All the 2023 Honda Civic Si Differences Between the US and Canada

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Or, the grass is always greener.

Despite what Letterkenny or South Park might lead you to believe, Canada is pretty darned similar to the US in most ways—especially our auto industry. You’ll find pretty much every car south of the border up north as well. Some might have trim name differences, or in the case of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (RVR) or Nissan Rogue Sport (Qashqai), entirely new names.

The Civic Si is not such a car. It has the same name either side of the border. The same 1.5-liter turbo-four sends the same 200 horsepower through the same, sweet six-speed manual transmission.

Yet there are quite a few differences. I spent a few days with a US-spec Si during the week of the LA auto show, and found a pared-back, honest enthusiast sedan that’s equal parts charming and affordable. Except it isn’t the latter, technically.

Simpler digs

The Civic Si is based on the very good Civic sedan—sorry, no coupe this generation. With Honda’s icon bigger than ever, that translates to a roomy cabin for four actual adults, or five in a pinch. The cloth seats are fantastic, nicely supportive up in the Malibu hills without sacrificing the comfort necessary to survive LA’s infamous traffic. (Hey Angelenos, come to Toronto: you’ll be dreaming of the 405 crawl in no time because at least it moves.) The cabin design is clean and high quality: I am obligated to talk about the satisfyingly clicky climate control rotary knobs. Both countries get auto climate, but Canada gets dual-zone.

American cars come without a heated steering wheel. Yet the heated rim is standard-fit in Canada. Same goes with the heated seats, and Canada drops them in front and back. Not exactly a problem in California, even during an unusually rainy visit, but probably a tougher sell for someone in Michigan.

Another change is literally staring the driver in the face: the digital instrument cluster of Canada makes way for a hybrid digital/analog setup in the US. I’m personally more than fine with this: Honda’s analog tach is pure effective design, and all the various selectable info screens still translate to the US model’s left-side dial. Want the g-meter? You got it. Other tech upgrades us Canucks enjoy include a wireless charger—fine I suppose, since both territories use wireless Apple CarPlay—and an auto-dimming rearview mirror—why do so many people use high-beams in LA?! Let’s not forget the parking sensors, a little bit of digital safeguarding even though the Civic has excellent sightlines.

Comparative value

Why so many changes? Well Honda Canada’s Si is based off the Touring, and priced at $37,460 CAD, including destination, sits about a grand above that trim. Meanwhile, Honda America builds off the mid-level EX trim for its Si, which is why its $30,195 sticker (also including destination) is roughly $1,500 below the spendiest Civic sedan.

But wait a minute: at today’s exchange rate, the US Civic Si comes up to $40,440 CAD. Or put another way, the Canadian Si would be just $27,970 down south. Why is the larger market getting such a bad deal?

Well it isn’t. A straight conversion doesn’t tell the whole story. When he did a story on the market changes around the Civic Si's launch, Honda America told our friend Chris Tsui at The Drive to look instead at the competitive set for the Si. Sure enough, the Si is the value play against the likes of the Volkswagen GTI and Hyundai Elantra N. The gap is far smaller in Canada; in fact, that was one of the reasons the Civic Si struggled in a three-way comparo last year against those two exact cars.

Wanting what we can’t have

Auto journos are a fickle bunch. There’s a long-running joke that we like what doesn’t sell—manual brown wagons, probably. So it should come as little surprise that when I queried colleagues from either side of the border, the Civic Si they wished was sold in their country was the other one. Canadians like the sounds of a more affordable, back-to-basics Si instead of a “Touring Plus.” American folks thought their Si was only a few creature comforts away from being an ideal daily driver.

We’re all standing at the same fence, complimenting our neighbor's verdant lawn.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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 1 comment
  • WinstonSmith84 WinstonSmith84 on Dec 20, 2023

    How many of your Canadian friends wish they could spend $3,000 more loonies for a car with less creature comforts? Sometimes the grass really is greener on one side of the fence.