The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback provides 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback provides 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. (Manufacturer photo)

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback is a stunner, just like the sedan

Both versions are sleek and sporty, but only the hatchback offers the choice of a manual gearbox.

Honda enlivens 2022 with an all new version of its immortal Civic hatchback. Designers were wizards in creating a hatchback from the stunning 2022 Civic sedan introduced earlier this year. Unless closely inspected, the hatchback looks just like the sedan. It’s a stunning hatchback.

The 2022 Honda Civic hatchback is available in LX, Sport, EX-L, and Sport Touring trim levels. Here are some highlights for each model, with pricing that includes a $1,015 destination charge:

Civic Hatchback LX: $23,915. The engine for this base model is a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Standard features include a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, push-button start, partial digital instrumentation, LED headlights, and a split fold-down rear seat. Cargo space behind the rear seat is a copious 24.5 cubic feet. Fuel economy ratings are 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined.

Civic Hatchback Sport: $25,115. It’s powered by the same four-cylinder engine as the LX, but offers the choice of a six-speed manual transmission at no extra cost. A new Sport driving mode is standard with the CVT. Gloss Berlina Black 18-inch wheels are standard along with low-profile 235/40R-18 tires and black exterior accents. Sport’s added standard interior features include an eight-speaker audio system, Sport-specific seating surfaces, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, paddle shifters (CVT only) and sport pedals. Fuel economy ratings are 29/37/32 mpg with a CVT, and 26/36/29 mpg for the six-speed manual.

Civic Hatchback EX-L: $27,615. Starting with this trim level, the standard engine is a more powerful and refined 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a CVT retuned for better response and drivability. A manual transmission is not available. The engine makes 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque using regular unleaded gasoline. Blind-spot monitoring, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, a one-touch power sliding moonroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control are all standard equipment. Fuel economy ratings are 31/39/35 mpg.

Civic Hatchback Sport Touring: $30,415. The top-of-the line model comes standard with the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a CVT, with a six-speed manual transmission available as an option at no extra cost. LED fog lights, machine-finished 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, low speed braking control, and rear cross-traffic alert are standard features. Inside, the Sport Touring gets a Bose premium audio system and a new 9-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. An all-digital and customizable 10.2-inch instrument display is standard, along with wireless phone charging, dual rear 2.5-amp USB charging points and a four-way power passenger seat. Fuel economy ratings are 30/37/33 mpg with a CVT, and 28/37/31 mpg with a manual transmission.

The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback interior is a designer achievement. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback interior is a designer achievement. (Manufacturer photo)

I drove the Sport Touring with manual transmission. Manual transmissions are becoming scarcer and scarcer in new cars, and as we reach critical mass, the Civic’s excellent six-speed should be among the few still standing. Its operation is easy, buttery smooth (olive oil smooth if you’re a vegan) and such fun you’ll shift gears more than necessary just for enjoyment. The new Civic hatchback is an enthusiastic hugger of roads, quite a nice conveyance on the twisty backroads of Snohomish and Island counties.

The only extra-charge option on my test car was Sonic Gray Pearl paint ($395) that looked bluish to me. But I don’t have keen vision and usually rely on echolocation, so maybe the color really was gray. In any case, it looked lovely.

Styling inside the Civic hatchback is another designer achievement. At a time when capacitive controls are taking over and physical controls are disappearing, brave Honda designers scoffed at trendiness and gave the Civic hatchback bold rotary knobs for the climate control system. An attractive honeycomb metal panel runs horizontally along the dash, with smaller knobs protruding for air vent adjustment. Volume control is another knob, but why-oh-why did they stop short of a tuning knob?

Generous space is omnipresent inside the Civic hatchback. Even rear-seat passengers have enough room to stretch out. The spacious cargo area was already mentioned above, but there’s one final touch: A flexible but sturdy retractable cover pulls out horizontally to provide 100-percent concealment of any items in the cargo hold. And the cover has a large sturdy handgrip that makes pulling it into place a snap.

It takes a close-up look to realize the all new 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback really is a hatchback. (Manufacturer photo)

It takes a close-up look to realize the all new 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback really is a hatchback. (Manufacturer photo)

2022 HONDA CIVIC HATCHBACK SPORT TOURING

Base price, including destination charge: $30,415

Price as driven: $30,810

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

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