Food for Thought: Honda Civic Si or… Corolla?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

If you’re like us — and I do mean us, as this is an issue on which there’s no disagreement — you probably view the Honda Civic Si as an attractive entry in the affordable “fun” car realm. A peppier-than-most powerplant, standard six-speed manual, brand appeal, stellar model reputation, and a spacious cabin? What’s not to like?

Well, certainly not this lease offer, which makes the 205-horsepower Civic Si a cheaper get than a low-end Corolla.

As noted by CarsDirect, this month sees Honda offering a Sign & Drive lease on the Civic Si that amounts to $260 a month for 36 months with nothing due at signing, making for a fun and affordable sedan (and this offer does apply only to the sedan variant). More affordable, certainly, than the current lease on a Toyota Corolla LE, which comes out to $209 a month with $1,995 due at signing.

Over the three-year term, you’d pay five bucks a month more for the Corolla, which makes do with a 1.8-liter four generating 139 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged 1.5-liter in the Si generates 192 lb-ft of twist. Cheapskate performance fans will also note that the Corolla LE carries a standard continuously variable automatic. Not to dump on the significantly improved 2020 Corolla, but… forget it!

CarsDirect claims the Civic Si carries a lease interest rate equal to 0.98 percent APR and a higher residual value than the Toyota, allowing Honda to offer a pocket performer for economy car dollars.

While local offers may be higher than the L.A.-based one listed here, there’s probably no better time to get into a Civic Si for three years than now. Civic Si coupes are an extra $10 a month, making them a slightly more expensive lease than the Corolla. As for buying, Honda’s offering 1.9 percent APR for 60 months, but nothing tops the current lease offer on the sedan. It runs out July 6th.

[Images: Honda]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jeanbaptiste Jeanbaptiste on Jun 17, 2020

    I wouldn’t mind some “retro” colors coming back as options. Can I get a harlequin gti???

  • 18726543 18726543 on Jun 18, 2020

    "And those turbos? I hear you are supposed to cool them down before shutdown following a spirited run, but I’ve never had issue shutting them down red hot." Funny you bring this up, as I was thinking about exactly this the other day! Does anyone remember turbo timers from the 80's/90's time frame? Never have so many of the cars for sale been turbo-equipped as today, and as far as I know not a single manufacturer has included a "turbo timer" functionality into the OE design. In fact, cars shut down now while just sitting at a stop light! Can you imagine how an OE would justify keeping them running 3-4 minutes after you've already gotten to where you were going?

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