2022 Honda Civic streams on with sportier look, better features

Honda showed off prototype versions of the 2022 Honda Civic last night on the live stream gaming platform Twitch. The unconventional virtual debut of the 11th-generation compact sedan was sparse on details but big on promise. 

The sleek sedan will arrive in late spring 2021 and be followed by a sporty Si model. A hatchback will follow the launch of the sedan, and include the performance-oriented Type R variant. The coupe will not return. 

The prototype sedan revealed last night stretches out the nose and boxes off the rear end, with the windshield and A-pillars moved back for a long, low hood on what is expected to be a front-wheel-drive vehicle. With the cab pushed back, Honda says drivers can expect better outward vision. 

Up front, the larger lower grille stretches out to air intakes that might just be for show, like the outgoing model. Above the intakes, the daytime running lights move from the bottom to the top of the headlight housings. A belt line extends from front to rear where it intersects the taillights. Another character line rises up through the rocker panels. At the rear, the former C-shaped taillights are replaced by slim taillights that match the headlight design. The meaty rear houses twin exhaust pipes. 

Inside, the low and wide theme carries over to the dashboard. A 9.0-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dash rules over a spartan design with an unbroken mesh panel concealing the horizontal band of vents. Climate control dials sit above a storage or smartphone charging area, and a knob on the touchscreen promises to be for volume. A digital instrument cluster completes the scant details of the interior. 

2022 Honda Civic prototype

2022 Honda Civic prototype

The Civic has always come well-packaged with a great use of available interior space in door pockets, the center console, seatbacks, and other areas. Cargo volume and passenger space typically top the compact class. Honda did not reveal any details about powertrains and if it will come as a hybrid like the 2021 Toyota Corolla and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. The 2021 Mazda 3 gets a turbocharged engine this year, and we expect turbos to fit in the bays of the 2022 Civic. It seems unlikely that the 6-speed manual transmission returns on any Civic except the Type R. A continuously variable automatic transmission will likely be used.  

The current 2021 Honda Civic is powered by a base 158-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4, an uprated 174-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4, or a 306-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 in the Type R. 

Made in Indiana and Canada, the 2022 Honda Civic sedan will go on sale in late spring 2021. Specs and pricing will be announced before then. 

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