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Is the 2022 Honda Civic Si Better Enough Than the Last One?

At first blush, losing 5 horsepower doesn't seem like a recipe for success

  • Honda's latest Civic Si fails to move the needle on power, turning 5 horses loose while its rivals move forward.
  • Speed is only part of the equation, though. Is the rest of the Civic Si's package good enough to compensate?
  • We picked up a 2022 Civic Si for our long-term fleet and will be running it for a year and 20,000 miles to find out.

The 2022 Honda Civic Si kicks off a new generation for Honda's iconic sport compact, which is only available as a sedan this time around. It's also rated at an even 200 horsepower, 5 fewer than the previous generation and just 3 more than the 2006 model — yes, 2006. If 3 new horses don't feel like 16 years of progress to you, you're not alone. The latest Civic Si has raised a lot of eyebrows by holding the line while rivals from Hyundai, Volkswagen and others push the envelope of affordable compact-car performance.

That's a key word, though: performance. It's not just about straight-line speed. Sure, the Civic Si is no faster by the numbers today than it was before the Great Recession (remember that whole thing?), but its braking and roadholding numbers are much improved. To wit, a 2009 Civic Si sedan we tested ages ago needed 123 feet to stop from 60 mph on a higher-friction surface and registered 0.89 g on that facility's skidpad. Our new long-term 2022 Civic Si came to a stop in 109 feet and threw up a 0.97 g on the pad despite our current track's less grippy pavement. Now that's progress, even if the '09 nipped the '22 by 0.2 second from zero to 60 mph (7.0 vs. 7.2 seconds) and 0.2 mph at the quarter-mile (93.0 vs. 92.8 mph).

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2022 Honda Civic Si

2022 Honda Civic Si.

Is it enough? We're not sure, which brings us to another key word that we just mentioned: long-term. We've been conducting yearlong tests of significant vehicles for a couple of decades now because there's just no substitute for living with a vehicle for a year and 20,000 miles. You come out the other side with a full understanding of the car's strengths and weaknesses — whether it's a hit or a miss in its segment. That's what we need to nail down about the new Civic Si.

So, here it is: Edmunds' new long-term 2022 Honda Civic Si, with the summer performance tires and a paint job called Blazing Orange Pearl that's not shy. The base Si carries an MSRP of $27,300, but by the time you add the summer tires ($200), the metallic paint ($395) and the destination fee ($1,015), you're looking at a window sticker of $28,910. Since we borrowed this vehicle from Honda, we didn't have to wade into the new car market and deal with markups, but Edmunds' transaction data shows that buyers are paying an average of $3,500 above MSRP for a new Civic Si.

In typical Civic Si fashion, the car comes loaded up with good stuff including a limited-slip differential, LED headlights, a sunroof, sport front seats, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, and a raft of advanced safety tech. Want an automatic? Tough luck. Row your own gears with the delightful six-speed manual shifter or go buy something else.

We'll be filling up the logbook with comments and reporting them continuously for the next year. Come along for the ride and let us know what you think.

Edmunds says

The best cars aren't always the fastest cars — looking at you, Mazda Miata — but a power deficit doesn't help the cause. Will the latest Civic Si win us over nonetheless? We're intrigued to learn the answer.