By on December 15, 2006

2007_civic_si_sedan_106.jpgHonda salesman? More like “order taker.” The new Civic Si sedan is guaranteed to sell itself, no “product specialist” needed. After all, the stock version is already a hit. Honda can legitimately claim they’re moving them by the boatload– even if they’re assembled on Ohio acreage. And Si coupes have always done well– even when they haven’t been well done. So, offering a four door variant with a sprinkle of go-faster and look-sharper for a few more bucks is a no-brainer. Say, is that a commission check in your pocket or are you just happy you’re not selling Isuzus?

It’s easy to see why Ma and Pa America have taken to the four-door Honda Civic: it’s easy on the eyes. Well, except for the slightly revised front end, which looks like nothing so much as a Saturn Ion whittled out of a chunk of Vermont cheddar and left to bake in Death Valley. The Si Sedan is further differentiated by the inclusion of the same 17” wheels appearing on the Si Coupe (how economical!), a rear wing (how imaginative!) and some stickers on the rear doors (how economical and imaginative!). Still, better under than over-stated– especially when even the loss-leader generic-cigarette version comes with a sunroof. Oh wait, that’s the windshield.

2007_civic_si_sedan_119.jpgComfortalize yourself in the forward chairs– dressed for duty in basic black cloth with red stitching on bolstered cushions– and don’t be surprised if you smile. They’re ass-tastic! You also get Si-specific red instrument lighting and a delicate aluminum shift switch; not much visual jingle for your jangle.  You’re still gazing over a foosball table-sized expanse of dashboard with the dreaded dual-zone instrument panel. With the central tach resembling the first-generation Prelude’s, and a secondary HUD-ish binnacle, this seemingly frivolous design feature actually works– if you can get past the idea of a car that thinks its part of NORAD.

Place an amorous horse in the vicinity of a frisky donkey and a short time later you’ll end up with a mule. Think of the Civic Si four-door as the similarly sired offspring of its stock and modified stablemates. Only the Si sedan’s not sterile at birth. For one thing, you get the Si’s 197-thoroughbred powerplant. The 2.0-liter DOHC four redlines at eight-grand, peak power arrives at 7800 rpm, and max torque (139ft.-lbs.) shows up at 6200 rpm. In other words, Honda’s i-VTEC technology is hard at work, trying like crazy to provide oomph down low and whee up high.

2007_civic_si_sedan_103-copy.jpgExcept it doesn’t. The Si’s mill sounds fine, thanks to a growly though thankfully restrained exhaust. But for a car that weighs only 60 lbs more than its two-door sibling, the Si sedan should run a lot harder than it does. Or at least feel as if it’s running harder than it is. Despite a not-entirely-slow zero to sixty time of 8.4 seconds, the four-door seems distinctly anemic.

Credit the hard workers across the hall in the Dept. of Chassis Magic. The Si loves the twisties like a fat kid loves cake. Honda’s boffins installed a larger front stabilizer bar, tweaked the dampers and dropped in a limited slip dif. It’s all to great effect; the Si sedan retains day-to-day composure which, considering the fact that it’s a performance variant, is a genuine bonus. At the same time, the car combines tenacious grip with superb chassis control, allowing fully-committed drivers a rare opportunity to explore the nexus of high G’s and understeer scrub off. 

The electrically-assisted steering is a delight, if a touch over-boosted, offering tremendous tactility and reassurance. Speaking of which, 11.8-inch ventilated front and 10.2-inch solid rear discs manage braking duties like Scotty Bowman handled the Montreal Canadiens. And if the Honda S2000’s gear change is the best ‘box on the planet (it is), the Si sedan’s is number two. It’s the low-fat Skippy peanut butter of gearboxes: light, smooth, and tasty. 

2007_civic_si_sedan_110.jpgThe main difference between the Si sedan and Si coupe? Nothing much– save the extra portals and a couple of grand (the Si sells for about $20k). In fact, the Si sedan’s practicality is practically inescapable. Keeping the rev needle in the penthouse will cost you at the pump, but not much (23 / 32 mpg). There’s a big ass boot and enough room for four genuine adults. Honda reliability, reasonable resale, and remind me again who can compete at this price point ($21k)? VW GLI? No thanks. Still…

Honda is known for its engines. They’ve given the Si Sedan everything an enthusiast could want but a totally stonking powerplant. At the end of the day, you’re left like a greedy little girl penning a letter to Santa for a corral full of ponies. Will that stop Honda from selling the frugal, fine-handling, sensibly priced Si sedan all day long? Nope. Never mind then.

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132 Comments on “Honda Civic Si Sedan Review...”


  • avatar

    Where’s the safety equipment part of the review?! I counted 0 words about them.

    My take on the car: ugly rear exterior tailored for american taste, flimsy plastic interior and fat chassis. The euro 3-door is alot nicer.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    if they put that engine in a Fit ill be 1st in line.

    im not a fan of the styling of the civic though its a bargin for the price. I would probably buy a GTI over this….that is if i wasnt 21 and my insurance rates werent higher then Nicole Richie.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Hopefully, the next facelift on this miniStarTrekmobile will simply be the Japanese version: http://www.autoblog.com.es/fotos/honda/3civic_japan4.jpg

    Plus, how economical that would be!

  • avatar
    virages

    2.0 l zippy engine, four doors, economical and practical. This is what I would buy if I ever came back to America. But for now my Alfa Romeo 147 will have to do.

    I agree on the bland styling for the American tastes. I do like the euro Civic better than this one. I’d take the space ship 4 door with the 2.4l Diesel.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    8.4 seconds? that’s really slow for an si. can that be right? edmonds says the si coupe is 7.2 secs. that doesn’t sound particularly fast either. can’t say i’m a fan of the styling. the euro civics look so much better. a friend has a 2006 ex sedan and it is really nice inside. very comfy.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While it has a lot going for it, the Star Trek dash, the anemic engine and bland exterior just don’t do it for me. The 2.4l from the TSX would have been a better engine choice as it delivers similar power but decent torque lower in the rev range. Considering the sort of power the MazdaSpeed3 is packing for around the same price the Si can hardly be considered ‘hot’. Warm maybe?

    But it won’t matter as its reliable, has good resale value and the Hondaphiles will buy everyone they make.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Why can’t honda produce a real si by doing what hundreds of car thieves and chop shops do and drop a 3.0i 6 speed manual into it. Being rear driven would be nice too.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I’d own one by now, if the insurance quotes weren’t practically DOUBLE what they were for my Miata. The ’99-’00 generation ruined it for the rest of us. (By being good, admittedly, and by being full of parts that were easily installable in every Civic and Integra out there.)

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    I think that dash is fantastic…waay cool looking, different, and actually functional too.

    That being said, WHY NO HATCH! ARGGGHHHH.

    Have you all seen the lovely hatchback? Not For U.S.

    Plus, over 8 seconds is pretty darn pokey. What does the fit do 0-60 in? I know the latest Minivan from honda is also quicker than that. Ouch.

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    Eh….as a coupe, whee! As a sedan, oy! I’d drop the extra cash on a 4dr GTI just for the torque.

  • avatar

    And Si coupes have always done well– even when they haven’t been well done.”

    Do you I get the feeling you’re referring to my 2003 2-door hatch? ;D

    What gear does 60 come in? I know my Mom’s RSX Type S requires a shift to third, but my 2003 (5 spd) comes in full VTEC in 2nd gear. Could that explain the lower times?

  • avatar

    For the money….I think I’d take a Mazdaspeed3 and actually beat my Jeep off the line.

  • avatar

    I’ve been wanting to drive one of these for some time. But they’re impossible to find at a dealer.

    The RSX has a similar engine, but I’ve been holding out hope that the Si’s engine would feel at least a bit stronger in the midrange. Apparently not. But where is the 8.4 stat from? Sounds way too high.

