First unveiled in the United States last April and then finally arriving at Honda’s ASEAN hub Thailand last August, the all-new 2022 Honda Civic has finally arrived in the Philippines in a relatively quick timeframe after a global debut.
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is making radical moves for what is undoubtedly its most iconic model. A 1.5-liter inline-four VTEC Turbo gasoline engine powers all Civic variants for the first time. While it’s the same engine that was exclusive to the 10th generation Civic RS, Honda upgraded the engine to now produce 178 horsepower (+6 horsepower) and 240 Nm (+20 Nm) of torque. The solid boost in torque should mean that the Civic is now singlehandedly the fastest compact passenger car you can currently buy that isn’t a Kia Forte GT or Subaru WRX.
Mated to this engine is a CVT that feels quick-witted and well-engineered. In Sport mode, it avoids the rubber band engine droning effect that these types of transmissions are known for. Since there’s plenty of low- to mid-range torque, the turbo engine barely needs any form of hard revving in the first place. This should result in excellent fuel economy. While we were only able to drive this around HCPI’s test track, we won’t be surprised if the Civic still manages to eke out an average figure of around 11 to 12 km/l.
Handling remains a strong suit for the Civic, and its platform remains to be as rigid and refined as ever. The all-new 2022 Honda Civic can change direction quickly. The light front end and quick, responsive steering continue to make the Civic one of the class benchmarks in terms of handling. Despite its sporty nature, the ride is still excellent, absorbing bumps with the delicacy of the bigger Accord. Refinement is also pretty good, though a thorough long drive is a better avenue for us to test the Civic’s refinement.
As for its design, Honda went towards the conservative route when designing the all-new Civic. When I first saw the press photos from North America, I also thought that it looked bland, but in person, the all-new Civic looks sleek, elegant, and sporty. The simple lines and lack of fake vents bring a sense of sophistication to my eyes, while its elongated hood gives it a sporty stance.
Spec-wise, the Philippine-market Honda Civic is actually superior compared to its Thai-market siblings. For instance, the mid-spec V (shown in Meteorite Gray) with its 17-inch wheels is already on par with the Thai Civic RS in terms of looks, while our top-of-the-line RS (shown in Ignite Red) with its matte black 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires and black rear spoiler is on par with the North American Civic Si. The base S variant, on the other hand, rides on 16-inch alloy wheels, and it gets halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights instead of full LED lighting.
Perhaps the one thing everyone can agree on is the fact that the all-new Civic’s interior is a huge step up from its predecessor. A recipient of this year’s Wards 10 Best Interiors, the premium and luxurious interior is filled with soft-touch materials, while the striking honeycomb vents are made out of a solid piece of aluminum, which is unheard of in this segment. Honda also knew that piano black plastics are prone to scratches and smudges, which is why frequently-touched areas feature a grey ribbed plastic panel. Not only does it look great, but it’s very hard-wearing and resistant to the greasy abomination of the human hand.
Like the exterior, the interior features of the Philippine-market Civic are also superior compared to what Thailand gets. For instance, the Civic RS gets a 12-speaker Bose sound system that’s as good as the Mazda 3‘s. This variant also comes with a 10.2-inch fully-digital gauge cluster, a 9-inch touch screen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, wireless charging, power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather and suede interior, and dual-zone climate control.
The mid-level V variant, on the other hand, gets fabric seats, single-zone climate control, a smaller 7-inch digital gauge cluster and 7-inch touch screen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power-folding mirrors, remote engine start, ambient LED lights, and an 8-speaker sound system. Lastly, the base S variant only benefits from a 4-speaker sound system, manual-folding mirrors, as well as just push-button start and no passive entry.
Practicality remains the Civic’s strong suit. Rear seat legroom and headroom are better than ever. The Civic is incrementally bigger in every dimension but still remains comfortably at the edge of the compact sedan segment. Weirdly enough, however, trunk space has decreased to 497 liters (495 liters for the RS), though this mainly seems to be due to the increased priority for rear-seat space.
As mentioned, all 2022 Honda Civic variants are equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver-assistance tech as standard–a move we highly commend Honda for doing. This means that even the base S variant gets full-speed radar cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and also a lead vehicle notification alert, which warns the driver if the vehicle in front has moved ahead. Splurging for the RS variants adds Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot camera, though I’d still prefer a radar-based blind spot warning instead.
The 2022 Honda Civic aims to shake up the compact passenger car segment with its standard powerful turbo engine and its comprehensive suite of safety features. Its class-leading engines and features, however, come at a price tag to match. Here are the prices of the all-new Civic, which are now available on all Honda dealers nationwide:
- S Turbo CVT: P1,290,000
- V Turbo CVT: P1,498,000
- RS Turbo CVT: P1,690,000