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2022 Honda Civic Si: What's It Like To Live With?

We spent a year with the latest Si and failed to fall in love

Honda Civic 2022
Miles DrivenAverage MPG

Final takeaways (updated 04/10/23)

  • The new Si's handling is undeniably excellent.
  • Road noise, seats and ride quality conspire against its road-trip-ability.
  • We never managed to match the EPA's 37 mpg highway rating
  • The new Si has great bones, but its performance and refinement are behind the times.

What We Bought And Why

by Josh Sadlier, Director of Content Strategy

Our test vehicle: 2022 Honda Civic Si
Base MSRP: $27,300
MSRP as tested: $27,895

A new Honda Civic Si generation is always a big deal, but our long-term 2022 Civic Si's reputation precedes it. Specifically, the latest Civic Si iteration — available only as a sedan — has taken some lumps for not being notably faster than its predecessor.

We should note that the same criticism has dogged the Civic Si ever since the new-for-2012 model failed to outpace the previous one, which debuted in 2006. This car has been doing zero to 60 mph in about 7 seconds since George W. Bush was in office. But after 16 years, there should be some improvement, right? Honda easily could have turned up the wick on the 2022 Civic Si's turbocharged four-cylinder engine, yet it's oddly down 5 horses from last year to an even 200. That's just 3 hp ahead of the 2006 model's high-revving naturally aspirated four.

The competition, meanwhile, has been steadily upping the ante. The Volkswagen GTI did 0-60 in around 6.5 seconds back in 2006, with a trap speed (speed at the quarter-mile mark) of 95 mph. These days it's more like 6 seconds flat to 60 and 100 mph in the quarter, thanks to a jump from 200 hp in those days to 241 hp now. The 276-hp Hyundai Elantra N wasn't even a figment of anyone's imagination back then, but today it's quicker than the venerable GTI. In fact, it's the lesser Elantra N Line (201 hp) that does direct battle with the 200-hp Civic Si, putting up a 7.0-second run to 60 and a 93.6-mph trap speed in Edmunds' testing. Our long-term Civic Si was actually a bit slower than the N Line at our test track, clocking in at 7.2 seconds and 92.8 mph, respectively, despite costing three or four grand more.

Oh yeah, and that Civic Si from the Dubya years? Digging deep into the Edmunds archives, we found a 2009 Si sedan that laid down a 7.0-second dash to 60 and a 93.0-mph trap speed. That's quicker and faster than our new 2022 long-termer. Go figure.

Now, one could argue that the Civic Si has never been a "numbers car." It's about the sporty feel, the snick-snick manual gearbox, the grippy seats and playful character. It's also about the inherent strengths of the Civic itself, here including a stylish yet ergonomic dashboard layout, excellent outward visibility and a remarkably spacious back seat for its size. Combine all of that with Honda's strong resale value and, hey, who really cares about a half-second here or a few mph there?

Well, we do, of course. But we're also ready to be persuaded that the new Civic Si is good enough to transcend the data. Is this Honda just such a delight in the real world that it doesn't need more speed? In the name of science, we're going to spend a year and 20,000 miles finding out.

What Did We Get?

In keeping with Civic Si tradition, the 2022 Honda Civic Si pretty much comes in a single front-wheel-drive spec, take it or leave it. Sticky summer tires are a no-brainer $200 upgrade in our gentle SoCal climate, and our car also came decked out in Blazing Orange Pearl paint ($395). That tacked on a total of $595 to the Si's $27,300 entry price.

So what comes standard? A lot. Under the hood, the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine (200 horsepower, 192 lb-ft of torque) is little changed from the previous generation's 1.5-liter turbo, which helps explain those underwhelming track numbers. But the mandatory six-speed manual shifter (yes, the Civic Si is still manual-only in this automatic age) feels great in the hand and so smooth through the gates, evoking the best transmissions from Hondas of yore. You're also treated to a limited-slip differential, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, LED headlights, a sunroof and 18-inch matte-black wheels.

Inside, sport front seats with aggressive bolstering continue to be a Civic Si hallmark, complemented by red accent stitching, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, a 9-inch central display screen and unique honeycomb dashboard inserts. The 2022 Civic Si also comes with a slew of advanced safety features, among them forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

Why Did We Get It?

