More Show, More Go: The 2020 Honda Civic Si

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Honda Civic SI
The 2020 Honda Civic Si.
Let's just state a basic fact here:  The Honda Civic is a fine compact car, and except for a lost period in the early aughts through the middle of the last decade, would usually be my choice if I were playing with my own money.

But what if you want just a little more---pizazz?  Just a bit more flash and a bit more go power?  If you buy the base LX or the one-step-up Sport, you get 158 horsepower.  EX, EXL and Touring models get you 174.

Sure, there's the fire-breathing Civic Type R with 306 horsepower, but that's crazy and $36,995.

Rear 3/4 view of 2020 Honda Civic SI

Well, what you want, my friend, is the 2020 Honda Civic Si.  A lot of the aggressive appearance of the Type R, for about 11 grand less, a significant improvement in handling over the rest of the Civic lineup and respectable but not insane power under the hood.

Hood open on 2020 Honda Civic SI

Engine in 2020 Honda Civic SI

Detail of engine in 2020 Honda Civic SI

That's a 1.5-liter direct injection turbocharged four cylinder making 205 horsepower.  Think about that for a second---205 horsepower from 1.5 liters. 

There is just one transmission choice---a six-speed manual---and I'm happy to report that Honda still makes the silkiest sticks in the industry.   EPA fuel economy estimate is 26 miles per gallon city and 36 highway.  And that "Earth Dreams" logo on the engine isn't just for looks.  The fuel economy and greenhouse gas rating is a 7 (10 is best).

Side view of 2020 Honda Civic SI

Zero to 60 is 6.6 to 6.8 seconds depending on who you ask (Honda doesn't give a figure, but that's the range from varying reviews), which is quick but not blindingly fast.  That's okay, because where the 2020 Honda Civic Si shines is on the twisty bits. There's a limited-slip differential, four-wheel disc brakes, a front MacPherson strut suspension and a rear multi-link suspension and adaptive damping.

Trunk open on 2020 Honda Civic

Rear seat in 2020 Honda Civic SI

Front seats in 2020 Honda Civic SI

Plenty of room for things and people, even in the back seat.  $25,200 is the 2020 Honda Civic Si's base price and that buys the following standard equipment:

  • Hill start assist
  • Electric power steering
  • Sport mode
  • Anti-lock braking
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Premium audio system with ten speakers
  • Display audio with multi-view rear camera
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth HandsFree Link
  • USB
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • HDRadio
  • Pushbutton start
  • Honda LaneWatch
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration system
  • Driver's seat height adjustment
  • Front sport seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Fold-down rear center armrest
  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seat
  • Front auto up/down windows
  • Electric parking brake
  • Sport pedals
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • Cruise control
  • Floor mats
  • One-touch power moonroof
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 235/40 R18 high-performance summer tires
  • Auto on/off headlights
  • LED foglights
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Rear wing spoiler
  • Center outlet sport exhaust
  • Smart entry system with security
  • Heated power door mirrors
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Capless fuel filler
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Collision mitigation braking system
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Road departure mitigation
Instrument panel in 2020 Honda Civic SI

Gauge cluster in 2020 Honda Civic SI

Gauge cluster in 2020 Honda Civic SI

Infotainment and HVAC in 2020 Honda Civic SI

And that's it.  Our tester had zero extra-cost options.  There are a couple of optional wheel upgrades that would add between $1,700 and $1,985, and the Honda Factory Performance package (HFP badging, an active-damping sport suspension, front and rear underbody spoilers, 19-inch black alloy wheels with black lug nuts and 19-inch summer sport tires) adds $3,999, but again, our tester went without those.

Front view of 2020 Honda Civic SI

Rear view of 2020 Honda Civic

So, with $930 destination and handling, the bottom line on the window sticker reads $26,130.

That is a ridiculously low price for a ridiculously high level of fun---to say nothing of the inherent goodness of the Honda Civic.   The Si is a stone cold winner.