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The Honda Civic is one of the most popular cars in America for everyday driving, and just like every other popular car, Honda offers plenty of options for the Civic. Some of the Civic’s options improve its driving capabilities so much that some drivers think that the Civic can be considered a sports car. Here’s a look at the 2023 Honda Civic and whether or not it’s a sports car or a normal compact sedan. 

A white 2023 Honda Civic Type R on a track.
2023 Civic Type R | Honda

The one 2023 Honda Civic trim option that can be considered a sports car

Honda has many trims available for the Civic, and unsurprisingly, most of them are not considered a sports car. The compact sedan does have two options that may be considered to be sports cars, but only one of them is generally accepted as such, while the other is generally not. The version that’s generally not considered to be a sports car is the Si.

The Si is actually an abbreviation for “Sport Injection”, and that was almost literal since the earlier versions of the car had a fuel injection system. Nowadays, the Si is generally considered to be a sporty compact sedan rather than a true sports car. The automaker gave it a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gets 200 hp. 

That’s more power than what the standard Civic has, but that’s less than what the Type R gets. The Type R, meanwhile, is the only Civic option that’s usually considered to be a sports car. As expected, the reasoning for that is under the hood.

Here’s how the regular 2023 Honda Civic compares to the Civic Type R

Like most other sports cars, the Type R is going to be expensive, and the 2023 version starts at about $44,000. In comparison, the standard Civic starts at about $24,000. This means that car shoppers who are interested in the Type R will need to shell out an extra $20,000 on top of the Civic’s price tag.

That hefty price tag pays for a lot though, and the big addition is the Type R’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which delivers 315 hp. The standard Civic only gets 158 hp from its standard engine, which means that the sporty Honda has a 157-hp advantage over the compact sedan. That’s almost double the horsepower that the standard Civic gets.

Plus, the Type R comes with a manual transmission, and that’s a feature that a lot of sports car enthusiasts want. The Japanese automaker also made a lot of changes to how the car handles, so the Type R is fast on race tracks too. Overall, the Type R can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is much faster than the regular Civic’s time of 9.2 seconds.

Honda has built plenty of legit sports cars over the years

While some drivers may be surprised that Honda has a legit sports car in its lineup, car enthusiasts are less surprised. The Japanese auto giant has a history of building some capable and legendary sports cars. Some examples of that include the Prelude VTEC, the S2000, and of course, the NSX.

The Prelude VTEC debuted in the early ’90s, and it came with a powerful 195 hp engine that allowed it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. The S2000, meanwhile, was a sports car that had a 237-hp engine. That allowed it to hit a top speed of 150 mph. The NSX is likely Honda’s most well-known sports car. It was a beloved sports car not just because of its power, but because of its coolness.


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