- the 2022 civic prototype, revealed today, doesn't grow larger but will offer more performance, safety, and standard features.
- new features include a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen, wireless apple carplay and android auto capability, a digital gauge cluster, and a higher count of airbags.
- the 11th-generation civic sedan will arrive late next spring, with hatchback, si, and type r versions to follow.
honda has just revealed the prototype of its 11th-generation honda civic. the 2022 civic will feature a more formal exterior with fewer curves, cues borrowed from the larger accord, and an interior with a modern, minimalistic aesthetic. sales of the sedan will start late next spring, and the compact's lineup will eventually again include a hatchback, a hotter si variant, and a high-performance type r. dead at the end of the 2020 model year, the coupe will not rise from the ashes.
the civic has been an important part of honda’s lineup since 1973, but the 11th generation has massive shoes to fill. its predecessor is arguably the most successful civic ever. it has dominated its class since its introduction in 2016, consistently exceeding a 20 percent market share, and so far has racked up sales of 1.5 million units. for the past four years, honda says it has been the best-selling car in america with millennials, gen z, and first-time car buyers, outperforming rivals including the toyota corolla, the hyundai elantra, the mazda3, and the volkswagen jetta.
further complicating the new civic's job description is the discontinuation of the fit following the 2020 model year. it once again makes the civic the brand's most affordable entry point. according to honda spokesperson carl pulley, its pricing will reflect that new role. "the 2022 civic will also get more standard feature content," he says, also claiming it will perform "even better than its predecessor" in handling, engine performance, overall dynamics, and crash protection.
honda will reveal the final 2022 civic sedan closer to its on-sale date next spring. the prototype shown here is visually accurate, but it's a roller without any interior, suspension, or powertrain. it's also a mishmash of elements that will be eventually be seen on its many variants, but not necessarily the production sedan. these include its solar flare pearl paint and its black mirrors, pillars, and trim. it also features two oval exhaust tips and a set of 10-spoke matte black 19-inch wheels, both of which are probably si or type r hardware. here they wear a beefy set of michelin pilot super sport tires sized 235/35zr-19.
the 10th generation, out in 2016, was the largest civic yet and the first to use a global platform. the new car gets an evolution of that current chassis, which probably means it won’t return to a control-arm front suspension as in the new acura tlx and mdx. bummer. instead we expect broader use of the clever dual-axis strut front suspension from the current type r, which eliminates torque steer by mechanically separating the steering and suspension functions.
it also means the civic, which is already the stretch limousine of the compact class, ain’t gettin' any bigger. although it appears longer, lower, and wider than its incredibly popular predecessor, honda hasn't messed much with its dimensions. its height and width are the same as before, and it's only about an inch longer. its wheelbase has been stretched a little more than an inch, but interior space is unchanged. "rear legroom remains the same," says dan calhoun, honda senior planner for the civic four-door and si. "but the longer wheelbase allowed us to increase the rake of the rear seat slightly for more comfort." trunk space is also about the same.
moving its a-pillar back two inches not only elongates its nose, it has given the civic an almost rear-wheel-drive-style appearance, although it will be a front-wheel-drive car, of course. honda has also widened its rear track by about half an inch. previously with mazda, where he was responsible for the execution of the current cx-5, the brand's top seller, calhoun has only been with honda for three years. when we bring up the possible availability of all-wheel drive, he says, "there will be no all-wheel drive at launch." this gave us hope, but another spokesman later denied to car and driver that there are plans for an awd version.
the civic's nose also looks longer because it is. its front overhang has increased about an inch, while its rear overhang is shorter by about the same amount. led headlamps and taillights are production units and connected by a hard, crisp line that runs the length of the car. the only chrome on the prototype is found on the two honda badges and the civic badge on its decklid.
calhoun also points out the prototype's built-in rear spoiler, which eliminates a cutline he feels is an eyesore on the current car, and the black trim that visually slims its a-pillars. it’s a cool detail. its side mirrors have also been moved down to the doors.
more important, pulley confirms that the si and type r will retain their clutch pedals. he also does not rule out an optional dual-clutch automatic, which is now available in the hyundai veloster n. we still assume the type r will be available only as a hatchback and the si will be offered as a sedan, although it's possible honda will introduce a civic si hatchback.
for the first time, the civic will have a digital gauge cluster, which we expect to be configurable. we also spot two cupholders, three knobs for the climate controls, and a larger, 9.0-inch touchscreen that is mounted higher. today, the largest civic screen is 7.0 inches. the civic will also get the faster infotainment system now in the accord and odyssey, which has better graphics and wireless apple carplay and android auto capability. there will be more airbags than there are in the current car and honda says it will introduce multiple new airbag designs as well as multiple new active and passive safety systems, including an upgraded suite of honda sensing safety and driver-assist technologies.
we’ll learn more about the 2022 honda civic's powertrains and other details closer to the on-sale date in late spring 2021.