2022 Best Overall Car: Honda Civic

The Honda Civic has consistently been Canada’s best-selling passenger car and for good reason. It’s practical, affordable, and tends to be significantly nicer to drive than the competition. It’s also built locally in Ontario. Effectively piling on greatness upon greatness, the overhauled Honda Civic has been voted as AutoTrader’s Best Overall Car for 2022. Improving upon an already-excellent albeit divisively-styled 10th-generation Civic, Honda’s compact sedan is new for this year and brings with it more tech, an immensely usable and minimalist interior, a more sedate exterior, and even better handling.

Taking the title from last year’s victor, the fancier Genesis G70, the Civic garnered the most total votes across multiple non-crossover, non-truck categories from our jury of more than 20 automotive experts from across Canada, meaning it was also voted as the Best Compact Car. AutoTrader judges cars based on 12 distinct criteria: efficiency, quality, safety, design, driver satisfaction, engineering excellence, performance, user-friendliness, tech and features, innovation, value, and overall excellence. Not only is the 2022 Honda Civic a winner in nearly all of those areas but it’s also a car our jurors would confidently recommend to friends, family, and AutoTrader readers.

To further improve drivability, Honda tweaked the new Civic’s steering and suspension, and stiffened up the chassis. After driving it for the first time, I was very impressed by its more refined and fun on-road demeanour.

“The steering feels markedly quicker, more precise, and exhibits a delicacy reminiscent of cars way more expensive and athletic. The stiffer chassis feels lower, tighter, and more compact, though there’s reason to believe the psychological effects of the minimalist interior and big greenhouse had a little bit to do with it, too. As a result, the entire car feels nimbler and lighter than before,” I wrote back in June.

That said, the Civic is way more than just a sporty steed. In terms of style and user experience, the new Honda may not look or feel quite as swanky as the Mazda3, but it isn’t far off, especially when it comes to the interior. Compared to the admittedly prettier Mazda, the Civic is more user-friendly, boasting a touchscreen infotainment system that’s quick and logically laid out. It’s easy to see out of, relatively spacious, and just feels like a solidly built car all around.

“It’s filled with simple shapes, rounded edges, and un-gaudy materials, while tasteful flourishes like the honeycomb vents and those three deliciously clicky, knurled temperature-and-fan knobs keep the place from feeling too stark,” I wrote in my review.

Keeping its occupants secure, the Civic is also equipped with a handful of luxury car-esque safety features standard such as new-generation airbags for the front row that aren’t unlike the ones found in the Acura TLX and MDX, windshield washer nozzles integrated into the wipers, and improved advanced driving aids including the introduction of low-speed braking on the top Touring model.

The 2022 Honda Civic sedan starts at $26,165 after destination. That gets you a base LX car powered by a 2.0-litre, 158-hp four-cylinder featuring a standard seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, push-button and remote start, as well as LED headlights. For $2,300 more ($28,465 total), the EX trim introduces nicer 16-inch alloy wheels instead of the LX’s hubcaps, a moonroof, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control. Pay Honda $29,565, and you’ll get into the slightly more athletic-looking Civic Sport rocking 18-inch wheels, black exterior trimmings, chrome exhaust tips, sport-specific seat covers, pedals, paddle shifters, and a sport driving mode.

If you’d like to experience the Civic at its most luxurious, however, you’re looking at the $31,965 Civic Touring, which uses a 180-hp 1.5-litre turbo and a new 10.2-inch display. Other Touring-only creature comforts include a premium audio system, parking sensors all around, a wireless phone charger, and LED fog lights.

A hatchback version of this Civic is coming soon, as are higher-performing Si and Type R variants, but even in its first-model-year, most basic sedan form, the 2022 Honda Civic is an extremely well-rounded, knockout compact commuter. It’s powered by engines that are more efficient than before, is well made, features a generous host of tech and safety features, is mostly pleasant to look at, very pleasant to drive, and outstandingly easy to make sense of and live with.

In other words, the Honda Civic is a textbook AutoTrader award winner and our Best Overall Car for 2022.