TRACK TESTED: 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Loses Speed but Wins Our Hearts

TRACK TESTED: 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Loses Speed but Wins Our Hearts

The new Civic hatch is better than the old one but slower at the track

  • The Honda Civic has been redesigned for 2022.
  • Just like the sedan, the new Civic hatch proved slower in our testing than its predecessor.
  • Despite losing some performance, the new Civic is our favorite compact car.

The new Honda Civic has a lot to live up to, as the outgoing Civic was Edmunds' top compact car for the entirety of its run. For the most part, the new Civic improves on the formula without significantly altering what made it compelling in the first place.

While the coupe has been dropped from the lineup, Honda continues to bless us with a four-door hatchback variant, which will serve as the basis for the upcoming Civic Type R. We were smitten when we tested the new Civic sedan a few months back, but it was 1.2 seconds slower than the last Civic sedan even though it weighed essentially the same and offered a bit more power. Cars these days rarely get slower from generation to generation, and we were curious if this was going to be the case for the hatchback too.

How did the Civic hatchback perform?

The 2022 Civic hatchback went from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. That's identical to the new Civic sedan and 0.6 second slower than the last Civic hatchback Edmunds tested. The gap between the old and new hatchback isn't as large as the one between the sedans, but it's still substantial.

The quarter-mile time was off the pace too — the new hatch ran it in 15.9 seconds at 89.9 mph versus its predecessor's 15.5 seconds at 90.3 mph. Roadholding was better, at least, with the new Civic hatch pulling 0.89 g on our skidpad, more than any other Civic we've tested that didn't have an Si or Type R badge.

What's with the performance gap?

We're a bit stumped here, though less so than with the sedans, where there was a much larger difference in both 0-60 acceleration and quarter-mile speed. The new Civic hatch weighs 45 pounds more than the old one, less than the weight gap between the sedans. The 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine has more power this year — 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque compared to 174 hp and 162 lb-ft for last year — which should help offset any weight difference. Both cars use the same continuously variable automatic transmission, too. Likewise for the tires, as the same Continental ContiProContact all-season tires carry over to the new car, sized 235/40 R18 91W at all four corners.

All of that said, the new Civic hatchback is still quicker than its most direct rivals, the Mazda 3 hatchback (8.0 seconds to 60) and the Toyota Corolla Hatchback (8.1 seconds). It's also carrying considerably more speed at the quarter mile — 89.9 mph to its rivals' 86.8 mph and 86.4 mph, respectively. Neither rival uses a turbocharged engine, so the Civic feels notably quicker around town, where its turbo can supply more torque at the low end of the rev range. Unless you plan to drag-race older Civics, the new car's slower times likely won't make much of a difference.

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Test Car
2022 Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback10/18/2166 deg3,083 lbs7.9 sec15.9 sec @ 89.9 mph
2017 Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback5/23/1784 deg3,038 lbs7.3 sec15.5 sec @ 90.3 mph
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback10/05/2077 deg3,064 lbs8.0 sec16.2 sec @ 86.8 mph
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE12/03/1864 deg3,040 lbs8.1 sec16.2 sec @ 86.4 mph

Edmunds says

While the new Civic hatchback may be slower than the old one, it's still quicker than most rivals and an improvement on its predece

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