2020 Honda Civic Si new car reviews

It's no secret that we love the Honda Civc Si.

Available as a coupe or a sedan (if you want a hatchback, you have to either step down to a Civic Hatchback or upgrade to a Type R), the Si has been the go-to for the person that wants a fun-to-drive car that's also economical and reliable.

What's new for 2020? Besides some refreshed styling and the Honda Sensing® suite coming standard, the Si is equipped with a shorter 4.35 final-drive ratio over the 2019's 4.105. That sort of change might not be noticeable for most people, but it may be enough to make up a few seconds on the track.

In order to see how the 2020 Civic Si performs at speed, we took it out to The Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park--the official test track of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine.

 

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Chris Tropea ChrisTropea
Associate Editor

As someone who daily drives an Mk6 Volkswagen GTI this Civic Si is almost everything I would want in a daily driver. The practicality of 4 doors, a fun-to-drive 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission, what more could you ask for? The driver’s seat is a really nice place to be and the shifter falls into your hand. On top of that, Honda only askes just over for $25,000 for one. In my opinion, you get a lot of car for your money. Added bonus, it is a blast to drive. Around town, the Si is quick and responsive with plenty of torque down low.

I keep wanting to compare it to my GTI, and I think that is because they are somewhat similar. Both have 4-cylinder turbocharged engines powering the front wheels, both have a 6-speed manual transmission and both are tons of fun to drive and good on gas. Long story short, I really like this car. If I was going to buy a new car today there is no doubt in my mind that I would choose the Si. I feel like this is a car that in 5-6 years down the road will still be enjoyable to drive, and, with Honda’s reputation for reliability, you can count on it going for hundreds of thousands of miles with not much more than regular maintenance.

One question I have is, why is there no hatchback option for the Si? Any other model Civic you can get a hatchback, even the type R, so why with the Si are we limited to only coupe or sedan? The sedan offered plenty of space but to me, a hatchback is the ultimate packaging for a daily driver. So, will I be trading in my GTI to upgrade into a Civic SI? For right now the answer is no but it is extremely tempting.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Can’t think of a better choice in this class. It’s the right mix of performance, practicality and quality.

How about a year of feedback on this one? Check out the report from our long-term loan. The Civic Si never missed a beat.

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Comments
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paulhaney
paulhaney
4/10/20 1:14 p.m.

No hatchback! That's why I bought a Hyundai Elantra GT N-line. Same motor type but DCT transmission which I love. Drove 4 spds most of my life: Datsun 510s and Lotus Elan +2. Somehow I don't feel confident going for those middle gears on a 6 spd. Great hatch, can see all around, rare these days. Good tires and seats. Did two trackdays before the shutdown. Great fun but too much understeer. Bought those cute little adjustable strut bolts and got 1.3 deg neg at the front. Feels great on the street taking a hard corner when I can. Turns in with no fuss, just sticks. Also installed a SXTH Element dual catch can kit. Pricey but went in less than an hour and looks good.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
4/10/20 1:52 p.m.
paulhaney said:

No hatchback! That's why I bought a Hyundai Elantra GT N-line. Same motor type but DCT transmission which I love. Drove 4 spds most of my life: Datsun 510s and Lotus Elan +2. 

I am always looking for today's "Datsun 510" for my next new car.......

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/10/20 2:14 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

I'd say the original Sentra SE-R, but that was a few years ago. 

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/11/20 7:16 a.m.

Is that engine truly free of a plastic cover?  I haven’t seen anything like that for quite some time (though I haven’t been actively looking).  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/11/20 12:33 p.m.
ZOO (Forum Supporter) said:

Is that engine truly free of a plastic cover?  I haven’t seen anything like that for quite some time (though I haven’t been actively looking).  

I actually took a picture of the L15B in an Accord I recently serviced, because gosh, remember that shining period in the early 00s when engines weren't completely buried under solenoids and plumbing?

 

I don't think Honda has ever had an "engine cover" on a 4 cylinder, just coil covers.

 

Of note is that the valve cover is just about the highest point of the engine bay in a freakin' Accord.  The L15B is a TALL engine!  I wonder what its deck height is.

 

It is kind of a shame the exhaust is facing forward, the turbo is practically rubbing the radiator.  This engine in a Fit would be a complete giggle factory.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto Dork
4/11/20 3:13 p.m.

I'm very interested in these once things clear up and I can get my WRX sold. Seems to check all the boxes I'm looking at.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/12/20 3:36 p.m.
Fitzauto said:

I'm very interested in these once things clear up and I can get my WRX sold. Seems to check all the boxes I'm looking at.

You can see what a year with one looks like right here

The TL;DR: no issues at all. 

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/12/20 3:40 p.m.

