The 2022 Honda Civic Si ditches the previous-generation Si’s two-mode, electronically adaptive suspension in favor of fixed-rate, conventional dampers at all four corners. Why did Honda do away with a feature that delivered both a comfortable ride and capable handling in the affordable, sporty Si variant of the Civic family?
As a refresher, the 2020 Si suspension’s two settings were Normal and Sport. Selecting one or the other would electronically adjust the dampers, changing their behavior. Normal mode was softer and gentler, perfect for your everyday drive. Sport was geared toward sharper-edged responses and delivered a firmer ride. As it turns out, not everyone liked the Sport settings, per Carl Pulley, Spokesman for Honda of America Western Region. So, while the technology certainly improved the old Civic Si’s chassis, Honda says customers didn’t find much use in the two-mode system’s, um, second mode.
The Customer Is Always Right
“Customer feedback was that most didn’t use the modes and many found the ride too harsh in Sport mode,” Pulley revealed to MotorTrend. The 2022 Si and the rest of the Honda Civic lineup also features a far more rigid unibody. That meant that just removing the electronics from the original dampers wasn’t going to cut it.
Said Pulley, “The changes to the standard suspension greatly reduced suspension shock over hard-edged bumps. Meanwhile, the [Civic’s] longer wheelbase allowed the engineers to tune the suspension to align with the previous Sport setting for body control during more aggressive driving but with a far more compliant ride.” Now, Si buyers will enjoy the best of both of the previous Si’s suspension worlds.
Oh, and the Steering’s Better, Too
However, it wasn’t just the suspension that needed some tweaking over the 2022 Honda Civic Si. The steering and how it feels also needed changes. Speaking with Pulley about that, he said, “The steering [effort] is slightly heavier than the previous generation Si.” With an additional “Individual” mode made into the settings, you’re now able to tailor the steering feel to your liking, alongside individual settings for the throttle response.
Unfortunately, we can’t offer exact technical specifications about the suspension yet. Honda has yet to release them but they will be coming soon. The 2022 Si is going to be fairly similar to the last-gen Si, at least mechanically—it uses the same engine, transmission, and basic platform as before—but for those simpler dampers.
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