Does the 2022 Honda Civic Si Deserve VTEC JDM Hero Status or Is It a JDM Zero?

  • Type R hand-me-downs make the new Civic Si a GTI killer
  • Honda nails the manual transmission again
  • No hatchback model leaves room for the Integra

The embargo has at last lifted. Opinions on Honda’s newest JDM hero are finally able to be heard by the public. That means the verdict on the 2022 Honda Civic Si is out. Is it the Volkswagen Golf GTI beater we all thought it was going to be? Or is this new turbocharged VTEC sedan a total flop? Time to find out what the jury says.

Purists rejoice, the Civic Si’s turbo doesn’t ruin VTEC

An orange VTEC-powered 2022 Honda Civic Si shot from the front
The 2022 Civic Si doesn’t disappoint | Honda

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To be quick about it, in case you’ve got somewhere to be, the 2022 Civic Si lives up to all the hype and then some. This is sub-$30k turbocharged bliss in a practical sedan body style. Plus, much of what made the 2021 Honda Civic Type R so great is carried over to the Si. Clearly, the Civic Si is closer to the Type R than ever.

That starts with the Type R’s rev-matching system. Obviously, there’s still some rev hang here, but the Si’s computers do their best to mitigate the worst of it while you attend mass at the church of VTEC. With 200 hp and 192 lb-ft from the turbo 1.5L only having to move 2,950 lbs, the Si feels properly fast. It makes us ponder how insane the new Civic Type R will be. Changes from the Type R continue with things like upper and lower B arms and 79% stiffer front compliance bushings from the R.

The 2022 Civic Si’s manual transmission makes the car

The red seats of the new Civic Si
The Civic Si’s seats cannot be praised highly enough | Honda

While nearly 80% might sound a hair too stiff, the 2022 Honda Civic Si manages to ride shockingly well. It isn’t punishing when you’re just cruising about. Thankfully, Honda has also thickened up the sway bars to help curtail any understeer you might encounter. The JDM heroes at Honda have also widened the rear track to help the new car feel all the more planted in corners. Finally, both front and rear rotors are larger by 30mm and 22mm respectively.

Then there’s that manual transmission. As you may know by now, the manual transmission is the only option for the Type R and the Si. The world is all the better for it. Feeling like a bolt-action rifle might be a cliche, but it certainly applies to the Civic from what SavageGeese says in the video above. It’s hooked to a lighter single-mass flywheel, too. Honda also shortened the throw and reworked the bushings to make things extra notchy.

Is the 2022 Honda Civic Si a good JDM car?

An orange Civic Si shot from the front 3/4 on an open road
The new Civic Si lives up to the name | Honda

Mechanically, Honda has done everything it can to make the new Si a better car. Plus, the seats are right out of the 2021 Type R, and phenomenally comfortable. Clearly, this JDM hero lives up to our expectations in every single way. If you need a hot hatch (or sedan) under $35,000, the Civic Si is about as good as it gets.

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