By on October 27, 2015

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Exterior-001

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2.4-liter DOHC I-4, VVT (205 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm; 174 lbs-ft @ 4,400 rpm)

6-speed Manual

20 city/25 highway/20 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

20.1 (Observed, MPG)

Base Price: $23,910*

As Tested: $25,410*

* Prices include $820 destination charge.

BMW has M, Audi has a whole alphabet and Honda has Si. In truth, just the Civic has Si. Honda’s “Sport injection” trim started back in the 1980s but never expanded beyond its compact offerings in the U.S. Honda’s performance trim also never expanded beyond sharpened responses, a modest dollop of power and some looks-fast trim additions. The first Honda Si model came to our shores in 1985, but the first wasn’t a Civic — it was a Prelude. The Civic Si joined us a year later in 1986. But I digress.

Cars like the Civic Si are popular with journalists like me. The reason is simple, quite like the Civic itself. Unlike some performance packages, the Si treatment still favors sharpened responses and improved feel over simply jamming an over-boosted turbo engine under the hood. While the later is obviously a hoot and a half, the former is ultimately more pleasing to my peculiar tastes.

Exterior
Even though this generation was designed to be the Civic for grownups, the Si is still a “boy racer” at heart. Our red tester wore some large and bright Si badges, bumper tweaks and an enlarged exhaust tip. The factory spoiler on the trunk lets more plebeian shoppers know that the VTEC gods smiled upon your sled. And if that wasn’t obvious enough Honda slaps some i-VTEC DOHC stickers on the rear doors (which you’ll no doubt want to replace with larger graphics, because VTEC yo!).

Although the recently announced 2016 model looks more mature and better put together, there is something friendly and familiar about the awkward smile the 2015 model wears on its front bumper. Also worthy of note is what you don’t find in the 2016 press release: there’s no mention of an Si model. No, this isn’t the end of Si, but you can expect there to be a lag between the launch of the ordinary models and the reimagining of the Sport injection model and the possible U.S. availability of an insane 310 horsepower R model. [At the launch for 2016 Civic, we were told sedan, coupe, five door, Type-R and Si would roll out over a span of 18 months. –Mark]

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Interior-006

Interior
Much hay was made about the Civic’s interior when it launched in 2012. Pundits cried foul over the vast expanses of hard plastic. I on the other hand wasn’t bothered by the plastic. Sure, it wasn’t great to caress, but it was easy to clean and textured attractively. What I did have a problem with was a lack of color-matched bits and ill-fitting panels. The 2012 model we tested was a jumble. The four main dash components sported four different variations of the same target color. Thankfully, Honda cranked the thumbscrews on the parts suppliers and by 2013 things were greatly improved. In addition to the color change, Honda had an eye on touch points, swapping out the hard doors and dash “faces” for squishy injection-molded units with fake stitching.

Honda continues to put fairly exaggerated lumbar support in the front seat backs, something you don’t find in many of the competition. The extra support was perfect for my back, but since it isn’t adjustable, you should get plenty of seat time before you buy to be sure you can live with the shape. For my average six-foot frame, the seating and driving position proved ideal.

As with most cars that have families in mind, the Civic’s rear seats are close to the floor and the door openings are wide and tall making ingress/egress easy with or without a child seat in tow. Honda has a reputation for function over form, and that pays dividends in the rear with a high roofline that allows a more upright seating position that is more similar to the average hatch than the average sedan. The trunk’s 12.5 cubic feet is in line with the Focus and Jetta but the hatches are more practical.

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Interior-007

Infotainment
All Si models get a standard 7-inch touchscreen LCD bundled with a 7-speaker, 360-watt audio system. The “HondaLink Next Generation” system is actually a step behind what we see in the 2016 Pilot or, of course, the 2016 Civic. This generation HondaLink lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but it does offer Honda’s first generation iPhone-based navigation if you don’t get the factory option. Unlike CarPlay, the navigation is based around a downloadable app, not Apple maps, requires an HDMI cable connection, and you can’t use any other app while you’re navigating. All models get Honda’s LaneWatch camera which saves you from looking over your right shoulder, a feature with dubious value in a car with visibility as good as the Civic. Honda bundles the factory navigation software with SiriusXM Satellite radio, HD Radio and the Honda voice command system.

