Automobiles

2022 Honda Civic Si debuts, features the Type R's rev-matching system

Beneath its understated exterior, the all-new Civic Si's upgrades are aimed at improving driving enjoyment, rather than outright speed.

The new 2022 Civic Si mugs for the camera next to the original 1986 Civic Si hatch.
Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The all-new 2022 Honda Civic Si debuted today, blending the improvements of the 11th-generation Civic sedan with a touch of extra performance spice. The new model improves over the previous generation with upgrades and refinements aimed at making the sports sedan more fun and engaging to drive.

While the track-focused Type R is the wild-child of the Civic lineup -- both dynamically and stylistically -- the Si is traditionally targeted at drivers looking for something just a little hotter than the average Civic. The performance is aimed more at daily driving flexibility, while the design plays it a bit closer to the vest. Personally, I think Honda may have gone a touch too conservative with the new Si's appearance. Aside from the new rear spoiler, Si badges and dual exhaust tips, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the Si from a regular Civic Sport at 100 paces. 

That may not be a bad thing for drivers looking for a sleeper -- flying under the radar without a massive wing certainly has its advantages. Plus, the standard Civic sedan is already a very handsome ride. Those who do a double-take will note the Si's sportier stance, enlarged brakes and standard matte-black 18-inch wheels -- as opposed to the glossy black Civic Sport wheels -- shod in all-season performance rubber or optional summer tires. Listen closely and you may also note that the aforementioned dual-exhaust flows more freely and, thanks to its coil-style design, should also sound better on the road.

Under the hood, the new Si is still powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The revised engine makes 192 pound-feet of torque and 200 peak horsepower. Interestingly, that's down 5 hp from the last generation's 205 ponies. Honda claims the new powerband is now broader overall and now peaks at a higher RPM, which should improve responsiveness, performance and driveability across a wider range.

2022 Honda Civic Si

The exhaust system features a coiled design for its dual tips, which Honda says improves the tone.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

A 26% lighter flywheel helps to further boost throttle response while mating the four-banger to a six-speed manual transmission. This is the only gearbox available to Si shoppers -- no CVT nonsense here -- and features the rev-matching system from the Civic Type R that can automatically blip the throttle to perfectly match downshifts in around four-tenths of a second. The shifter promises a better in-hand feel thanks to improved engagement, firmer mounting points and a throw that's 10-percent shorter. Finally, power meets the pavement at the front-wheels via a standard helical limited-slip differential.

Obviously, the new Si benefits from the inherent improvements to the 11th-gen Civic Sedan's chassis, which is stiffer overall, has a wider rear track and a longer wheelbase than the previous generation. Specific to the Si are stiffer springs and stabilizer bars, reinforced suspension mounting points and more sport-focused steering. Many of the stiffer suspension bushings and some rear suspension bits -- the upper B-arms, specifically -- have also been borrowed from the Type R. Where the previous model used two-mode adaptive dampers, the new Si features static shocks that are tuned for a better sport-touring balance overall. (Honda justifies this change with claims that many 10th-generation Si drivers never even used the old "too stiff" Sport suspension setting.)

2022 Honda Civic Si

I hope you like rowing your own gears, because the six-speed manual is the only gearbox available.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Inside, there are new sport seats that are unique to the Si with integrated headrests, improved bolstering and thigh support and embroidered Si badges. Red contrast stitching highlights the seats, steering wheel and shifter, while red trim can be found on the dash and door panels. The cabin tech suite is all gear we've seen previously on the standard Civic Sedan, including a 7-inch combo digital instrument cluster, 12-speaker Bose audio and a 9-inch main infotainment display that features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, the Honda Sensing suite of active safety tech is also standard, rounding out a solid tech loadout.

Honda calls this the "best-handling, best-equipped and most fun-to-drive Civic Si ever," a bold claim that we're eager to put to the test. Pricing has not yet been announced, but it's a pretty safe bet that it won't stray too far from the previous generation's circa-$25,000 ballpark, where it should compete with the likes of Volkswagen's GTI and the Hyundai Elantra N Line. The 2022 Honda Civic Si hits the road later this year.