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We Spent a Year With a 2022 Honda Civic Si and Here's What We Think

Fewer miles than expected in the latest iteration of Honda's venerable sport compact

2022 Honda Civic Si
  • We usually put 20,000 miles on our long-term test vehicles, but we could only manage 13,522 miles in our year with the Civic Si.
  • Are we just not that into the new Si? More on this possibility below.

Wait a minute, it's already time to say goodbye to our long-term 2022 Honda Civic Si? We just posted the 10,000-mile update in February! Well, first of all, a mea culpa: Your humble narrator swung a little late on that one. We technically crossed the 10K-mile threshold back in early November, according to the fuel log. But since we strive to put 20,000 miles on each long-term car over the course of a year, we should have hit 10K in September, the sixth full month of our loan. We missed that marker, and then we only added another 2,500 miles or so from December through March. Add it all up and you get 13,522 miles, one of the lowest totals for an Edmunds long-term car in recent memory.

Why?

It got slower with the redesign

If you check out that 10,000-mile update, you'll see that our initial concerns about the new-for-2022 Civic Si's loss of 5 horsepower persisted after months behind the wheel. In an era when garden-variety EVs sprint to 60 mph in 6 seconds or sometimes much less, it's perplexing that Honda was content to leave the Si in the low 7s, where it's more or less been since the last Bush administration. In fact, our instrumented testing over the years reveals that the new Si is the slowest of the last four generations. You'll find that table in the 10,000-mile update, but let's look at it here too:

2022 Honda Civic Si vs. History

Test Date
2022 Honda Civic Si sedan4/18/227.2 sec15.1 sec
@ 92.8 mph
2,944 lbs
2017 Honda Civic Si sedan11/6/176.8 sec15.0 sec
@ 92.8 mph
2,929 lbs

2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe5/3/116.9 sec15.1 sec
@ 93.1 mph
2,846 lbs

2009 Honda Civic Si sedan6/9/097.0 sec15.3 sec
@ 93.0 mph
2,932 lbs

Again, with EVs and also rival sport compacts from Volkswagen, Hyundai and others continuously raising the bar for straight-line performance, Honda's decision to take five horses out of the Civic Si's stable for this redesign is a real head-scratcher. The turbocharged Civic Si may have seemed energetic and fun when it debuted in 2016, but six years is an eternity in autodom. Our interest in driving the new Si no doubt dimmed when we realized right off the bat that its acceleration was, in 2022 terms, kind of a yawn.

It's loud inside

Read or watch practically any review of the Civic Si or its pumped-up Type R sibling and the subject of road noise will come up. It's part of the package. That doesn't mean we have to like it. It was legitimately difficult to hear a podcast at highway speeds in our Civic Si — that's the kind of tire roar we're talking about. Even at 40 mph those tires were singing. Sure, the car would be heavier if Honda increased the amount of sound-deadening material, but that's what more power is for, right? Seriously, if this car had 200 extra pounds of Dynamat (or maybe 50 would do it Ed.) and let's say 250 horsepower (which would be 9 hp more than a 2022 Volkswagen GTI), it probably would have been in high demand. Well, except that ...

It's a manual

Ah yes. Like every Civic Si, our test car had a manual transmission. Not the newfangled kind that gets called "manual" in the inventory listings when it's actually an automated manual without a clutch pedal. No, every Civic Si has an honest-to-goodness clutch pedal and a six-speed shifter.

Now, don't get us wrong — rowing your own gears can be a blast. But is it a blast when you're sitting in traffic, as L.A. drivers typically are? Maybe it's worth the hassle if the car itself is a blast, but as noted above, the new Si's lack of power keeps it out of that club. Given the choice between shifting the Civic Si and letting some other car in our fleet shift itself, it's not surprising that our staffers tended to go with the latter for local use.

2022 Honda Civic Si front

Anything else?

Not really! Truth is, the new Civic Si isn't that far from wowing us. More sound deadening and another 40 or 50 horsepower would get us most of the way there, and as for the transmission, remember how the Acura ILX had an eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual? Boom. Make it an option on the Civic Si and let us drive that car for a year. It's not outlandish to think that this is what the 2022 Civic Si could have been. The bones are good here. It's just time for a little more evolution to kick in.

Edmunds says

We didn't drive our 2022 Civic Si very much by the standards of Edmunds' long-term fleet, but it certainly got us thinking about what could have flipped that script. Here's hoping the Civic Si gets back to giving us that old gotta-drive-it feeling in the near future.