Sports Cars

2020 Honda Civic Si gets a big tech upgrade for only $700 more

At just $25,000, the 2020 Civic Si looks to be a pretty sweet performance bargain.

2020 Honda Civic Si

LED headlights really jazz up the Civic Si's front end.

Honda

Though we tend to reserve our heart-eyes emojis for Honda's lovely Civic Type R, the less-powerful Civic Si is a pretty solid little performer in its own right, and kind of a bargain to boot. That's even more true for 2020, as Honda is giving its not-too-hot, not-too-cold Civic Si a number of meaningful upgrades for only a slight increase in price.

Honda announced Wednesday that all 2020 Civic Si models will come standard with LED headlights -- the same ones you'll find on the top-shelf Civic Touring models. They offer real benefits in nighttime visibility compared to the outgoing Si's halogen lamps. Plus, they look great, and nicely blend into the slightly revised front fascia Honda first debuted on the 2019 Civic coupe and sedan.

The 2020 Civic Si also gets a nice upgrade in driver-assistance tech, as the Honda Sensing suite of safety features is now standard. Like on other models, Honda Sensing includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation and lane-departure warning. The Civic Si also comes with Honda's LaneWatch tech, which projects a camera feed of your passenger-side blind spot onto the infotainment screen when you turn on the right turn signal.

These upgrades don't add a ton to the Civic Si's bottom line, either. Both the 2020 Si Coupe and Si Sedan will start at $25,000, not including $930 for destination -- a $700 increase over the 2019 models. The only factory option is a summer tire upgrade, for $200 more. This puts the Civic Si right between its closest rivals: Hyundai's Elantra GT N-Line ($23,300) and Veloster Turbo ($23,650), and the Volkswagen Golf GTI ($27,595).

Honda says a shorter final-drive ratio gives the Civic Si "improved acceleration feel," but otherwise, the car's mechanicals carry over unchanged. Power comes from a 1.5-liter, turbocharged I4 engine, sending 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. A six-speed manual is the only transmission available, and with a limited-slip differential and two-mode adjustable dampers, the Civic Si totally holds its own on winding roads without being punishing to drive on the street. Inside, it's more of the same, with sport front seats and a Display Audio infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Look for the 2020 Civic Si to hit Honda dealers in early September.