Honda B16 vs Honda B18: Which One is Better?

Honda is legendary car makers and even more legendary in terms of their engine reliability and longevity. Since the 90s, Honda has been making impressive engines that can provide you power even with turbochargers. And one of those many engine families is the B-series. 

B-series engines are inline-four-cylinder DOHC machines. Its production started in 1988 up until 2001 and was sold at the same time as the D-series. B series are performance-oriented engines, while the SOHC D-series are more economically inclined machines. B-series were the first engines to use the VTEC system and passed from the first generation up to now. 

B18 and B16 engines are both B-series engines. Let us compare them head to head. To start, let us take a closer look at their individual specifications.

Honda B16 Engine

In 1989 when Honda first introduced the B16 engine through the Integra XSi and CRX SiR. Through those eleven years, B16 has six versions. Its revolutionary design rippled and created a lasting impact that will change the course of the naturally aspirated engines. 

Honda achieved the elusive 100 horsepower to liter ratio following its B16 release. 

Engine Specifications and Design

  • Production Run: 1989 – 2000
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
  • Configuration: Inline-4
  • Bore: 81 mm
  • Stroke: 77.4 mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC 4 valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 1.6 L
  • Compression Ratio: 10.2
  • Weight: 403 lbs.
  • Max HP: 185 hp at 8,200 RPM
  • Max Torque: 118 lb-ft

B16 engine is a 1.6 Liter, naturally-aspirated petrol engine which is capable of producing 160 hp, at maximum, even without the aid of forced induction. B16 engine became famous, not only for enthusiasts, due to its high horsepower-to-liter ratio edging other competitors in its time. It is also the first engine to be integrated with Honda’s VTEC technology that enabled B16, and the next Honda cars, to produce an insane amount of power by using multiple camshaft profiles and in between hydraulic selects. That results in a better fuel economy and sufficient power delivery even in low RPMs.

B16 engine, or initially B16A SiR, is an all-aluminum construct machine debuted in 1989 in Honda Integra XSi; it earned legendary status with its immense contribution to the automotive industry. The first generation B16 engine displaces 1.6 Liters, 10.2 compression ratio, 81 mm bore, and 77.4 mm stroke. Peak power is rated at 160 hp at 7,600 RPM producing 111 lb-ft of torque. Under the hood, Honda installed it with a high-carbon high-chrome cast steel camshaft, 81 mm pistons, and a 30 mm compression height. Its engine block is covered with the DOHC VTEC head engaging at 5,500 RPM with a redline of 8,000, limiting at 8,200 RPM. 

Honda refined and improved their B16 engines throughout the years, and the following are the succeeding versions for B16 engines. We discussed the first generation so let us proceed with the next generations. 

B16A SiR 2nd generation is the Japanese version of the B16A, installed with new pistons, less dynamic intake camshaft, 60 mm throttle body size, and a higher compression ratio of 10.4. It appeared in 19992 -1993 Honda Integra and Honda Ferio, 1992 – 1994 Honda Civic, and 1992 – 1995 Honda CR-X del sol. It has an additional ten hp that results in 170 hp due to a more extensive valve cover modification and 116 lb-ft torque with VTEC engaging at 5,500 RPM. The type R alternate, B16B, holds the exact specifications and is the top dog of the B16 line. It has a higher compression ratio of 10.8, higher power output of 185 hp, and a 118 lb-ft torque. Type Rs are basically Integra R engine blocks with the same stroke as the B16A but are taller, which is why it uses longer rods, resulting in a higher Rod/Stroke ratio. Honda also installed it with new spark plugs, head porting for intake ports, the throttle body size at 62 mm, reinforced valve springs, lightweight intake valves, and a bigger exhaust system. Redline at 8,400 RPM with VTEC engagement 6,100 RPM.

B16A1 is the European version of the B16A. It has a reduced compression ratio of 10.2, 150 hp, and 111 lb-ft torque with VTEC engagement at 5,200 RPM, redline at 8,200 RPM. It appears in Honda CRX and Civic.

B16A2 is equipped with a new camshaft and has a compression ratio of 10.2, 160 hp at 7,600 RPM, and a 111 lb-ft torque. Redline at 8,000 RPM with VTEC engagement at 5,600 RPM. It appears in 1992 – 2000 Honda Civic.

B16A3 is created and designed for Honda Del Sol. It has a 10.4 compression ratio, 160 HP at 7,600 RPM, and 111 lb-ft of torque. Redline is at 8,200 RPM and VTEC engagement at 5,600 RPM. 

B16A5 is the automatic transmission version of the SiR. It has the same compression ratio with 10.4, 111 lb-ft of torque and an increased output of 174 hp at 7,800 RPM. Redline at 8,300 RPM. It can be found in 1996 – 2000 Civic SiR II (JDM version)

B16A6 is the analog version of the B16A2 and is intended for the Middle East and South African countries. It has 160 hp at 7,800 RPM, 118 lb-ft torque, and VTEC engagement at 5,500 RPM. It appears in 1996 – 2000 Honda Civic VTEC. 