    I have sat in the coupe in the showroom. Agree on the seats.

    I have driven the regular Civic sedan, and for me the dual level instruments absolutely do not work. If anything, the tach should be in the forward location, because when I’m driving a car hard that has a power peak 200 rpm from the redline, I want to know exactly how fast the engine is spinning. With the Civic’s design, the tach is much harder to keep an eye on than the digital speedometer is.

    My site’s page for the Civic, with links to the most popular price comparisons:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/Civic.php

  • avatar
    jaje

    If you call the civic’s engine anemic – what do you call any other normally aspirated 2.0 engines or smaller? This engine outperforms the base 2.2 Ecotec engines and gives the 2.0 s/c Ecotecs a run for their money. This anemic engine makes more than Mazda Miata’s sports car engine and Dodges big block 2.4 liter. Heck Toyota tried to make a powerplant like this and needed Yamaha to do it for them. Now an anemic engine like that graces the Elise. If you also note the Civic Type R engine (a 200hp 2.0 mill) also sits in one of the worlds fastest production cars made – the Ariel Atom. Link

    Slapping a bigger and heavier engine into a car seems to be everyone’s resolution – bigger is always better. You take an already traction and turning challenged FWD and stuff another 200lbs up there and it makes the car handle like a pig. Case in point the Scion tC – big Camry 2.4 liter engine stuffed up front.

    Here’s a test – take a Caliber R/T for a test drive and throw it around. Next go take Honda Fit Sport and throw it around. The Honda has an “anemic” 1.5 liter engine in it but it lays the smack down on the big block 2.4 liter. Even outaccelerates it (look at C&D sub compact comparisons).

    The wonderful thing Honda does is balance the car so it not only can accelerate but also turn. The Civic is one of the best handling economy cars on the road, same thing with the Accord, Odyessy, and so on.

  • avatar
    durailer

    anyone know how to bring a Euro-spec Civic to our shores? The hatchbacks are gorgeous, even the euro Hybrid Sedan has better headlights and tail lamps.

  • avatar

    I have no issue with the torque-free nature of the engines in the S2000 and RX-8. But when I drove the Acura RSX, which has a very similar engine, the high-winding, gruntless engine felt out of place in the car. There just was nothing there way too high in the rev range, and even when hitting the powerband the experience wasn’t exactly thrilling. I don’t care about the numbers, I care what the engine feels like, and the RSX engine left me wanting much more.

  • avatar

    The RSX has basically the same engine but lacks a limited-slip differential. You are only paying for the name and leather.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    That darn Civic dash. I love the Civic sedan exterior, it beats most of the luxury cars, in my view. But when I sat in a Civic sedan and a GTI at an auto show, I felt instantly at home in the GTI and instantly puzzled in the Civic.

    Ain’t it fun comparing the two?

  • avatar
    JJ

    Ah…the Civic Si

    I think I would just buy a 3 door Hatchback Type R over this, since I live in Europe.

    The dash is much nicer on the Euro version too (except on the hybrid version, since that’s the same as this reviewed here without the A4 taillights). Still Star Trek, but with better materials and a slightly different layout it looks a lot better.

    …If only I was a bit older than 21 If only vehicular taxes weren’t so high around here.

    Btw, the diesel is a 2.2, not 2.4. Not that it matters all that much, but still.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    At the last car show I went to I thought the SI was one of the few cars that I would spend real money on, and my wife would actually be willing to be seen in. Which is why it is probably what we will get next summer, if I can find one. It brings up the question of motors and why Honda’s are so astonishingly smooth and Detroit can’t seem to get within miles of them. The last couple of times driving some Detroit small boxes (ah, rentals) I was struck by how my early ’90s Honda’s were so much smoother. If nothing else, you would think Ford would have just copied a 1989 Honda engine and slapped a Ford sticker on it.

    I do understand the insurance problem, a friend of mine gave up on RSX’s because he got tired of coming out to his car in the morning and seeing the heads gone…..

  • avatar

    Dern Europeans and their Type Rs.

  • avatar

    This would be one of those instances where a point/counterpoint or a comparison test would be great. I’d love to see Farago and Vogel go back and forth about this car, or grab one of these and a GLI and show the advantages one has over the other.

    Just my two cents.

    I’d still take a Mazdaspeed3 over it, torque steer or no. At least it has torque.

  • avatar
    WaaaaHoooo

    Something is so disproportionate abou the sedan exterior that it literally makes me almost sick to my stomach when I see them, so I try not to look. Previously I thought the 90′s Caprice was the ugliest newer car I’d ever seen. The Civic sedan is somehow “hydrocephalic” in appearance combined with no body up front and a fat woman’s rear end that I can set my coffee on.

    That being said (and the coupe kicks ass, BTW), and although I generally like Hondas, I can’t get past the fact that their dealer salespeople are basically incompetent, inept, and thus undeserving of my cash. Add to that they combine arrogance with incompetence and I take my business elsewhere.

    If you can get past the looks of this dog and the idiots you paid top dollar to, it is an okay value proposition.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    excellent car, i sat in one recently, but didnt drive it. I have owned high strung honda products before, they are fun.

    That being said, i would rather have a hatchback or a small wagon like the GTI or Mazda speed demon. Hatchbacks are very usefull, especially in a small car.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Vogel means bird in Dutch. You know, those feathery beasties…

    And… in the Netherlands we get the Type R…Great car. I think Honda is great. Probably my 2nd favourite “regular” brand after BMW.

  • avatar

    And I do have to agree with whomever said that the Fit needs this engine. That would be a spectacular car. Offer it at $17,000 and I’m in. Functionality, speed and handling….can’t beat it.

  • avatar
    Jon Furst

    These numbers might be impressive for $15k, but my 10-year-old Dodge Neon commuter is both much faster and gets much better fuel economy. That this is the “fast” version is a joke. I learned to live with a mediocre interior and a buzzy drivetrain, especially with the cost savings, but slow is always slow, and pouring more money into this thing won’t put you in much faster territory. Plus, there are so many truly great used cars at this price point it’s a miracle anyone buys these things. Next.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    The 1985 Pontiac dash is a deal breaker for me. I keep my cars a long time and I don’t see getting used to it; lots of memories of Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran.

    The 0-60 time seems like a mistake. Isn’t the stock Civic in the 9′s?

    The resale on Hondas is a great selling point, but not [so much] if you drive them into the ground.

    But not to worry, it will sell.

  • avatar
    David G

    Color me a Hondaphile, I suppose. My garage contains a 2006 Civic Si coupe and a 2007 Civic sedan. My wife usually drives the sedan. I would have held out for the Si sedan, but I was impatient (bought the coupe last June) and suspected the sedan may be hard/impossible/stupidly frustrating to find for several months.

    I drive around a fair bit for work and wanted something fun to drive, and the Si really fits the bill. I understand the want for more horsepower, as I still lust after the ponies under the hood of Mustang GT. In terms of daily driving, however, the Si is a fine package.

    Cruise at sub-6k rpm and you are just piloting another smallish car, albeit one with wonderful seats and an excellent stereo. Run the tach up above 6k, however, and things change. The engine picks up a more aggressive note and the world passes by your more window more quickly. Don’t get me wrong, there is not a great deal of power. And to get the power that is there, you have to wring it out. And therein lies the fun. You don’t just push the right pedal and go. The revs rise and fall smoothly, melodiously. and you have to work at it a bit. The engine doesn’t rattle or wheeze or otherwise complain about the high revs, it just revs. When you grow accustomed to the car and its personality, it becomes easy to turn a short errand into a Speed Racerish jaunt.

    For about $20k w/o nav, it’s a really fun ride. And the two extra doors would sure come in handy. Add Honda reliability and resale, and decent mileage, and I would expect the four door to do well.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Comfortalize – Sounds like a word that Damon Wayans’ imprisoned pseudo-intellectual character (Oswald Bates?) would use. Very funny.

