July 10, 2020


Connecting People

2020 Honda Civic Si review: A top pick for budget performance

Dwelling to some degree in the shadow of the razor-sharp Honda Civic Sort R and competing immediately with the exceptional Volkswagen GTI, the humble Honda Civic Si has type of flown beneath the radar considering the fact that its debut in 2017. But in actuality, the Civic Si is an exceptionally nicely-well balanced and participating sport compact — a person of my favorites in this course. On leading of that, it is really also a excellent price range performance pick.


  • Turbo engine matches great midrange torque with high-rev thrills
  • Managing is precise and participating
  • The 2020 model is less difficult to dwell with many thanks to new driver-help and cabin tech

You should not Like

  • No onboard navigation possibility
  • Honda LaneWatch is no substitute for true blind-location monitoring

This yr, the 2020 Si gets the ol’ midcycle refresh with revisions to the exterior and inside design and style, enhancements to its suite of normal driver aid features and a couple of performance tweaks.

The little turbo that could

Peek beneath the hood and you will find the Si is driven by a 1.five-liter, turbocharged and direct-injected 4-cylinder engine making 205 horsepower and 195 pound-ft of torque. Now, 1.five liters may well audio a little bit smaller, but the peppy little engine features really nutritious midrange torque — with peak twisting force coming on as very low as two,100 rpm — and a pleasant willingness to happily swing the tachometer up to its six,500-rpm limiter time and time once more. Confident, it is really at a electric power and torque drawback as opposed with its fiercest foe, the VW GTI, but the Si is no significantly less fascinating at the time the revs start off building.

The thrill of the engine is enhanced by a person of the most enjoyable 6-speed guide transmissions on the highway right now. The gearbox is precise with a shifter that nearly magnetically slides into area with every shorter toss. Equipment improvements are accompanied by a light clutch — excellent for very low-fatigue commuting and halt-and-go creeping — with exceptional pedal placement for effortless heel-and-toe blips.

The 2020 Civic Si’s transmission features revised gearing with a shorter last-push ratio than last yr. The result is improved acceleration and better throttle responsiveness, but that arrives at the expense of a bit bigger revs — and a hair far more drone — when highway cruising. In general, the new gearing feels like a better match for the 1.5T and the Si’s performance objectives.

The guide transmission is the only gearbox offered to Si prospective buyers there is no automatic or dual-clutch possibility. I am perfectly content with that — the Si’s 6-speed is about as best as I could ask for — but this will understandably occur as undesirable information to folks who can not or don’t want to push a guide.

Precision handling

A limited-slip differential is normal on the Si, supporting to control traction concerning the speak to patches at the front wheels. The Si rides on a established of 18-inch wheels shod in 235-millimeter broad all-year tires, while you can also opt for summer months tires. A $673 insert-on, summer months tires are a must-get for Si prospective buyers, as they improve the performance significantly and are a superb price for the cash. (Note: According to Honda’s buyer web-site, the summer months tire price tag tag has long gone up to $673 from the first $two hundred, which is what it expense at the time I filmed the online video evaluate. Even so, it is really even now a fairly great deal.)

The last piece of the performance puzzle is the suspension, which is composed of a MacPherson strut front and multilink rear mix with adaptive dampers at all 4 corners. The dampers are in a position to go from firm to hella firm at the touch of a Activity button close to the shifter turret.

The Si’s trip is a rigid a person, but under no circumstances severe. The steering has a great pounds to it and an participating experience that makes the sport compact occur alive in your palms. Like the powertrain, the chassis tuning is precise, offering me excellent regulate and opinions via just about every period of a change — from the braking to nailing the apex to transitioning back again into acceleration.

Summertime tires are a $673 upcharge. Get them.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

As I talked about, the Si is down on electric power relative to the GTI, but the way it tackles corners feels so considerably far more precise and participating that, on the avenue — the place the joy of every corner and crest is far far more critical than specs — I actually don’t treatment. I experience emboldened to have far more speed via a change with the Honda, which appears lighter on its toes, and this makes up for any absence of torque. On the keep track of, it’d almost certainly be a unique story, but time attacks and lap battles are far more the Sort R’s area, in any case.

What else is new for 2020?

The relaxation of the updates to the Si are new features and tweaks shared with the relaxation of the tenth-era Honda Civic spouse and children.

There are new normal driver-aid features beginning with forward collision warning with automatic unexpected emergency braking. On the highway, adaptive cruise regulate makes very long cruises far more comforting by keeping a established adhering to distance powering a guide vehicle even though lane-keeping steering aid can help hold the compact concerning painted lane markers and warns you if you drift out of your lane or in excess of the edge of the highway.

My favourite safety addition is the new established of LED headlamps with automatic high beams that activate on dark roads and quickly dip to prevent stunning oncoming targeted visitors. My minimum favourite continuance is Honda’s LaneWatch program — a passenger-aspect digicam that activates at the press of a button or when the change signal is activated. I’d considerably somewhat have an actual blind-location monitoring program looking at both sides of the vehicle, but I suppose LaneWatch is better than practically nothing.


The 7-inch Display Audio program is the exact. The quantity knob, even so, is new.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Entrance and heart in the dashboard is an up to date, 7-inch version of Honda’s Display Audio infotainment program. Make positive to bring your phone alongside for the trip to choose edge of the normal Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, for the reason that you will find no OEM navigation possibility offered for the Si. As I choose Android Auto in excess of nearly just about every onboard infotainment at this price tag, I don’t thoughts this set up, but even now, it bears mentioning.

Lesser tweaks that you may well overlook are the new quantity knob — which replaces the old and awkward capacitive slider — alongside with far more bodily buttons and shortcuts for infotainment and weather regulate features. On leading of that, the new Civic has improved Bluetooth pairing and smoother general program performance. The steering-wheel thumb controls have also been revised, the seats have been up to date and the relaxation of the cabin receives a smaller visual refresh for this new 50 %-era. Oh, and the cupholders are even larger now, as well.

Pricing and levels of competition

The 2020 Honda Civic Si is offered in coupe and sedan configurations. Individually, I choose the appear and utility of the sedan rear doors can be really handy. With the exact wheelbase and significantly less than 20 lbs . of control pounds change, performance is undoubtedly equivalent possibly way you go. Pricing is also equivalent, beginning at $26,195 (which includes a $995 destination cost) whether you pick two doors or 4.

The price tag is the exact whether you select two doors or 4.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

There aren’t quite a few possibilities on the table for the nicely-geared up Si, but I’d suggest forking in excess of the added 673 bucks for summer months tires, bringing you to a suggested price tag of $26,868. Which is about on par with what you would assume to fork out for the softer-about-the-middle¬†Jetta GLI. A significantly less refined but hell-of-a-ton-far more-entertaining possibility is the new Hyundai Veloster N, which starts off just beneath $29,000.

Having said that, it is really no shock that the Civic Si’s fiercest rival is also its oldest: the Volkswagen GTI. The VW is far more of a high quality vehicle with nicer cabin products, an offered dual-clutch automatic transmission, a greater eight-inch screen with onboard navigation, a electronic instrument cluster and other features. Furthermore, it is really a hatchback, which I really like. Having said that, the Honda starts off at about $two,000 significantly less than the GTI — which can nearly price tag alone appropriate out of this course, if you are not thorough.

The Honda Civic Si — a sport compact legend in its individual appropriate — proceeds to shine as an exceptional performer and an exceptional performance price, and the 2020 model yr gets even better.