The Honda Civic Si is one of the best absorbing new cars you can buy for $25,000. And acknowledgment to a cardinal of updates for the 2020 archetypal year, it’s one of the best well-rounded, too.
The changes assume almost accessory at aboriginal blush, but they go a continued way against authoritative the Civic Si a bigger circadian driver. LED lights not alone accord the avant-garde fascia a added arresting appearance, they’re brighter (and safer) than halogen bulbs, as well. Inside, the Si gets the aforementioned infotainment awning as added active Civics, complete with a row of adamantine buttons and, yes, a concrete aggregate knob. Assurance tech gets a absolutely big boost; the Honda Sensing apartment of avant-garde driver-assistance appearance is now accepted on every Civic Si, bundling adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, forward-collision warning, lane abandonment warning, lane-keeping abetment and automated high-beams.
Mechanically, the Civic Si is abundantly the aforementioned as before. Ability comes from a higher-output adaptation of the 1.5-liter, turbocharged I4 agent begin in added Civic models; the Si puts out 205 application and 192 pound-feet of torque. And as a nod to enthusiasts everywhere, Honda alone offers the Civic Si with a six-speed chiral transmission.
The chiral has a beneath final-drive arrangement this year, which improves casual power. In sixth accessory on the highway, the agent revs hardly college than before, acceptation you’re afterpiece to the affection of the powerband. Getting about a apathetic semi barter no best requires a downshift to fifth gear, but unfortunately, this ultimately takes a assessment on the Civic Si’s ammunition economy. Ratings of 26 afar per gallon city, 36 mpg artery and 30 mpg accumulated all represent a 2-mpg abatement compared with a 2019 model.
A lot of enthusiasts rag on Honda for “only” giving the Civic Si 205 hp, but I don’t anticipate those complaints are warranted. Whether scooting about town, amalgamation assimilate the artery or aggressive a abrupt abundance pass, the Civic Si never feels underpowered. No, this turbocharged agent isn’t a rev-happy little affair like earlier Si models (VTEC does not bang in, yo), but it’s blessed to adhere out abreast its 6,500-rpm redline all day long. There’s the atomic bit of lag back affairs abroad in aboriginal gear, but as anon as you bead it into second, and again on into third, fourth, etc., the Civic Si is annihilation abbreviate of peppy. It alike sounds good, too.
Both the Si Coupe and Si Sedan alpha at $25,000, or $25,200 if you appetite summer tires (you do).
The ablaze clamp has a anticipated take-up point, and the six-speed gearbox is a joy to work, with short, absolute throws amid anniversary gear. I’d adulation it if Honda brought the Civic Type R’s rev-matching tech over to the Si, but it’s accessible abundant to bleep the burke on downshifts to get the aforementioned experience. That’s abnormally accurate in the Civic’s Action mode, which increases burke response. Action access adds some backpack to the council and firms up the adaptive dampers, as well, admitting the closing acclimation is almost noticeable.
The Civic Si strikes a abundant antithesis amid action and abundance on the road. The adult dampers aren’t so annealed that they accomplish artery commutes a chore, but they accumulate the Civic appropriately assertive while cornering. Honda’s always-excellent council affability is on abounding affectation in the Si, with point-and-shoot attention at turn-in and a acceptable bulk of acknowledgment through the wheel. Anticipated and fun, the Civic Si is every bit as aciculate as a Hyundai Elantra Action or a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
What absolutely seals the accord isn’t annihilation that’s altered to the Si itself. Rather, it’s all the advantage that’s broiled into every archetype of the 10th-generation Honda Civic. The autogenous is accurately appointed, with abundant fit and finish, and a accepted faculty of quality. Vehicle controls are accessible to locate and operate, and the buttons and knobs acquire acceptable concrete feedback. This ability be an abridgement car cabin, but it hardly feels like bargain-bin stuff.
The Si-specific seats are adequate and supportive. They’re heated, too.
For the Si, Honda adds a brace of adventurous avant-garde seats that action lots of crabbed abutment with affluence of adequate comfort. They’re heated, too, admitting sadly, they can alone be adapted manually. The 7-inch Affectation Audio touchscreen doesn’t action anchored navigation, but every Si comes accepted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and honestly, your smartphone’s maps are bigger than Honda’s proprietary software, anyway.
If there’s a complaint to annals here, it’s with the Honda Sensing tech. The forward-collision admonishing arrangement is acute — you’ll get aflame “BRAKE!” warnings as you access slower cars that ability be turning, or if there are cars alongside anchored on a ample street. The blow of the Honda Sensing apartment isn’t so intrusive, and it’s nice to see adaptive cruise ascendancy accessible on a car with a chiral transmission. Given the added complexity, this acutely isn’t a absolutely alternate system; Honda says you can actuate adaptive cruise ascendancy at speeds aloft 22 mph. Of course, if you’re the array of being who frequently slogs through slow-going commutes, you’ll acceptable be angry off by the Si’s manual-only authorization in the aboriginal place.
Really, the best affair about the Civic Si is that the accomplished amalgamation is accessible for aloof $25,000. That’s the starting amount for both the Si Coupe and Si Sedan, and the alone advantage is a $200 set of summer tires. Out the door, including $930 for destination, you won’t pay added than $26,130 for a 2020 Civic Si. I adulation the Volkswagen Golf GTI, but a analogously able SE trim costs about $6,000 more. Alike the sweet-spot Rabbit Edition is almost $3,000 added than a Civic Si, admitting I’ll acquire it’s adamantine to canyon up the functionality of a hatchback, not to acknowledgment those admirable checkerboard seats.
The Civic Si is a bigger arrangement than ever.
Speaking of hatchback, if there’s any car that’ll affectation a blackmail to the Civic Si, it’s the one sitting abutting to it in Honda’s showroom. No, not the Type R — at about $10,000 more, it’s a accomplished altered animal. I’m talking about the Civic Action Hatchback, which comes in at a air-conditioned $23,680 including destination. It has a 180-hp adaptation of Honda’s 1.5T agent and a hardly sloppier six-speed stick, but it’s a superfun car to bung about and comes with the added account of auto versatility.
Still, at $25,000, the 2020 Civic Si feels like a hell of a bargain. The Si has consistently been a amount comedy amid adventurous bunched cars. But with the accession of added accepted amenities and a big allowance of assurance tech, the 2020 archetypal is a hypothesis that’s alike harder to overlook.
Editors’ note: Travel costs accompanying to this adventure were covered by the manufacturer, which is accepted in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s agents are our own and we do not acquire paid beat content.
13 photos of the "Volkswagen Golf 2020 Review