I just got back to NYC after ten days of driving the 2022 Honda Civic Si all over the beautiful state of Alabama. I liked the Honda Civic Si plenty when I had it, but I didn’t think too much about it. Hell, it’s just a Civic, after all.
Now, I’m back in my automatic Mini Countryman, left foot with nothing to do and a right hand sitting awkwardly on the “shifter,” looking like one of those guys. The longer I have thought about it, the more I really think you (and I) should buy the 2022 Honda Civic Si.
The Honda Civic Si is an all-timer
Honestly, it’s hard to say whether it’s the car I miss or the manual gearbox. I am not a fool for all three-pedal cars, although I do tend to have more fun when I drive one. No, I am not in the camp that believes any manual car is good. However, I maintain these two beliefs about cars: Driving with a manual transmission is always more fun, but only good gearboxes make manual transmission cars better.
The 2022 Honda Civic Si has it all. It only comes in manual. So, it’s automatically more fun than a regular Civic or most sedans, for that matter. But more importantly, it has a great manual transmission. The throws are short, crisp, sporty, and frankly make you feel great. According to Car and Driver, Honda really built a smart and truly modern manual gearbox.
One of the first things any seasoned manual driver will notice about the Civic Si is the new auto rev-match feature that blips the throttle when downshifting. Traditionally, stick drivers would double-clutch or heel-toe if they wanted to downshift or gear brake. Both of these maneuvers take time and skill to perfect. While Honda still allows for this feature to be turned off, this gives a real sense of sporty, skilled driving for the more casual driver.
How fast is the 2022 Honda Civic Si?
The beauty of the Civic Si is that while it is plenty sporty and can even get quick, it isn’t a very powerful car. Powering the Si is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, making 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. That ain’t much.
But what a Civic can do with a little, most other sedans can’t do with a lot. Let me explain. I have driven many powerful cars. Fast cars are fun. However, driving a really powerful car like the Corvette C8 comes with a certain amount of stress and fear. Regardless of the potential danger of losing it in a powerful car, you also have to worry about other people; the police, thieves, and other non-welcome entities buzzing around.
The Civic Si has about a third of the power of the Corvette yet wasn’t much less exciting. The Civic grabbed in the corners, delivered satisfying (even if a touch laggy) power, shifted gears like car chases in the movies, got nearly 35 mpg, and sat in any parking lot and fit in. I’m not arguing that the Civic Si can compete with true sports cars – but also, it almost kind of can?
How much is the 2022 Honda Civic Si?
The craziest part of all is how affordable the Civic Si is. This doesn’t just mean the price tag, which starts at a reasonable $28,595; it’s the whole package. The Corvette was cooler in every way, but that doesn’t mean you would buy the Corvette.
Despite the coolness I felt getting in and out of the Corvette, the Civic Si gave nearly all the same points of pleasure. This thing is a pure blast to drive. In trying to lessen the impact of gas prices on my wallet, I spent most of the time driving slowly and peaceably, and still, I felt the driving experience was thrilling. Although it’s only slightly dressed up, I also felt good getting in and out of it. It’s boring-ish but still sharp.
Finding a car as an adult that is fun, good-looking, and kinda fast while still being affordable and not embarrassingly childish-looking is no small task. However, the 2022 Honda Civic Si is the answer. It hits on every level.
I guess when I usually finish with press cars, I can always say, “Man! That (fill in the expensive, goofy car) was really fun and great for what it is, but I wouldn’t buy one.” That is not the case here. I feel like not owning a Honda Civic Si is kind of dumb. I mean, it’s a blast to drive, pretty quick, comfortable, affordable, has four doors, gets great gas mileage, looks good, only comes in manual, and is still a Honda.