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Choosing the best compact sedan on the market today is a tough task. The segment is crowded with options from multiple manufacturers. But the one thing most critics can agree on is this Honda model, the 2022 Honda Civic, is the best choice among them. Here’s why: 

Why U.S. News rates the 2022 Honda Civic no. 1

An orange 2022 Honda Civic Si driving on a tree lined street
2022 Honda Civic Si | Honda

U.S. News & World Report gave the Honda Civic the nod for three key reasons: its interior, seating, and performance. The organization also named the Civic the best compact car for the money in 2022.

The 2022 Honda Civic is fully redesigned inside and out. The interior has been re-styled and comes with a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen standard on all models. A four-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard as well. U.S. News notes the new seats in the 2022 Honda Civic are more comfortable. There’s also more legroom in the hatchback trim (1.4 inches) for passengers in the rear seats.

Performance-wise, the turbocharged engine for the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims gets a boost in horsepower. The 1,5-liter four-cylinder engine pushes out 180 horsepower (compared to 174 in the 2021 model) and 177 lb-ft of torque (compared to 162). Fuel economy also gets a slight improvement of 1 to 2 miles per gallon. Reviewers note the Civic’s boost in power leads to brisk acceleration and smooth delivery.

Why Edmunds named this Honda model the best compact sedan

A blue 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback with Accessory Wheels
2022 Honda Civic Hatchback with Accessory Wheels | Honda

Edmunds gave the 2022 Honda Civic the top spot among small sedans thanks to its performance, fuel economy, passenger space, and design.

The more powerful engine in the top trims makes a difference. Edmunds reviewers tested the Touring trim and note the power comes quickly when needed. They agree that the power is smoothly delivered thanks to the 2022 Honda Civic’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). The slight increase in fuel economy without losing power helps make the Civic the best compact sedan in Edmunds’ ratings.

Edmunds reviewers say the interior of this Honda model is roomy. Taller passengers can fit well in the front and average-size adults can sit in the rear seats comfortably with enough legroom and headroom. Design-wise, Edmunds says the new look is simpler and more elegant.

Why Kelley Blue Book chose the 2022 Honda Civic as its best compact sedan

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) points to the Civic’s style, technology, and fun manners as the reasons why it’s the best compact sedan.

KBB, like Edmunds, agrees the new design is simplified but looks more sophisticated. The minimalist version of the headlights and taillights compared to the previous generation help. Technology-wise, the 2022 Honda Civic’s infotainment touchscreen is the biggest in the car’s 50-year history. KBB notes the perks like heated front seats and blind-spot indicators.

Behind the wheel, KBB reviewers say the new Honda Civic Touring model is low, fun, and eager to carve corners. The Sport trim is not as quick but still comfortable and drives well.  

The reasons MotorTrend picked the 2022 Honda Civic as the top compact sedan

MotorTrend picked this Honda model thanks to its interior design, fuel economy, handling, and safety features. Reviewers say the new seats are comfortable on long drives and the technology balances snazzy displays and physical controls. The improved fuel economy in the base and turbocharged engines is a big plus as well.

Like KBB, MotorTrend applauds the Civic’s handling. Though it won’t win any drag races, reviewers say the 2022 Honda Civic comes alive in the corners. Ride quality stays smooth at higher speeds as well. MotorTrend says the Civic “remains the benchmark compact car.” 

Safety-wise, new front airbags have been added to help with angled front crashes. A front bumper beam plate is also new for the 2022 Civic to reduce pedestrian injuries. Traffic Jam Assist, which looks to stop collisions with walls or other obstacles, is now a part of Honda’s safety features.

Which new compact sedans did the 2022 Honda Civic beat for the top spot?

Though all outlets agree the Civic is the best compact sedan, there are a few contenders that come close. U.S. News gives the Civic an 8.7 out of 10, ranked just ahead of the Mazda Mazda3 (8.6) and the Kia Forte (8.5). Edmunds gave the Civic an 8.1 with the Forte behind (7.9) and the Hyundai Elantra in third (7.7). 

KBB puts the Civic first with 4.7 out of 5 stars ahead of the Elantra (4.6) and Elantra Hybrid (4.6). MotorTrend scored the Civic 9.3 out of 10 ahead of the Honda Insight (9) and Elantra (8.8).

Is the 2022 Honda Civic a good car?

If you’re looking for a compact sedan, the 2022 Honda Civic is the best overall option. There are plenty of trims to choose from with great cargo space and handling across all of them. There may be more powerful or more economic options for a new compact sedan. But they don’t excel in many ways like the 2022 Honda Civic does. 


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