Honda Civic Si vs Honda Civic Type R: Which Model Is Right for You?

March 7th, 2023 by

An orange 2023 Honda Civic Si is shown rounding a corner.

Honda continues to update the Civic each year with fresh features, exciting updates, and all-new content. The Civic is available in multiple configurations, including the standard sedan, a hatchback, and two performance models: the Honda Civic Si and the Honda Civic Type R. If you were looking at Honda cars for sale and struggling to decide which one is right for you, Ryan Honda of Minot is here to give you some insight into what you need to know if you’re looking for something sporty and performance-oriented.

There are two specific Honda Civic models that are geared toward those who love to hug the curves and press the pedal to the metal. The aforementioned Civic Si and Civic Type R. But what are the differences between the two, and how do they stack up against one another? Well, that’s what we are here to break down. If you are interested in a performance-themed Honda and want to make the right choice, we’ll attempt to give you some reasons why one may be better for you than the other.

What Is the Honda Civic Si?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Honda Civic Si, it made its debut in 1984 as a performance-themed upgrade of the standard Honda Civic. Throughout the years, the Civic Si has been known as a performance-ready and sports-themed variation of the popular Civic nameplate. The most obvious difference is that the Civic Si offers a slightly tuned-up powertrain setup that differs from the base model. However, it brings more to the table than just power.

The changes to the Civic Si enable more performance and manual control for the driver, but they also make this model slightly more expensive than the standard Civic sedan. However, if you want the extra power, performance, and handling to take full advantage of the Civic’s capabilities, the Civic Si has always been an option for those with a penchant for speed. The newest 2023 model year Honda Civic Si is available right now and comes with an array of modern tech features.

What Is the Honda Civic Type R?

The Honda Civic Type R is newer than the Civic Si and is even more performance-oriented. It originally debuted in 1997 for the Japanese market but did not make its way to America until 2017. Although it has only been available for a few years, it has already become a legendary model for Honda fans. That’s because the Type R was designed with a specific purpose in mind: circuit racing.

Honda builds the Type R with a stiffened chassis and performance suspension to handle sharp turns and the harsh cycles of posting laps on the track. The Type R is also known for having Recaro racing seats, performance tires, and a manual transmission. Throughout the years, the Type R has been updated with new safety features and tech carried over from the standard Civic models, enabling drivers to get the maximum performance out of the Type R while still enjoying some of the more casual comfort and convenience features that the Civic is known for.

A close up shows the manual shifter in a 2023 Honda Civic Si.

What Does the 2023 Honda Civic Si Offer?

The 2023 Honda Civic Si is available in six different exterior colors. A decklid spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, and exclusive Si sport seats with a matching red and black interior give the Civic Si its own unique look. Added features such as the one-touch sunroof and available HPD underbody spoilers help make the Civic Si stand out from other sedans in the segment and make it a great choice for those looking for sporty yet affordable Honda cars for sale.

The Civic Si is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. One of the big selling points of the Civic Si is its six-speed manual transmission with built-in rev-matching and a limited-slip differential, so you can grip the road and manage your shifts like a pro. Compared to the standard Civic, the Civic Si features improved exhaust, larger brake rotors for superior stopping performance, and a stiffer suspension. If the standard Honda Civic just wasn’t doing it for you, the Honda Civic Si offers more power, more performance, and better overall handling.

What Does the 2023 Honda Civic Type R Offer?

The Honda Civic Type R has been fully redesigned for the 2023 model year. Unlike the Civic Si, which is a four-door sedan, the Type R is sold as a five-door hot hatch. The most powerful production model of the Civic yet, the Type R brings a finely tuned turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to the table. This power plant produces an impressive 315 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The Civic Type R also comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, so if you want the ability to shift manually, this car will provide it.

A unique dual-axis front suspension with adaptive dampers, four-piston Brembo front calipers paired with two-piece rotors, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires on 19-inch wheels all help give the Type R a performance edge. Honda also used lightweight components for the drivetrain, hood, and seats. The aerodynamics have also been improved for the 2023 model year, with a 48% larger grille opening for better airflow and standard underbody side spoilers, front fender outlets, and integrated rear fenders. All-new diffusers and an arched rear spoiler improve downforce, while red sport seats, alloy sport pedals, and an aluminum shift knob all help bring the track experience to the Type R’s cabin.

What Are the Major Differences Between the Civic Type R and Civic Si?

Despite the Honda Civic Si and Honda Civic Type R both being performance-oriented Civic models, they cater to two very different crowds and have very distinct features. Both models have more powerful engines than the standard Civic and come with manual transmissions. However, the Type R features much more power than the Civic Si, along with a more racing-oriented chassis, suspension, and aerodynamics.

Both feature the same infotainment suite, including a nine-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Where they differ, however, is that while both have a digital driver information display, the Type R features the all-new +R driving mode with enhanced telemetry, along with the Honda LogR datalogger. Otherwise, you get the same level of safety and tech with both Civic models, including standard implementation of the Honda Sensing suite.

While it might seem like the Type R has all of the benefits of the Si and none of the drawbacks, that’s not entirely true. The Civic Type R, for instance, is only available in five different colors (Boost Blue Pearl, Championship White, Crystal Black Pearl, Rallye Red, and Sonic Gray Pearl). The Civic Si, however, offers six different colors (Blazing Orange Pearl, Aegean Blue Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, Rallye Red, and Sonic Gray Pearl). So you have slightly different options with the Civic Si, including the Blazing Orange Pearl that isn’t even available for the Type R.

Of course, all of these awesome features of the Civic Type R also add another stark difference between these two Honda models: the price. The 2023 Civic Si has a starting MSRP of $28,500, while the 2023 Civic Type R has a starting MSRP of $43,295.[a] So there is a fairly large price gap between these two sporty versions of the Civic, obviously due to the performance and design differences between them. Finally, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is only available as a hatchback, while the 2023 Honda Civic Si is only available as a sedan.

A blue 2023 Honda Civic Type R is shown after looking at Honda cars for sale.

Choosing Between Two Performance Icons

If you are interested in a sporty, stylish upgrade from the standard Honda Civic and money is no object, you can’t go wrong with either of these models. However, if you’re working on a budget, the Civic Si is the way to go. You still get the sporty appeal and a real performance boost, but without the cost of the Civic Type R. Still, if your budget allows, the Type R is definitely the better choice if you want maximum performance capabilities from your Honda Civic. If you’re still having trouble figuring out which 2023 Honda Civic model is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ryan Honda of Minot for more information. We can’t wait to help you find the perfect performance-oriented Honda Civic.

[a] MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,095 destination charge, and accessories. Dealer prices may vary. MSRP does not include $395 premium color charge for 2022 vehicles or $455 premium color charge for 2023 vehicles.