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

Living somewhat in the shadow of the razor-sharp Honda Civic Kind R and competing directly with the great Volkswagen GTI, the humble Honda Civic Si has sort of flown beneath the radar due to the fact its debut in 2017. But in point, the Civic Si is an exceptionally well-well balanced and engaging sport compact — 1 of my favorites in this class. On top rated of that, it truly is also a terrific funds efficiency decide on.


  • Turbo motor matches very good midrange torque with superior-rev thrills
  • Dealing with is precise and engaging
  • The 2020 model is easier to are living with thanks to new driver-help and cabin tech

Really don’t Like

  • No onboard navigation solution
  • Honda LaneWatch is no substitute for real blind-place checking

This calendar year, the 2020 Si will get the ol’ midcycle refresh with revisions to the exterior and inside layout, enhancements to its suite of standard driver guidance options and a number of efficiency tweaks.

The minimal turbo that could

Peek beneath the hood and you can locate the Si is powered by a 1.5-liter, turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder motor creating 205 horsepower and 195 pound-ft of torque. Now, 1.5 liters may seem a little bit little, but the peppy minimal motor boasts very wholesome midrange torque — with peak twisting drive coming on as reduced as 2,one hundred rpm — and a delightful willingness to happily swing the tachometer up to its six,500-rpm limiter time and time again. Certain, it truly is at a ability and torque disadvantage compared with its fiercest foe, the VW GTI, but the Si is no significantly less exciting at the time the revs start out setting up.

The thrill of the motor is improved by 1 of the most satisfying 6-pace handbook transmissions on the road these days. The gearbox is precise with a shifter that just about magnetically slides into position with every shorter throw. Equipment variations are accompanied by a light-weight clutch — terrific for reduced-tiredness commuting and prevent-and-go creeping — with great pedal placement for easy heel-and-toe blips.

The 2020 Civic Si’s transmission options revised gearing with a shorter last-push ratio than very last calendar year. The end result is enhanced acceleration and much better throttle responsiveness, but that comes at the value of a little bit increased revs — and a hair extra drone — when freeway cruising. All round, the new gearing feels like a much better match for the 1.5T and the Si’s efficiency targets.

The handbook transmission is the only gearbox offered to Si customers there is no computerized or twin-clutch solution. I’m beautifully happy with that — the Si’s 6-pace is about as fantastic as I could request for — but this will understandably arrive as negative news to folks who are not able to or will not want to push a handbook.

Precision managing

A limited-slip differential is standard on the Si, encouraging to take care of traction between the get hold of patches at the front wheels. The Si rides on a set of 18-inch wheels shod in 235-millimeter vast all-season tires, although you can also opt for summer time tires. A $673 add-on, summer time tires are a must-get for Si customers, as they improve the efficiency substantially and are a wonderful worth for the revenue. (Be aware: In accordance to Honda’s buyer site, the summer time tire price tag tag has gone up to $673 from the first $200, which is what it value at the time I filmed the movie review. Even so, it truly is nevertheless a rather very good offer.)

The last piece of the efficiency puzzle is the suspension, which is made up of a MacPherson strut front and multilink rear mixture with adaptive dampers at all four corners. The dampers are equipped to go from firm to hella firm at the touch of a Sport button around the shifter turret.

The Si’s trip is a stiff 1, but never severe. The steering has a very good weight to it and an engaging feel that makes the sport compact arrive alive in your fingers. Like the powertrain, the chassis tuning is precise, providing me terrific manage and feed-back through each and every phase of a turn — from the braking to nailing the apex to transitioning again into acceleration.


Summertime tires are a $673 upcharge. Get them.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

As I talked about, the Si is down on ability relative to the GTI, but the way it tackles corners feels so much extra precise and engaging that, on the avenue — where the pleasure of every corner and crest is significantly extra important than specs — I really will not care. I feel emboldened to have extra pace through a turn with the Honda, which seems lighter on its toes, and this makes up for any lack of torque. On the observe, it’d in all probability be a distinctive tale, but time attacks and lap battles are extra the Kind R’s domain, in any case.

What else is new for 2020?

The rest of the updates to the Si are new options and tweaks shared with the rest of the tenth-era Honda Civic family.

There are new standard driver-guidance options beginning with forward collision warning with computerized crisis braking. On the freeway, adaptive cruise manage makes lengthy cruises extra soothing by keeping a set adhering to distance at the rear of a guide vehicle when lane-retaining steering guide allows maintain the compact between painted lane markers and warns you if you drift out of your lane or over the edge of the road.

My preferred security addition is the new set of LED headlamps with computerized superior beams that activate on darkish roadways and routinely dip to protect against stunning oncoming site visitors. My the very least preferred continuance is Honda’s LaneWatch program — a passenger-aspect digital camera that activates at the press of a button or when the turn signal is activated. I might much rather have an precise blind-place checking program observing both sides of the vehicle, but I suppose LaneWatch is much better than nothing.


The seven-inch Display Audio program is the very same. The volume knob, having said that, is new.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Front and centre in the dashboard is an updated, seven-inch variation of Honda’s Display Audio infotainment program. Make positive to deliver your telephone along for the trip to get gain of the standard Android Car and Apple CarPlay connectivity, due to the fact there’s no OEM navigation solution offered for the Si. As I choose Android Car over just about each and every onboard infotainment at this price tag, I will not mind this setup, but nevertheless, it bears mentioning.

Scaled-down tweaks that you may pass up are the new volume knob — which replaces the aged and awkward capacitive slider — along with extra physical buttons and shortcuts for infotainment and local climate manage capabilities. On top rated of that, the new Civic has enhanced Bluetooth pairing and smoother general program efficiency. The steering-wheel thumb controls have also been revised, the seats have been updated and the rest of the cabin gets a little visual refresh for this new fifty percent-era. Oh, and the cupholders are bigger now, way too.

Pricing and competition

The 2020 Honda Civic Si is offered in coupe and sedan configurations. Individually, I choose the seem and utility of the sedan rear doors can be very handy. With the very same wheelbase and significantly less than 20 lbs . of control weight big difference, efficiency is absolutely equivalent either way you go. Pricing is also equivalent, beginning at $26,195 (like a $995 place demand) no matter if you decide on two doors or four.

The price tag is the very same no matter if you choose two doors or four.

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There are not lots of solutions on the table for the well-equipped Si, but I might endorse forking over the added 673 bucks for summer time tires, bringing you to a suggested price tag of $26,868. That is about on par with what you would expect to pay out for the softer-about-the-middle Jetta GLI. A significantly less refined but hell-of-a-lot-extra-pleasurable solution is the new Hyundai Veloster N, which commences just beneath $29,000.

On the other hand, it truly is no shock that the Civic Si’s fiercest rival is also its oldest: the Volkswagen GTI. The VW is extra of a top quality vehicle with nicer cabin materials, an offered twin-clutch computerized transmission, a more substantial 8-inch display screen with onboard navigation, a digital instrument cluster and other options. As well as, it truly is a hatchback, which I adore. On the other hand, the Honda commences at about $2,000 significantly less than the GTI — which can just about price tag by itself correct out of this class, if you are not mindful.

The Honda Civic Si — a sport compact legend in its individual correct — continues to glow as an great performer and an great efficiency worth, and the 2020 model calendar year will get even much better.