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

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


There’s nothing you are able to do concerning the wing on the again. Sorry!


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Reviewing a brand new model of a automobile you used to personal means coming in with some lofty (and biased) expectations. I used to be fairly smitten with my 2008 Honda Civic Si, and the fashions that adopted left me with an more and more bitter style in my mouth. However the Si has come again into its personal with the 10th-generation Civic, packing turbocharged energy in a chassis that is able to social gathering with some new methods alongside the way in which. It felt like Honda was falling off the trail in the previous few years of sportier fashions, but it surely’s again heading in the right direction with the 2020 Civic Si.

Like

  • A great deal of turbo torque
  • High quality adaptive dampers
  • An absolute blast to drive

Do not Like

  • Inconsistent throttle
  • Numb clutch pedal
  • Far an excessive amount of rev cling

Whereas it is not practically as shouty because the straight-outta-Akira Sort R, the 2020 Si continues to be fairly flashy, and the 10th-generation Civic is certainly a kind of automobiles you both love or hate. I feel it appears to be like fairly sharp, thanks partially to new commonplace LED headlights that not solely boost the aesthetics but in addition enhance security by elevated visibility. The entrance bumper has rather a lot happening, however the flash of physique shade properly breaks up the in any other case uninteresting expanses of fake-lookin’ decrease intakes. Out again, there is a wing you possibly can’t do something about — if it is too Scorching Import Nights on your tastes, the sedan has a a lot tamer rear finish.

Open the Si Coupe’s huge, surprisingly heavy doorways and also you’re met with one and a half routes to the again seat — solely the passenger seat can tilt and slide ahead sufficient to make ingress easy; a pull of the motive force’s seat lever will generate a tilt sans slide. Make your means again there and also you’re met with ample legroom for taller passengers. Head house may be a problem for adults, although; the coupe’s slinky roofline locations my head firmly in opposition to the highest of the rear glass.

In any other case, the inside is likely one of the finest in its section. Honda’s construct high quality is prime notch, and whereas the Civic could be very a lot nonetheless a budget-minded car, nothing within the 2020 Si Coupe would make you assume Honda is cheaping out. The fake carbon fiber may not be all people’s selection, however I nonetheless love the way in which the dashboard is layered, with an ample quantity of bodily switches in shut proximity to my palms always. The entrance seats are simply the very best, with the correct quantity of cushioning on the underside and loads of bolstering on the edges, along with rocking some very comfy fabric. Handbook adjustment is the one route you possibly can take right here, which is ok given its sufficiently inexpensive ($25,200) price of entry.

Coupes carry much less cargo than their four-door brethren, however the Civic Si’s 11.9 cubic ft of house is greater than sufficient for journeys to… nicely, no matter’s truly open today. I’ve no drawback shoving just a few weeks’ value of groceries again there with room to spare. A shade beneath 12 cubes might sound small, however for comparability, a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe can solely muster 10.5, so you have acquired it higher than these fancy-pants neighbors down the road. There’s loads of storage within the cabin, too, with cubbies each in and beneath the middle console, along with a sliding-cupholder getup that may match a decently sized purse or large-format water bottles with out situation.

On the street, the 2020 Si Coupe is fairly darn sedate in regular driving conditions, with its commonplace two-mode adaptive dampers providing up suitable-but-still-sporty compliance in its default setting. It will absorb a lot of the street’s unhealthy bits, however the chassis will nonetheless talk the extra essential divots and bumps to the cabin. Throw the Si into Sport and issues get a bit stiffer, but it surely does not enhance the driving really feel by an enormous margin, so I discover it finest to depart the suspension on the mushy aspect. Wheel and tire selection often elements right into a automobile’s trip high quality, however contemplating all Civic Si fashions rock 18-inch wheels, there isn’t any method to downsize the rollers so as to add smoothness. My tester rocks the non-obligatory set of 235/40 Goodyear Eagle F1 efficiency summer season tires, however except for some further noise on imperfect roads, tire selection needs to be left to your native local weather and whether or not or not you need to spring for devoted winter rubber.

