The Honda Civic Si is back for another round in the 2020 model year with some subtle appearance tweaks, more responsive acceleration and certain driver-assist features as standard. The new car will also go up in MSRP and down in fuel economy, because that’s just the price we pay for nice things.
Honda announced the 2020 Civic Si on Wednesday, saying its updates will bring the base MSRP for both the sedan and coupe up from $24,300 in the 2019 model year to $25,000 for 2020. The 2020 model is just a refresh, meaning the Si will keep its usual 205-horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine and six-speed manual transmission for at least another year.
But the extra $700 will be good for some styling changes, like red stitching all over the seats (for speed) and 18-inch matte-black wheels, along with new LED headlights and a shorter final-drive ratio that’ll give the Si better acceleration response (also for speed).
The 2020 car also gets a bunch of safety and driver-assist features as standard, like the Honda Sensing package and automatic high beams, along with a system that “uses the audio system to enhance the engine sound during aggressive driving.” Pump that engine noise in, baby!
That extra $700 per Si did not, however, contribute to finding a new background for press photos of the car.
But what the 2020 car will add in throttle response, features and price, it’ll lose in fuel economy. As pointed out by Autoblog, the EPA ratings for the 2020 Si are down from the 2019 car by 2 mpg, taking the car’s ratings in both the coupe and sedan models from 28 in the city, 38 on the highway and 32 combined to 26 city, 36 highway, and 30 combined. It isn’t much, but it is a drop.
The Si might just redeem itself with the headlights, though. Honda mentioned that it’ll go to LED lights in 2020, from halogens in 2019 that got the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s lowest of four ratings. The new car is “designed to achieve” IIHS’ top designation, Top Safety Pick+, Honda said, which required headlights with the organization’s top rating as of 2018.
IIHS ratings for the 2020 Si aren’t out yet, but if it manages to go from having headlights with IIHS’ worst rating to its best, that’s a huge step up in safety—one that could very well be worth the extra cash at the dealer and the pump.