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March 3, 2022

What's Up With The 2022 Honda Civic's Variant Names?

When Honda launched the all-new 2022 Civic last November, there was something that caught the attention of long-time fans of the brand, and it had nothing to do with the VTEC Turbo engine or the Honda SENSING. Instead, it had to do something with the variant names.

Not escaping eagle-eyed fans, they noticed that Honda Cars Philippines changed their variant nomenclature with the Civic. The most recent time the S and V grades were attached to the Civic nameplate was with the eighth-generation model way back in 2005. At the time, V was the entry-level model, S signified the mid-grade variant, and the S-L with its 2.0-liter engine being the range-topper.

By the time the ninth-generation Civic rolled into the country in 2012, Honda, changed it again. While S was still the entry-level model, the E became the mid-grade model, and the EL the top-of-the-line. Then, when it was time to introduce the tenth-generation model, the variants were tossed into the mixture yet again. With the E serving as the entry-level variant and the turbocharged RS as the flagship (in 2019, they added back the S to the line-up).

Now with the eleventh-generation Civic, Honda is reversing course, and brought back the S and V variant names along with the RS. So, what gives?

Well, according to Atty. Louie Soriano, General Manager of Sales for Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI), the decision to bring back the S and V is down to their plan to standardize variant names across their line-up. And that was spearheaded by no less than Masahiko Nakamura, the current President and General Manager of HCPI.

Realizing that there’s been confusion on what S, V, E, EL, and RS stands for, Nakamura-san, together with the rest of the HCPI team decided instead to make the S variant Honda’s entry-level model. This is then followed by V as the mid-grade model, and if applicable, RS. If that particular model doesn’t have a dedicated RS trim like the Accord or CR-V, then the team can append a different letter. Oh, and additional features like a turbo engine and Honda SENSING also appear as part of the official model designation too, in case you need to ask.

So basically, the modern naming convention works like this: Honda + Model + Variant + Engine + Transmission + Honda SENSING.

This trend may have caught the attention of Civic fans first, but a closer look at HCPI’s line-up shows that they’ve been doing it already with the BR-V (S, V) Brio (S, V, RS) and the City (S, V, RS). Currently, the HR-V and CR-V have been caught in a state of flux, but expect as the all-new models roll in, they’ll likely get the same S, V, and RS trim names as well (in the case of the CR-V, since there’s no confirmed RS trim as of now, it may get V-X to signify all-wheel drive). On a side note, hopefully, they don’t call is RS-X because that’s the North American name of the fourth-generation Honda Integra.


Honda fans already know what RS means in Honda-speak (spoiler alert: it’s Road Sailing). But when asked what S and V means, S apparently means “Standard,” and V means “Value.” Well, how about that. The more you know.


  1. HCPI's naming conventions are as confused as their product planning. There's a huge, yawning gap between the TOTL City RS at 1.05M & the Civic S at almost 1.3M. Ideally, the buyer should be able to cross-shop between a fully-loaded, smaller car & a barebones, but larger one. The Civic lineup needs a cheaper 1.8L or 2.0L NA base model at around 1.15M.

  2. True. Not everyone needs or likes a turbo engine. I'd upgrade my 10th gen Civic E in a heartbeat if there will be an 11th gen variant with a 1.8 NA engine. Oks lang even if without the Honda Sensing ;p Sort of like, the package of a CR-V 2.0S gas that has "most" of the features of a CR-V 1.6S diesel.

  3. @7:09 and 12:33PM

    Just a few thoughts:

    - Don’t worry. If you feel that something is not for you, you are simply not their target market. Applies to everything, may it be siomai or civic.

    - Civic has its own following. People love it. It used to be everyone's first car, but nowadays for people who are in the market for a 1M car, they would choose a crossover, not a sedan. Ever since the last decade began, people's preference leans on crossovers and SUVs. Civic nameplate has grown and matured and it no longer needs to compete that way.

    - Despite its strong fanbase, how should it compete and grow its following? Performance and new features. Hence 1.5 turbo and Honda Sensing.

    - Small displacement engine plus turbo ideally targets strict emission regulations globally. Don't you want high standards here? I really don't think there's wrong with a turbo.

    - It seems that HCPI made 1.5 turbo as standard to avoid the perception that the 2.0 has the more premium feel. (You might have that perception too.) Also, having few parts production bring in = more expensive parts price to customers. This would defeat having an "affordable" variant.

    - With our crappy taxations system (based on car price, not engine specs), a 1.15M 2.0L Civic will not deliver a true 11th gen experience. You'd rather get a 2nd hand 10th gen. And a lot will be lost from the current spec sheet too. It has to prove to its true followers that the 11th gen is a real step up.

    Just want to ask: what upgrades would you prefer over turbo and Honda sensing? Just the looks?


  4. Chinese are usual poor with this. Naming cars, naming their upgrades and variants. This is the case for cell phones and cars nameplates or grades. Letters (S,V,E,GLX,S-X,i) are gone (usage and chrome decals), hello words instead (Executive, Premium, Elite, Trend, Sports, Urban) A few Japanese or American brands are joining this trend.


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