Drivetrain
While turbos are all the rage in the competition, Honda suck with a naturally aspirated four banger for the Si. While the new Civic’s turbo mill likely signals the end of the road for classic Honda power delivery, we’re here to talk about the Si you can buy now. Compared to the GLI or Focus ST, the Civic goes about performance differently. The 2.4-liter engine screams like a banshee on its way to its 7,000 rpm power peak of 205 ponies and 7,200 rpm redline. Torque is low at 174 lbs-ft compared to the turbo alternatives and it doesn’t come to a boil until 4,400 rpm. Also, Si is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Engine

Although the manual-only policy is an obvious impediment to sales success, the manual and the lack of a turbo define the Civic. With the ST or GLI, you romp on the go-pedal (in any gear), wait for the turbos to start hissing like a den of vipers, and off you go. The Civic is different. The naturally aspirated engine needs to rev to the stratosphere to accomplish the same task and you’ll end up shifting twice as often in spirited driving to keep the engine in its power band. Fortunately, the 2.4-liter mill is ready, willing and perhaps even eager to spend your entire winding mountain drive above 4,500 rpm.

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Shifter

Drive
The Si’s engine also separates the Civic from its Acura cousin. For 2016 the ILX received a version of Honda’s newer direct-injected 2.4-liter engine which delivers similar numbers at lower revs. In addition, the Acura receives Honda’s slick 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. The difference is instantly noticeable on the road where the ILX is a surprising 1/2 second faster than my best run in the Si. While I have no doubt a professional driver could shave a sliver off my time, the ILX will always be faster.

Of course, all the real competition is faster as well. Our tester required 6.6 seconds to go from zero to 60, which is faster than the average compact but slower than most sporty entries. The Focus ST torque steers its way to 60 in a comparatively blistering 5.9 seconds while the less powerful GLI will book it to highway speeds in 6.5 seconds, despite both being nearly 200 pounds heavier than the Honda. Expanding the comparison pool to the Mazda3, Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Forte Koup Turbo finds options that are slower to 60, but they aren’t dedicated performance models like the Si.

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Exterior-006

Fear not VTEC fans: Judging the Si by acceleration numbers would be missing the point. Also missing the point in a way would be judging the Si by skidpad numbers. Much like Scion’s FR-S and Subaru’s BRZ, the the Si is about feel and precision, not absolute grip or face-warping acceleration. The 6-speed manual is buttery smooth with just the right amount of notchiness. The clutch engagement is linear and predictable and the car and its transmission seem in perfect harmony. Manual transmission feel is something that’s hard to get right, even in our modern era where the manual is supposed to be the “enthusiast’s choice.” A good example is the Jaguar F-Type we recently tested. I never felt comfortable with that manual, the clutch engagement was awkward, the shifter’s throws were short but the “feel” just wasn’t there. The Civic’s 6-speed on the other hand gets top marks.

While the FR-S and BRZ twins are the perfect car to learn about rear-wheel drive dynamics at reasonable speeds, the Si strikes me as the front-wheel drive version of the same thing. The precise steering and well-tuned suspension communicate what the front tires are doing, even though power steering has stolen most of the feedback. The light 3,002 pound curb weight meant that Honda didn’t have to put rock-hard springs on the Si in order to get the kind of handling performance it was looking to find. This means the Si’s ride is far from punishing and completely suitable for daily driver duty in my book. While you can get optional summer tires on the Si, I actually think that misses the point. Like the FR-S and BRZ, which don’t exactly need sticky rubber. The most entertaining thing about the Si in my mind is the fact that you can break the front tires loose and explore the finer points of FWD dynamics at lower speeds. Something like a Mercedes CLA 250 handles better than the Si but the Mercedes is much less communicative, and I dare to say less engaging.

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Exterior-008

The main thing the Civic has going for it is the price tag. Starting at $23,090 (plus destination) and ending at $24,590, this Honda has the shortest price walk in recent memory. There are two mutually exclusive factory options: summer tires and navigation. Take my advice, however, get the navigation and add the summer tires later if you want them.