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    I’m generally a fan of Hondas, but the side profile on this one reminds me of a ’96 Plymouth Breeze. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

    The other problem I’ve had with recent vintage Honda/Acura engine is that they have *lousy* low-end torque compared to the late-80s/early-90s B-Series and D-Series engines.

    I had a ’94 Integra GSR (first of the round-headlight Integras). It was an excellent car (my sister still drives it), but to get at the fun-to-drive factor, you had to drive it like you stole it (hence the popularity with the “Midnight Auto Parts” set?…:-D…)

    A big part of the problem is that car size/weight has grown faster than the torque output of Honda’s engines. A K20 engine in a 2300-lb. CRX is world-class. A K20 in a 3100-lb 2007 Civic is anemic.

  • avatar
    Luther

    The interior comes from the Pokeman Design Studio.

    Nice little car though.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    Cruise at sub-6k rpm and you are just piloting another smallish car, albeit one with wonderful seats and an excellent stereo. Run the tach up above 6k, however, and things change. The engine picks up a more aggressive note and the world passes by your more window more quickly. Don’t get me wrong, there is not a great deal of power.

    This made me laugh. “It’s a slow car with nice seats. However, if you rev the crap out of the engine, it’s a slow car, moving faster than it was before.”

    Just remember, the Honda minivan Pwns the SI from a stoplight. “Baby On Board” lol.

  • avatar
    Lyn Vogel

    Aatos: “Where’s the safety equipment part of the review?! I counted 0 words about them.”

    Apparently, editorials are limited to 800 words, thus leaving out numbers 801-804: This car is safe.

  • avatar
    tms1999

    High revving engine with no torque (sorry, little torque) are best suited for lighter car. I’m not sure this sedans is light enough. The artificially high BHP number comes from the magic of high revs.

    Tuned differently, you would have a regular 2.0L that red lines at 6,500 rpm, makes its 140lb.ft maximum torque at 3,800 rpm but only would have ~150 hp. Then again, this would make a Nissan engine in a Sentra, not a Honda engine.

    Horses are good for marketing though. Nobody knows what torque is (even though it is what pushes the car)

    In any case, I’d be more happy with the base 1.8, which sounds alot more civilised to drive.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    $20 k for a car that you have to flog the crap out of the engine to get any performance? And, a 4 cylinder compact sized as well? No thanks. For $20 k I can get a well equipped brand new Grand Marquis with a V-8 that will flat run forever, and the family will never outgrow, but then I would not be stylish or cool when I do that. Since they don't sell them in Japan or Germany, it must be because North America is inferior.

  • avatar
    Lyn Vogel

    jaje: “If you call the civic’s engine anemic – what do you call any other normally aspirated 2.0 engines or smaller? This engine outperforms the base 2.2 Ecotec engines and gives the 2.0 s/c Ecotecs a run for their money. This anemic engine makes more than Mazda Miata’s sports car engine and Dodges big block 2.4 liter. Heck Toyota tried to make a powerplant like this and needed Yamaha to do it for them. Now an anemic engine like that graces the Elise. If you also note the Civic Type R engine (a 200hp 2.0 mill) also sits in one of the worlds fastest production cars made – the Ariel Atom.”

    I didn’t call the engine anemic, I said the car feels anemic.

    And by mentioning the lightweight Elise and featherweight Atom, you’ve proven my point.

  • avatar
    Lyn Vogel

    The Cory: “This would be one of those instances where a point/counterpoint or a comparison test would be great. I’d love to see Farago and Vogel go back and forth about this car, or grab one of these and a GLI and show the advantages one has over the other.”

    Robert? I’m game if you are.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    I love Honda’s, but this car has some issues

    1. Bleeding edge technology can increase power per displacement, but not much increase in torque. Meanwhile small sedans (like all other vehcles) have gotten much heavier.

    Every engine configuration has a “sweet spot” where it works the best. VW has admitted the naturally aspirated 4-banger can’t cut it for performance “small” (3000 lb!) cars, using 6cyl and turbo 4′s.

    2. I hate spoilers, I’d rather have a vinyl roof fer-krisakes. Can’t they leave it off and let people decide whethter or not to add this kerapp?

    3. Honda had rep. for making no-nonsense cars, the super-sloped windshield and giant dashboard are impractical and violate Honda’s brand image. I live in Phoenix Az and believe me on 118 deg day this windshield will make the interior a living (or dieing) hell.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    One more thing

    4. No hatch? What is it with American auto-market. If I want to occasionally haul a large package I need to buy a Honda Pilot?! Shame on you Honda.

  • avatar
    Bonefizz

    Ass-Tastic is my new favorite word. Let’s see, how can I work it into my daily conversations without getting slapped…

  • avatar

    I’ll see what I can do Lynn.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    taxman100–you can get a new grand marquis for $20K?! how much do crown vics go for?

    i’ve been wanting a cop car, but if i could get a new crown vic with a till-ford-goes-bankrupt/36,000 warranty for $17K, i’d totally be down.

  • avatar
    johnnyreno700

    Civics, at one point elegant and cheap, have been getting uglier and heavier with each new gen since the ’88 – ’91 models. This particular car might have great seats, but what about that dash? The steering wheel? The front end? The Chrysler (Or is it Dodge?) Sebring wheels? Honda styling has been in the toilet since they did away with the super-low hood and cowl. Yikes.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Lyn – I was responding to Carguy who called the engine anemic and suggested as always bigger engine. My point was bigger engines in small cars upset the weight especially in FWD. The Elise & Atom are wonderful cars to drive (I’ve had the privilege to have drive both – but the Atom only with the base Lenotractor engine).

    Taxman – Yeah I can buy a Mercury Grand Marquis and pimp it amongst geriatrics. And sure it may run forever b/c it’s been in production forever. Now, ever try to drive a Grand Marquis into a turn or ever take it to a road track for a driving school? Now, I’ve driven plenty a Crown Vic rental car (seems hardly anyone buys them in retail) and it’s fun and got power but it has no sport in handling – well for maybe a golden girl.

    Mr. Karesh – the base RSX does not have the same engine as the new Civic Si (it does have the same engine as the pervious Civic Si hatchback). The RSX Type S has an older version that is close to the Si’s engine but not the same (as they did more tuning and improved the valve timing and tuned the exhaust to be more sporty.)

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    taxman100:

    Ya the marquis is a nice car but it is SERIOUSLY no fun to drive.

    Its about as tossable as the QM2.

    Comfy for long highway trips tho, i guess. Lousy milage. If you like this car, you’d LOVE the toyota avalon. Its the Vic/ Marquis done right.

    And around here, they arent 20K, except for maybe the lowest stripper with NO options. I looked for my dad.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    Nice review… couple comments:

    0-60 in 8.4 does seem a little slow. Not that 0-60 is everything, but we are living in an age where there are SUVs that get there in the 7s… and I think the Rav4 V6 gets there in the 6s.

    I was also going to comment on the gear box thing, but it looks like it’s already been edited… well done.

  • avatar
    Lyn Vogel

    jaje: “Lyn – I was responding to Carguy who called the engine anemic and suggested as always bigger engine.”

    Ah, my mistake then.

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    Timely review, and a good one. I need to take one for a drive.

    I’ve been salivating over the Si sedan since I first heard about it, you know, like you just spotted a girl you swear you’d jettison your wife for. Then she opens her mouth. Damn. Good thing you waited to hunt down a divorce lawyer.

    Epiphany hits: Why would I want to abandon my wonderful Miata for this torque-less bimbo? Not for a long-term relationship, that’s pretty clear.

    Sure, the back seat, larger trunk and newer everything would be nice. Good ergonomics, high reliability, maybe even capable handling, and an excellent engine, too.

