2019 Dodge Challenger vs. 2019 Honda Civic Si

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Challenger has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Challenger offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Civic Si doesn't offer a collision warning system.

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

To help make backing safer, the Challenger’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Challenger 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The Dodge Challenger weighs 952 to 1603 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Dodge Challenger is safer than the Honda Civic Si:

 

Challenger

Civic Si

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

209

265

Neck Injury Risk

29%

34%

Leg Forces (l/r)

190/375 lbs.

445/224 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Challenger’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Challenger has a standard 730-amp battery. The Civic Si’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the Challenger is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Challenger’s 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’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Dodge vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Dodge 19th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The Challenger’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 100 more horsepower (305 vs. 205) and 76 lbs.-ft. more torque (268 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Challenger R/T automatic’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 167 more horsepower (372 vs. 205) and 208 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Challenger R/T manual’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 170 more horsepower (375 vs. 205) and 218 lbs.-ft. more torque (410 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack’s standard 6.4 V8 produces 280 more horsepower (485 vs. 205) and 283 lbs.-ft. more torque (475 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Challenger Hellcat Redeye’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 592 more horsepower (797 vs. 205) and 515 lbs.-ft. more torque (707 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Dodge Challenger is faster than the Honda Civic Si (manual transmissions tested):

 

Challenger R/T Scat Pack

Challenger SRT Hellcat

Civic Si

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

3.9 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.2 sec

8.1 sec

16.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

11.9 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113 MPH

124 MPH

96 MPH

Top Speed

176 MPH

199 MPH

136 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Challenger 5.7/6.4 V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Challenger has 6.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Si (18.5 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Challenger offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

All wheel drive, available in the Challenger, 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 Challenger’s optional 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Challenger SXT

Challenger R/T/AWD

Challenger Scat Pack

Hellcat

Civic Si

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

13.8 inches

11.1 inches

The Challenger R/T/GT’s 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 Challenger stops much shorter than the Civic Si:

 

Challenger

Civic Si

 

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Challenger Widebody’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Civic Si (305/35R20 vs. 235/40R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Challenger offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Civic Si’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Challenger has a standard space-saver spare (not available on R/T Scat Pack/Hellcat) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Civic Si; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Challenger 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Challenger’s wheelbase is 9.9 inches longer than on the Civic Si (116.2 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Challenger is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Civic Si.

The Challenger’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52% to 48%) than the Civic Si’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the Challenger more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

The Challenger has 5.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Civic Si Coupe (93.7 vs. 88.6).

The Challenger has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Si Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The Challenger has a much larger trunk than the Civic Si Coupe (16.2 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

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

Towing

The Challenger has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Civic Si has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Challenger 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 Challenger 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.

Ergonomics

The Challenger Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Challenger’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Civic Si does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Challenger’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Civic Si’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Challenger’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Challenger keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Civic Si doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Challenger’s 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 Challenger and the Civic Si offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Challenger 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 Challenger offers an optional Adaptive 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 Challenger’s 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Challenger owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Challenger 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 Challenger is less expensive to operate than the Civic Si because typical repairs cost much less on the Challenger than the Civic Si, including $32 less for a water pump and $321 less for a starter.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Challenger first among midsize sporty 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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