2022 Honda Civic Prototype is a preview of what we can expect from the next-gen Civic.
Substantial changes were made to the Civic Prototype’s exterior and upper body design.
The 11th-generation Civic will introduce multiple new active and passive safety systems.
For an unprecedented amount of time, the Honda Civic has remained the default choice for a solid, reliable, and sporty-driving compact car (albeit always seeming to play second fiddle to the everlasting Toyota Corolla). In my view, the best Civic remains the sixth-gen model from 1995 to 2000. It’s hard to forget those high-revving and high-strung B16A2 and D15 VTEC engines that, given some modest performance upgrades, are powerful enough to outrun sports cars and muscle cars.
In that particular era, Honda’s performance foothold was forever engraved in automotive history, and the Civic was leading the charge. But from the seventh-generation onwards, the Civic leisurely shed its sporting roots, transitioning from the ultimate sleeper (VTEC kicked in, yo!) to a saner mode of transport (not counting the Type R, of course).
2022 Honda Civic Prototype Styling
Compared to the outgoing tenth-gen Civic’s mildly polarizing design cues, the all-new eleventh-gen Civic is a return to form. It has a low and wide stance like its predecessors, and it maintains the low hip point and beltline like Civics of yore, both of which are Civic hallmarks and are responsible for the car’s low seating position.
However, Honda made significant changes to the Civic Prototype’s upper body. The A-pillars were relocated rearward to improve visibility, but it also gives the impression of having a longer hood. Meanwhile, the side mirrors found a new home in the front doors to give the driver a clearer view of the front side windows.
The biggest triumph, however, is the execution of a clean-sheet design. There’s nothing ridiculous in the new Civic’s design elements. It has a standard set of headlights and taillights, while the front clip is tidy and absent of oblique shapes and cut lines. It has a Lexus IS-like rear end, while it closely resembles the all-new Acura TLX from the side given its sloping roofline and rear-oriented greenhouse.
Honda Civic Prototype Interior
Similar to its exterior redesign, the new Honda Civic’s interior is clean as a whistle. For the first time, the Civic is getting an all-digital instrument cluster. The 2022 Honda Civic Prototype also has a nine-inch full HD infotainment touchscreen for controlling audio and navigation.
The dashboard is free from distracting clutter and cut lines. Honda went as far as hiding the air vents behind a honeycomb mesh accent for a tidier look. Again, the interior is reminiscent of the sixth-gen Civic’s cabin with minimal distractions and a low-set instrument panel.
“Civic has always exceeded expectations, and the all-new Civic will continue that legacy of setting the standard for compact cars with human-centered design, outstanding dynamics, style, safety performance, and driver enjoyment,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Advanced Safety Features
Befitting of a modern car, the 2022 Honda Civic is brimming with advanced safety tech. The body is built on top of an optimized version of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) chassis to offer better crash protection for passengers and pedestrians alike.
According to Honda, the new Civic will have an upgraded suite of Honda Sensing driver-assist technologies and new airbag designs.
2022 Honda Civic: When Will It Go On Sale?
We should note that Honda still considers the Civic in prototype form at the moment, but we are expecting a lot of the features (especially the design language) to carry over to the production model. The 2022 Honda Civic sedan arrives in late spring 2021, followed shortly by the Civic Hatchback and sportier Civic Si. It’s a little bit of a wait, but if Honda plays its cards right, it’ll all be worth it.
Production is at Honda’s Greensburg Indiana plant, which will also make the Civic Hatchback for the first time.
And yes, there’s a new Civic Type R in the pipelines, but it probably won’t arrive until later in 2021 or early 2022. Honda has yet to reveal the powertrain options for its all-new, 11th-gen Civic, but I’m explicitly pining for a manual-equipped Civic Si and sportier CVT programming for the Civic sedan. I wish Honda would ditch the CVT in its turbocharged Civics, but that’s just me. The CVT is acceptable for the base naturally-aspirated motor, but a proper six or seven-speed auto gearbox should bode well with Honda’s punchy 1.5-liter turbo engine.
Otherwise, good job, Honda. Let’s show these crossover owners what they’ve been missing.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.