By Larry Lark, contributor
You’ve all heard and read the idiom attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
You can add the Honda Civic sedan to the short list of certainties.
The 2022 Civic Touring represents Honda’s 11th generation of the ever-popular, longstanding model. That represents nearly 50 years of heritage, and is its longest-running and largest selling model globally.
I can remember as a high school sophomore, back in 1973, when the Civic was introduced and heralded for its fun-to-drive dynamics, quality construction and world-class fuel efficiency, qualities that have defined every generation since.
The new Civic features sporty design with a low cowl, excellent visibility, exceptional attention to detail and a space-efficient, human-centered interior. With two improved powertrains and a stiffer body structure graced by a reengineered chassis, the redesigned model also upholds the Civic tradition of rewarding its drivers with class-leading driving dynamics.
My tester was powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers improved fuel efficiency and emissions performance, as well as additional horsepower and torque. It generates 180 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. In addition, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) for each engine has been retuned for more natural, “synchronized” response, as well as further improvements to fuel economy.
A surprisingly spacious interior accommodates four adults in comfort, and five can be squeezed in if needed. With gas prices climbing, the 38 miles per gallon down the highway fuel economy makes Civic a great commuter option.
The simple and sporty exterior styling features a low beltline with a long and low hood, pulled back A-pillars, and ample glass area. The wide-set LED headlights, while the horizontal orientation of the rear taillights give Civic a sense of stability on the road.
The Civic’s simple and clean interior design themes are an equally modern take on classic Civic design cues. A visual focal point is a striking metal honeycomb mesh accent that stretches across the dash from door to door. Technology is focused on intuitive ease of use, from the first all-digital LCD instrument panel ever in a Honda (Touring trim), to new color touchscreen audio systems mounted high on the dash.
Creature comforts are highlighted by heated leather-trimmed seats, Bose premium audio system with 12 speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, navigation system with voice recognition and a multi-view rear camera.
Touring grades get Civic’s first all-digital LCD instrument display. Measuring 10.2 inches, the high-definition full-color LCD panel displays a variety of information, all customizable from the steering wheel. Information can be displayed with traditional round gauges for the tachometer and speedometer, or with bar graphs flanking the left and right of the screen.
A new mode available when using adaptive cruise control eliminates the tachometer and speedometer from the display altogether (but maintaining a numerical speed readout) for a more relaxed driving environment.
Completing the Civic’
s long list of attributes in a next-level Honda Sensing safety suite. Features include traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, road departure warning and mitigation forward collision warning, and a collision mitigation braking system.
In Touring trim, Civic also benefits from additional driver assistive technologies. A new blind spot information system uses radar installed on the rear corners of the vehicle to detect vehicles approaching from the rear, signaling the driver with a visual and audible warning. Touring also utilizes four sonar sensors installed on the front of the vehicle, and four on the back. These sonar sensors significantly improve the detection of non-metallic objects that could be missed by the outgoing millimeter wave radar, such as glass and external exterior walls.
With a price tag under $30,000, I’ll go out on a limb and predict a 12th-generation Honda Civic is inevitable, just like death and taxes.