If you had the chance to go back to high school and do it over again, would you? But this time do it right! Buy the trendiest clothes, have the latest gadget, and drive the coolest car. If there is any guarantee to be the cool kid in school, it’s with this – the new Civic Si. And it has to be in this color, bright Energy Green. Reality check though, there is no going back to high school and is it really cool for a middle aged man to be driving around in a bright green coupe? For this demonstration… I made it cool with my backwards hat and Maroon 5 jams.
Honda did one thing right, apart from its 1.5-liter 205-horsepower, turbocharged engine, creamy six-speed manual gearbox, a limited slip differential and a chassis so good, the Germans don’t know what to do with themselves. But, the one thing good… an undeniable fantastic car for under 25-grand. Sooo, is that a yes we like it?
One the most appealing attributes to the Civic Si is that it comes only one way – take it or leave it. All we have to do is, chose a color. And that’s not to say it doesn’t already come well equipped with features such as push-button start, moonroof, touch screen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity, Dual Zone Climate Control, 18-inch Wheels, and much, much more. Accentually for 25-grand, it get all the standard amenities of a normal car minus the leather and advance safety features – which we didn’t want anyways.
Show Me Attention
It is an attractive looking thing. Even in this obnoxious color. The Si can be hand in either the two-door coupe or four-door sedan. The Coupe however is really the way to go, it looks appropriate as a sports car and with that fat wing and center exhaust – it just screams attention.
The interior on the hand is a bit boring. It’s mostly black with a hint of carbon fiber trim on the dash and carbon fiber a fabric material in the seats. But like the last Civic we drove, it is an attractive space with three-dimensional characteristics that’s all laid out in a easy to use, easy to reach formality. We won’t even complain about the button-less infotainment system as it is just as easy to use the steering wheel mounted controls to operate the necessities. There is some nifty animation to the startup TFT digital instrument screen and keeping with tradition, dots on the dash light up as we reach close to the redline to indicate when to shift appropriately. And then when we push the sport button, the gauges glow red, firms up the suspension and tightens up steering wheel.
Go Go Speed Racer
Short drives are ideal in the Si as we learned – anything over 200 miles and we start to get that itchy feeling to get out and crack our backs. Around town and on curvy mountain roads, the sport seats are decently supportive and highly bolster. As expected with the coupe, rear occupant room is tight, but maintains enough room for a dash to wherever.
Life, as we know it, has reached a sweet spot. While there may no longer be any V-TECing, the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is just sweet as pie. With torque coming in at the low end of the rev counter, around 1300 rpms, zero to 60 can be reached in under six and half seconds. The turbo lag is manageable and hardly noticeable when driving like a civilized person. Even in sixth gear, passing other motorist on the highway can be done confidently without feeling the need to downshift. And fuel economy is never sacarficed as we managed over 40 MPG’s on our 250 mile highway run.
The Civic Si’s little engine is just the start to something good. It’s backed by a fantastic, engaging transmission. The short throw six-speed manual transmission is firm and assertive. When shifting into gears it feels very mechanical, yet takes little force to do so. The clutch engagement feels proper with a steady weight giving the feeling of foot engagement – even if this is someone’s first manual car, it’s easy to learn as everything can be engaged at the top end of the clutch with very little give in the pedal. The brakes here also stop much quickly and firmly than before with larger front rotors.
And then there’s the handling. The heavily weighted thick, leather wrapped steering wheel has a confident presence in our hands. There is a sense of assembly and a solid foundation with the wheels at each turn with every entry we give. The upgraded chassis is much more rigid and composed. The suspension now has adaptive dampers and stabilizer bars, it feels more planted and sporty while providing a comfortable solid ride. When we found our way to the mountain roads, the Si handled like a high performance sports car. It had so much grip, we could feel the tires working overtime and yet we didn’t experience any understeer.
There aren’t many cars the Civic Si can compare to on the market today. Sure Ford has the Focus ST, Hyundai has the Elantra Sport and Volkswagen has that GTI thing – but none of them offer a coupe. So while yes, we may be a bit old to be driving around in a bright green sports coupe blaring music from the millennium and wearing our hat backwards; but when that kid, in his mom’s SUV pulls up and stares at you like you’ve gone off your crazy pills, just remember, you’ve got a credit card and can afford the monthly payments. Cause at $24,975, you can’t buy anything better than this.
|2017 Honda Civic Si:||$24,100|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$24,975|
|1.5-Liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder – 205-Horsepower, 6-Speed Manual Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±6.5 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 28/38/32(City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 32 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±350 Miles|