    But, double the insurance rates? (Thanks for the tip, Carlisimo!)

    And, “Where’s The Torque?!” A little more force at the moment arm. May I please have some more, Sir?

    Maybe this is why I keep visiting truedelta and comparing the Si to the MS3. The Si may be nice, but she just isn’t the full package. The MS3 may not be quite as pretty, but you still yearn just a little bit more to take her for a rumble.

    Meanwhile, I’ll run out today to buy my Miata some Maguire’s.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    GM death watch, Ford Death watch, DCX suicide watch, then an article about how sweet Hondas are?

    What kind of website is this?

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    danio3834:

    Did you RTFA? It says the car is deficient in a bunch of ways, looks weird inside and out, is embarassingly slow for a “sports” car, and has no torque.

    BUT because of the reputation of Honda, and the fact the cars actually are well put together and have great resale value, it will sell.

    It’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

    You want a puff piece on the state of the US auto industry? You’re at the wrong URL. I’m sure if Ford, GM, or Kee-ristler make something good, there will be a review on TTAC that aint purdy, but says what works.

  • avatar
    jacob

    8.4 seconds to 60mph? That’s rather unimpressive for their “sporty” version of Civic and you have to rev bejezuz out of the small engine. This is certainly a nice car, but I am sure not if I’d want to pay so much money when $3,000 less buys a Mazda 3 with a more torque-rich 2.3 four-cylinder engine.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    jerseydevil:

    While I probably wouldn’t buy an Avalon for my urban setting (due to its size), I recently rode in the back seat of one after a plane flight. Wow, talk about relaxation and leg room and a feeling of being coddled. Kind of like getting that overdue massage or being updgraded to first class unexpectedly.

  • avatar
    David G

    Taxman100: “$20 k for a car that you have to flog the crap out of the engine to get any performance?”

    1. To me, $20k is not much money for any car that even begins to live up to performance aspirations. This includes the Si, GTI, etc.

    2. You don’t have to “flog the crap out of the engine”. Like any well-designed engine, the Si’s breathes and revs freely up to the redline. Flogging is for engines that threaten to self-destruct when you climb above 4k rpm.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    HawaiiJim:

    agreed, i live in the city too, these cars are to large for me. However, i found the rear seat of the vic/marquis too short, so it was uncomfortable for me. The front seat in the merc was soft and fluffy, BUT i could not change the radio because i couldn’t reach the radio dial while driving! There were no steering wheel controls.

    The Avalon feels better to me, more comfortable, and less barge-y ( a word? i dunno). Better milage too!

    I need a new car. This Honda is right up there. I wish it was a hatchback tho. Perhaps I’ll buy a used SI hatch from a few years ago! I understand they were unpopular. Maybe that means I can get a good deal on one!

  • avatar
    John Williams

    anyone know how to bring a Euro-spec Civic to our shores? The hatchbacks are gorgeous, even the euro Hybrid Sedan has better headlights and tail lamps.

    Really? Because I always thought the bibulous rear end treatments of the hatchbacks were extremely ugly.

    And so does most of the Civic’s market base, apparently.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    honda engines are known for being rev-happy. i think it’s a matter of personal preference, some people like em, some don’t. you always have to get them above 4k to feel anything, but the sudden burst of power is quite fun. that being said… i’m putting a supercharger in my integra next week cause i want more power.

  • avatar

    No comments yet about how this is being sold in Canada as an Acura…?

  • avatar

    For an otherwise nice car, the windshield rake is ridiculous. A little rain or snow and you can’t see out of it. That football-field sized dash is a solar collector in the summer.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    John Willams:

    “Bibulous” means among other things very absorbent, or fond of alcoholic drinks. Are you saying that hatchbacks wear diapers, or that they are fueled by ethanol?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist, no offense intended. I think you meant “bulbous.”

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    does it hit sixty in second or third gear?

  • avatar
    gpeake

    Lyn Vogel writes:
    “…and remind me again who can compete at this price point ($21k)? VW GLI? No thanks.”

    Yet I agree with fellswoop, who writes:
    “Did you RTFA? It says the car is deficient in a bunch of ways, looks weird inside and out, is embarassingly slow for a ‘sports’ car, and has no torque.”

    So what gives with the dismissiveness toward the GLI? The review of the Si is certainly far from unqualified. Go back and read Farago’s review of the GTI, close cousin to the GLI. It is as close to a rave as you’ll ever see on this site. How can Vogel just assume the GLI is deficient.

    What are we to assume is wrong with the GLI, since Lyn Vogel either hit the 800-word limit or thinks it’s already obvious that we should know?

    Then again, as often happens on TTAC, it’s hard to get past the cutesy (or attempts at cutesy) turns of phrase to divine what the real meaning of the review is.

    But why am I wasting my time trying to construct an argument to defend the GLI; I’ll just close this comment by following Vogel’s style of argumentation:
    And remind me again who can compete at this price point ($22k) with the VW GLI? The Civic Si Sedan? No thanks.

    As far as TTAC goes, that settles it! No need to say why! Last word spoken loudest wins!

  • avatar
    kestrel

    Mr. b00st-
    The shift from 2-3 occurs at ~ 50 mph.
    I am curious to find out where that 0-60 time is from, because the coupe goes much faster than that, and I don’t think an extra 50 lbs is going to slow the sedan that much.

    Having driven the coupe version of this Si many times, I think the bottom line is that Honda put a lot of car in for not so much money. Yeah, it’s not the fastest. But, it feels nice to sit in (I actually like the 2 tier dash), it’ll drive you from A to B without any drama, it’ll haul your groceries, and if you want to have some fun, it’ll do that too. It’s extremely direct and responsive in the handling department, and it’s engine, while not the most powerful, will still get you going at a brisk pace with a great sound. All this for ~20K.

  • avatar


    What are we to assume is wrong with the GLI, since Lyn Vogel either hit the 800-word limit or thinks it’s already obvious that we should know?

    You’ve seen the mkV jettas right?

  • avatar

    I have a non-Si coupe and its an awesome car. True its not the fastest, but where I’m living I’m lucky to get to 30mph, not 60. The handling is pretty incredible though for such a cheap car, I’ve definitely tested it on roads and conditions that are probably beyond its capabilities.

  • avatar
    WaaaaHoooo

    BTW – I sat in a Civic Si Coupe, 2006. I don’t see what the positive fuss is about the seats. They were okay, nothing special, and in fact felt a little cheap. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot more in a car that maxes at 20k and start 4 or 5 bills lower, but I wouldn’t rave about them either.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Might I add that the GTI and GLI are available with the DSG. Not that there’s anything wrong with a traditional stick, but the DSG is faster, returns better fuel economy, and uh, won’t make you insane in stop and go traffic (any commuters out there? small car buyers don’t only commute from one Montana farm to another).

    But then, I guess VW’s 2.0T has 200+ lb-ft of torque, so you don’t need a stick to rev it up to 8000 rpm for power.

  • avatar
    stuki

    I test drove this car a few weeks ago, and predictably liked it a lot ( I’m an S2000 guy ). I thought it felt stronger than I had expected. Due to the dealer expecting ‘to sell every one we can get’ at $5000 over sticker ( SoCal ), a 3 yr lease + insurance was very close to that of a nicely equipped 335i. Guess which one I ended up with?

  • avatar
    dror

    What a shame, for 18,000, you get a Mazda 3 “S” that is much faster, not as noisy and have better grip.

  • avatar

    @dror

    Agreed…and in Atlanta you can get a Mazdaspeed 6 for 20K.

  • avatar
    goldplated_j

    I’m all for a practical car.
    Honda has made a good name making practical cars.

    But, a fun car?
    whats fun about 800 Revs of powerband?
    whats fun about max torque up around the heavens?