After which there’s the matter of the powertrain. I am torn right here. The Si’s engine is an absolute peach. The 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-Four sends 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels, and whereas that may not seem to be rather a lot, it feels fairly punchy. There’s a great deal of torque out there in each gear at practically each level within the rev vary, lowering the necessity to downshift whereas bettering nook exits and green-light getaways. It is on the loud aspect, however the exhaust word is fulfilling and it is good that you do not have to pay extra for that sound. The usual six-speed guide’s transmission is exact, with quick, participating shifts that by no means really feel like a chore. Sport mode will increase the electrical energy steering’s weight and turns up the throttle response, however just like the suspension, it does not make a lot of a distinction that I really feel it essential to have an excellent time.

The Civic Si’s gas financial system can also be fairly spectacular. The EPA charges the 2020 Si Coupe at 26 miles per gallon metropolis, which I’ve no drawback attaining. The feds peg this automobile at 36 mpg freeway, however I repeatedly see north of 40 when preserving tempo with metro-Detroit visitors.

The Si’s cabin matches like a glove. Not too cramped, not overly spacious, good for specializing in the drive.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Now, for the stuff that wants enchancment. As an individual who enjoys a well-placed, rev-matched downshift, I’m confounded by the Civic Si’s throttle mapping, which is about as constant as Midwestern climate. Some throttle blips will elicit the proper spike in revs to slip right into a decrease gear easily, whereas different blips of the identical or larger magnitude will do just about nothing in any respect, turning a fragile stability of pedals right into a chassis-rocking scorching mess specific. The Sort R’s rev-matching software program would all however eradicate this situation. There’s additionally the matter of the clutch pedal, which is totally devoid of feeling and weight. The chunk level takes some guess work, leading to extra clutch slip than is critical, and quick shifting feels something however clean. Additional obfuscating the thought of a cushty trip is what’s referred to as rev cling, which is if you push within the clutch and the engine’s revolutions “cling” earlier than falling. It is particularly heinous within the one-two shift, the place the tachometer’s needle will sit for no less than a half-second earlier than falling, making it onerous to time a fast, clean shift. All these issues may be forged to the aspect by merely ready a bit longer and shifting slower, which is, you already know, a terrific trait in a sports activities automobile.

Identical to the engine, there’s a lot to love about Honda’s in-car tech, even when it is slightly tough across the edges. A 7-inch touchscreen show is commonplace, but it surely’s nonetheless operating the older model of Honda’s Show Audio infotainment system, which is slightly bare-bones within the face of rivals from Hyundai and (imagine it or not) Toyota. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each commonplace, which is good, however manufacturing facility navigation is not attainable so as to add — a fantastic drawback to have, as smartphone mirroring beats Honda’s baked-in stuff all day lengthy. The backup digital camera’s decision is on the low aspect, however dynamic parking traces make up for a scarcity of ultrasonic sensors. USB ports are missing, with two USB-A ports for the entrance seats and none for the rear. The port used for telephone mirroring affords up a just-OK 1.5 amps of charging energy, whereas the port tucked beneath the cupholders solely manages a measly 1.zero amps, which will not present a internet optimistic cost when operating resource-heavy purposes.

It is excessive time Honda noticed match to carry its upgraded Show Audio system to barely older automobiles just like the Civic. It could’t be that onerous… can it?


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

I would not blame you for assuming manual-transmission automobiles will not be able to packing the newest and biggest security tech, just because most stick-shift automobiles haven’t got that stuff. However Honda bestowed the Si with the total Honda Sensing suite of lively and passive driver aids, one in all just some automakers to do that (VW’s additionally on that checklist). Adaptive cruise will not work beneath 22 mph, but it surely nonetheless works above that, and extremely nicely, in addition. Lane-keep help is at all times good to have, and automated emergency braking is right here, too — each programs are slightly too delicate for my tastes, but it surely’s nice peace of thoughts to counter all of the unhealthy drivers on the market.

For $25,930 together with vacation spot ($930), the 2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe affords a stable mix of driving dynamics and affordability. It additionally locations it smack-dab in the midst of the competitors. The Si is dearer than the Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line, but it surely feels a lot faster and is extra enjoyable to toss round (even when the GT N-Line’s clutch pedal is means higher). Honda’s providing is available in a number of thousand {dollars} beneath the VW Golf GTI, however the ur-hot-hatch is definitely worth the cash, contemplating it stays the very best automobile within the section.

However for the cash you shell out, it is a robust act to prime the 2020 Honda Civic Si. With correct driving dynamics, an honest complement of expertise and a few distinctive aesthetics, Honda’s mass-market sports activities automobile is a proper hoot.



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