The all-new 2022 Honda Civic is finally here in Malaysia. This is now the 11th-generation of the legendary nameplate, codenamed the FE, and for us it represents a big leap forward for the model.
For the very first time in Malaysia, all Civic models get a VTEC Turbo engine, as well as Honda Sensing as standard. And of course, we’re getting the RS version of the Civic, too. Let’s start with the price first. The 2022 Honda Civic now starts from RM125,635 for the base E variant, RM138,043 for the V, while the range-topping RS goes for RM144,350.
Compared to the outgoing Civic FC, the new FE’s base price has gone up by about RM16,000, but of course, you are now getting the turbo engine and Sensing as standard. But even the RS is now around RM10,000 more expensive than the previous flagship. Anyway, that’s still significantly cheaper than the Mazda 3, spec for spec, so there’s that.
As for looks, this is a big departure from the previous Civic. It’s definitely less exciting and sporty now, but instead, it looks more mature, more solid than before. It’s less boy-racer as well, and we do like the new look. It’s more classy, more European than Japanese.
One thing we can appreciate is the FE’s better proportions. It looks more like a proper sedan now, instead of having a sloping roofline like a hatchback. At the same time, they’ve kept it interesting with a small kink at the window line. Clever design, this.
Round the back, it can pass off as a Volkswagen or an Audi. It’s more square cut, way more mature in design than the previous model. Some of us at the team actually prefer this cleaner look, but your opinion may vary. To each their own, right?
The range topping RS model stands out with the badges, the black headlight inserts, as well as blacked out side mirrors, door handles and window frame. The wheels are bigger too at 18 inches, with a very sporty, almost JDM aftermarket design to it. The tyres are the same Michelin Pilot Sport 4 as before.
At the back, there’s a large boot lid spoiler that looks like it came out of a BMW M Performance catalogue, plus visible twin tailpipes with chrome finishers too.
Non RS variants don’t really look all that different, but of course with chrome rather than black inserts. The wheels are smaller too – 17 inchers for the V and tiny 16s for the base E. The E loses out on front foglamps too, which is a shame, especially with the big price increase.
Size-wise, the new Civic is now almost 4.7 metres-long, and it’s longer, wider and taller than the FC, while the wheelbase is 33 mm longer than before. Weight is actually up by around 50 kg, but Honda claims that the new chassis is now between 8% to 13% more rigid than before.
One unique feature on the new Civic is the Smart Wiper System. The washer nozzles are directly mounted on the wiper arms, so they clean the screen better, while using less fluid. This is standard across the range, but unfortunately only the RS has automatic wipers.
Inside, the new Civic is a revelation. If you were to cover up the badges and guess what brand this is, some would have guessed either Volkswagen or Audi, seriously. Again, this is a much classier, more minimalist design than what we’re used to with Honda, in a good way of course. Perceived quality is also quite good, with soft-touch materials used on the top half of the dashboard and the door cards.
The thing you’ll notice the most are the air-con vents hidden behind the honeycomb mesh strip. You control the airflow with a joystick, and we think it both looks good and works well too.
But, speaking of the air-con, it has to be mentioned that the climate control system has been downgraded from a dual-zone unit to a single-zone now. But, at the same time, it’s very easy to use with these three large knobs with a quality feel to them.
For infotainment, there is a nine-inch touchscreen display with the same interface as the latest Accord. Also, more importantly, it supports wireless Apple CarPlay, which is fantastic news. Android Auto still requires a cabled connection, though.
What’s missing is a wireless phone charger, which is a peculiar decision. Especially with wireless CarPlay, your iPhone’s battery will constantly be draining, unless you plug it up, which then defeats the purpose of having a wireless connection in the first place. That’s a weird call.
Another questionable spec choice is the semi-digital instrument cluster here, which is standard across the range. This is similar to the ones fitted on the City Hybrid, which does work quite well, but it’s not the more advanced, full digital instrumentation that our neighbours in Thailand get.
One last thing that Malaysians miss out on is the fancy Smart Key Card, but at least we still get remote engine start and walk away auto lock as standard. Other than that, the Civic has steering paddle shifters, electronic parking brake and for the first time, a driving mode switch. The new Sport mode adjusts the CVT to a more aggressive shift pattern, while increasing steering weight, too.
As for seating, the RS gets a leather and suede combination with sporty red stitching, while the V gets full black leather instead. The base E is downgraded to fabric upholstery and fully manual driver’s seat, compared to the eight-way power adjustable seat in the V and RS. Headlining is also all black for the RS, and plain grey for the rest.
At the back, as to be expected from a Civic, it’s pretty spacious. Hafriz is 167 cm tall, and in the video, you can clearly see copious amounts of legroom and headroom left available. Our 180 cm-tall colleague fits in quite well, too.
With the new Civic’s longer wheelbase, the engineers have managed to make the seat backrest angled by one additional degree, which makes it more comfortable for longer journeys. Also, as an upgrade over the Thai model, our version of the Civic comes with rear air-con vents. Thank goodness!
For boot volume, the new Civic offers 497 litres of space. That is pretty respectable for the class, although it’s actually around 20 litres less than the mighty old Civic FC. Still, it will swallow four suitcases with ease, and you can fold the seats down for more room, of course.
Under the bonnet is Honda’s familiar 1.5 litre four-cylinder VTEC Turbo engine, now making 182 PS and 240 Nm of torque. That’s an increase of 9 PS and 20 Nm from before. The transmission is the same as before – an Earth Dreams CVT that powers the front wheels, but both the engine and gearbox have been revised to offer better performance and quicker response.
As for actual performance, it depends on the variant you choose. The base E gets from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds, while the V takes 8.4 seconds. The RS, despite looking the sportiest, is actually the slowest in the range, taking 8.5 seconds to 100 km/h. That’s all due to the larger wheels and extra weight. Fuel consumption is affected too – the E and V are claimed to average at around 6.0 litres per 100 km, while the RS takes it up to 6.3 litres per 100.
On to safety. All three variants get the full Honda Sensing advanced driver assist system as standard, so you now get autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control with low speed follow, lane keeping assist with lane centring. This is full Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, and there’s also auto high beam.
Instead of using a combination of a radar and camera like before, the new generation Honda Sensing relies solely on a single wide camera up front for all the active systems. Honda claims that it is more effective than the previous setup, as well as systems from its competitors.
That’s not all, though. New to the Civic FE is the Lead Car Departure Notification System, which alerts you if you fail to react to the car ahead when moving in a traffic jam. And yes, it’s similar to Perodua’s system.
Honda LaneWatch is still here, as Honda says it works better for our market because it can detect motorbikes more clearly compared to a normal blind spot monitoring system. Six airbags and electronic stability control are standard, so overall, Honda is again setting new standards for safety for the Malaysian market. Well done, Honda Malaysia.
So, that’s the all-new 2022 Honda Civic, now available for the Malaysian market. What do you think about the looks, price and specs of the 11th-generation Civic? And how do you rate it against the old Civic FC? Let us know in the comments section!
GALLERY: 2022 Honda Civic RS
GALLERY: 2022 Honda Civic V
GALLERY: 2022 Honda Civic official photos