2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe review: On the cusp of greatness

You can find very little you can do about the wing on the again. Sorry!

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Examining a new edition of a vehicle you utilised to possess usually means coming in with some lofty (and biased) expectations. I was pretty smitten with my 2008 Honda Civic Si, and the designs that followed remaining me with an more and more sour style in my mouth. But the Si has arrive again into its possess with the tenth-technology Civic, packing turbocharged power in a chassis that’s completely ready to get together with some new methods together the way. It felt like Honda was slipping off the route in the past few decades of sportier designs, but it really is again on the appropriate keep track of with the 2020 Civic Si.


  • Masses of turbo torque
  • Quality adaptive dampers
  • An complete blast to push

You should not Like

  • Inconsistent throttle
  • Numb clutch pedal
  • Considerably far too a lot rev hang

Though it really is not almost as shouty as the straight-outta-Akira Sort R, the 2020 Si is continue to pretty flashy, and the tenth-technology Civic is surely one particular of these automobiles you both really like or dislike. I assume it appears pretty sharp, thanks in element to new regular LED headlights that not only spice up the aesthetics but also boost safety by amplified visibility. The front bumper has a lot going on, but the flash of physique colour nicely breaks up the usually boring expanses of pretend-lookin’ lessen intakes. Out again, there’s a wing you can’t do anything about — if it really is far too Scorching Import Evenings for your tastes, the sedan has a a lot tamer rear close.

Open the Si Coupe’s huge, remarkably significant doorways and you are met with one particular and a fifty percent routes to the again seat — only the passenger seat can tilt and slide forward more than enough to make ingress very simple a pull of the driver’s seat lever will generate a tilt sans slide. Make your way again there and you are met with sufficient legroom for taller passengers. Head room can be an challenge for grownups, even though the coupe’s slinky roofline sites my head firmly versus the top rated of the rear glass.

Otherwise, the inside is one particular of the very best in its section. Honda’s build top quality is top rated notch, and though the Civic is pretty a lot continue to a price range-minded motor vehicle, very little within of the 2020 Si Coupe would make you assume Honda is cheaping out. The fake carbon fiber might not be everybody’s selection, but I continue to really like the way the dashboard is layered, with an sufficient amount of money of actual physical switches in near proximity to my fingers at all periods. The front seats are just the very best, with the appropriate amount of money of cushioning on the bottom and plenty of bolstering on the sides, in addition to rocking some pretty cozy fabric. Manual adjustment is the only route you can take listed here, which is fantastic presented its sufficiently economical ($25,two hundred) expense of entry.

Coupes carry significantly less cargo than their 4-doorway brethren, but the Civic Si’s eleven.9 cubic ft of room is a lot more than more than enough for visits to… nicely, whatever’s actually open up these times. I have no dilemma shoving a few weeks’ worthy of of groceries again there with home to spare. A shade underneath twelve cubes might appear little, but for comparison, a Mercedes-Benz C-Course Coupe can only muster ten.5, so you have received it greater than these extravagant-pants neighbors down the avenue. You can find plenty of storage in the cabin, far too, with cubbies both equally in and beneath the center console, in addition to a sliding-cupholder getup that can in good shape a decently sized purse or huge-structure h2o bottles devoid of challenge.

On the highway, the 2020 Si Coupe is pretty darn sedate in usual driving cases, with its regular two-mode adaptive dampers giving up acceptable-but-continue to-sporty compliance in its default environment. It’ll soak up most of the road’s lousy bits, but the chassis will continue to communicate the a lot more significant divots and bumps to the cabin. Toss the Si into Activity and points get a little bit stiffer, but it isn’t going to boost the driving experience by a huge margin, so I find it very best to leave the suspension on the tender aspect. Wheel and tire selection ordinarily things into a car’s ride top quality, but considering all Civic Si designs rock 18-inch wheels, there’s no way to downsize the rollers to increase smoothness. My tester rocks the optional set of 235/40 Goodyear Eagle F1 functionality summer tires, but aside from some more sounds on imperfect roads, tire selection ought to be remaining to your local climate and no matter whether or not you want to spring for dedicated wintertime rubber.

