Honda has experimented wildly with the Civic’s exterior looks over the last few years, to mixed results. Many, including us, were enamored with the smooth and sleek design, while plenty of fans didn’t care for the performance aesthetic that included more slits, gills and the like. It was overdo.
The 2022 Honda Civic Si 4-door HPT seems to have taken a cue from the criticism, as the sleek and curvy exterior remains and the overkill is left out. Still, it is hard to avoid curling a smile at the first look at our tester in Blazing Orange Pearl exterior, with black and red colors in the cabin and 235/40 R18 high performance summer tires.
The Si’s body language is more demure, with a lowered hood and lightened roof pillars. It has less lines across the body and the tail, and even the side rear windows have a more cohesive, less-bewildered look. The Si sports a set of bumpers that separate it from the sedan and to showcase the dual tailpipes. The rear spoiler and black trim accentuate the car, giving it an eclectic feel.
The cabin is a thing of beauty. Perhaps serving as a precursor for forthcoming electric cars, the cabin has a simple layout that features a slight strip hexagonal trim over the air vents that can be adjusted efficiently. There’s a dark glossy trim throughout, while dials and window switches have metal tips. A 9-inch touchscreen, situated atop the futuristic, sleek dashboard, features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is paired with a quality 12-speaker Bose sound system.
There’s some similarity in aggressive yet comfortable design inside the new Si that harkens to the Type R. Its performance-oriented vibe is further underscored by a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1.5-liter turbo-4 engine producing 200 hp and 192 lb.-ft. of torque that ensures the sedan can hit 0-60 mph in under seven seconds.
The handling in the new Civic Si is a bit tumultuous when riding on the highway in sixth gear, but it settles and rides smoother in city driving. Its power is meant to be enjoyed, so when you engage it to 1,800 RPM and run it through the max of 5,000 RPM, you’ll get the most of the 200 hp.
The Si is heavier than its predecessor, but the engine specs make it as nimble as ever. The 6-speed manual is steady and sharp, with only modest tuning necessary to enhance its feel. Drivers can choose from three drive modes, including Normal, Sports and customizable individual. The gear switching does have a slight learning curve, requiring some getting-used-to in order to achieve smoother transitions in traffic. Also, we’ve noticed the new Si has more body roll than last Si, which is a nuisance more so than a deal-breaker.
Among the features any Honda enthusiast should embrace in the 6-speed manual are rev-matching and the limited-slip differential, along with a high-quality suspension – MacPherson strut setup in front and multilink on the rear axle. Steering remains as sporty as ever even if boosted by the electric power-steering platform.
The MSRP for the 2022 Honda Civic Si is $27,500, with a total of $28,910.
Edited by Slav Kandyba
Photo Credit: Honda