Except for the Ridgeline and the S2000, there has been little about honda that ever excited me. I do, however, love the interior on this civic. Straightforward, intelligent, hightech, and yet still classy enough.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/13/20 9:40 a.m.
This engine in a Fit would be a complete giggle factory.

This. I've always wished Honda would take one of those turbo L15's, drop it in a Fit, and then slap an Si badge on it.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
4/13/20 10:13 a.m.

I have a 2020 Sedan that looks exactly like the ones pictured above. It's a great car; however, it's a tad numb compared to previous generations of Si. The fake engine noise that's pumped in is a huge turn off and the LED headlights/fog lights are not great in bad weather. I just hit 5k miles in mine and I've had three issues go unresolved by Honda so far. There is a serious amount of clutch chatter, 3rd gear grinds, and the EPS rack sounds like a cat in labor when getting towards full lock on either side. 

They do come with excellent sound systems, comfy seats, great gas mileage, lots of torque for a 1.5L, a cupholder than can fit a hydroflask, heated seats, active cruise control that is pretty trick (even tho the lane assist likes to keep you canted to the right), and a velvety smooth highway ride for a Civic. With that said; if I had the Si, my S2000, and my E36 M3 all in the same physical location I would probably choose to drive the S2K or M3 over the Si almost every day. If it was an 8th Gen Si, different story, I just can't get over how numb this car feels :( 

And yes no intake manifold covers like the K series had. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/13/20 1:27 p.m.
Colin Wood said:
This engine in a Fit would be a complete giggle factory.

This. I've always wished Honda would take one of those turbo L15's, drop it in a Fit, and then slap an Si badge on it.

Hasport is working on mounts and wiring solutions in a GD Honda Fit

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
4/13/20 1:50 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

This helps me in spending time, money, and effort to keep my 8th gen mechanically sound. While it's not rusty... I'm not sure I want to fix it's clear coat issues.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
4/13/20 2:45 p.m.
clutchsmoke said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

This helps me in spending time, money, and effort to keep my 8th gen mechanically sound. While it's not rusty... I'm not sure I want to fix it's clear coat issues.

Glad I could be of assistance. I say keep it and fix it. 8th gens are the best and I miss mine dearly. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
4/13/20 7:03 p.m.

I've got a black 2020 Si with about 4500 miles on it now.  I put Blizzaks on an extra set of -1 wheels for the winter and it was great.  I've had zero issues with it so far.  I like the LED lights except I get a lot of people flashing their brights at me because they think I'm on bright.  I love it and will keep it for a long time.  It's sort of my winter car, but may need to get yet another set of wheels and tires for autocross.  It handles so well.  And gets great MPG if I say out of boost.

I think the 10th gen is a better car overall, but will agree with DirtyBird222 that it's a bit numb compared with an 8th Gen.  I replaced my 8th gen with this car, but kept the 8th gen and will enjoy it as a future classic with my eclectic collection of European junk, Fords, Miatas, Wheel Horses, and one Commie Car.  

My emergency backup son recently bought an 8th gen, too.  They're getting very hard to find in good condition.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/13/20 7:14 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
Colin Wood said:
This engine in a Fit would be a complete giggle factory.

This. I've always wished Honda would take one of those turbo L15's, drop it in a Fit, and then slap an Si badge on it.

Hasport is working on mounts and wiring solutions in a GD Honda Fit

That's awesome, but I wonder how they are going to deal with the turbo wanting to share the same space as the radiator in a Fit.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/13/20 11:58 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I'm not too worried.. they'll figure it out. They figured out how to put a K24 in a fit.... 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
4/14/20 10:38 a.m.
Carl Heideman said:

I've got a black 2020 Si with about 4500 miles on it now.  I put Blizzaks on an extra set of -1 wheels for the winter and it was great.  I've had zero issues with it so far.  I like the LED lights except I get a lot of people flashing their brights at me because they think I'm on bright.  I love it and will keep it for a long time.  It's sort of my winter car, but may need to get yet another set of wheels and tires for autocross.  It handles so well.  And gets great MPG if I say out of boost.

I think the 10th gen is a better car overall, but will agree with DirtyBird222 that it's a bit numb compared with an 8th Gen.  I replaced my 8th gen with this car, but kept the 8th gen and will enjoy it as a future classic with my eclectic collection of European junk, Fords, Miatas, Wheel Horses, and one Commie Car.  

My emergency backup son recently bought an 8th gen, too.  They're getting very hard to find in good condition.

You aren't kidding, they are getting extremely hard to find. I am on the fence about trying to re-sell my E36 M3 and (try) replacing it with an 8th Gen to share garage space with my S2K. Not to mention I would love to find a salvage title one and take it out in Champcar. 

If people can stuff a J35 into a Fit, I don't see any issues with the L15B7 going in there. I feel like Honda would sell hoards of those if they actually made them. 

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