2020 Honda Civic Si vs. 2020 Subaru BRZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Civic Si Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Subaru BRZ doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 BRZ’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic Si has standard Collision Mitigation Braking System, 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 BRZ doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Civic Si’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The BRZ doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Civic Si’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The BRZ doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Civic Si has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The BRZ doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Civic Si and the BRZ 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 and rearview cameras.

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

Civic Si

BRZ

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

20%

25%

Neck Stress

176 lbs.

263 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

192/350 lbs.

814/1004 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

265

361

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

131 lbs.

135 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

92 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

445/224 lbs.

470/406 lbs.

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

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 BRZ:

Civic Si

BRZ

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

21 cm

22 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.2/.5 kN

4.5/1.6 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

2%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Honda Civic Si is safer than the Subaru BRZ:

Civic Si

BRZ

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

There are over 66 percent more Honda dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic Si’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 5 more horsepower (205 vs. 200) and 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (192 vs. 151) than the BRZ’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (192 vs. 156) than the BRZ’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Road and Track the Honda Civic Si is faster than the Subaru BRZ (manual transmissions tested):

Civic Si

BRZ

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.6 sec

In a Car and Driver race course test, the Honda Civic Si Coupe was clocked 5.1 seconds faster than the Subaru BRZ Performance Package (194.6 sec. vs. 199.7 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Civic Si gets better fuel mileage than the BRZ:

MPG

Civic Si

Manual

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

BRZ

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

tS 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Civic Si uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The BRZ requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Civic Si has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The BRZ doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Civic Si

BRZ

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.6 inches

The Civic Si stops much shorter than the BRZ:

Civic Si

BRZ

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Civic Si has larger tires than the BRZ (235/40R18 vs. 215/45R17).

The Civic Si’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the BRZ’s standard 45 series tires. The Civic Si’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the BRZ ts’ 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Si has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the BRZ. The Civic Si’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the BRZ ts.

Suspension and Handling

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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 BRZ’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Civic Si’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The BRZ doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Civic Si’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the BRZ (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

The Civic Si Coupe handles at .97 G’s, while the BRZ Limited pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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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 BRZ uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Civic Si Coupe is quieter than the BRZ Limited:

Civic Si

BRZ

At idle

40 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

84 dB

85 dB

70 MPH Cruising

72 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Civic Si Coupe a Compact car, while the BRZ is rated a Minicompact.

The Civic Si has standard seating for 5 passengers; the BRZ can only carry 4.

The Civic Si Coupe has 12.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the BRZ (88.6 vs. 76.5).

The Civic Si Coupe has .4 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 6 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear hip room and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the BRZ.

Cargo Capacity

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The Civic Si Coupe has a much larger trunk than the BRZ (11.9 vs. 6.9 cubic feet).

The Civic Si’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The BRZ’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

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The Civic Si has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The BRZ doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

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. Subaru doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the BRZ.

Ergonomics

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The Civic Si’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The BRZ has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 BRZ can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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 BRZ doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Civic Si has a standard center folding armrest for the driver and front passenger. A center armrest helps combat driver fatigue. The BRZ doesn’t offer a front seat center armrest.

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

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Civic Si Sedan has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The BRZ doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Civic Si has a standard 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 BRZ doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

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The Honda Civic Si comes in coupe and sedan bodystyles; the Subaru BRZ isn’t available as a sedan.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Civic Si owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Civic Si will cost $1415 to $5675 less than the BRZ over a five-year period.

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 54.01% to 55.27% of its original price after five years, while the BRZ only retains 48.54% to 50.81%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Civic Si will be $8030 to $11563 less than for the Subaru BRZ.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Honda Civic Si and the Subaru BRZ, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Civic Si was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The BRZ hasn’t been picked since 2013.

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 23 years. The BRZ 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 BRZ has never been chosen.

The Honda Civic outsold the Subaru BRZ by almost 85 to one during 2018.

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

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