    Torque is fun, an thats whats missing here.
    Torque makes the car go, and puts you to the back of your
    seat. Give me a car with 90% of its torque in the 1000′s
    and that sounds like fun.
    The mazdaspeed 3, GTI, GLI’s are more fun than this car.

    Low-end Torque for the wins (oh yeah and Star Trek Dash for the Lose)

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Kurt B, what Acura sells in Canada isn’t the Civic SI. The CSX is basically the JDM Civic with Acura badges and 155 hp.

    As for the 0-60 time, that’s either wrong, or this was a particulairly pathetic example. The Si coupe seems to get there in around seven seconds, so the extra 60lbs shouldn’t lop off a second and a half.

  • avatar

    Ryan.. It’s called the CSX – S, not the base CSX

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/pw/07csx_type-s.htm

  • avatar
    wsn

    The funny thing is that we just had a discussion about “need” vs. “want” and the ineffeciency of SUVs. Now suddenly, everyone is pro-want?!

    Let me put it this way, the basic Civic is what most Americans need: reliable, economical and relatively good handling (compared to Corolla). The Civic Si is what some Americans need: slightly better acceleration and handling. Never forget that it is an economical car. Forget about the GTI. It’s much more expensive and unreliable. VW had much larger market share in the US than Honda years ago. It was for good reason that people stopped buying VWs. Again, if you have passed the “need” stage and “want” more from Honda, there is the S2000. You pay for what you want.

  • avatar

    I drove a 99 Si for two years. It was a fun car, but had nowhere near enough power. That car weighed a little under 2600lbs, made 160bhp and went 0-60 in the mid-7s. It was far too slow for my tastes, but it was fun for a while. That said, I can’t imagine any reason to own the latest version of the car.

    With all the options available, I’d go new Mazdaspeed3 or used WRX for that money. Yes, I am a very biased Scooby owner, but seriously, you can get a barely used WRX sedan for this money that will wallop either Si in just about every way. The original 99s were fun, but this thing looks less attractive, weighs more, and goes slower. Bad combination, in my book.

  • avatar
    Jeb Hoge

    Guys, wait until some of the more instrumented reviews come out (not to mention the long-termers) and let’s see how the braking pans out. I’m betting that the stopping distances are disappointing too. This may be the car that finally turns the hoons away from Honda.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    With the exception of Mazda, the latest Japanese econoboxes are really starting to look wierd. If GM could make a nice looking, sporty, dependable small car (haha) with a real gearbox and a tuned Ecotec… that’ll never happen.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Sorry Kurt, I hadn’t seen the CSX Type-S. It looks much better than the Civic Si though, it’s not trying so hard to be futuristic.

  • avatar
    Nepenthe

    I made the gut-wrenching mistake of buying an ’07 Coupe Si two weeks ago. Has no one here heard about the terrible throttle? The drive-by-wire computer tuning in the new Si is abysmal, causing bucking and jerking, rev hanging, delayed engine braking, vague and imprecise throttle control and laggy response, and various forms of rough/unsmooth progression up OR down, slowly or quickly, through the gears.

    I have no issues with the handling or braking, the looks (mine’s black with the extra little lower body parts, foglights, and 18″ Axis wheels with 235/40-18 Toyo Proxes), or the interior (I find the seats a very good fit and love the sliding armrest and two-tiered dash model). Yes, the color and large/flat windshield will be an issue in the heat, a sunshade and careful parking will be essential.

    I haven’t wrung the car out, haven’t hit VTEC very many times, but I believe the actual 0-60 time is much closer to 8.4 than the 6.3 Motor Trend printed. Mine is probably handicapped further by slightly taller gearing, more unsprung weight and resistance, more overall weight from accessories, the black color which causes higher intake temps, and worse aerodynamics. If you take the car’s total weight with a full tank of gas and the accessories, plus my weight and my girlfriend’s weight, and divide by 1.997, you get a ratio of 1620 pounds per liter, which is nearly unacceptable and explains the lazy acceleration characteristics.

    Accessing the power up high is made tricky and frustrating by the gimpy relationship between throttle inputs, shifting, and the clutch. Honda of America is done with this issue…

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The Si sedan doesn’t seem that bad, but as others have already pointed out, the MazdaSpeed3 would seem to be a better alternative as a poor-man’s Bimmer.

    For around an extra $1000 (maybe not even that much since Honda likely won’t discount the Si and Mazda might), you would seem to get a quicker, more practical car that’s arguably as refined as the Si (for the price class).

  • avatar
    chanman

    And yet, the Civic has been the best selling car in Canada since 1998. Even with the popularity of the Mazda 3, it still hasn’t been able to unseat the Civic or even the now-ancient Corolla (introduced in North America as a 2002 model, it debuted as a 2000 model in Japan)

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Nepenthe:

    didnt u take a test drive?

  • avatar
    kestrel

    TampaWRX-
    I, too, had a 2000 Si that I loved dearly until an illegal immigrant decided it would make a great moving target to aim his minivan at. I, too, got a WRX to replace it, and IMO the WRX is not everything that it’s hyped up to be. The WRX is nearly $4k more expensive than an Si. The interior is ok, but the Honda’s is better IMO. In addition, I think its handling is a lot more understeery and less direct than my old Si coupe, not to mention the 06 Si. The 2 things the WRX has over the Si is power (but power to weight is not hugely different) and AWD (which, hindsight, I could’ve lived without).

    Nepenthe-
    The Si’s I’ve driven, and the Si my friend owns, have never had any problems with the drive by wire system. Did you check for TSB’s or recalls? The new one is definitely faster than my 00 Si, which could do 0-60 in ~ 7.5 s. So, I don’t think 7 sec is impossible for an 06.

  • avatar
    vento97

    Driving a Honda is like submitting your form, checking in your identity, and becoming one of the masses. I’ll pass on this one…

  • avatar
    rtz

    In the year 2007, we have a 4 banger hoonduh with 197hp/139tq. Back in 1987 we had a little 302 moostang with 225hp/300tq.

    Anyone got any 1/4 mile times on this 4 door? I’d really like to know.

    Now if Honda would ever build a V8 and rear wheel drive… Or Toyota, Suzuki, and Hyundai. But they don’t understand America. I think some high up corporate people need to move to Houston or Dallas and spend some time with the car crowd. See some real street machines. 800+hp on the street. Or acquire a high hp car off eBay and drive it around. A 10- second street car would be a good choice.

    One ride in a fast car and you’ll be hooked for life. Always crave and desire it.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying rtz:

    Now if Honda would ever build a V8 and rear wheel drive… Or Toyota, Suzuki, and Hyundai. But they don’t understand America. I think some high up corporate people need to move to Houston or Dallas and spend some time with the car crowd.

    They certainly understand the car buying public of America better than you. Civic is THE No.1 selling Compact car in the U.S. (occasionally overtaken by Corolla, but Civic tops most of the times).

    Just look at regular Civic vs. Civic Si, and you can see that as horsepowers rise, the sales number decline dramatically. Even the NSX, during its prime years (early 1990s) don’t sell a lot.

    No car maker can please everyone. Mainstream makers such as Honda just attemps to please 80% of the total population and that’s good enough. You and your 800-hp tunner car are statistically insignificant.

    BTW, no 800-hp car, even from detroit, can be had for $20k. And that’s assuming it’s legal.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    chanman: And yet, the Civic has been the best selling car in Canada since 1998.

    In the base econobox segment, I’d sure consider a Civic over a Mazda3, too.

    But in the upmarket Civic Si sedan’s target market, I think I’d go for the MS3.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    wsn: Interesting post. Clearly Honda execs have the courage of their convictions, for example they stuck with four cylinders in the new CR-V and I’m sure they’ll sell a bunch of those.

    Back when the Japanese companies were getting started in the American market, they either accidentally or knowingly, probably the latter, tapped a craving demonstrated by American young folks’ interest in the VW Beetle.