And then there’s the make a difference of the powertrain. I am torn listed here. The Si’s engine is an complete peach. The one.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 sends 205 horsepower and 192 pound-ft of torque to the front wheels, and though that might not appear like a lot, it feels pretty punchy. You can find hundreds of torque accessible in each individual gear at almost each individual point in the rev vary, minimizing the want to downshift though improving upon corner exits and green-gentle getaways. It really is on the loud aspect, but the exhaust be aware is satisfying and it really is pleasant that you don’t have to fork out a lot more for that seem. The regular 6-pace manual’s transmission is precise, with shorter, partaking shifts that by no means experience like a chore. Activity mode boosts the electric powered power steering’s bodyweight and turns up the throttle reaction, but like the suspension, it isn’t going to make so a lot of a big difference that I experience it essential to have a good time.

The Civic Si’s fuel economy is also pretty amazing. The EPA costs the 2020 Si Coupe at 26 miles for each gallon city, which I have no dilemma attaining. The feds peg this vehicle at 36 mpg highway, but I on a regular basis see north of 40 when maintaining speed with metro-Detroit site visitors.

The Si’s cabin matches like a glove. Not far too cramped, not extremely roomy, just appropriate for focusing on the push.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Now, for the stuff that wants advancement. As a particular person who enjoys a nicely-positioned, rev-matched downshift, I am confounded by the Civic Si’s throttle mapping, which is about as reliable as Midwestern weather. Some throttle blips will elicit the fantastic spike in revs to slide into a lessen gear easily, though other blips of the similar or larger magnitude will do pretty a lot very little at all, turning a sensitive balance of pedals into a chassis-rocking very hot mess categorical. The Sort R’s rev-matching application would all but do away with this challenge. You can find also the make a difference of the clutch pedal, which is fully devoid of feeling and bodyweight. The bite point normally takes some guess work, resulting in a lot more clutch slip than is essential, and rapid shifting feels anything but smooth. Even more obfuscating the strategy of a cozy ride is what’s acknowledged as rev hang, which is when you force in the clutch and the engine’s revolutions “hang” prior to slipping. It really is particularly heinous in the one particular-two shift, where the tachometer’s needle will sit for at the very least a fifty percent-second prior to slipping, building it challenging to time a rapid, smooth shift. All these complications can be cast to the aspect by simply just waiting a little bit lengthier and shifting slower, which is, you know, a excellent trait in a sports activities vehicle.

Just like the engine, there’s plenty to like about Honda’s in-vehicle tech, even if it really is a small rough around the edges. A seven-inch touchscreen screen is regular, but it really is continue to functioning the more mature edition of Honda’s Show Audio infotainment procedure, which is a small bare-bones in the experience of competitors from Hyundai and (consider it or not) Toyota. Apple CarPlay and Android Car are both equally regular, which is pleasant, but factory navigation is just not feasible to increase — a fantastic dilemma to have, as smartphone mirroring beats Honda’s baked-in stuff all day very long. The backup camera’s resolution is on the minimal aspect, but dynamic parking lines make up for a deficiency of ultrasonic sensors. USB ports are lacking, with two USB-A ports for the front seats and none for the rear. The port utilised for cellular phone mirroring presents up a just-Ok one.5 amps of charging power, though the port tucked beneath the cupholders only manages a measly one. amps, which will never provide a net optimistic demand when functioning useful resource-significant apps.

It really is high time Honda observed in good shape to carry its upgraded Show Audio procedure to somewhat more mature automobiles like the Civic. It can’t be that challenging… can it?

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

I wouldn’t blame you for assuming handbook-transmission autos are not capable of packing the most recent and best safety tech, simply just simply because most stick-shift automobiles don’t have that stuff. But Honda bestowed the Si with the entire Honda Sensing suite of active and passive driver aids, one particular of just a few automakers to do this (VW’s also on that checklist). Adaptive cruise will never work beneath 22 mph, but it continue to operates over that, and unbelievably nicely, to boot. Lane-preserve help is constantly pleasant to have, and computerized crisis braking is listed here, far too — both equally devices are a small far too delicate for my tastes, but it really is excellent peace of head to counter all the lousy drivers out there.

For $25,930 such as place ($930), the 2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe presents a strong blend of driving dynamics and affordability. It also sites it smack-dab in the center of the level of competition. The Si is a lot more costly than the Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line, but it feels a lot more rapidly and is a lot more enjoyable to toss around (even if the GT N-Line’s clutch pedal is way greater). Honda’s giving comes in numerous thousand dollars beneath the VW Golfing GTI, but the ur-very hot-hatch is worthy of the revenue, considering it continues to be the very best vehicle in the section.

But for the revenue you shell out, it really is a tricky act to top rated the 2020 Honda Civic Si. With appropriate driving dynamics, a decent enhance of technological innovation and some unique aesthetics, Honda’s mass-sector sports activities vehicle is a appropriate hoot.