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Thursday, February 9, 2023

New 2022 Honda Civic: full details of hybrid-only hatchback

Honda’s key European model debut in 2022 is the 11th-generation Civic, which follows 2021’s launch of the US-market saloon version and will be offered exclusively with hybrid power. 

The new Civic, which will appear in five-door hatchback guise to rival cars such as the Ford Focus, new Peugeot 308 and VW Golf, embraces petrol-electric power alone, much like the firm’s Jazz, HR-V and CR-V models have in their latest iterations. The move is part of Honda’s plan to electrify its entire European line-up by 2025. 

The latest Civic will be the first Civic on sale in Britain but not built here since the fifth generation, which was introduced in 1994. Production of the outgoing version at Honda’s Swindon plant ceased in the summer, ending 36 years of car and engine manufacturing in Britain and the EU. 

European versions of the new Mk11 car will be assembled at and exported from Honda’s Japanese factories instead. It will be built on the outgoing Civic’s platform, albeit with upgrades to boost rigidity. 

Full European-spec details of the new Civic hatchback will be announced in the coming months. However, Honda has confirmed that the car won’t arrive on European roads until Autumn 2022.

New 2022 Honda Civic: design and technology 

Honda has revealed only exterior images of the new hatchback so far, although we’re not expecting the European Civic’s interior to be drastically different to the US market car

Unsurprisingly, the external design borrows heavily from that of its saloon sibling, using the same new front end with a more horizontally aligned look than before. 

The nose is squarer and is flanked by flatter LED headlights. The upper grille is smaller, although the grille section on the lower apron grows in size. The position of the A-pillar moves backwards to give the impression of a larger bonnet. 

Moving down the sides, a strong character line runs from the bonnet to the new-look tail-lights, integrated into a sleek, almost fastback-like rear end with a small lip spoiler at the bottom of the windscreen. 

The US-spec interior features a substantial overhaul over the outgoing model’s. With a more minimalist and less cluttered dashboard, there’s also a long, horizontal theme for the dash containing the ventilation controls and other switchgear. 

There’s also a new floating style touchscreen infotainment system. The standard unit is a 7.0-inch unit, rising to 9.0 inches on higher-end versions; all feature wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and, on certain versions, wireless phone charging. 

That combines with a 10.2 inch digital instrument cluster that’s customisable and sits behind a redesigned steering wheel. Entry-level versions of the Civic may use a more conventional instrument cluster with analogue dials. 

Honda has claimed it uses high-quality interior materials in the US-spec car, especially on touchpoints, while the seats have been redesigned too. 

New 2022 Honda Civic: Engines and performance

UK-specific details of the new Civic remain under wraps for now, but Honda has confirmed hybrid-only power. 

Currently, the company offers the Jazz and HR-V with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that’s linked to two electric motors and a small battery pack. In the former model it makes 108bhp, while the latter produces 129bhp. We expect the Civic to feature the higher-output variant.

However, more power is available in Honda’s other hybrid system; the 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit (again linked to a battery and two electric motors) puts out 181bhp. It’s likely this could also be offered as a more performance-focused offering to rival models such as the 2.0-litre hybrid Toyota Corolla, which puts out a very similar 178bhp. 

That’s unlikely to whet the appetite of Type R fans, however, who will be pleased to hear that the hot hatch will be returning, likely towards the end of 2022. Even more importantly to enthusiasts, it’s all but confirmed to retain pure petrol power via an evolved version of today’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo unit. We could see more power than the current model’s 316bhp, too. 

Honda claims a near 20% improvement in torsional rigidity for the new Civic, which is claimed to improve ride and handling as well as performance and refinement. The company also promises it’ll be more fun to drive, with a wider rear track and longer wheelbase boosting stability and comfort, plus new ball joints and bearings in the front suspension. 

In terms of the overall suspension setup, the new Mk11 Civic will make use of a combination of MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear set-up. That’s the same as found on the outgoing Civic. 

Further technical details, as well as pricing, will be unveiled ahead of the car’s arrival.

Now read our list of the Best family cars on sale…

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