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J.D. Power, one of the largest consumer research and reporting firms, has released its compact car rankings for the 2022 model year. And the results are unexpected. The Honda Civic, one of the most storied and best-selling cars since its 1972 debut, falls behind several competitors. Considering the Civic’s historical success, we’re surprised to see three models outrank it. Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Honda Civic and the vehicles that beat it in J.D. Power’s “Best Compact and Small Cars of 2022.”

The 2022 Honda Civic fails to score the top spot

2022 Honda Civic: J.D. Power compact car rankings
2022 Honda Civic Touring sedan | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The Honda Civic enters the 2022 model year with refreshed styling to start its 11th generation. Beyond its aesthetic redesign and a $220 price increase (starting MSRPs range from $21,700 to $28,300), not much has changed. 

The standard 2022 Civic has a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but buyers can upgrade to a 180-hp 1.5-liter turbo-four. Both engine options pair with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is the main focus, with the Civic achieving a solid 33 to 44 mpg combined. For performance-minded consumers, the Civic Si packs a six-speed manual transmission.

Some critics have knocked the 2022 Honda Civic for its anemic engine options, uncomfortable ride quality, and noisy cabin. But according to J.D. Power, owners like the engine’s power. They also appreciate the storage options and ease of loading and unloading the car. However, drivers also mentioned their dissatisfaction with using the car’s safety systems, its gas mileage, and their experience with using voice assistance.

Regardless, the 2022 Honda Civic scored an overall score of 82 out of 100, which J.D. Power considers “great” but not “best.”

The 2022 Mini Clubman ties for 2nd place above the 2022 Honda Civic

Though Mini has faced quality and longevity issues since BMW introduced the brand in 2001, recent releases have earned praise as spirited, fun compact cars.

Unlike the 2022 Honda Civic, the 2022 Mini Clubman offers front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Plus, the latter packs a turbo-four harnessing 301 hp. However, the Mini suffers in fuel economy, with 23 to 33 mpg combined. And the MSRP, hovering around $29,900 to $39,500, is significantly higher than the Civic’s price. But this stylish ride delivers higher-quality interior materials and a superior driving experience than its Honda rival.

The Clubman scored an overall “great” 83, squeaking past the 2022 Civic to snag second place.

The 2022 Kia Forte shares 2nd place with the Clubman

The Kia Forte ties with the Clubman to beat the 2022 Honda Civic. Though the Forte once had a reputation as a basic economy car, its image has improved. And at least according to owners, the 2022 Forte is a slightly better car than the Honda Civic.

The Forte offers four trim levels — FE, LXS, GT-Line, and GT — and various options and packages. Customers can choose a naturally aspirated 147-hp four-cylinder or a 201-hp turbo-four engine. Both mate with either a manual transmission or a CVT.

The 2022 Kia Forte offers decent gas mileage of 22 to 41 mpg combined. Those numbers put this compact in line with the Civic. However, the Forte, with slightly enhanced performance and a better ride, comes in at a lower price point of $19,090 to $24,490.

The 2022 Nissan Sentra outranks them all

With an overall J.D. Power score of 84, the Nissan Sentra tops the 2022 compact car class. This sedan has consistently earned praise for its value and good fuel economy, but the latest model is a bona fide bargain. A recent redesign added a smooth-running 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and upped the interior quality, adding even more value to a car that costs only $19,510 to $22,100.

The Sentra achieves 28 to 39 mpg combined, putting it just below the 2022 Honda Civic’s fuel economy. And though the Sentra’s powertrain produces around 149 hp, it punches above its class in interior quality and space for cargo and passengers.

Is the 2022 Honda Civic worth buying?

Despite placing below three other models in the J.D. Power rankings, the 2022 Honda Civic is still worth buying. This small car is synonymous with reliability and owner satisfaction, even if the 2022 model has received mixed reactions. If you can get a good price on a Civic, it’s worth the spend.


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