As noted, we're curious to see how much we end up caring about the latest Civic Si's unimproved acceleration. But more than that, the Civic Si is such a star that every new generation is a major event, and we want to see firsthand if this one has what it takes. The regular 2022 Civic already won our Edmunds Top Rated Sedan award, but can the Si variant edge out faster rivals in a segment where speed really counts? There's nothing like a full year in the saddle for gaining the clarity we seek.

Honda loaned this vehicle to Edmunds for the purpose of evaluation.

2022 Honda Civic Si: Real-World Fuel Economy

The thing that jumps out here is that our best fuel economy for a single tank came in 1.3 mpg below the EPA's 37 mpg highway estimate. We had a year to match that EPA number and we couldn't do it, even though we took plenty of road trips. Notably, our long-term 2018 Honda Accord 1.5T had the same problem.

Average lifetime mpg: 28.4
EPA mpg rating: 31 combined ( 27 city / 37 highway )
Best fill mpg: 35.7
Best range (miles): 363
Final odometer reading: 13,522

2022 Honda Civic Si: Maintenance

As expected, the Civic Si was dead reliable during its yearlong stay with us. Nothing to see here.

Maintenance Summary

Total routine maintenance costs $120.85
Additional maintenance costs  
Warranty repairs  
Non-warranty repairs  
Scheduled dealer visits 1
Unscheduled dealer visits Zero
Days out of service Zero
Breakdowns stranding driver Zero
Total body repair costs  

Oil change report

Brent Romans, senior editor of written content, took the Civic Si in for its first oil change.

"Our Civic Si came due for its first scheduled service in September 2022. While I was driving the car an A1 indicator popped up in the on the driver information display at around 8,000 miles. In Honda parlance, an A1 service is code for an oil change and tire rotation. I scheduled the service at my local Honda dealer: Clawson Honda in Fresno, California. It was a trouble-free service and I was in and out in about 90 minutes. The final cost was $120.85 (about $90 for the oil change and $30 for the tires)."

2022 Honda Civic Si: Performance

This is arguably the most important category for our Civic Si, and our findings are mixed. The manual transmission generally feels great, but "rev hang" — a Civic Si bugaboo since the 2000s — makes it hard to upshift smoothly during spirited driving. Grip from the summer tires is prodigious, but as noted above, straight-line acceleration is merely OK by the numbers. Is this Civic Si a bargain because of its excellent handling, or is it overpriced because of its middling power?

How's the manual transmission?

"I love the Civic Si's shifter. It's near perfection. It feels nice in my hand with its metal ball top and leather wrapping, and it moves lightly but solidly from gear to gear. It's genuinely enjoyable to row around. Also, the clutch pedal is easy to work and has a forgiving engagement point for connecting the front wheels and engine. This is an ideal combo for somebody learning how to drive stick, and yet it's also a pleasure for manual-shift veterans." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

"The Si is equipped with Honda's Rev Match Control System. In other words, the car will blip the throttle to match engine rpm when downshifting so the driver doesn't have to. Initially it feels unnatural to just dump the clutch on that 4-3 or 3-2 shift. But once you get used to the idea, it's a hoot. I find myself downshifting way more than I normally would just to hear the perfect shift." — Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing operations

"Allow me to complain about something that greatly sours the Civic Si experience for me: the pronounced delay in engine rpm drop after pushing in the clutch and lifting off the gas to upshift. (This delay can also be known as 'rev hang.') This issue has nothing to do with the shifter itself — see my other comment on how much I like it — but rather the clutch/flywheel's mechanical innards, or maybe the way Honda tuned the engine's electronic throttle. Whatever the cause, it's annoying.

"This tardy drop in rpm is not an issue for normal driving. In fact, I find it quite satisfying to upshift our Si at low rpm, like at around 2,000-2,500 rpm. The engine makes enough low-end torque to do this, and I can quickly work my way up through the gears with moderate throttle input. But, oh my, go for the gusto in our Civic Si, revving up to 5,000 rpm or more in the lower gears, and the engine's rpm does not drop nearly soon enough to smoothly engage the clutch for the next gear. The tachometer needle just hangs out and lingers at the rpm I pushed in the clutch, similar to how my mother-in-law wants to chat with all the other churchgoers after mass is over. ("Oh, hey, 6,000 rpm, how are you? Lovely 91 octane gas out there today, isn't it?")