This places the Civic a few thousand less than the GLI, but only a few hundred behind the more powerful Focus ST when you adjust for standard feature content. While I know a few people that dismiss the ST purely because they dislike hatches, the ST is just a better performance vehicle. It’s also a special kind of hooligan. The transmission and clutch feel isn’t as perfect as the Si, the seats aren’t as comfortable (I found the Recaro seats downright torture) and, long term, the Si is likely going to be less expensive to own and operate. However, the Ford is more fun and since Ford believes in an extensive options list, you can get more goodies in your ST as well.

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Interior-004

Of course, the biggest problem for this generation Si in my mind isn’t the hatchback Ford or the GLI — it’s actually the closely related ILX. The reason isn’t just that I prefer the luxury gadgets and gizmos that the ILX offers, but that the ILX demonstrates how modern technology trumps “VTEC yo” and a manual transmission. While that makes me die a little inside, I can’t argue with the numbers. The ILX adds leather, power seats, a pre-collision warning system (which is handy when you’re driving like an asshat) a significantly upgraded interior and adjustable lumbar support — but only adds 90 pounds to the curb weight. The modern direct injection engine and 8-speed dual clutch transmission belts out lightning fast shifts and enables the Acura to be both faster to 60 and 10-percent more fuel efficient. The modern 2-mode damper system allows the Acura, even in A-Sped trim, to yield essentially identical handling numbers, yet a more supple ride. While the ILX will cost you more than the Civic, it’s not appreciably more than a comparable GLI or ST. If you’re looking for the more civilized option, the ILX is it. Otherwise get the ST.

In the end the Si suffers from the same “problem” as the FR-S and BRZ. The driving experience is precision itself (for a front driver), but the reality is that most of us seem to prefer the “brute force” method of MOARR POWARR. Although I hang my head while I say this, that even includes me.

Honda provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.4

0-60: 6.65

1/4 Mile: 15.1 @ 93 MPH

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59 Comments on “2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Review – The FWD FR-S [Video]...”


  • avatar
    tonyola

    “While turbos are all the rage in the competition, Honda suck with a naturally aspirated four banger for the Si.”

    I’m not sure how to read this, except to say that as someone who has written well over a hundred reports in his lifetime, a cardinal rule is “never be the final proofreader of your own work”.

  • avatar
    Shawnski

    While the Civic may no longer be the boy racer car of choice, it remains a top seller due to its Honda values. The new one coming sounds promising, not a Civic fan myself, but good competition always improves the breed.

  • avatar
    jmo

    ” (205 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm; 174 lbs-ft @ 4,400 rpm)”

    That would explain the good “real world mileage” vs. a turbo. While most drivers are more than happy to take advantage of 200lb/ft of torque at 1500 rpm almost no one is going to routinely make anything like full use of this engine in everyday driving.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      You’d be surprised. I’ve owned VTEC hondas for the better part of a decade. If you get an open stretch in front of you, you absolutely wring it out, because it feels so good. Likewise, yes the torque peak is high, but with a near-perfect shifter, and gear ratios that make the revs come quickly, you end up around it more often than not.

      In my RSX-S in normal driving, I would shift at 4k to second, 3.5k to 3rd, and then 3k after that. I did have it reflashed which brought everything earlier and smoothed out the mid-range powerband. With my S2k, the gearing is close enough that you’re at 5k before you know it. 70mph cruising is at 4k in 6th gear though, if that explains why.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      That depends on what your priorities are, and how accustomed you are to engines that make their power by revving. After a few years on sport bikes as daily drivers, I came to consider 6,500 RPM not as high, but as “where the powerband kind of begins.” (Power peak on that bike was at 11,000 RPM and cruising at 75 MPH in 6th gear yielded 6,000 RPM.) After you’ve made that mental adjustment, cruising at high RPM becomes second nature.

      In my low-power, high RPM little car, I also wring the thing out to near-redline nearly every time I drive it. High RPM in an engine that’s designed for it won’t hurt it.

