Project Civic Si: Shorter Final Drive for 2020, No Word About Yellow AF Paint

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Update by David S. Wallens to the Honda Civic Si Coupe project car
Aug 22, 2019

Honda just announced some updates for the 2020 Civic Si, with biggies being some revised styling along with a shorter final drive. A 4.35:1 replaces the 4.105:1 found in the 2019 model.

Honda says the change was done to improve acceleration (math), yet economy numbers do slide a tad, going from 32 combined in the old car to 30 in the 2020 model. We haven’t found ourselves wishing for a lower final drive, but we’re fans of quicker acceleration.

Honda didn’t announce whether Tonic Yellow would continue to be offered, so of course we assumed it would and made our own prototype. You're welcome, Honda.

More details about the changes for 2020:

  • New LED headlights and foglights.
  • New matte black 18-inch wheels.
  • Summer tires return as an option.
  • New red trim on the instrument panel. (Probably not a deal-breaker.)
  • Addition of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive systems, which includes “Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) incorporating Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) incorporating Lane Departure Warning (LDW).”
  • And Active Sound Control, “which uses the audio system to enhance the engine sound during aggressive driving.”


  • 2020 Civic Si Coupe: $25,000
  • 2020 Civic Si Coupe w/Summer Tires: $25,200
  • 2020 Civic Si Sedan: $25,000
  • 2020 Civic Si Sedan w/Summer Tires: $25,200

Rumor has it that we’ll be driving one soon.

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View comments on the GRM forums
captdownshift GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/22/19 6:39 p.m.

Needs a 5 door hatch 

GCrites80s Reader
8/22/19 8:33 p.m.

Oh no, not the steering wheel Rumble Pak. Mom's 2018 Accord has that. It feels like you're getting shot in Goldeneye when you get a few inches from the line in the twisty stuff.

spacecadet GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/22/19 10:05 p.m.

all the nannies can be turned off, the g street group was grumbling about the reduced 2nd gear and glad to have their cars. 

I like the flat styling on the front fake grills and the little accents on the front and rear are attractive. Don't love the wheels.. but they're no longer directional.. so that a plus. 

DirtyBird222 UberDork
8/23/19 12:41 a.m.

I'm glad I waited to bite the bullet on a 2019 now I have options.

I think before everyone freaks out about the final gear ratio lets look at the previous two generations of Si. 6th gear cruising is what I'm always concerned about. I don't want a car buzzing at 4k RPM is 6th gear at 80mph. 

8th Gen Si

Final Gear Ratio: 4.76

6th Gear Ratio: 0.659

9th Gen Si

Final Gear Ratio: 4.76

6th Gear Ratio: 0.647

10th Gen Pre Mid-Cycle Refresh:

Final Gear Ratio: 4.105

6th Gear Ratio: 0.686


Pros/Cons of the mid-cycle refresh


- Useful headlights

- Better looking wheels

- Slightly better looking front bumper


- Red accents on dash and seats are tacky. 

- Active Sound Control should never be a thing in any car. 

- Not sure if Honda Sensing is really that great of a thing. 


I'm leaning towards a 2019 still. I've got plenty of better looking wheels laying around my house for these cars and headlight retrofits are easy and simple upgrades. I think I can live without HondaSensing, fake engine noise, and the jewel eye LES. Maybe I'll wait for the GRM opinion piece on the 2020. 



aw614 Reader
8/23/19 7:31 a.m.

I wonder why the higher final drive, for autocross I'd hate 2nd gear redlining lower than 58-60 mph, puts you in no man's land on some of the faster courses. I think the previous gen Si's have a similar issue too...

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
8/23/19 8:07 a.m.

As someone who is going to be shopping for a new daily driver in the next year or so, this stuff appeals to me. They gave the car better headlights (YAY!!!) and made it look slightly better with revised styling and cool wheels (also YAY!!!). Changing the final drive ratio over adding a little more power to increase acceleration seems weird, but that's ok with me.

The Honda Sensing stuff is going to be a point of contention for some, but I'm fine with it. Here in MA, and probably in many other places, insurance companies will discount your rate if they are equipped wth stuff like this. My wife's year old CX-5 costs as much to insure as my 8 year old Mazda 3 because it has similar equipment, like lane departure and collision warning systems.

This seems like a hell of a bargain for a competent, fun, and somewhat efficient daily driver.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/23/19 1:37 p.m.

It makes a great daily. 

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