Living considerably within the shadow of the razor sharp Honda Civic Type R and competing immediately with the wonderful Volkswagen GTI, the standard Honda Civic Si has kind of flown beneath the radar since its debut in 2017. But in reality, the Civic Si is an exceptionally well-balanced and fascinating sport compact — one in every of my favorites on this class. On high of that, it is also an ideal price range efficiency choose.
LikeTurbo engine matches good midrange torque with high-rev thrillsHandling is exact and fascinatingThe 2020 mannequin is simpler to reside with due to new driver-aid and cabin tech
Don’t LikeNo onboard navigation choiceHonda LaneWatch isn’t any substitution of true blind-spot monitoring
This 12 months, the 2020 Si will get the ol’ mid-cycle refresh with revisions to the outside and inside design, enhancements to its suite of normal driver-assistance options and some efficiency tweaks.The little turbo that couldPeek underhood and you will find the Si is powered by a 1.5-liter, turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine producing 205 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Now, 1.5-liters could sound a bit small, however the the peppy little engine boasts very wholesome midrange torque — with peak twisting pressure approaching as little as 2,100 rpm — and a pleasant willingness to fortunately swing the tachometer as much as its 6,500-rpm limiter time and time once more. Sure, it is at an influence and torque drawback to its fiercest foe, the VW GTI, however the Si isn’t any much less thrilling as soon as the revs begin constructing.
The thrill of the engine is enhanced by some of the satisfying six-speed handbook transmissions on the street as we speak. The gearbox is tremendous exact with a shifter that nearly magnetically slides into place with every brief throw. Gear adjustments are accompanied by a lightweight clutch — nice for low-fatigue commuting and stop-and-go creeping — with wonderful pedal placement for straightforward heel-and-toe blips.The 2020 Civic Si’s transmission options revised gearing with a shorter final-drive ratio than final 12 months. The result’s improved acceleration and higher throttle responsiveness, however comes at the price of barely increased revs — and a hair extra drone — when freeway cruising. Overall, the brand new gearing looks like a greater match for the 1.5T and the Si’s efficiency objectives.
The handbook transmission is the one gearbox accessible to Si consumers; there is no such thing as a automated or dual-clutch choice. I’m completely pleased with that — the Si’s six-speed is about as excellent as I might ask for — however this may understandably come as a little bit of dangerous information to people who cannot or do not need to drive a handbook.
Precision handlingA limited-slip differential is normal on the Si, serving to to handle traction between the contact patches on the entrance wheels. The Si rides on a set of 18-inch wheels shod in 235-millimeter broad all-season tires, although it’s also possible to go for summer time tires. A $673 add-on, summer time tires are a must-get for Si consumers, as they enhance the efficiency significantly and are a incredible worth for the cash. (Note: According to Honda’s shopper web site, the summer time tire price ticket has gone as much as $673 from the unique $200, which is what it value on the time I filmed the video overview. Even so, it is nonetheless a fairly whole lot.)The ultimate piece of the efficiency puzzle is the suspension, which consists of a MacPherson strut entrance and multilink rear mixture with adaptive dampers in any respect 4 corners. The dampers are in a position to go from agency to hella agency on the contact of a Sport button close to the shifter turret.The Si’s experience is a stiff one, however by no means harsh. The steering has a superb weight to it and a fascinating really feel that makes the game compact come alive in your arms. Like the powertrain, the chassis tune is exact, giving me nice management and suggestions by each section of a flip — from the braking to nailing the apex to transitioning again into acceleration.Summer tires are a $673 upcharge. Get them.
As I discussed, the Si is down on energy relative to the GTI, however the best way it tackled corners feels a lot extra exact and fascinating that, on the road — the place the enjoyment of every nook and crest is much extra necessary than specs — I actually do not care. I really feel emboldened to hold extra velocity by a flip with the Honda, which appears lighter on its toes, and this makes up for any lack of torque. On the monitor, it’d in all probability be a special story, however time assaults and lap battles are extra the Type R’s area, anyway.What else is new for 2020?The remainder of the updates to the Si are new options and tweaks shared with the remainder of the 10th-generation Honda Civic household.There are new normal driver-assistance options beginning with forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking. On the freeway, adaptive cruise management makes lengthy cruises extra enjoyable by sustaining a set following distance behind a lead automotive whereas lane-keeping steering help helps maintain compact between painted lane markers and warns in the event you drift out of your lane or over the sting of the street.My favourite security addition is the brand new set of LED headlamps with automated excessive beams that activate on darkish roads and mechanically dip to forestall dazzling oncoming visitors. My least favourite continuance is Honda’s LaneWatch system — a passenger aspect digicam that prompts on the press of a button or when the flip sign is activated. I’d a lot relatively have an precise blind-spot monitoring system watching either side of the automotive, however I suppose LaneWatch is healthier than nothing.The 7-inch Display Audio system is identical. The quantity knob, nonetheless, is new.
Front and middle within the dashboard is an up to date, 7-inch model of Honda’s Display Audio infotainment system. Make certain you deliver your cellphone alongside for the experience to reap the benefits of the usual Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as a result of there is no such thing as a OEM navigation choice accessible for the Si. As I choose Android Auto over virtually each onboard infotainment at this value level, I do not thoughts this setup, however nonetheless, it bears mentioning.Smaller tweaks that you could be miss are the brand new quantity knob — which replaces the outdated and awkward capacitive slider — together with extra bodily buttons and shortcuts for infotainment and local weather management capabilities. On high of that, the brand new Civic has improved Bluetooth pairing and smoother general system efficiency. The steering wheel thumb controls have additionally been revised, the seats have been up to date and the remainder of the cabin receives a small visible refresh for this new half-generation. Oh, and the cupholders are larger now, too.Pricing and competitorsThe 2020 Honda Civic Si is accessible in coupe and sedan configurations. Personally, I choose the look and utility of the sedan; rear doorways could be very useful. With the identical wheelbase and fewer than 20 kilos of curb weight distinction, efficiency is definitely equivalent both method you go. Pricing can be equivalent, beginning at $26,195 (together with a $995 vacation spot cost) whether or not you choose two doorways or 4.The value is identical whether or not you select two doorways or 4.
There aren’t many choices on the desk for the well-equipped Si, however I’d suggest you fork over the additional 673 bucks for summer time tires, bringing you to a really helpful value of $26,868. That’s about on par with what you’ll count on to pay for the softer-around-the-middle Jetta GLI. A less-refined however hell-of-a-lot-more-fun choice is the brand new Hyundai Veloster N, which begins just below $29,000.However, it is no shock that the Civic Si’s fiercest rival can be its oldest: the Volkswagen GTI. The VW is extra of a premium automotive with nicer cabin supplies, an accessible dual-clutch automated transmission, a bigger 8-inch display screen with onboard navigation, a digital instrument cluster and extra. Plus, it is a hatchback, which I like. However, the Honda begins at about $2,000 lower than the GTI — which may virtually value itself proper out of this class, in the event you’re not cautious.The Honda Civic Si — a sport compact legend in its personal proper — continues to shine as a wonderful performer and a very good efficiency worth, and the 2020 mannequin 12 months will get even higher.