The Newly-Refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Si Is Improved And Lacks Only One Thing
This week we drive the refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Si 2-Door Coupe. Like the 2020 Honda Civic hatchback, the sport-tuned Civic Si comes with front and rear styling updates for the 2020 model change. The new Si coupe also gets a new LED headlight design and a revised final-drive ratio for more responsive acceleration. The most important upgrade is the one they didn't make.
The Civic Si Coupe and Sedan will stay with the 6-speed manual gearbox as the only transmission for 2020. There aren’t many manual-only cars left in North America that are only offered by automakers with a manual gearbox and no automatic option. There are only eight of these cars produced for performance buyers still left. Honda offers two of the performance cars, the 2019 Civic Type R hot hatch, and the 2020 Civic Si.
2020 Honda Civic Si gets refreshed
At a time when automakers can't get rid of the old-school manual shifter fast enough, this move is a refreshing commitment from Honda to keep the connection between car and driver strong.
What’s new for 2020?
The 2020 Si also gets revised styling for the 2020 model change to the lower bumper fog light housings, which now feature gloss black surrounding trim and a body-color crossbar. The signature "wing" grille crossbar is updated, new LED fog lights have been added, and the headlights now feature multi-element LED lamps with a wider and longer light beam. In the back, Si Coupe gets a new lower bumper treatment to match the redesigned front.
The Si cabin features updated sport seats with red accents on the seat bottom and seat backs, and new red trim highlighting the instrument panel.
For 2020, the refreshed Civic Si Coupe includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistive systems as standard equipment, including new automatic high beams. Also new for the 2020 model year is Active Sound Control, which uses the audio system to enhance the engine sound during spirited driving.
Also new this year is a 6-percent shorter final-drive ratio in the 6-speed manual gearbox, giving the Civic Si improved acceleration over last year’s model.
Features & Options
The 2020 Honda Civic Si 2-Door Coupe ($25,200) comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition and entry, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a ten-speaker audio system.
Civic Si is powered by the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, and also comes with a sunroof, Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat.
The Si adds a few performance goodies for driving enthusiasts, that include engine upgrades. It also includes a limited-slip differential, a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, bigger front brakes, Si-branded sport seats, the 10-speaker stereo, and a unique gauge cluster.
Also standard is the Honda Sensing safety package. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and keeping assist, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Total MSRP including destination charges: $26,130.
The Si’s cabin is driver-focused and organized. It’s not fancy, but the soft-touch materials and low-sheen plastics have a feel of quality, The dash features an attractive central 7-inch touchscreen interface that’s easy to see and operate.
The dash is low and the front seat can be manually adjusted to fit just about any size driver, and forward vision is excellent. The gauges are clean and crisp, and there’s a wide center console and a generous number of pockets and bins for storing valuable out of sight.
In the back, there’s plenty of legroom, enough for a 6-footer with an inch of knee room to spare. The Coupe sacrifices some cargo space for its sportier styling and offers 12 cubic feet of cargo-carrying ability.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Civic Si Coupe uses a more powerful version of standard turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder producing 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The Si comes with 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque and is exclusively available with the 6-speed manual transmission.
EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 26/36 city/highway mpg and 30 combined mpg.
If you like to drive, the Civic Si’s ride and handling is where the sportier model excels. The steering is quick and direct and the upgraded suspension offers a fun driving experience especially in tight mountain corners. An adjustable suspension lets drivers toggle between normal and sport modes.
We tested the Civic Si at altitude in the mountains of Colorado west of Denver and wanted a bit more power as we passed it hard uphill. For most drivers, the Si has plenty of power and the driving dynamics make this an extremely fun-to-drive compact coupe.
Even if an automatic transmission was offered, we’d take the 6-speed manual with short throws all day long. We are happy to see Honda keeping the connection between car and driver strong.
The 2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe’s strengths include the latest safety equipment, a comfortable cabin, and extra technology upgrades. The competition is fierce in the compact category, and because we live in a cold-weather climate, we would want an all-wheel-drive option. But at $25,000 is offers a lot for the price.
Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our TN Honda page and be sure to follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Check back tomorrow for more Honda news and updates.
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Photo credit: Honda USA