      That said, watching the average driver confirms your assertions that most people don’t do it.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I have the older version of this engine in my TSX Sportwagon and it works well when passing on rural highways. Easy and fun to rev to the limit.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I was curious to hear your recollections on the initial launch year of the 9th gen civic, the 2012. Like you, I ultimately wasn’t bothered at all by the material quality except for the door cards’ propensity to scratch easily. With the beige plastic bottom and ‘rice paper’ textured charcoal dash top, I honestly really like the way it looks. No rattles either in 45k miles and 3 years so that’s a plus. You also touched on an unexpected strong point of the car: absolutely fantastic front seats for my 5’11” broad shouldered frame. Particularly the well contoured lumbar, but just as much the long and wide seat bottoms and wide seatback. It lets me splay my legs out on long drives (trigger warning: manspreading!), and the seat back is wide enough to encompass my shoulders, something not all compacts manage as well. The cabin width is also worth mentioning IMO: the door cards are insanely thin, the center console is minimal, the dash does not intrude onto knee-splay space. The driver’s space honestly feels as wide and actually more open than my gf’s 2012 Camry, itself a nice and roomy place to be. As you mention, the rear seat is a very decent place as well with not record setting legroom but almost more importantly (IMO) very good thigh support for a compact, but my head just barely brushes the roof which is about par for the class. 12.5 cu ft trunk is too small IMO, I wish it was nearer the 15cu ft of the sentra. My biggest qualm with my 2012 hands down is the poor sound insulation, concrete highways are obnoxious in this car. I’ll try out a set of high end michelins for my next set of tires to try and help this issue, but the problem is truly tied to the lack of any wheel arch insulation and the inherent focus on light weight engineering solutions all over the vehicle.

    I’m surprised how much porkier the 2015 Si is than my plebian LX manual sedan (3000lb vs my 2650). Part of that is the addition of NVH measures and nicer interior bits, but I’m sure a bigger part is the larger 2.4L engine, huge 18 inch wheels, heavier duty brakes, etc.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Would you say it still holds true? GTI edge on dynamics, Si reliability?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Not my cup of tea but just keep the silly fart can mufflers off of them and you won’t hear me complain.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Alex, your EPA Fuel Economy Ratings are way off. The 2015 Civic Si is rated at 22 city /25 combined / 31 highway.

    Also, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Civic Si comes standard with a mechanical limited-slip differential. This has always been a significant feature that sets it apart from its FWD competition like the GTI and Focus ST. On the GTI the mechanical LSD is only available as part of a $1,500 package and the Focus ST does not offer one. Instead, both of those cars come standard with pseudo-LSDs that essentially use brake pressure to transfer torque between axles.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Yet another tick in the “FWD BRZ” box. LSDs are getting few and far between, these days.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      And a reason I kicked myself after buying a RSX-S instead of an 06 Si 9 years ago. The Si had one, the RSX didn’t – I actually got one installed on the RSX years later, it completely transformed the car in a very good way.

    • 0 avatar
      Nedmundo

      Good point about the LSD, but a Quaife LSD is now available for the Focus ST through Ford Performance Racing Parts. I’d love to have an ST, and I’d spring for that and the upper front strut tower brace in a heartbeat.

      But I’m also a big Honda fanboi (drive a 2010 TSX, 6MT), so before I buy anything I need to see the new Civic Si. I’ll miss some aspects of the classic high-revving Honda NA goodness, but having owned a Saab 9-5 Aero I’ll take turbo torque on the highway any day, all the time.

      This also makes me wonder about the next Acura ILX. Safe to say it will go turbo, but I also expect AWD, in which case I could go that route. It would be darned nice if Honda could imbue their EPS systems with decent steering feel though — that’s one area in which Ford (and others) have them beat.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Yes you can get the LSD from some dealers. It’s from Mountune/Quaife. It will run about $1500 installed.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Wouldn’t that LSD require dropping the transaxle and cracking it open? It isn’t quite as simple as an LSD swap in a RWD vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Sure does.

