2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Review: A Near-Perfect Daily Driver Thanks to One Special Feature

Perfect, if it weren't for one little thing.

Everyday drivability and fuel economy Light clutch pedal and rubbery shifter feel
Nice quality touch points and materials Pricey compared to competition
Good infotainment and safety features

Overview: The Civic is a do-everything car without sacrificing in any major category.

We’ve come to expect the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback to be as much of a crowd pleaser as any one car can be. To the car’s credit, it’s a confident jack of all trades.

Under the hood lies an adequate 1.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder. Now, its 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft torque output won’t shock you, but it serves its purpose. Roman and I tested the car on a recent trip to LA. The little 1.5L is surprisingly capable at sea level, managing to pass on the highway without needing a shift out of 6th gear. Just a slight lean on the turbo and a moment to build boost, and the Civic would gain on slower traffic.

One particular feature that enhances the entire package is the 6-speed manual transmission. Granted, the clutch is a bit too light, lacking much feedback through the pedal. The shifter feel is a bit rubbery as well, but miles from the worst offender out there. Even so, having a transmission to occupy yourself with in an economy car is a luxury these days. Though slightly less efficient than the CVT, (31 Combined mpg vs 33) we would take the fuel hit any day to have an extra pedal. The inclusion of a manual doesn’t require the sacrifice of features either.

I can’t say enough good things about the new Civic’s interior

From materials to design, the 11th generation 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback is leagues ahead of its predecessor’s interior. While the Civic retains cost cut materials here and there, the touch points are spot on. From the steering wheel and shifter to the physical climate controls, the parts that you interact with most are a treat.

The Civic blends all of the tech we expect in new cars, without over complicating things. Honda Sensing brings welcome features such as Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. Our Sport Touring trim also gets the more premium 9″ infotainment and 12-speaker Bose audio system.

Honda’s infotainment is more intuitive than competitors such as the Mazda 3. Despite all the driver assistance, the car tends to let you drive without frequent interruption too. Though the blind spot minoring can be a bit too sensitive for LA-style traffic maneuvers.

Space and comfort in the Civic are decent, considering the car’s size

The Civic’s front seats are very comfortable, though space is limited for larger passengers in the rear. If you’re 6′ or more, you might not want to road trip from the back seat. Especially since there are no climate vents for rear seat passengers.

As with any hatchback, the trunk is spacious and includes a nifty cargo cover that conveniently tucks out of the way.

Verdict: The Civic is a great car, but it’s hardly the only good option in its class

So, the Civic Hatchback can do no wrong, right? That appears to be the case, until you compare it to others on the market. Both the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla hatchbacks start well under the Civic’s $26,545 kick-off point (including destination). Our admittedly well-equipped Sport Touring sits at $31,540. Affordable compared to most new cars, but the Mazda 3 2.5 S Premium has an arguably better interior and remarkably good driving dynamics for slightly less cash.

Even so, the Civic makes a great case for itself as a practical car with plenty of fun baked in. To see more of our impressions, check out the full video linked below.