2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Honda Civic Si

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro (except LS) 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 Civic Si doesn't offer a collision warning system.

To help make backing safer, the Camaro’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 Camaro 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The Chevrolet Camaro weighs 426 to 1262 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.

Warranty

The Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Civic Si’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Camaro has a standard 700-amp battery. The Civic Si’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’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’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Camaro’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (275 vs. 205) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Camaro’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 130 more horsepower (335 vs. 205) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (284 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Camaro LT1/SS’ standard 6.2 V8 produces 250 more horsepower (455 vs. 205) and 263 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Camaro ZL1’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 445 more horsepower (650 vs. 205) and 458 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Camaro is faster than the Honda Civic Si (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro turbo 4 cyl.

Camaro V6

Civic Si

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

13.7 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

101.7 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Camaro has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Si (19 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

The Camaro (except 4-cylinder/V6)’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 Chevrolet Camaro SS/ZL1 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 Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic Si:

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

Civic Si

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

11.1 inches

The Camaro SS’ 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 Camaro stops much shorter than the Civic Si:

Camaro

Civic Si

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

119 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the Civic Si (245/50R18 vs. 235/40R18). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Civic Si (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. 235/40R18).

The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s 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 Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Civic Si’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Civic Si doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro 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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Civic Si (110.7 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Civic Si.

The Camaro’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the Civic Si’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the Camaro more stable handling and braking.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the Civic Si Coupe pulls only .97 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Convertible handles at .98 G’s, while the Civic Si Sedan pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Camaro Coupe has 4.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Civic Si Coupe (93 vs. 88.6).

The Camaro Coupe has 2 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room and .5 inches more rear headroom than the Civic Si Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Camaro’s 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.

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

Servicing Ease

The Camaro 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 Camaro 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 Camaro Auto has a standard 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.

When two different drivers share the Camaro (except LS/LT1), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’s optional easy entry system 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 Camaro’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 Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

When the Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Civic Si’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Camaro 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 Camaro (except LS/LT1) 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 Camaro’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.

The Camaro’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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Civic Si doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Camaro 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 Camaro is less expensive to operate than the Civic Si because typical repairs cost much less on the Camaro than the Civic Si, including $292 less for a starter.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second 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.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The Civic was Car of the Year in 2006.

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

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