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Kelley Blue Book: Why this sedan and hatch are best buys in compact cars

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The 2022 Honda Civic: Compact car best buy in 2022

All-new sedan and hatchback for 2022

Solid feel, appealing road manners

Sporty by nature

Hatchback deserves its own fan base

Reinforces Honda’s stellar reputation

Pricing starts at $21,900 (plus $1,015 destination charge) 

Value worth believing in

All-new for 2022, the Honda
HMC,
-0.65%

Civic sedan and hatchback fulfill every need — and most of the wishes — of today’s compact-car buyer. So it comes as no shock that after a hard-fought battle, the Honda Civic returns to Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy throne as the best compact car for 2022.

The 2022 Honda Civic: comfortable and easy to drive.

Honda

Whether you need a smart commuter car or a playful runabout, you can find it in the new Civic. A practical Civic sedan fulfills the first need, and the enticing Civic hatchback owns the second, but both body styles can cater to both jobs quite well.

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Honda built the 2022 Civic around two stalwart carryover 4-cylinder engines, a 2.0-liter and a turbocharged 1.5-liter. While the 2.0-liter continues to make 158 horsepower — excellent for a base engine in this class — the 1.5 turbo packs a bit more power than last year. It delivers 180 horsepower in normal guise and a generous 200 horsepower in Si trim. Both engines get continuously variable automatic transmissions, and the hatchback and Si versions are available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Driving any of these in variations, whether it’s a base LX sedan with an automatic transmission or Sport hatchback with a manual gearbox, is no work at all. Vision out is excellent, and the car feels solid and easy to control.

A new version of the superstar of the Honda Civic lineup — the Civic Type R — will be coming next year.

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The 2022 Honda Civic

Honda

Inherent value is a best buy benchmark

With starting prices of $21,900 for the Civic sedan and $22,900 for the hatchback, the 2022 Honda Civic isn’t the cheapest compact car you can lay your hands on. It is, however, easy to make the argument for paying a little more to get a lot.

From the driver’s seat, the interior looks modern and spare, highlighted by the honeycomb metal trim that accents the dash. There’s more room inside than before, and the seats are comfortable even over long drives or repetitious commutes.

Interior materials are all high quality, and the various surfaces that your hands and fingers will land most often all welcome your touch. The solid build quality of things like the center console and armrest are easy to appreciate.

Be sure to read: We compare the 2022 Kia Forte to the Honda Civic

As with all Hondas, adding more comfort and convenience means moving up through higher trim levels. Typical of Civics, however, that’s not a requirement to get a nicely equipped car that answers your wants, including safety features.

The standard Honda Sensing safety suite gives you more than you expect, including smart adaptive cruise control, forward-collision alerts with automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist. This year, Honda Sensing adds traffic-sign recognition and Traffic Jam Assist (which works with the cruise control and lane-keeping systems to let you relax a bit more in stop-and-go traffic).

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Honda comfort food at its best

Until recently, it was a cinch to recommend some Honda products — from cars and motorcycles to lawnmowers — as the best or one of the best. But that’s no longer the slam dunk it used to be, and Honda is realizing it… and responding.

The 2022 Civic lineup delivers a best-of performance of everything we expect of a Honda — easy to drive, comfortable to sit in, confidence-inspiring every day, and engaging when we feel frisky. We demand that quality, reliability, integrity, and value be embedded into its pedigree. We expect top-tier materials and build quality. And we believe that it will hold its resale value over time.

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The all-new Civic embraces all of these values. A lot of challengers are hungry for recognition, and they deserve it. Today, however, the Honda Civic is the best buy in compact cars.

See the methodology for Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Awards at KBB.com.

This story originally ran on KBB.com

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