"So I'm left with two options, and both suck: a) keep the clutch pedal pressed and wait for the engine rpm to eventually drop (~2 seconds!) to the correct point for a smooth clutch engagement for the higher gear, which is anathema for wanting to go fast; or b) just let out the clutch immediately, rpm be damned, and suffer through the lurchy, newbie upshift as the car's wheel speed forces the engine down to the equalizing rpm." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

How does the Civic Si handle?

"Here's an anecdote that I think neatly sums up the appeal of the Civic Si. I pulled out onto a two-lane city street in our Si and, in the rearview mirror, I noticed a new BMW 4 Series moving at a quick pace. (The sole upside of BMW's buck-toothed grille is that it stands out.) It quickly flew by me, and I saw from its badge that it was the sport-oriented M440i version. I wouldn't have otherwise given this event any further thought, but about 1 minute later I ended up right behind the M440i because it had gotten held up in traffic. And now we were both turning to take the same two-lane circular highway entrance ramp. Clearly, I had to uphold Honda's reputation here.

"The M440i was in the left-hand lane of the ramp, so I picked the right. Around we went. The Civic Si turned in eagerly and made it easy for me to get a feel for its balance and utilize its substantial grip. I quickly caught up to the M440i and then further pulled a car length ahead as we finished circling the ramp. At that point, BMW guy realized what just happened and, once we were pointed straight, used all of his 382 hp to fix the perceived embarrassment that had just occurred. Which was fine; have a nice day, friend. What I like about our Civic Si is that it gets you engaged and having fun at speeds that won't get you in trouble, and it does it at a price that won't blow your budget." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

2022 Honda Civic Si: Comfort

Comfort used to be an afterthought in hopped-up compacts like the Civic Si, but these days a sport compact sedan has to do everything pretty well. Has Honda hit the mark in this area? We're not saying "no," but we've found a couple of concrete instances where the new Civic Si is actually less comfortable than its predecessor.

Does the Civic Si have the comfort features you'd expect?

"Well, this is odd, but the new Civic Si is missing what I'd consider two significant features: heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. It's like Honda made a taco but forgot to put on the cheese and lettuce. Now, personally, dual-zone climate is a 'meh' feature. But no heated seats? How am I supposed to keep my buns toasty on those chilly 40-degree California mornings?

"The Civic Si isn't exactly a stripped-down base model, either; it's a $28,000 car. Furthermore: 1) The previous-generation 2020 Civic Si had heated seats and dual-zone auto climate standard, so clearly something went wrong for 2022; and 2) You can get these features easily from rivals. For example, a base 2022 VW Golf S has standard heated seats, and a 2022 Hyundai Elantra N Line has standard dual-zone climate, with an option for heated seats." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

Director of Content Strategy Josh Sadlier isn't impressed by the Si's air conditioning. "You know how used-car listings often tout "ice cold A/C"? I'd be skeptical of that claim in a 2022 Civic Si listing. I just got into our long-termer after it had been sitting in the sun on an 80-degree day for a few hours. Five minutes into my drive, the A/C still hadn't cooled down the cabin, and it wasn't even cold on my fingers coming out of the vents. Cool, yeah, but not cold. I had to double-check to make sure the A/C was on. I noticed the same thing in the largely identical Acura Integra we tested recently. Not impressive."

How does the Civic hold up over a long drive?

"Our Civic Si is a suboptimal vehicle for long-distance driving. There are three primary contributors to this: 1) elevated road/tire noise on the highway, particularly on grooved concrete surfaces; 2) uncomfortable front seats; 3) a stiff ride over bumps and cracks. Each factor isn't terrible on its own but put them together and you've got a car that, at least for me, is wearing after just a couple of hours of driving." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

Now, I'll note that evaluating seat comfort can be tricky because people have different body types and preferred seating positions. But I also went back into the Edmunds time machine and found commentary on the last Civic we had, a red 2016 Civic Touring. Interestingly, I wrote that, "I was fine sitting in the driver seat, even after a full day of driving," in our 2016 Honda Civic. Granted, that Touring had a power-adjustable seat. But why can't this 2022 Civic Si's seat be just as comfortable but with added bolstering to keep you secure around turns? — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

2022 Honda Civic: Interior

You don't buy a sporty compact like the Civic Si for the interior, but it's nice when the cockpit looks and feels like a great place to run through the gears. How did Honda do?

