While people continue to pay more and more for a new car, not all new cars have to break the piggy bank. Prioritizing price doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the fun. On the contrary. Cars like the new Honda Civic Si and Toyota GR86 are a blast to drive, and both start at under $30,000. But which is the quicker car? A new Throttle House video finds out.
The Toyota has a big advantage over the Honda. For one, the GR86 is a rear-wheel-drive coupe, while the Civic Si is a four-door that powers the fronts. Both send power to the wheels through a six-speed manual, but the engines diverge. The Civic Si packs a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts) and 192 pound-feet (260 Newton-meters) of torque.
Gallery: 2022 Toyota GR86
The GR86 uses a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 228 hp (170), which is more than the Civic, but the Toyota only makes 184 lb-ft (249 Nm). However, the Toyota’s other advantage is its weight. It’s down two doors compared to the Civic, but it is less than 200 pounds lighter – 2,811 pounds (1,275 kilograms) versus 2,998 lbs (1,360 kg).
The coupe’s extra horsepower and lighter curb weight are immediately noticeable in the first race. The Toyota got a slight head start off the line, with some wheel hop, before pulling ahead of the Civic, which stood no chance against the Toyota. The GR86 pulls and pulls and pulls, leaving the Civic further and further behind.
The second race starts at a roll, but it does nothing to handicap the two-door. The start is much more even between the two, but the Toyota pulls away with every shift. The Toyota didn’t win by the same wide margin as it did in the first race, but it still finished several car lengths ahead of the Honda.
The Honda Civic Si and Toyota GR86 are not direct competitors, but they offer customers options for affordable performance. They’re wrapped in different packages for different preferences, but the results are similar – big smiles behind the wheel.
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