Sure, the Type R is the ultimate Honda Civic, but don’t be too quick to discount the Si. The 2022 Civic Si remains an affordable fun-to-drive machine for enthusiasts who need to keep one eye on practicality. And it’s decently fast in the real world to boot. But while it’s not quite as practical, the Toyota GR86 has gone from good to great with its 2022 redesign. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable RWD sports cars on the market. So, if you have a need for speed, which one will satisfy you? To answer, the ThrottleHouse YouTube team took both to the dragstrip.
2022 Honda Civic Si vs. 2022 Toyota GR86: How the on-paper performance stacks up
|2022 Honda Civic Si||2022 Toyota GR86|
|Engine||1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder||2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder|
|Horsepower||200 hp||228 hp|
|Torque||192 lb-ft||184 lb-ft|
|Transmissions||Six-speed manual||Six-speed manual|
|Curb weight||2952 lbs (base)|
2961 lbs (with high-performance summer tires)
|Base: 2811 lbs (manual), 2851 lbs (automatic)|
Premium: 2833 lbs (manual), 2868 lbs (automatic)
|0-60 mph time||6.7 seconds (Car and Driver)||5.4 seconds (Premium manual, Car and Driver)|
The 2022 Honda Civic Si and 2022 Toyota GR86 are fundamentally different cars. The former is a turbocharged FWD sedan while the latter is a naturally-aspirated RWD coupe. However, they both deliver driver smiles at reasonable prices. And not just reasonable, but almost identical: a base 2022 GR86 manual only costs $600 more than the Si. So, it’s not a stretch to imagine a budget-minded enthusiast cross-shopping them.
But while the 2022 Civic Si beats the GR86 in interior space, on paper, the sports car pulls ahead in speed. A small part of that stems from the traction advantage RWD cars have over FWD ones under acceleration. When you put your foot down, the car’s weight shifts backward. In a FWD car like the Honda Civic Si, this robs traction from the drive wheels. But in a RWD car like the GR86, this shift enhances traction and thus acceleration.
Admittedly, the traction benefits aren’t great. Plus, there are FWD cars that can smoke RWD ones in a straight line. However, the GR86 has other advantages over the Civic Si. Firstly, it’s lighter than the sedan. Secondly, it’s more powerful than the Si (and might be mildly underrated). Hence why, on paper, it’s faster.
But what happens when you leave the paper and hit the pavement?
Comparing 0-60 times isn’t enough to tell which car is faster
Although 0-60 times can give you rough performance estimates, they’re not the best real-world metrics. Getting the best time usually requires violent clutch dumps at high rpm and/or using launch control. And I don’t see many people doing either at the average stoplight.
Hence why Throttle House ran two tests with the 2022 Honda Civic Si and 2022 Toyota GR86. The first was a ¼-mile drag race from a standing start and the second was a ¼-mile rolling race. Running the second race removes any traction-related complications and brings the powertrain characteristics to the forefront.
Speaking of powertrains, the 2022 Civic Si might be down on power, but it makes more torque than the GR86. Plus, it’s turbocharged. So, even if it doesn’t have the best standing-start result, the higher-rpm boost might help it win the rolling race.
Can the 2022 Honda Civic Si keep up with the 2022 Toyota GR86?
Unfortunately, neither torque nor boost helped the 2022 Honda Civic Si in Car and Driver’s ¼-mile testing. The 2022 Toyota GR86 beat it in both final trap speed and time. And the results were much the same when Throttle House ran these cars on the dragstrip.
Admittedly, the torque helped the 2022 Civic Si keep up with the GR86 longer during the rolling race. But even then, it lost to the Toyota by more than a car length.
Now, whether that means the Civic Si is slower around a racetrack or curvy road remains to be seen. As of this writing, Throttle House hasn’t run these cars back-to-back on the same track. And while Car and Driver recorded a time for the Toyota GR86 at its 2022 Lightning Lap, it hasn’t done so for the Si.
Still, if straight-line speed is what you’re shopping for, the GR86 beats the Civic Si. Now, where’s that Type R?
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