May 30, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2022 Honda Civic RS

Regained, Secured, and Celebrated

I am excited to report that the 11th-generation Honda Civic has completely reestablished itself as the gold standard for its class. The all-new design, packaging, and equipment builds on the fundamental elements set by its outgoing predecessor.

For our Philippine market, in my book, the last standard issue Honda Civic that was not a Type-R and “had it all” even if it actually did not as it did not have standard ABS, was the high-revving 8000 rpm 6th generation 160 bhp Si-R with the first generation VTEC B16A engine. Yes, Honda Philippines has released strong Civic standard models through the years but none of them come close in totality to what I think is the greatest of them all, this all-new model which has also grown so large that it could have been reclassified as a midsize sedan instead of a compact if the entire segment did not evolve as well. Having said that, the new Civic is the most spacious and most complete car in its segment now riding on a new chassis with a wheelbase and cabin volume that rivals that of a 6th generation Honda Accord.

The new Civic is tested here in its top-spec RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING trim in Platinum White Pearl exterior paint. It sells for P75,000.00 more than its equivalent outgoing RS model at P1,690,000.00. There is a mid-spec V Turbo variant that sells for P1,498,000.00 with enough standard equipment to also best the top-spec outgoing model, followed by the S Turbo entry model at P1,290,000.00. Keep in mind that all three variants share the same new more potent powerplant, brakes, suspension, and transmission combined with the remarkable standard updated comprehensive Honda SENSING safety suite (Adaptive Cruise Control, Low Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam, and Lead Car Departure Notification). With the new calibrations, the system engages with more natural brake application and quicker reactions with the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) while the steering action is more linear and organic when the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) functions.

With the addition of eight sonar sensors, the Civic now also has the ability to prevent front and rear false-starts. Even the airbags are all new, in fact, so new that they are supposed to be a world’s first application of a design to better reduce conditions associated with brain injury by better controlling head motions in certain types of crashes. The new system attempts to address the recently recognized issue of severe brain trauma associated with angled frontal collisions. The front driver’s airbag uses an innovative donut-shaped structure to cradle and hold the head to reduce rotation. The passenger-side front airbag uses a three-chamber design to achieve a similar result, with two outer chambers designed to cradle and control head rotation.

The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure with more pronounced applications of aluminum, various grades of high-strength steel, and an expanded use of structural adhesives in the new Civic has been profoundly enhanced to include improved occupant protection in angled frontal collisions, with a new upper A-pillar structure, side frame and lower firewall structure—all designed to route crash energy around the cabin. Side impact protection has also been improved, with stiffer structures in the roof, side sill, B-pillar, doors, the rear wheel arch and C-pillar further supported by Civic-first rear seat side airbags. The new Civic body structure is the most rigid in Civic history, with an 8 % improvement in torsional rigidity and 13 % improvement in bending rigidity versus the previous generation. The final result for everyday functionality is an astoundingly quiet, nimble, and solid ride.

The all-new chassis was tuned for heightened responsiveness and driver enjoyment. The handling is crisp and precise with optimal insulation from road harshness. The front MacPherson struts feature new low-friction ball joints and front damper mount bearings to enhance steering feel and self-centering, and the spring and damper alignment has been further optimized to minimize operational friction. The rear track is 0.5-inch wider for enhanced stability, with a new larger compliance bushing with an improved bushing axis to minimize harshness. The two rear lower arms of the multilink suspension are equipped with a new bushing that reduces noise and vibration inside the cabin by 20%, while also promoting better straight-line stability and turn in. The electronic power steering has also been setup to provide better feedback and improved straight-line stability, the reduction in yaw delay leads to a more responsive and synchronized feeling behind the wheel.

The carried over brake sizes may seem modest on paper, but they function brilliantly. The new lower-drag front brake calipers and low-friction front and rear wheel bearings reduce rolling resistance and help improve fuel economy ratings. An all-new and lighter aluminum front subframe with an efficient truss and rib structure provides more rigidity and stability. The authentic dual exhaust system also has a new lightweight flex tube that decreases noise transfer.

The revised new CVT (continuously variable transmission) is the strongest argument yet for the often-criticized mode of power management. I have no negative comments at all, it works expertly. I never felt wanting, on the contrary I was only frustrated that I couldn’t drive the Civic RS on longer distances over a much longer period of time. I am relieved that I did not pull the trigger on the last 201 bhp Kia Forte GT sold in the country last year, this all-new Honda Civic RS is vastly superior even if it isn’t as quick. The Honda’s CVT performs so well that I did not miss the 7-speed dual-clutch of the Kia. The Civic RS actually has an engaging sport mode as part of its three drive modes exclusive to the model. The revised CVT enhances fuel efficiency by using a more robust electric hydraulic pump which reduces the load on the mechanical pump, and a ball-bearing secondary shaft to reduce friction. Also, the transmission has been programmed to provide early downshifts during braking and features revised Step-Shift programming that simulates physical gear changes under hard acceleration for a more familiar and enjoyable driving experience.

