Honda Civic retains value-based image

The ’22 Honda Civic is a refined compact four-door sedan. (Bud Wells photos))

The 2022 Honda Civic Touring sedan, in its new, 11th-generation form, was delivered this month (August 2021).

The Civic continues high in popularity, along with its rival Toyota Corolla, while compact, midsize and full-size four-doors are dropping from the sales charts all over the place. The latest is the Toyota Avalon, which will be discontinued after the 2022 model year, and its competitor, the Chrysler 300 is rumored to be near the end of its 17-year run.

It was many years ago when Reuben Jensen, a Nebraska boy who rose to position of executive vice president of General Motors, more than once said to me, “The public will perceive the value every time.”

Of course, in his days General Motors was selling half the new cars in this country, so it was apropos to repeat the statement.

Value placement in the Civic for the first seven months of this year is to the tune of 181,274 sales. And the Corolla? 181,309 sales. Of the combined 362,000 sales, Corolla has outsold Civic by 35.

Honda sees no end to the long-popular Civic, a nameplate dating back almost 50 years.

The Civic Touring review model, with leather-trimmed seats/Bose sound/wireless phone charger, comes in below $30,000 at $29,690. Lesser-priced trims start at $22,695 for the LX, $24,095 for the Sport and $25,695 for the EX.

Performance is satisfactory and fairly smooth with the 180-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission with paddle-shifters. Use of sport mode lends a more normal step-shift feel to the CVT. Base engine for the lower trim levels is a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder of 158 hp and CVT transmission.

The ’22 model is .4-inch longer in wheelbase, almost an inch longer in overall length at 183.3, and has a wider rear track of 61.6 inches (the front track remains at 60.5).

Highlighting a redesigned interior is a honeycomb-mesh design that, while somewhat hiding the HVAC vents, spreads across the full width of the dashboard and into the door panels.

The Civic’s all-around vision is among the best available today, thanks to low-positioned hood and cowl, a flat dash, expanded glass area and “out-of-sight” windshield wipers. The open-greenhouse continues along side windows and pillars and at the rear window, save for a bump at the center bottom for a third brake light. A glance into the rearview mirror can mistake the small blockage as a close-following auto.

Trunk space in the new Civic is 14.4 cubic feet, much roomier than the 13.1 cubic feet in the Toyota Corolla.

Overall fuel-mileage average was 34.2; the Civic’s EPA estimate is 31/38 mpg. The model was built in Alliston, Ontario, Canada.

Honda Sensing safety items included in the $28,695 price are adaptive cruise, collision-mitigation braking, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation and traffic-jam assist.