2019 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Honda Civic Si

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 2 Series offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Civic Si doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 2 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Civic Si doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 2 Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series and the Civic Si have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The BMW 2 Series weighs 474 to 1055 pounds more than the Honda Civic Si. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Civic Si was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

The 2 Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic Si’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 2 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Si’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Civic Si.

Reliability

The battery on the 2 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 2 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Civic Si’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Civic Si isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 7 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The 230i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 43 more horsepower (248 vs. 205) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The M240i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 130 more horsepower (335 vs. 205) and 177 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The 2 Series has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Si (13.7 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The 2 Series has a standard automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

All wheel drive, available in the 2 Series, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Honda Civic Si is not available with all wheel drive.

The 2 Series Automatic’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Civic Si doesn’t offer launch control.

The BMW 2 Series manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M240i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic Si:

 

M240i

Civic Si

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

11.1 inches

The 2 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Civic Si are solid, not vented.

The 2 Series stops shorter than the Civic Si:

 

2 Series

Civic Si

 

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Civic Si doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 2 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Civic Si’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the Civic Si’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 2 Series’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Civic Si’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.8 feet). The 2 Series xDrive’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Civic Si’s (37.1 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The 2 Series Coupe has 3.6 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more rear headroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Si Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The 2 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Civic Si Coupe (13.8 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the 2 Series’ trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Civic Si’s useful trunk space.

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The Civic Si’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series. The Civic Si doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The 2 Series uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Civic Si uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the 2 Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Civic Si. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 48% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the 2 Series, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 2 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Civic Si’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Civic Si doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The 2 Series’ available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Civic Si’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 2 Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Civic Si doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 2 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Civic Si doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 2 Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Civic Si doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 2 Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the 2 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Civic Si’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic Si offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the 2 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the 2 Series and the Civic Si offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Civic Si Sedan doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 2 Series Auto offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 2 Series’ available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Civic Si’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 2 Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 2 Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the Civic Si is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 2 Series is less expensive to operate than the Civic Si because typical repairs cost much less on the 2 Series than the Civic Si, including $237 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW 2 Series and the Honda Civic Si, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Civic Si isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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