As much as we were impressed with and loved our time behind the wheel of the Honda Civic Type R, we will be the first to admit that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. From its less than subtle styling to its starting price near $37,000 – that is, if you’re lucky to get one at sticker, since many Honda dealers feel the car still warrants a “market adjustment” – the Type R simply won’t work for everyone.
Fortunately, the 2020 Honda Civic Si comes to the rescue. With an MSRP starting just a tick over $25,000, the Civic Si packs a lot of fun into a very economical package. The 205hp direct injection turbocharged 1.5L engine has plenty of pep, while providing exceptional fuel economy. And the standard six-speed manual transmission is one of the better front-wheel-drive boxes through which we have had the pleasure of rowing gears.
While the Si certainly can’t match the acceleration and exhilaration of the Type R, it will offer more than enough excitement for most drivers. In fact, at the 2019 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships, some better than average drivers showed just how good the latest generation Civic Si is as the car swept the podium in both G Street and G Street Ladies autocross competition. In G Street, Ron Williams led the way, besting the 59-driver class with his 2019 Civic Si coupe, while Annie Gill piloted a 2018 Civic Si four-door to the G Street Ladies win.
The clean lines of the Civic Si strike a great balance between standing out and blending in, and we much prefer the blacked-out 18-inch wheels of the Civic Si over the cartoonish 20-inch variants that were on our previous Type R tester.
Opting for the Civic Si over the Type R is a genuine option for many drivers, and we can even think of a lot of fun things to do with the extra $12,000 left in our pocket.