The new exterior design is a huge improvement over the outgoing model. I think it looks better than its larger Accord sibling. Importantly, the rich interior design of the new cabin matches the classy exterior appearance. I think the new Honda Civic is exceedingly at its absolute finest inside and out. I love the honeycomb dash trim (the intricate flow-through design conceals the air vents) combined with the tactile control knobs beautifully executed with knurled edges. The black leather with contrasting red-stitched suede seats is fairly simply designed in contrast to the dashboard but they are very comfortable and supportive (the front seats use Honda’s Body Stabilizing Seat approach, the new-generation seat frame firmly holds the body, enhancing comfort on long drives). The piano black trim and soft materials on the dashboard and steering wheel are all tasteful. But wait, there is so much more!

The new Honda Civic RS has a very long list of very desirable standard equipment that includes ambient interior lighting, an excellent 10.2-inch fully digital instrument display cluster (the high-definition full-color LCD panel displays a variety of information, all customizable from the steering wheel. The custom modes include showing gauges in a traditional round needle-and-dial, or bar graphs flanking the left and right of the screen. In the middle is a variety of user-selectable information, such as the current music selection and a trip computer, with the center of the display used to indicate the status of various Honda Sensing® safety and driver assistive systems. In a surprise-and-delight feature, the brake lights, headlights and turn signals of the displayed Civic vehicle image turn on and off with those functions), automatic door locks, automatic rain sensing wipers, a 15W Qi-compatible wireless phone charger, a crisp 9-inch touchscreen (with a 0.8-inch finger rest making it easier to use the touchscreen by providing a stable surface to rest your hand) infotainment system with Navigation, Android Auto™ and Wireless Apple CarPlay® connectivity, guided multi-view rear parking camera, full-LED signature lighting on both ends that include front LED fog lamps, model-specific RS Design (Black Door Mirrors, Antenna and Spoiler) trim, aluminum pedals, dual-zone climate control with rear seat vents, USB ports, and a fabulous Honda Civic-first 540-watt Bose® premium sound system with 12 speakers, custom equalization and advanced digital signal processing!

Compared to its predecessor, the all-new Civic has a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase (the body is longer by 1.3-inches with the same width and height) which benefits the rear passengers significantly and allowed the cabin to be optimized in every way. The new Civic is astoundingly more mature and upscale in direct comparison. Along with the revisions to the transmission and every dynamic component, the 1.5-liter direct injection turbo engine gained a bit more power and efficiency (up 6 bhp and 15 lb.-ft. of torque via more efficient turbo plumbing, the addition of more lively variable timing and lift electronic control to the exhaust valves, and ECU tuning) to compensate for the increase of weight of approximately 120 pounds due to the increased proportions and new equipment. Yet, it is quicker, faster, and more fuel efficient while being considerably more comfortable.

The mean-looking new 18×8 alloys are once again shod with excellent Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/40R18 95Y tires and they perform even better now with the new suspension setup and longer wheelbase. The Honda Civic was once the standard bearer for being the most desirable and most dynamic compact in the Philippine market. It is precisely that now once again and way more. The 2022 Honda Civic RS features exceptional visibility, intuitive ergonomics, extraordinary passenger volume, driver-focused technology, elevated refinement, complete packaging, and hugely entertaining. It has all the endearing dynamic performance of the past combined with new real-world functionality. It has no equal in our market.

Specification – 2022 Honda Civic RS

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front, Transverse

Displacement: 1498 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, VTEC

Fuel Injection: Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo

Max power: 176 bhp @ 6000 rpm

Max torque: 177 lb-ft @ 1700-4500 rpm

Transmission: CVT with manual-shifting mode, Front Wheel Drive

Front suspension: Independent MacPherson struts with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers, performance damper and stabilizer bar.

Rear suspension: Independent Multi-link type with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers, performance damper and stabilizer bar.

Fuel Capacity: 47 liters (12.4 gallons)

Ground Clearance: 134 mm

Load Capacity: 408 liters

L x W x H: 4678 mm x 1802 mm x 1415 mm

Wheelbase: 2735 mm

Brakes: Front 11.1-inch (282 mm) ventilated discs 1-piston calipers / Rear 10.2-inch (259 mm) solid discs with 1-piston calipers Integrated Electric Parking Brake, ABS, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, HAS, EBD, BA, Honda Sensing® Technology Suite.

Wheels: 18”x 8J RS Matte Black Alloys

Tires: P235/40R18 95Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4

Weight: (kerb) 1337 kg. (2941 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.5 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 211 km/h (132 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 31 mph City / 38 mpg Highway (8.5 km/L Overall)

Price as tested: PhP 1,690,000.00

C! RATING 10/10

+Newest and Greatest Honda Civic, great blend of athleticism and comfort, classy poise inside and out, very enjoyable ride and handling, complete packaging.

I don’t own one. Coming Si and Type-R models are surely going to be incredible.

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