Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) launched the all-new 2022 Civic near the end of last year, which aimed to revolutionize the segment with its standard turbo engine and Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver-assistance features. Recently, a fleet of the new 2022 Honda Civic was tested by a group of motoring journalists from different publications traversing the hilly roads of Tagaytay and Nasugbu, Batangas. The variants tested on the road with the corresponding SRPs are the following:
- Civic S Turbo CVT – P1,290,000
- Civic V Turbo CVT – P1,498,000
- Civic RS Turbo CVT – P1,690,000
I was tasked to test drive the middle variant sedan which is the V Turbo in Meteorite Gray Metallic. The quick drive started from HCPI’s (Honda Cars Philipines, Inc.) Bonifacio Global City office where after a quick briefing and carry-coffee breakfast, we proceeded immediately to our car and drove it onwards to Nasugbu, Batangas.
One of the objectives of the media group drive is for HCPI to showcase the driving features of the all-new 11th-generation (FE) Civic, particularly the Honda Sensing technology, a safety feature based on a wide-angle camera that has the ability to determine the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you or obstructions ahead where corresponding alert systems prompt the driver to take necessary precaution and preventive action to avoid a potential collision.
The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) is a big help for me, as the car automatically adjusts its speed as well as the distance to the car in front. In conjunction with this is the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), which tries to keep the Civic in the center of its lane as much as possible. It’s not a self-driving car, but it definitely comes close.
Another Honda Sensing feature is the Road Departure Mitigation System with Lane Departure Warning (RDM with LDW). Through a wide-angle windshield-mounted camera, that identifies the side of the road such as the painted lines. It assists the driver in steering back the vehicle to the lane if it senses the vehicle is unintentionally veering off (except when the driver uses the turn signal, indicating lane change is intended).
On the other hand, the Auto High-Beam (AHB) feature automatically activates the high beams when there are no vehicles ahead and switches to low beams when a vehicle is detected. Lastly, the Lead Car Departure Notification System (LCDN) alerts the driver when the vehicle in front has moved forward, which is useful for drivers who can easily be distracted by their phones or while having a conversation with someone else.
All three variants of the new 2022 Honda Civic have the same powertrain mated to a CVT which is a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower and 240 Nm. The RS variant benefits from an additional Sport mode and paddle shifters.
In some portions of Nasugbu National Highway, there were a few off-road sections due to ongoing road repairs. Though the test drive was not meant for rough roads, the new Civic performed well in terms of ride. It absorbed the bumps really well, and this has always been a hallmark of the Civic.
As the roads became smoother, the 2022 Honda Civic V Turbo performed solidly through the bends. Its electric power steering is quick and responsive. There’s not a lot of feel through the wheel, but it’s nothing to complain about. Despite the suspension’s ability to absorb bumps, handling still remained to be a strong point for the all-new Civic. Body roll was well controlled, with the Civic managing to stay flat even when pushed hard around corners.
On the way back to Bonifacio Global City, I then had the time to fully appreciate some of the Civic’s tech features. The 7-inch infotainment system worked responsively and the menus are also logically laid out. Kudos to Honda as well for still using hard buttons in the infotainment system, thus making it easier to use even while on the move. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also supported, and the infotainment system works in tandem with the 7-inch partly-digital instrument cluster. It isn’t as nice as the fully-digital instrumentation found in the RS, but it’s still configurable and easy to use nonetheless.
In between stopovers for some photoshoots, I was also able to appreciate the 2022 Honda Civic V Turbo’s exterior design. Honda has this thing of alternating between radical redesigns and then switching back to evolutionary changes. The all-new Civic falls on the latter, as it retains some of the 10th generation (FC) model’s looks. This time around, however, Honda went for a more mature aesthetic, eschewing the previous model’s sharp lines and creases for cohesive shapes that don’t look out of place.
As for the interior, there’s a generous amount of soft-touch plastics, and it’s intelligent for Honda to use patterned grey plastic instead of the glossy black ones on frequently-touched surfaces. The full-width aircon vents with the real aluminum honeycomb pattern is also a nice touch, and it certainly elevates the premium feel of the Civic.
While there are more features to discover and appreciate in the new 2022 Honda Civic, the 6-hour and over 200-kilometer drive by the media group test drive was primarily designed for journalists to get a good first impression of the all-new Civic. A more thorough test drive is definitely in order but based on my first impressions, the mid-spec 2022 Honda Civic V Turbo serves as the sweet spot in the model range.
Compact sedan sales have been declining over the years in favor of SUVs and crossovers, and even Honda knows this. But with the all-new Civic, with its blisteringly-quick engines and innovative tech features, Honda has released a vehicle that could potentially give life once again to a segment that has now shifted from being a practical choice to a more aspirational one.