2019 Honda Civic Si vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic Si deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic Si’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Fiesta ST’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Honda Civic Si has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Civic Si and the Fiesta ST have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Honda Civic Si Sedan is safer than the Fiesta ST:

 

Civic Si

Fiesta ST

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

21 cm

21 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.2/.5 kN

2.7/1.8 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

.86%/.57%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Civic Si the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fiesta ST was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Civic Si’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fiesta ST’s camshafts. If the Fiesta ST’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Civic Si’s reliability 33 points higher than the Fiesta ST.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 6 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (205 vs. 197) than the Fiesta ST’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Civic Si is faster than the Ford Fiesta ST (manual transmissions tested):

 

Civic Si

Fiesta ST

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.9 sec

17.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Civic Si gets better fuel mileage than the Fiesta ST (28 city/38 hwy vs. 25 city/32 hwy).

Transmission

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Civic Si has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Civic Si

Fiesta ST

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

10.95 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

9.96 inches

The Civic Si stops much shorter than the Fiesta ST:

 

Civic Si

Fiesta ST

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Civic Si has larger tires than the Fiesta ST (235/40R18 vs. 205/40R17).

The Civic Si’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fiesta ST’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Si has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Fiesta ST. The Civic Si offers optional 19-inch wheels.

The Honda Civic Si’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Fiesta ST only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda Civic Si has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Fiesta ST has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Civic Si has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Civic Si flat and controlled during cornering. The Fiesta ST’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Civic Si has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Fiesta ST’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Civic Si’s wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the Fiesta ST (106.3 inches vs. 98 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Si is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Fiesta ST.

The Civic Si Sedan handles at .97 G’s, while the Fiesta ST pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Civic Si has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Fiesta ST uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

The Civic Si Sedan has .8 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 6.2 inches more rear legroom and 6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta ST.

Cargo Capacity

The Civic Si Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Fiesta ST with its rear seat up (14.7 vs. 10.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Si easier. The Civic Si’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Fiesta ST’s liftover is 28.3 inches.

Servicing Ease

A Smart Maintenance is standard on the Civic Si to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush and transmission fluid replacement based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Ford doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Fiesta ST.

Ergonomics

The Civic Si’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Fiesta ST’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Civic Si the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Fiesta ST can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Civic Si has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Civic Si has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Civic Si has standard extendable sun visors. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Civic Si’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford charges extra for heated mirrors on the Fiesta ST.

The Civic Si Sedan has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Civic Si’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Model Availability

The Honda Civic Si comes in coupe and sedan bodystyles; the Ford Fiesta ST isn’t available as a coupe or sedan.

Economic Advantages

The Civic Si will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Civic Si will retain 52.64% to 54.77% of its original price after five years, while the Fiesta ST only retains 42.02%.

Recommendations

The Civic Si was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Fiesta ST hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 22 years. The Fiesta ST hasn’t been picked since 2014.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Fiesta ST has never been chosen.

The Honda Civic outsold the Ford Fiesta ST by over seven to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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