1.5-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Front Wheel Drive
by Jay Traugott
Honda is here to remind us that despite your situation of status in life, we can all have fun behind the wheel. If you have a family or simply require more space than a sports coupe provides, but are not keen on a crossover, Honda once again has the perfect solution. The 2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan returns for the new model year refreshed with some exterior and interior enhancements as well as a few other cool upgrades. With the sole exception of having rear doors, the sedan remains identical to the coupe.
Everything we loved about the Civic Si Sedan before has been retained. Honda has simply made a fantastic vehicle even better and it won't break the bank. There are few vehicles we come across that embody the elements of style, performance, fun to drive, daily usability factor, and reliability. This is one of them.
The Honda Civic is currently midway through its tenth generation, and the automaker rightly realized the Si Sedan and its Civic Si Coupe sibling required an added dose of styling adrenaline. Compared to the outgoing model, the 2020 Civic Si features a revised grille, fog light housings, gloss black surrounding trim, body-color crossbar, and LED headlights. The rear end has also been enhanced with a new lower bumper that matches the front end's styling. Matte black 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-season performance tires are now standard. Summer tires are optional.
Honda knew not to mess too much with a good thing, but there are some noticeable upgrades. Perhaps the most significant are the updated sport seats which now come with red accents on the seat bottom and seat back matching the new red trim on the instrument cluster. The touchscreen infotainment system comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Equipment includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety technologies, such as adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and lane departure warning. The increased rear-seat space, thanks to those two extra doors, provides even greater practicality. There is 14.7 cubic feet of trunk storage space (11.9 in the coupe). Rear legroom is measured at 37.4 inches (35.9 inches in the coupe). The rear seat has a 60/40 split for easier trunk access and/or additional space.
At the very heart of the Civic Si Sedan is its turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. All of this power is directed to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. There is no automatic or CVT option available, a sign of Honda's commitment to rowing your own gears. Both Si models also feature a limited-slip differential and an adjustable two-mode adaptive damper system. New for this year, Honda kindly implemented a six-percent shorter final-drive ratio which reportedly improves acceleration. Although an exact figure has not been announced, the outgoing 2019 model went from 0-60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. The 2020 model should be slightly faster.
Fuel economy is rated at 26/36 mpg city/highway, which is a two mpg drop compared to 2019 because of the shorter final drive ratio.
Once again, you might have to blink twice for this one. The 2020 Honda Civic Si Sedan begins at $25,200 – only $200 more than the coupe. Think of it this way: $100 for each rear door. Not bad. There's also a $930 destination fee.
The competition is also quite impressive, which includes the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, Subaru WRX, Kia Forte GT, and Hyundai Elantra Sport. All start at around the same price with one notable exception: the WRX, which begins at around $30,000, though owners will get the added benefits of standard full-time all-wheel drive.
Considering its very reasonable starting price, power and fun to drive factor, plus the standard stick shift, a feature Honda is known for, it's hard to go wrong with the Civic Si Sedan. It can easily handle all daily driving needs, work commutes, and family activities with ease. Above all, it's a blast to drive.