    The intriguing thing about Honda is their ability to make very subtle distinctions for decision making purposes. With Accord, they figured out that a significant subset of Accord buyers, while OK with the arguably bland styling, were not OK with the bland power/speed range. Yet with the new CR-V, Honda must have determined that a significant subset of buyers would appreciate nicer styling and wouldn’t be put off by a four-cylinder. Plus Honda corrected that distressing spare tire placement in the CR-V, in other words they listened to the public.

    BTW, I don’t work for Honda.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    It’s really too bad that Honda can’t come up with more cleanly designed cars. The current generation Accord was hideous until they gave it a buttlift, which now makes it look fairly dull. The last CR-V looked awkward and wimpy, while the new one is a relative mess with the jutting chin and crazy rear side windows (and it still looks wimpy). The Fit is another tragedy: practical and simple but a complete dorkmobile (Suzuki got it right with the SX4). Then there’s the Ridgeline…enough said.

    The Civic went from boring to awkward and weird. Its butt is too big. The windshield is unnecessary, as is the two-tier instrument panel. Facelift it to the Japanese/Canadian Acura CSX version, move the base of the windshield back several inches and ditch the two-tier dash.

    As a Honda fan, I’m going to have major difficulty staying loyal with these bizarre designs. I think the cleanest Civic sedan was the 92-95 version, and for the coupe, the 92-95 and 96-00 models. Let’s get back to simplicity!

  • avatar
    wsn

    Regarding style, I think it’s all subjective. For example, I think the Japanese offerings look much better than Detroit offerings. For example Accord/Camry look better than Taurus/Malibu. Yeah, they are bland. But really, when your top the sales chart, you define what is bland. Even the Enzo would be bland if there are 400k+ of them sold every year in the US.

    Honda took some risk in designing the new Civic. Instead of trying to make 80% of the public somewhat like the car, they choose to make 40% of the public really like it. I personally know people that buy/would buy Civics just for the styling. Again, I am not saying the Civic looks good or bad. I just stated an observation regarding Honda’s marketing stategy.

  • avatar
    finger

    Thats a hideous little thing. Looks like a Mitsu…

  • avatar
    jthorner

    You know, I think the all time ugliest redesigned automobiles are the Bangle-Butt era BMWs, yet every year BMW sells more than they did the year before. So what do I know :).

    Sure I would rather drive a VW GTI than a Civic Si, but I would also rather have my car available to use 360+ days per year. That seems to be something many recent VW owners don’t enjoy.

  • avatar
    niky

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but those acceleration numbers are seriously wrong.

    I’ve driven the 1.8 Civic Sedan, and I’m pretty sure I can get that thing to 60 in under nine seconds. Don’t really fancy the steering on those non-sports variants, but the engines are really swell (for economy engines).

    The previous non-electric throttle 155-160 horse 2.0 could hit the metric (0-100 km/h or 0-62 mph) in under 9 (8.6, in fact), with an automatic tranny.

    Granted, my uncle owns a current 155 horse K20 car, and he says that the electronic throttle is a lazy bastard, but there’s no way a supposedly 200 hp car can be that slow… I mean, my Protege goes faster, and those things are notoriously slow for the amount of power they claim!

  • avatar
    goldplated_j

    ARGGGGG
    200HP does not equal fast zero to 60
    can we get an editorial esplaining What Torque does and what HP does.
    I’m too lazy.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I have to admit to not reading all of the comments. The thing that sticks out in my mind after reading the article is, 0 to 60 in 8.4 seconds!? This is a “sporty” version of the Civic? How slow is the standard Civic? My Mazda6s has a 0 to 60 time of 7.2 seconds, and I got it in December 2004 for less than $20k out the door. With the sales being less than brisk, in some parts of the country you can get a Mazdaspeed6 for less than $20k or just a little over. This car would spank a Civic Si while providing a larger trunk and more interior room as well. Is the Honda name so powerful that people can’t see just how unsporty this car is and will buy it just because it’s a Honda?

  • avatar

    straight line speed != sporty

  • avatar
    pharmer

    Call me closed-minded, but I just can’t get into the Civic Si. It’s got a little too much rice rocket styling…the rear end in particular is really ugly, and the dash is too busy. The complete lack of torque is also a real put-off….why can’t they design an engine with a bit more grunt? The Germans have certainly figured out how to put the torque in their 4-cylinder mills.

    Back to the styling…no matter how competent, it will always look too much like a sedan that some kid did the AutoZone treatment on. What’s with the stickers on the doors? Come on.

    My wife had a Civic when we got married. The best thing about owning that car was selling it….we sold a 6 year old economy car with almost 100K miles for almost $6000. Unbelievable.

  • avatar
    rodster205

    Or for $20K even (probably less actually) you can get an Accord LX 4-door with the 160hp 2.4 and auto.

    DON’T LAUGH YET…. the Accord will outrun (0-60) the 4D Civic Si even with an automatic, has more room, and I suspect has considerably lower insurance. And the Accord weighs 3164 lbs! My 98 Accord 4dr LX weighed 3053 lbs!

    Granted the Accord can’t hang in the curves, but why? Civic is lighter? NOT! If the weights are the same it must be suspension. And that means the Accord could probably be made to keep up if Honda tried. Or with a call or two to suspension parts vendors.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    rtz:

    i used to drive cars that were merely fast.

    Now i drive cars that are FUN!

    They are uniformly light, small and 4 cylinder.

  • avatar

    I just wonder how the 4 cylinder market would change had BMW would sell the “low” versions of the 3 series here, 318i, 320 and better yet, the 1 series.
    And just for the record, in a Dec 2006 Car and Driver compact car comparison, the Civic 1.8 failed to come up as the star of the group, but it did 0-60 in 7.7.

  • avatar
    wsn

    For those who compare a Mazda 6/Accord to a Civic Si. Please also consider comparing a Camry V6 to a BMW 318. The former offers better accerlation and more interior space all the same. I am not saying which one is better. But there certainly are happy customers on either camp.

    Edit: dror, I just saw your post. We certainly had similar thoughts.

  • avatar

    pharmer: The Germans have certainly figured out how to put the torque in their 4-cylinder mills.

    It’s called turbocharging. It’s also why german 4 cylinders get 25MPG instead of 35.

    Unless they’re diesels, of course.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    My comparison of a Mazda6s to a Civic Si was only meant to be in terms of sportiness. The Mazda6 is fairly good handling, and with the 6 cylinder “s” version, at least, is faster 0 to 60 than the Civic Si. Therefore, I don’t see how you can consider the Civic Si sporty. As a final point, the Mazda6s costs less than the Civic Si.

  • avatar
    pharmer

    z31: It’s called turbocharging. It’s also why german 4 cylinders get 25MPG instead of 35.

    Hmm, not really. My 2006 Passat 2.0T returned 33 mpg on my last long trip, driving between 60 and 80 mph on back roads and interstate. It’s called FSI and turbocharging…it’s why German cars are both powerful and efficient.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    For turbocharged VWs, from my personal experience, I think the 25 MPG average figure is pretty accurate, if we are talking averaged highway AND hard city driving.

    It is a very rare event that someone beats me away from a light in my 6-speed 1.8t VW (unless they’ve got something fast and they’re really trying, with good reaction time,) and its got lovely torque. Mmmm. But with in-city flogging, it gets about 20mpg. On the highway, even at 80+ mph, I get in the low 30′s, for a *real-world*, overall MPG of 25-26mpg.

  • avatar
    autobahner44

    I’ve put over 24,000 trouble free miles on my 2006 GLI, and it has been a fast and fun companion all the way. The GLI annihilates the Hon-duh.
    Before the naysayers demonstrate their ignorance on the topic by opening their yappers, I’d invite them to drive the GLI.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    44:
    Surely the GLI is a more “substantial” vehicle than a Civic Si, but there’s really no denying that it will cost you 3 to 4 times what it costs the Civic in maintenance and repairs over time in order to keep the GLI on the road. I’ve never met a VW owner who hasn’t had many, many problems, big and/or small, with their vehicles. My mechanic talked me out of buying one, too. The GLI is definitely a sweet car, though. I sincerely wish you good luck!