"Hmm, OK, so I just said to myself that I like the Si's red interior accents. But I'm not so sure about the red seat upholstery and door trim inserts. It has a darker tint to it because of its black-and-red checkerboard pattern, and at times it can look magenta-like. Also, it clashes with the orange exterior paint color of our test car. The red upholstery would likely pair better with the white or black paints, but it's unfortunate Honda forces you to get it with every Si." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

How's the interior layout?

"Solid. For me (I'm 5-foot 10), it's easy to see out the front for parking and the sides while in traffic. I also have clear visibility of the gauge cluster through the steering wheel. The steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system and cruise control can easily be used by feel, which is the way it should be. I can use the touchscreen without having to reach too far, and the gear shifter is ideally located for a relaxed bend in my elbow. Honda obviously does its ergonomic homework to please the masses with all the other Civics, and you get all of the benefits with the sporty Si." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

2022 Honda Civic: Technology

The Civic Si is redesigned, but did Honda update the technology in the cockpit?

Senior Editor of Written Content Brent Romans is digging the Civic Si's entertainment system so far.

"I'm enjoying cranking music with our Civic Si's Bose 12-speaker sound system," he said. "This is the Civic's premium system, and Honda says it's the first time it's put a Bose system in the Civic. It has a pleasing, immersive sound quality, so it can seem like you're listening to live music at a venue rather than hearing stuff come out of individual speakers. I've also heard nuance to some songs that I haven't picked up on before. So, overall, thumbs up. Oh, and of mild interest, the Si is also the least expensive Civic to get the Bose system. The only other trim to get it is the $1,500 more-expensive Civic Touring."

What do we think of the new touchscreen?

"Honda made many subtle improvements to this latest-generation Civic, but one of the more appealing ones for me is its newly available 9-inch center touchscreen. You get it standard on the Si, and its extra girth over the base 7-inch screen (insert your innuendo here) allows for bigger virtual buttons to push and more navigational map coverage. (This would be for a map using your phone by way of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration; the Si, alas, does not have a built-in navigation system.) Also, in general, the system boots up quicker and responds more quickly to presses than the system in the previous-generation Civic." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content

"The touchscreen in our Civic Si isn't huge, and the rearview camera resolution is only so-so. However, it has one of my favorite Honda features: a wide-angle view option. This offers a much greater field of vision, which is key for me — kids are constantly using my sidewalk to get to and from school, and lots of rearview cameras limit my visibility to whatever is directly behind me. But in the Civic Si, I can see walkers or bikers coming way before they get close. A small but important plus." — Ryan ZumMallen, reviews editor

Apple CarPlay is great when it works, unfortunately...

"My old foe — bugs with wireless Apple CarPlay — strikes again. After initially pairing my phone to the infotainment system and enabling wireless Apple CarPlay, the system worked perfectly. Until I plugged my phone into a USB data port. Then AC shut down entirely, only resuming when I unplugged.

"Thankfully, the problem seemed to sort itself out after a single full power cycle of the car. The day after initialization, AC worked the way it was supposed to, regardless of whether it was or wasn't plugged into a data port. So after an initial hiccup, wireless AC is working without a hitch." — Cameron Rogers, manager, news

2022 Honda Civic: Utility

The Civic Si now comes solely with four doors, having ditched the coupe for this generation. Just like the regular Civic sedan, the Si boasts a spacious and versatile interior especially for a small car.