Honda B18 Engine

Engine Specification and Design

  • Production Run: 1990 – 2001
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Aluminum
  • Configuration: Inline-4
  • Bore: 81 mm
  • Stroke: 87.2 mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC 4 valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 1.8 L
  • Compression Ratio: 11.1
  • Weight: 403 lbs.
  • Max HP: 200 hp at 8,200 RPM
  • Max Torque: 118 lb-ft

B18 engine is a 1.8 Liter, inline-4 petrol engine that debuted in 1990 on Acura Integra. Early versions of B18 engines are not VTEC-system integrated up until the release of the Honda B18C engine, which puts this engine in-car conversations, and even automotive debates. This engine can be found in 1996 – 2001 Honda Integra JDM Type R. 

B18C engines can be easily identified with their silver top with red accents to go along with the radiator top hose connection at the back of the head.

Its cylinder block and heads are made from aluminum alloy. It featured steel cylinder liners to increase strength. B18C features a 16-valve VTEC DOHC head with enlarged inlet and exhaust valves, oil jets, hick valve systems, strengthened cams, revamped fuel injectors, and improved intake and exhaust valves. 

B18 engine is excellent in terms of power to weight ratio, considering that it does not have a turbocharger. It can attain 178 hp at 7,600 RPM, 128 lb-ft of torque, and VTEC engagement at 5,700 RPM. Redline at 8,000 RPM.

B18 engines have various versions depending on the market and demand. Here are the versions:

B18A1 is the prime release of the B18 engine and powered the Acura Integra. It is a non-VTEC variant, a programmed fuel injection, and it can produce a satisfying 132 hp, 121 lb-ft, with a compression ratio of 9.2. Redline is at 6,500 RPM.

B18B1 is the improved version of the B18A1. It has a higher power output, though, at 142 hp, larger torque at 127 lb-ft. To add with that, additional air filters, fuel injectors, ECU program, and other camshafts were also enhanced. It appears in 1994 – 2001 Integra, 1992 -1996 JDM Honda Domani, and 1993 -1994 JDM Honda Integra. Redline is at 6,800 RPM (7,200 RPM on Domani). B18B2 version is for the Australian market.

B18B3 is the version made for South Africa and Middle East Honda Civic and produces 143 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. Its analog version, B18B4, has increased power to 140 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. They both have the same compression ratio at 9.2

B18C Type R is the sport version of the B18 line developed for Honda Integra Type R. It is equipped with a new intake manifold and VTEC system that engages at 5,8000 RPM with redline marks at 8,300 RPM. B18C engines can produce 197 hp of power, 131 lb-ft of torque, and a higher compression ratio of 11.1. The analog version to JDM B18C, B18C1, is made for USDM Acura Integra GSR and has a lower compression ratio of 10, VTEC engagement at 4,400 RPM, 170 hp, and 128 lb-ft of torque. 

Honda released the B18C2 as an analog of B18C1 and designed it for Honda Integra VTi-R in Australia And New Zealand markets. In contrast, B18C3 is for Asia, and the B18C4 for Honda Civic in Europe. 

B18C5 is the analog of the JDM B18C Type-R for USDM Acura Integra Type R. It has new pistons, deeper valve reliefs, strengthened camshafts, and lighter connecting rods. Also, ahead porting was made, double valve springs, larger throttle body, new spark plugs, lightweight intake valves, and straighter exhaust system. It is equipped with a VTEC system engaging at 5,700 RPM, redline at 8,300 RPM. It can produce 195 hp, 10.6 compression ratio, and 130 lb-ft of torque. However, B18C6 is also an analog for the European market, and B18C7 is an analog for the Australian market.

Head to Head 

We have already discussed the individual attributes of each engine, and both of them are exemplary machines and impressive in their own ways and style. Both have the edge over the other, and comparing them is an unending task because choosing is more of a personal preference over-popularity. 

Honda B16 and Honda B18 are two different machines on their respective turfs. B16 runs the 1.6L displacement while the B18 is 1.8 L and is by far their most obvious difference. 

Coming from the B16 line is the B16B engine which is capable of producing 185 hp with its high-rev push. However, B18C would sweep B16 in terms of power and torque, especially in stock form. B18C produces 197 hp, and 131 lb-ft of torque, while B16 can only produce 117 lb-ft of torque. 

But if you chose earlier B16 models, it would be a lopsided showdown between these two, for their specifications are inferior to B16B. 

One thing that might be the decider between these two is their price difference. B18 engines are more expensive than B16, maybe because of their popularity among the car community, but B18s additional costs will overshadow the cost that you will cover in upgrading B16s; and B16s can achieve B18 levels with proper tuning and boring. To add with that, parts for B16 are cheaper, and their lots of options available. 

Also, if you are planning to build a project car or you want some change, B16 engines are suitable for lightweight chassis and will maximize the torque output, while B18s are excellent initial engines, especially if you are rooting for a stock power output.  

Summary

B16 and B18 engines are both respectable and reliable engines. B16 being the pioneer of VTEC and high horsepower to liter ratio, while B18 continues to dominate the game by its enormous power output and formidable stock form that stuns even its B series ally. You will not regret owning either of these two, for they present themselves in different forms that will accommodate your demands. It is only up to you which you will pick and will take your money. 

I hope that we cleared some clouds in your head regarding the informal debates going on for ages now between these two engines. Both are great and excellent. 

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