          I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really want to track a Focus/Fiesta ST. Even then, a Mustang 2.3T with the Performance Package is a better deal. Right now you can get one for $26K-$28K depending on options.

          The Mustang 2.3T Performance Package adds:

          K Brace
          Bigger rear sway bar
          Chassis tuning
          Bigger brakes with better calipers
          Sweet 19″ wheels
          3.55 LSD
          Bigger radiator
          Better front springs
          Extra Guages
          Interior trim upgrades

          For under $2000, that’s way better than dropping a trans on a Focus ST to add LSD.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Another interesting point is, the Si is one of the last port injected NA “sporty” cars around. All its competitors have turbos and/or direct injection. Something to think about if buyers are wary of the higher long term maintenance generally associated with turbos and DI.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    “While I have no doubt a professional driver could shave a sliver off my time, the ILX will always be faster.”

    Not necessarily. Car and Driver matched the 6.1 time with a Civic Si sedan and anyone can stand on the gas pedal of an automatic, so the ILX isn’t getting any faster.

  • avatar
    omer333

    There is a part of me that regrets ever letting go of the Si Sedan I was leasing.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Accord Sport (Si for larger families) is an excellent car, but I do debate going for another Si when the lease is up.

    Oh and I did try getting another Si when I was looking to replace my Dart, but there were very few in SLC that had not been touched by a 2Fast2Furious wannabe.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    The boy racer add ons keep me from getting this car. The red inserts on the seats, I’d be embarrassed to show up in this thing. Wish they would tone it down a bit cause otherwise would be perfect for me.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      100% agree, but my issue is with the exterior fluff – I hate the rear spoiler and the “V-Tec-YO!” graphics on the side. I don’t mind the red inserts on the seats since they break up an otherwise dour interior. But, clean up the outside and I’d be all over this car.

    • 0 avatar
      Preludacris

      I’m sick of hearing this excuse about every performance model. Honda, VW, Ford, whatever. Someone always says they’d buy it if not for the spoiler or seats. Yeah I’ve done it too, but…

      It would take all of a week on forums to find someone with a same-color base model (assuming it exists) who’d happily trade seats and trunklids. Not sure how these particular cars are put together, but on my car I can swap a trunklid and all three seats in an hour. Yes, it took longer the first time.

      The decals would come off in another hour with a hair dryer.

      So in a Saturday, you could have the car that is “perfect for you.” Or you could do like me and continue to leave comments along the same lines while continuing to drive a 25-year-old car because in reality that’s the best Honda I can afford.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        @Preludacris

        I agree. Performance models should be loud and fun, preferably in bright red or yellow. Otherwise, there are other capable cars for the less extroverted.

        BTW, I’m not in the Civic Si or Type R demographic, but I like that Honda is bringing them back.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    A lot of people complained about Honda dropping the 8000 RPM 2.0L but I feel like that was a smart move. I cross shopped the base 1.8 against the 2.0L Si and wound up getting the 1.8. There is just something strange about the way the 2.0L makes power, and it is annoying to me. The 1.8L is obviously much slower, but it makes power in a much more natural way, and is actually pretty fun. I have an intake on mine and it’s fun to wind out. Chassis delivers a lot of good feedback too. It’s definitely a momentum car, but it doesn’t egg you on or require as much mental recalibration as the 2.0L.

    I’m imagining the 2.4L to be a lot more like my 1.8 than the 2.0L, despite having a similar top end rush. With a reflash I bet it is a midrange beast, which is exactly what you want in a street car. Plus I have been seeing folks getting surprisingly big power gains from that 2.4 with really rudimentary bolt ons. Obviously a turbo car with bolt ons will leave this thing in the dust, but on a street driven FWD car how much power do you need? The new GTI is about as fast as my old 350Z (which is crazy!) and bolt ons can get the 2.4L Si within spitting range on a power to weight basis. I’d be OK with that.

    There is definitely something to be said for a car that focuses on feedback and low weight. Brute force is fun but I don’t know that it’s a legitimate substitute. I guess it comes down to how miserable your commute is.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    When car shopping earlier this year it came down to this and the FR-S. The Si had much more useful space and was cheaper – and about as fast – but the front end plows a bit in sharp turns and I could not get over the boy-racer seats and stickers. Still a fantastic car, especially for the price.