"I've had a lot of grumpy things to say about the Civic Si, so let me flip the script for a minute. The size of this car is just right. I love it. Unlike the truly compact Civics of yesteryear, this one has an adult-friendly backseat that also accommodates a center-mounted toddler seat without issue. Consider this: In my own 2016 Audi Q5, I have to slide the passenger seat way forward and angle the toddler seat toward that side in order to ensure clearance with both front seatbacks. In the Civic, I just buckle the seat in without a second thought. Score one for the quote-unquote small sedan over the compact SUV. Also, despite the accommodating interior, the car itself remains conveniently narrow — no concerns about scraping a side mirror on a wall in a tight driveway. Now, does all of the above apply to non-Si Civics as well? Of course it does. So I've managed to avoid praising the Si per se. But put it this way: If you need a sporty car that's the right size for daily life, this one checks the boxes." — Josh Sadlier, director, content strategy

Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor, has mixed feelings about the Civic Si — at least, philosophically.

"I'm a bit torn by this new Civic Si. On the one hand, it is fun to drive, has enough power that it won't get you into too much trouble, and offers a premium-feeling interior. We have a 2007 Civic Si in Edmunds' training fleet, and that car feels like you have to work too hard to see its power. This new Si offers way more usable torque all the way to its redline.

"On the other hand, it's still a sedan. Brace yourselves for an 'old man yells at cloud' rant. When I was growing up, the Si was always a coupe. The first car I bought was a 1992 Honda Prelude Si, also a coupe. When the Civic Si made its big comeback in the late '90s, it was only available as a coupe. Remember that weird seventh-generation Si in the early 2000s (EP3 for the car nerds out there) with the shifter mounted on the dash? It was a two-door hatchback.

"Those were special cars that reminded me of my youth. This Si feels too 'grown-up' and more like when you've become a family man but still want to have some fun in your daily driver. I know this isn't the first time the Si has been a sedan. But in prior generations, at least you had a choice. Though I can't really fault Honda. Hardly anyone buys coupes these days. Of all the new vehicles financed in the first quarter of 2022, only 1.5% were coupes compared to sedans at 17%, according to data from Experian.

So it's our fault, people. In our quest to find a car that is both practical and fun, we've lost part of what made the Si special in the first place. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the next Si is based off the CR-V."

2022 Honda Civic Si: Miscellaneous

Not everything about a car is going to fall neatly into established categories, and that's especially true of a fun-oriented car like the Civic Si. What are the X factors here — the wildcard aspects that nudge it ahead or hold it back?

What's the consensus on that orange paint job?

"I've been driving our Civic Si for about a week straight and already I've received three impromptu favorable comments from bystanders on the car's Blazing Orange Pearl paint. The most memorable encounter was at my neighboorhood's multi-house mailbox thing, where I had pulled up to grab my mail. A thoroughly nice 60-ish-year-old woman with big black sunglasses was walking by and commented how she liked the color. She then segued into a five-minute near-monologue on: (1) how it reminded her of all the colorful cars she saw in Europe, (2) how her son used to live in Germany, (3) how concerned she is with the events going on over there, and (4) the outrageous price of gas these days. I think my contributions to the conversation were, 'Oh, thanks!' 'Oh, really?' and then finally, 'OK, I've got to go, but nice meeting you.' Anyway, Civic Si in Blazing Orange: ace conversation starter." — Brent Romans, senior manager, written content

"I love me a good orange (rest in peace, Firesand. You were too beautiful for this world). But I'm not smitten with the Civic Si's Blazing Orange Pearl. It's a little too dark, a little too burnt for my tastes.

"That was, until we had one of those perfect California sunsets, when the poisonous particulate matter in the air results in dazzling blooms of pink and orange. The reflection off the Civic Si was so stunning I grabbed my wife and pulled her outside. So inspired was I, that I forgot to take a picture, and we didn't have a sunset like that again during the car's time in my driveway. One day, I'll capture it. Until then, you'll have to trust me." — Cameron Rogers, manager, news

How about the styling in general?

"The more conservative styling for the latest generation Civic doesn't do the Si any favors. The previous generation car was overwrought, but at least it had some inherent sportiness to it. The new Civic looks like an ho-hum Accord, especially from the side. It's too long. Yes, that's great for rear legroom, but not for helping the Si look cool. Also: (1) the Si's black-painted wheels look too similar to those on the lesser Sport trim, and; 2) The rear spoiler is too prominent in my opinion. I just want an Si, not a NASCAR stock car." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content