventh generation Civic simply improves on all of that engineering, quite literally from the outside in and the inside out. The chassis and body have been strengthened and made more rigid, allowing for better suspension tuning and a smoother ride. The engines have been upgraded, with more power and better power delivery, while at the same time increasing fuel efficiency. All of that, combined with the new timeless interior filled with comfort and technology, and you have one of the best all-around passenger car packages on the market today.