    Upside: they both are available in orange

  • avatar
    pbr

    What are the sales numbers in this segment, just out of curiosity? I’d guess huge numbers for GTI, somewhat less huge for the Ford(s) and this maybe a distant 3rd or 4th?

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Plug Time!

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/

      Tim Cain’s fab site. E-Z lookup.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Ford has said that Focus ST sales are about 5% of total Focus sales in the US. So they move about 10,000 a year here. US GTI sales will probably hit 20,000 units this year, but has averaged about 15,000 a year for the last 3-4 years.

    • 0 avatar
      bjchase55

      Looking at VIO for 2014-15 (2016 is not available yet):

      GTI: 14590
      Golf: 4794 (1.8 TSI); 2679 (2.0 TDI)
      e-Golf: 165
      no numbers available for R or Sportwagen

      Focus ST: 10418
      Focus SE: 220976 (2.0); 8 (1.0)
      Focus S: 12828
      Focus Titanium: 22004
      Focus BEV (electric): 2123

      • 0 avatar
        pbr

        goodcarbadcar doesn’t break down by trim, this is more interesting … not familiar with the source, tho, can you add Civic trims?

        (and am i reading GTI:14590 vs all other Golf:4794+2679+165=7638 correctly?)

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Is 10418 for CY14? What about YTD for 2015?

        • 0 avatar
          bjchase55

          -PBR & Quentin

          I added 2014 & 2015.

          Focus ST: 10392 (2014), 26 (2015)

          The source is IHS Automotive (also known as Polk). I work in the aftermarket automotive world so my company subscribes to this information. Since it’s a massive amount of data that IHS has to compile it could be 3-6 months behind.

          As for the Civic (2014+2015)…

          LX: 154598
          EX: 64180
          EXL: 25211
          Hybrid: 1708
          Hybrid L: 943
          HF: 578
          Natural Gas: 517
          SE: 513
          DX: 5
          Touring: 3
          Si: 11422

  • avatar
    statikboy

    “There are two mutually exclusive factory options: summer tires and navigation. Take my advice, however, get the navigation and add the summer tires later if you want them.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t “mutually exclusive” mean that if you opt for one, you are REQUIRED to have the other?

  • avatar
    wristtwist

    I accept that i’m becoming THAT guy, but

    MIATA????!?!?!

    Please!!

    I had both a 91 crx si and an 89 civic si, and I loved both of those cars. Trying to find something to match the reliability/long-term cost of ownership, fun, and simple usability is very difficult. A long string of unsatisfying modern civics followed, despite Honda betraying us all with no modern hatch (never got a chance to own an EP, sadly). This last go-round i decided with a 2010 Mazdaspeed3. Lots of boost, terrible gas milage, but I have to exceed the speed limit to have fun. I can carry a lot, and even people in (relative) comfort. But she’s heavy, and not as much fun as my original ED6.

    I’m very interested in returning to the super-lightweight world. I’d love Mazda to build a hatched miata, but i’ll take a 2016 club without the bbs/brembos (though the more I look at it, the better I think that is priced, especially with the forged wheels.)

    Love the reviews Alex

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I think the Miata was left out for practicality reasons. That said, if you can live with it, the Miata would be a great choice, especially an ND PRHT (hopefully available sometime next year).

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      You might as well suggest a motorcycle. OK, maybe it’s not that bad, but the Miata definitely gives up a LOT in NVH and practicality. I could not imagine having one as an only car. My last car was a 350Z, and its impracticality was a real downer for me. Even without kids having back seats and a big trunk comes in handy.

      I would love a Miata FRC though. Hopefully the aftermarket gets cracking on camshafts so we can get more N/A power.

  • avatar
    cretinx

    So we’re calling 3,000 lbs light weight now?

  • avatar
    Chan

    The Civic Si is a great fun car for a small family that requires one car to do everything. It’s simple and unladen with powertrain bells and whistles. It has relatively crisp driving dynamics. It has decent performance and economy, and is roomy enough for child seats.

