Has the Civic Si Gotten Better Over Time?

The Honda Civic is a well known compact car offered as a sedan coupe and hatchback. Since 1985, Honda has also produced a sportier version of the compact vehicle, the Honda Civic Si. There have been 10 generations of this model, each gradually building in popularity and performance. Together we’ll take a look back at the previous generations and bring you up to speed on what is new for the 2020 Honda Civic Si.

Has the Civic Si gotten better over time? And which generation is the best?

First Generation

The Honda Civic expanded to the Honda Civic CRX Si in 1985 and the Honda Civic Si hatchback in 1986. This first generation was powered by a direct-injection 1.5 four-cylinder engine that produced an easy 91 hp.

Second Generation

1989 Honda Civic CRX Si rear
1989 Honda Civic CRX Si rear | Honda

In 1988 the Civic CRX Si returned with several upgrades. The Honda Civic Si would come with more attention given to the exhaust system, a five-speed manual transmission, sportier front seats, and improved handling. A 1.6 inline-four engine delivering up to 105 hp. It would expand to 108 hp when the Civic hatchback came to market in 1989.

Third Generation

1991 Honda Civic Si
1991 Honda Civic Si | Bring a Trailer

The third-generation Civic Si was hatchback only. It was an impressive increase in power and styling. This model would additionally add creature comforts like a moonroof, cruise control, and rear speakers. The output moved up to 125 hp at a 1.6L four-cylinder engine. The 1994 model year would also introduce the model to the antilock brake system (ABS).

Fourth Generation

The fourth-generation was a considerable performance advancement for the Honda Civic Si. 1999 would upgrade the Si to 160 hp and was the first American offering of the DOHC engine, adding the Si badging. This sports injected label would let everyone know of its performance capabilities long before it got moving. This generation was offered as a coupe only and it only continued to move forward for many more generations.

Fifth Generation

A golden yellow Honda Civic Si hatchback parked in a quaint European village.
2002 Honda Civic Si | Honda

The fifth-generation, comprised of 2002 through 2005, was offered solely as a hatchback. It was developed on a completely different platform than the regular Civic this generation. The engine was a 2.0 DOHC four-cylinder and capable go 160 hp.

Sixth Generation

Beginning in 2017, the sixth generation Honda Civic Si was offered in the U.S. This year, the Civic Si model was offered as both a sedan and a coupe. Buyers would see sophisticated handling, a quick six-speed manual transmission, and 2.0L inline-four engine delivering 197 hp.

Seventh Generation

The seventh-generation would again meet the buyer’s interest with both sedan and coupe offerings in the Civic Si. 2012 delivered a more commanding engine and 2.4 DOHV i-VTEC inline-four capable of 201 hp. 2013 moved the Is coupe from 0 to 60 in 6.1 seconds. You can still hear enthusiasts cheering.

Eighth Generation

Moving along to 2017, the eighth generation Civic Si evolved to a turbocharged 1.5L inline-four, capable of 205 hp with 192lb-of torque. This generation also featured a short-throw shifter and additional creature comforts such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and climate control. The ninth and tenth generation gets even better.

Bringing us current: the 2020 Honda Civic Si

2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe
2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe | Honda

The 2019 Civic Si added a sport button on the center console allowing for enhanced acceleration and improved response. For 2020, the Honda Civic Si is capable of 205 hp and 192-lb of torque. Both the Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe models will come with dynamic sport styling, Honda Sensing safety, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and driver-assist systems. The 2020 Honda Civic Si maintains its affordability coming in at around $30K and remains an enthusiastic favorite among those who like fast fun.

No doubt the Civic Si has come a long way from where it began. Through the years, one thing that has never changed is how fun it is to drive. Compare the generations, and if these don’t get you excited, consider the Honda Type R. You’ll likely never regret getting behind the wheel of either.