Civic SI: The Return of an Icon
The Honda Civic has been at the forefront of the compact sport culture for decades. For nearly half a century, drivers have flocked to the Japanese mainstay for dependabilty, affordability, and performance. Few models in any class have the sterling reputation that the Civic continues to uphold. The new 2017 Honda Civic Si, fresh off of a sabbatical year, looks to maintain that position. A souped-up edition that splits the difference between the base Sport Model and the internationally-beloved Type R Civic, the Civic Si (which stands for “Sport Injection”) is a package that appeals to anyone who wants that famous Honda practicality and truly loves the act of driving.
After a model year off due to slumping sales, the 2017 Honda Civic Si is making its comeback, revamped and more capable than ever. Based on the 10th generation Honda Civic Sport, the new Civic Si was finally revealed this spring, live on YouTube. And a great deal of the buzz surrounds the Si’s new power source.
A Turbocharged Future
For 2017, gone is the noisy and popular 2.4 liter VTEC engine of the previous generation. The new Civic Si’s power is a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder, a fine-tuned version of what’s under the hood in the Sport model. This slightly retooled version marks the first time in generations that the Civic Si shares an engine with the base Civic. Although the Si may disappoint some followers about the lack of trademark VTEC, the single-scroll turbo actually has the same power output as the old engine, making 205 horsepower. And as for torque, the new Civic Si improves on the past generation by 18 lb-ft, for a total of 192 lb-ft. It is also 100 pounds lighter than the old model, and the power materializes at a far lower rpm (5,700, compared to 7,000 rpm in the past).
Purists rejoice when it comes to the transmission. As usual, a short-throw six-speed manual is still the only option, keeping a priority on the act of driving. Also, the feel of the ride is better. Honda has re-tuned the suspension, with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars. The already-impeccable handling sees improvement courtesy of a mechanical limited-slip differential and active steering. And while fuel economy has always been a plus for the Civic Si, the 2017 model is 30% more efficient than its predecessor, getting 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway.
And on the Inside?
On the interior, trademark red accents and stitching (which matches the iconic Si badge on the grille) are here throughout. The Civic Si is always offered with just one, highly-equipped trim package, and the 2017 model is no different. Heated sport seats, a power sunroof, and aluminum pedals are standard. And a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available—standard—in every single ride.
Although the trim package is one-size-fits-all, the Honda Civic Si is available two ways. A sporty coupe accounts for the majority of Si sales, an estimated 60 percent. A four door sedan model is also available. Every Si features nice equipment, there is no lowly trim package. Those looking for that would opt for a regular Civic. And with that said, $23,900 is a fair price for the dependability and performance that drivers expect from this model. The Civic Si comes roaring back, even stronger after a model year off. With a smaller engine, but just as much bite and driveabilty, Honda proves yet again that size isn’t everything. But with praise, comes criticism. Take a look at what Consumer Reports has to say below.