    I could do without the red seats and the garish VIP-style wheels. This isn’t a Porsche 911 Turbo parked in Beverly Hills. The 2013 is the year to get; it has all-black seats and a much more attractive wheel design.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea, the boy racer graphics and cheap aftermarket looking style wheels are a turn off. The previous version had a much more tasteful appearance, but the interior tstill screamed “go speed racer” with its red mist lighting.

  • avatar
    TimeFlies

    Nice writeup Alex. Looking forward to more of your Youtube review vids. You seem to hit on lots of the nuances that most pass over. Your discussion of the dual clutch on the new ILX is on point. Because of it, I’m considering a test drive.

  • avatar
    bludragon

    I cross shopped an Si, GTI, RX-8 and Mazda3 back in 2008. At the time I went for the Si.

    Today, I think I’d go for the Mazda3 if I wanted the practicality and the feel, or the FR-S if I wanted the sportiness.

    Looking forward to seeing the new gen Si and Type-r, alongside a new Mazdaspeed3 next year :-)

  • avatar
    Jacob

    One serious flaw in this Civic Si is that it’s still a sedan with that small useless trunk opening. Why can’t Honda switch to hatchback at least the Si line?

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This. It’s not like there’d be any discernible difference in side profiles given today’s aero-for-mpg tyranny.

      But at least you’d get a larger trunk opening in the “hatchback”.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I have an 09 and can’t imagine this being much different. I haven’t had any problems with the trunk opening. Plus they are coming out with a hatch for the next version.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    *sigh*

    Think of all the tire you could stuff into those wheel wells with 14″ rims.

    • 0 avatar
      Preludacris

      Haha. These rims do look very wagon-wheel-esque. Unfortunately 14’s are just not going to fit over the brakes required to stop a 3000lb car repeatedly.

      16’s maybe?

  • avatar
    blppt

    One question for the reviewer—does this Civic Si still suffer from the rev-hang between shifts that I’ve heard plagued this model? My previous car, a 2nd gen Fit 5 speed, made this issue very tough to deal with, and after 2 years of ownership, I still wasnt able to consistently drive it smoothly.

    Matter of fact, I’ve heard that because of emissions controls, most new MT cars have this annoying rev-hang, and that the new Mazda6 MT is one of the very few cars that allow the revs to pretty much immediately drop off as they should.

  • avatar
    Eromitlab410

    I have the 2012 version of the Si….the much despised initial year of the 8th gen. The interior materials are disappointing but the seats are comfy and black, which some others have complained about here and elsewhere. The other now distinguishing factor on that year’s model is that the exterior appearance is way more subdued than this 2916 version….lip spoiler is much more understated, wheels are simpler, front fascia is cleaner and has less black plastic surrounding it, etc. overall it is a much more subtle appearance but does still have sticker overkill on the outside.

    Because they immediately refreshed the car for 2013 this more composed Si is now a bit rare, I suppose.

    I agree with earlier poster talking about the car’s handling in turns…it does plow in annoying ways and the steering which is now electric / drive by wire lacks some feel. Most modern cars do lack true steering feel…full disclosure that I am a disciple of rear wheel drive BMW’s — this car was a nod to needing more room and practicality for a growing family. The rev overhang I got used to after several months and now don’t even notice it.

    Overall I’ve really enjoyed it, but I am now yearning for something else…something even a little more analog than this Si. I would lament though getting rid of one of the last naturally aspirated performance Honda motors. That is a special thing even in four banger form.

    I hear an R53 MINI calling my name…:)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I don’t like how you can see the exterior color on the door frames by the A-pillar. That just means there’s not enough trim or insulation there. The only uncovered painted metal I want to be able to see while driving is the hood.

    Not crazy about the interior color choices either, but I get that this is an Si. I wonder if it’s color-keyed across the range. So a blue one is going to have WRX colored seats. What about white?

    Fuel economy is so low for such a small car, paired with the manual relegates this to a niche, but that’s okay. Reading this made me want them to bring back the Prelude though.

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