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The sport compact segment is heating up with the rivals like the 2022 Toyota GR86 and the Honda Civic Si. Technically speaking, these two aren’t really direct competitors since one is a sedan and the other is a coupe. Also, one is turbocharged and the other is not. However, they both have the same goal in mind: To provide the driver with the most fun and affordable driving experience possible.

It goes without saying that both of these cars deliver on the promise. However, I would personally pick one over the other when it comes to spending close to $30,000. Here is a quick comparison between the 2022 GR86 and the Civic Si.

The 2022 Honda Civic Si provides a lot more daily driving comfort

2022 Honda Civic Si side view
2022 Honda Civic Si side view | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

When comparing these two cars, it should come as no surprise that the 2022 Honda Civic Si provides more daily driving comfort. Not only is it a sedan with a large enough back seat to fit adult-sized people, but it’s also easier to get in and out of. Also, once you’re in the dashboard angle and interior layout make the cabin feel more expansive and thus, more comfortable.

On the other hand, the Toyota GR86 offers a more cockpit-like experience. Everything feels tighter around the driver. And while the all-around visibility out of the windows is pretty good, it’s even better in the Civic Si. I also found the Civic’s seats to be a little more comfortable, however, the seats in the GR86 were better bolstered.

The 2022 Toyota GR86 provides a little more driving fun

2022 Toyota GR86 front corner
2022 Toyota GR86 front corner | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Believe it or not, it’s hard to compare these two cars when it comes to power. The Toyota GR86 gets its power from a naturally aspirated Boxer engine that puts out 228 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The Civic Si is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that produces 200 hp and 192 lb-ft. On paper, that doesn’t sound like much of a difference.

But in the real world, the power delivery is what sets the two cars apart. The Civic Si’s turbocharged powerband offers meaty mid-range power that dies out a little at the top end. While the GR86’s naturally aspirated engine makes for quicker acceleration off the line and a strong pull until the redline.

That being said, if you want to feel a good jolt of power when driving around normally, the Civic is the way to go. But if you like tackling canyon-road corners like I do on the weekends, then the GR86 felt better for that purpose.

The Civic Si gets better fuel economy

2022 Honda Civic Si rear corner js
2022 Honda Civic Si rear corner | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

On paper, the 2022 Civic Si can achieve up to an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. In contrast, the GR86 can get up to 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.

Interestingly enough, I averaged 26 mpg in both cars during my time with them. Although, I admittedly was a little heavy-footed, which could be why. Either way, if you can tame your right foot, then you’ll enjoy more miles between fill-ups with the Civic Si.

The Honda Civic Si has a better audio system than the GR86

2022 Honda Civic Si interior
2022 Honda Civic Si interior | Honda

My Toyota GR86 Premium tester came with an 8-speaker audio system while the Civic SI came with the upgraded Bose premium audio system. It should be no surprise as to which one was better. The Bose system in the Civic was sublime and what helped, even more, is that the Civic’s cabin is quieter than the GR86. So if you’re a quasi-audiophile like myself, the Civic Si is the better way to go.

Dollar for dollar, there’s one clear winner

2022 Toyota GR86 rear corner
2022 Toyota GR86 rear corner | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

If you like driving and prefer a wedge-shaped car with two doors like I do, then the 2022 Toyota GR86 is a clear winner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a true Honda fanboy and love the Civic SI and everything it has to offer, but the GR86 pulled at my boy-racer heartstrings just a little more. In fact, I looked forward to driving it every day.

But that doesn’t mean the Civic isn’t worth its near $30,000 price tag. It totally is. Also, if you plan to take long road trips, the Civic is the one to get. But if you’re looking for the true driver’s car out of these two, I recommend the Toyota GR86.


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