  • avatar
    wsn

    pharmer:

    Hmm, not really. My 2006 Passat 2.0T returned 33 mpg on my last long trip, driving between 60 and 80 mph on back roads and interstate. It’s called FSI and turbocharging…it’s why German cars are both powerful and efficient.

    Not exactly powerful IMO. Passat 2.0T costs as much as a Camry V6 SE. Consider that the latter is on par with Passat V6 in terms of acceleration and beats the Passat in curves. Similar comparison can be applied to many other models. For the same amount of money, you are likely to buy some very underpowered and flimsy product (i.e. breaks down) if you prefer German.

  • avatar

    Pharmer:
    …it’s why German cars are both powerful and efficient.

    200hp was powerful in 1985, not so much today.

    autobahner44:
    Before the naysayers demonstrate their ignorance on the topic by opening their yappers, I’d invite them to drive the GLI.

    I won’t drive a jetta that looks like a toyota, sorry.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    One hundred plus posts, but something’s missing. Yougottabekiddingme. Screw the car (ouch, not literally), how about the writer? More Lyn please. Outstanding!

  • avatar
    adrew

    I have a ’03 Civic Si hatch with the K20A3 engine, which is the same as the base RSX engine but with balance shafts. It’s very smooth. I usually shift by sound … my previous cars were rough and raucous over about 5500 rpm so I just shifted when they got noisy. I constantly run the Si right into the rev limiter ’cause it’s so smooth.

    I’ve been very happy with the performance. It is less high-strung than other K-series engines and has good torque down low. It’ll easily spin the inside tire going around a corner at low speed in 2nd gear. The gearing is kind of short: at 80 mph it’s spinning 4000 rpm. But the engine is smooth and you don’t really hear it. The upside is that it has very good pickup in 5th. It’ll easily squirt from 80-100 for a quick pass without downshifting.

    I believe Car and Driver did 0-60 in around 7.5 seconds in the EP3, so I find it hard to believe the new model is more than a second slower.

    I just drove it on a 1000 mile trip to visit family over the holidays and tested the fuel economy at different speeds. I did a full tank with cruise set at 70, 78 and 84. MPG was 32, 30 and 26.

    The EP3 is very civilized on the highway and has a higher-end interior than the other Civics since it’s built on the Euro-Civic platform. I’d recommend getting one if you can find a good deal on one.

  • avatar
    fahrvergnugen11

    > I won’t drive a jetta that looks like a toyota, sorry.

    That’s precisely why I’m keeping my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta. If I wanted to drive a car that looks Japanese, I would have bought a Japanese car.

    But then again, I absolutely refuse to be like everybody else
    which is why I don’t drive a Japanese car… or any Big 2.5 offering for that matter…

  • avatar
    niky

    ——-

    # goldplated_j:

    ARGGGGG
    200HP does not equal fast zero to 60
    can we get an editorial esplaining What Torque does and what HP does.
    I’m too lazy.

    ——-

    You probably haven’t driven many compact 200 hp cars.

    A 200 hp Civic is, yes, gutless at low rpms. I’ve often felt more comfortable with less highly-strung engines in traffic… booting the throttle from low rpms produces nothing but frustration.

    But 8.4 seconds for that lump is laughable. My car weighs about as much and does the dirty in 8.3 seconds, with just 5 ft-lbs more torque and 60 hp less… another small car I’ve recently driven does the dirty with just 110 hp… but about 177 ft lbs of torque.

    I, like adrew, having had experience with previous high hp / low torque Civics, can’t quite believe the number. Sure, it’ll take a century and a half to get to 60, if you start out at 1000 rpms in 1st gear… but if you launch it properly, it should do it in 7.6 to 7.8.

    Maybe the author granny-launched the car, or maybe counting the half-second it takes for the electronic throttle to respond… either way, the time is not representative of what the car can actually do.

  • avatar
    eldunce

    I’ve got the ’06 coupe, and it must be a half-ton lighter than the sedan, cause it certainly doesn’t feel anemic.

    Sure, it takes a certain sort of mentality, say, a vicious and frustrated hatred of connecting rods, to wring the power out of the thing, but it’s there, and it’s fast enough.

    Sure, if you’re some kind of irreconcilable Rhine-surfer, you may prefer cars of a more “civilized” nature, or that have more “torque”. Pah, I say! What the hell’s the rev limiter there for if not to inform you that you’ve done your job in creating a horrible racket and attaining a respectable velocity at the same time?

  • avatar
    Toxie2725

    Hello torque? Are you out there? Honda needs to get with the game – Mazdaspeed 3 is MUCH more car for only a little bit more buck.

  • avatar
    pushstart

    This 0-60 time is either a clerical error or the driver is simply incompetent.

    Edmunds Inside Line has quite a different 0-60 time (7.1 seconds): http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Followup/articleId=119173/pageId=117802

    I think anything in the low 7s range would be believable, given slight differences (e.g. the 7.1s was with summer tires).

    Since the sluggish engine is the main complaint lobbied at the Civic Si Sedan, it seems quite irresponsible to base that on erroneous data.

  • avatar
    nicemandan

    I’m from the UK and the European version of the Civic is sooo much better. Just compare the interiors for a start: http://www.topgear.com/drives/B5/A1/gallery/04/

    That’s the standard interior… it’s like a spaceship! And the exterior is completely different… triangular sidelights and exaust pipes etc.

    I used to have one, but sold it when I moved to Canada, thinking I’d get one over here… the ones over here are pants in comparison! Oh, the dissapointment.

  • avatar
    ChristianM21

    Hmm
    this article forgot the LSD(Limited slip differential), VSA (Vehicle Stability Assistance) with traction control. The sporty suspension, bigger brakes, smooth 6sp transmission, excellent seats, easy on the eye tach, wide windshield for excellent view, etc. But let’s not forget it’s 100hp per litre on its 2.0 engine. The Si sedan by automobile magazine is rated at 7.4sec from 0-60 while edmunds states 7.1 But I guess these guys can only approach to 8.4 from 0-60. This leads me to believe one thing: Learn to drive?
    It’s stock 8 airbags including front passanger/driver, side and rear. 360wat premium sound system.
    I’m amazed by the lack of information from this website.

  • avatar

    I’ve been looking for a fast, ligh and quick, standard Honda 4 door for a while. So, I just traded my 2 door RSX S for a 4 door Si. I love it. The power is smother then the RSX, at least in normal driving (I’m in the break in period, so I’m a little hesitant to rev the be-jesus out of it, … my normal driving style..) I can tell you, though, that 8.4 0 – 60 is just wrong.
    The suspension connects me with the road, but the stearing is lacking in responce. Current, here centeral NY, the snow’s all over the roads and with the new drive by wire, I’m not sure if the strearings working, or if the traction control/stbility control’s working… The interior is the best of what I’ve seen in Honda. The seats hold you like late model Preludes. It’s as roomy as any Civic, if it doesn’t have the Cadilac challanging room of a new Accord. And the drivetrain! Smooth smooth tranny and a perkey engine. The drive by wire system seems quite responsice.
    The sound system is good. Not as boomy as a AC Delco, but persice. What I’d expect for good stock from a Japaneese car company.
    These Michelen ties should good. I would perfer a nice set of Yokohamas… Expecially in the winter. However, back to the electrics in the system.. I can’t tell if the stearing play is from the traction control, stability, drive by wire trottle system, or simply crappy Michelen tires.. I’ve had the car for a couple of days, it’s snowed big time every day since I”ve had it.. At least it’s stayed on the road :)
    I’ll get back ya on handeling when the weather gets better and I travel downstate, but as far as comforts, it’s the best Honda ever! The spaceship drivers interior perspective is cool, and when you dim it way down, it’s very subtle.

