Sensible Sport: Honda Civic Si Racks Up Some Changes for 2020


Not surprisingly, one change bound for the 2020 Honda Civic Si is its price, but fans of Honda’s sensible middle ground between Civic Sport and Civic Type R won’t be driving away empty handed.

For the coming model year, the bearer of Honda’s hotter 1.5-liter gains a mild change in appearance, additional content, and a nod towards improved performance.

If you’ve seen the front-end styling tweaks performed on the regular 2020 Civic line, expect the same here. The Si sedan and coupe toss the previous chunky, blacked-out grille crossbar in favor of two slimmer, equally dark bars placed top and bottom. A body-color bar now interrupts the fog light housings, which themselves are ringed in black.

Small stuff, made slightly more expressive by the addition of standard multi-element LED headlamps that casts a longer beam. (The crowd at IIHS is probably smiling right now.) It’s a similar story out back, at least on the bumper level.


While none of this is likely to either tempt or repel a Civic Si intender, a new, shorter final-drive ratio for the Si’s six-speed manual is said to improve acceleration feel. Whether or not it’s enough to change 0-60 times remains to be seen. Without providing a gear breakdown, Honda says the ratio is 6 percent shorter than before, so you can let your mind wander. Power remains unchanged at 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.

There’s also safety-related news to share. All Si models gain a standard Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist functions for 2020, which should also make the folks at IIHS grin. For the uninformed, this package lumps in such things as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, road-departure mitigation, and lane-departure warning. Add to that Honda’s LaneWatch side-view camera system, which displays a passenger-side view via the infotainment screen when the right-turn blinker is on.


The list of changes means this already well-equipped front-driver becomes an even more desirable sporty commuter than it already was, and at not too much of a cost. Shod with performance all-season rubber surrounding blacked-out 18-inch wheels, a base 2020 Si sedan and coupe will retail for $25,930 after destination, or $700 more than last year. Add $200 for summer tires.

There’s one more additional cost that must be mentioned, however. Thanks to the shorter final-drive ratio, fuel economy takes a hit — always an unfortunate occurrence in a vehicle that calls for premium fuel. Whereas the previous Si models boasted an EPA rating of 28 mpg city/38 highway/32 combined, the 2020 model shaves 2 mpg from each of those figures.

There’s always a price to pay for performance.

[Images: Honda]

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