2019 Porsche 718 Cayman vs. 2019 Honda Civic Si

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 718 Cayman Auto offers optional Porsche Active Safety, 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.

Both the 718 Cayman and the Civic Si have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 718 Cayman 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 718 Cayman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Si’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The battery on the 718 Cayman is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 718 Cayman’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 Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 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 Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche 4 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The 718 Cayman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 95 more horsepower (300 vs. 205) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The 718 Cayman S’ standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 145 more horsepower (350 vs. 205) and 117 lbs.-ft. more torque (309 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The 718 Cayman GTS’ standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 160 more horsepower (365 vs. 205) and 117 lbs.-ft. more torque (309 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The 718 Cayman GTS’ optional 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 160 more horsepower (365 vs. 205) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (317 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche 718 Cayman is faster than the Honda Civic Si (manual transmissions tested):

 

718 Cayman 2.0

718 Cayman S

Civic Si

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4.1 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

12.4 sec

14.9 sec

In a Car and Driver race course test, the Porsche 718 Cayman S was clocked 16.3 seconds faster than the Honda Civic Si Coupe (178.3 sec. vs. 194.6 sec.).

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Cayman lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the 718 Cayman’s 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 718 Cayman’s 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 718 Cayman’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Si (14.2 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 718 Cayman’s optional fuel tank has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Si (16.9 vs. 12.4 gallons).

Transmission

The 718 Cayman offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

The 718 Cayman offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 718 Cayman PDK’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.

The Porsche 718 Cayman manual offers 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 718 Cayman’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic Si:

 

718 Cayman

718 Cayman

Civic Si

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.8 inches

11.1 inches

The 718 Cayman’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 718 Cayman offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Civic Si doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Cayman stops much shorter than the Civic Si:

 

718 Cayman

Civic Si

 

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 718 Cayman’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Civic Si (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. 235/40R18).

The 718 Cayman’s optional 305/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Civic Si’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Cayman GTS has standard 20-inch wheels. The Civic Si’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The 718 Cayman 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 718 Cayman’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (44.7% to 55.3%) than the Civic Si’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the 718 Cayman more stable handling and braking.

The 718 Cayman S handles at 1.04 G’s, while the Civic Si Coupe pulls only .97 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 718 Cayman’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Civic Si’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

The 718 Cayman is 5 inches shorter than the Civic Si Coupe, making the 718 Cayman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the 718 Cayman is quieter than the Civic Si Coupe (71 vs. 72 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The 718 Cayman has a much larger trunk than the Civic Si Coupe (14.9 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 718 Cayman. The Civic Si doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 718 Cayman’s available trunk can be opened just by holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The 718 Cayman 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 718 Cayman 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 Porsche service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 65% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the 718 Cayman, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 718 Cayman’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The 718 Cayman’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 718 Cayman’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Civic Si’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 718 Cayman offers an optional rear wiper. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 718 Cayman 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 718 Cayman 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 see further while navigating curves, the 718 Cayman offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Civic Si doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the 718 Cayman with available tilt-down mirrors 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 718 Cayman 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 718 Cayman 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 718 Cayman’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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 718 Cayman PDK 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 718 Cayman’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

The 718 Cayman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Cayman will retain 55.27% to 55.4% of its original price after five years, while the Civic Si only retains 52.64% to 54.77%.

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

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