  • avatar
    Road Race

    I have a 07 Si Sedan and I like its dash, the windshield, the whole works. That windshield must be part of the reason that there’s virtually no wind noise. And once you have that windshield, the split level dash is a intuitive and elegent solution. The spedo is easy to see and uses the available space. If you appreciate a very sold chassis, great gearbox and engine, for a price point that reasonable its a neat car. Its a BMW 3 series “lite” for $22k. Its a bit of a purists car though in that there isn’t much compromise in the suspension and you need to be at a “race weight” to fit in the seats.

  • avatar

    hmmm, this is why i lease the Si as my commuter car… but there’s an R32 in the garage waiting for me at home for the weekends!

  • avatar

    taxman100:
    December 15th, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    $20 k for a car that you have to flog the crap out of the engine to get any performance? And, a 4 cylinder compact sized as well? No thanks.

    For $20 k I can get a well equipped brand new Grand Marquis with a V-8 that will flat run forever, and the family will never outgrow, but then I would not be stylish or cool when I do that. Since they don’t sell them in Japan or Germany, it must be because North America is inferior.

    apples and oranges. you couldn’t pay me to take a grand marquis – gas guzzler, outdated design (still looks like a 1992 taxi cab), tranny will def need to be rebuilt before 100,000, extreme depreciation leaves no resale value, american vs. japanese reliability. Do they even make these things anymore? No, right?

  • avatar
    requiem

    That 0-60 time is clearly wrong. Road and Track got 6.8 seconds in the sedan in their latest issue and have 6.6 seconds in their database for the coupe.

  • avatar
    malle

    I just noticed the seat belts on the Honda Civic Sedan are mounted, correctly, on the seat (lower outboard position), exactly like on Volvos. Combined with the active head restraints the seats are as safe as Volvo seats on the face of it. Kudos to Honda! I’ve been complaining for years about seat belt placement, it is good to be vindicated.

  • avatar
    06hytechsi

    this is always funny 2 me.. I own an 06 si sedan.. i have a custom cold air intake.. hytech headers and hytech exhaust and a hondata reflash.. im running 5.2 0-60 and 14.2 1/4 mile.. 202whp 165wtq. I beat any gti that pulls up next 2 me.. any type-s.. i keep up with any high end turbo out there. period. end of story.

  • avatar

    to above ^…they didnt make an 06 si sedan, only the coupe.

    I just got an 07 Si Sedan and I love it. The DBW lag on the accelerator was a bit hard to get used to but now its not noticeable. The car is great! Handles like a dream, engine is awesome, chassis is much more solid then past civics and the overall fit & finish is fantastic for a $22k car. The K20z3 motor responds really well to mods, cant wait to get that going! FA5 FTW!!

  • avatar
    rhinopolis

    I think the person who drove this car from 0-60 must have been a little cluelesss as how to launch it. I have read so many different reviews of various Honda performance cars over the years (s2000′s, si’s, rsx’s, integras), and it always seems every reviewer gets a different 0-60/.25 mile time. I have read 0-60 as high as 6.6 seconds for an s2000, and as low as 5.1 for the same year model! Low torgue, and progressive power bands means getting the launch just right. This car should be low seven second 0-60 avg, and high six second with a perfect launch. How come no one ever discusses the joy of dropping this engine into third at 65mph, and experiencing how quickly it pulls? My 03 rsx-s would eat a stock 02 & below stang gt from eighty to 120. With these cars especially, alot of it is the drivers skill.

  • avatar
    alainiala

    just saw a video review of the JDM Civic Type R. Now that is the “Sporty” version that Honda should have brought over. I can’t believe the only Type R we’ve ever had here was for the Integra, over 10 years ago! Come on, Honda… stop sitting on your hands and bring over the good stuff.

  • avatar
    phyrian

    LaBuenaVida05 :
    May 23rd, 2007 at 10:48 am

    apples and oranges. you couldn’t pay me to take a grand marquis – gas guzzler, outdated design (still looks like a 1992 taxi cab), tranny will def need to be rebuilt before 100,000, extreme depreciation leaves no resale value, american vs. japanese reliability. Do they even make these things anymore? No, right?

    Alas, they do. But they’ve managed to make a 224 hp V-8 do the 0-60 in 8.5+. Doesn’t help that the ’08 version weighs in at nearly 4100 lbs.

    So the ’08 Civic Si outperforms it 0-60, gets better mpg (21/29 vs 15/23), has an integrated nav system, and is a six-speed (the GM is a 4). In fact, the only thing the GM seems to have going for it is that its big.

  • avatar
    kermchees

    Whoever gave the reviewer a 0-60 of 8.4 seconds is retarded and can’t drive. http://www.roadandtrack.com/assets/download/0607_pockets_dp.pdf. Road and Track puts it at 6.8. I own a si sedan i and can’t drive it and i still don’t drive 0-60 in 8.4.

  • avatar
    littleredsi

    I’ve owned this car for a little over a year now. I can tell you that I have not once regretted making the purchase. Yes, it has little torque below the 5k mark, but wind it up on an open road and start smashing gears at 8k and it really does become a different animal. I also question the claimed 8.4 sec 0-60, as I have tracked the car with a 6.9 sec 0-60 time myself and I am no pro. The interior is fairly straight forward, but you will be hard pressed to find another car in this price range that has the fit and finsh detail Honda has managed to acheive. As for the looks yes it was an odd duck to look at for awhile but it really does grow on you. In closing where else can you get a 4 dr. sedan with top safety crash ratings, a fun loving high reving engine, good looks and interior treatments, and enough room for your small family, all for under 22K? Enough said.

  • avatar
    shakedown

    I’m late to the game, but I’m a used-car kind of guy, so this page wasn’t relevant to me until now.

    For the MazdaSpeed3 trumpeters, may I suggest you invest some research into your livelihood? It has performed significantly worse in crash testing than the civic.

    IIHS Mazda test: http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=304
    Measures taken from the dummy indicate that serious skull fracture and/or brain injuries plus rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries would be likely in a crash of this severity. A fracture of the pelvis also would be possible.

    IIHS Honda test: http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=300
    Measures taken from the dummy indicate that rib fractures would be possible in a crash of this severity. The risk of significant injuries to other body regions is low.

    NHSTA testing (unfortunately, direct links are not available due to poor website design): http://www.safercar.gov/portal/site/safercar/menuitem.13dd5c887c7e1358fefe0a2f35a67789/?vgnextoid=4ecd2bc586d7a110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD

    Lower numbers are better for all of the following:

    Mazda frontal:
    Head Injury – 499
    Chest decel – 45
    Femur load – 501/917

    Honda frontal:
    Head injury – 290
    Chest decel – 44
    Femur load – 548/63

    Mazda side:
    Head injury – 544
    Thoracic Trauma – 91
    Pelvis decel – 75

    Honda side:
    Head injury – 237
    Thoracic Trauma – 58
    Pelvis decel – 80

    Now, the only knock I hear about the civic is power and lack of hatch. Every car has downsides and if that’s all anybody can come up with for the civic, then this sounds fantastic. Power is a lot easier to adjust with the after-market than ergonomics or an unsorted chassis. So there’s great safety, ergonomics, steering feel, dynamics, and the much-appreciated standard LSD. I say much appreciated because:

    1) open-diff FWD cars are maddeningly annoying in the rain and when trying to make a right turn onto a main street from a stop.

    2) standard-issue makes it invaluable in the used-car market where the majority wouldn’t choose it if it were an option.

    Now, for the RWD trumpeters: why have none of you suggested better buys at this price-point? Perhaps because none exist?


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