By on October 28, 2015

1999 Honda Civic Si

I can’t think of another small car that has been so consistently good, and occasionally great, as the Honda Civic. The Corolla matches it on the good column, but there really hasn’t been a “great” Corolla for enthusiasts since the FX16 GTS. Each generation of Civic, at least since the second generation’s “S” model, has offered a higher-performance trim level that caters to gearheads.

Elsewhere on these virtual pages today, we look at the most recent iterations of the Civic, but since I’m the guy here with grease under his nails and rust in his eyes, I’m looking back a few years at an iconic Honda.

The 1999 Honda Civic Si quickly became a favorite of the street tuning/Sport Compact Car scene of the early Aughts, mostly due to the powerful, highly-tuneable B-series engine fitted. In stock form, 160 horsepower was on tap, though few remain stock today. Most of these have had ill-advised engine, suspension, and bad-vinyl-sticker “enhancements” inspired by The Fast and the Furious franchise.

A good clean example, like this very-lightly modified car in Georgia, is a joy both in commuting and on track. I’ve heard of some cars seeing 35 mpg on the highway, despite the short final drive fitted to the Si. This one might have had lowering springs fitted, as there seems to be a minimal fender-tire gap to the rear, though nothing is mentioned by the seller. The muffler is a bit larger than normal, too, so you might annoy the neighbors, but both of these flaws can be easily corrected.

At under $6,000, this is a great buy. The car seems cosmetically perfect, and with little evidence of stupid modifications, the car will likely serve a new owner for a long time with easy maintenance. I’d love to get my hands on this Civic.

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31 Comments on “Digestible Collectible: 1999 Honda Civic Si...”


  • avatar
    vtecJustKickedInYo

    I have actually been looking at that one to replace my B5 Audi S4 I just sold, as my daily. I’ll let you know how it is when I check it out on Thursday, going from 380 lbft of torque to 118 will be hard.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      I would view it as an upgrade! Less headaches and more miles per gallon!

      28 – collectible from this era = Integra Type R

      • 0 avatar
        vtecJustKickedInYo

        Haha but I was beating every Honda on freeway pulls without leaving sixth gear. But I was happier selling the S4 than I was when I bought it… 2.7T life.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          Your going to HATE the lack of torque. If you desire acceleration in the Civic remove all weight and turn the A/C off. If you value MPG over acceleration then the Civic is fine.

          I’ve own 2 Civics and a Prelude. As well as a B5 Passat 1.8T. The Passat was great… for the first 3 years after that nothing but headaches. The Honda’s were great for many years then you drive something else and realize how wimpy those early Honda engines were.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            I’ve been in VTEC HOndas for a decade. An RSX-S, then a pair of S2000s, AP1 and AP2. The lack of torque isn’t terrible, but there was a definitive difference going from the RSX with iVTEC (VTC on the intake cam combined with traditional big-cam VTEC), and the S2ks that only have traditional VTEC.

            They rev fast enough it’s not really an issue, but there is definitely a lack of low end compared to the Mazda 3 2.5 that I daily. Plus you cruise at a much higher RPM.

            Otherwise, my wife had a 00 Civic coupe just like this generation Si. It was tossable, cheap on gas, and just an overall good car. I say hit, especially for the right price.

            And not that I recommend it, but the aftermarket for these is bottemless, and there are some decent NA mods you can do that don’t make it sound too ricey but still get you some extra ponies and lb-ft.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @EAF

        I agree.

    • 0 avatar
      cretinx

      Going from 4,000 lbs to 2,600 lbs won’t be hard.

      • 0 avatar
        vtecJustKickedInYo

        The S4 was a boosted like a bat out of hell on the highway, at least before the turbos started making the squeal of death. Oh well I hope the new owner has towing on his insurance, Truth in Breakdowns.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I realize this is the Si and the Si is the best version, but the Honda in this period I see as a collectible is the Prelude, not a Civic of any strip.

    • 0 avatar
      vtecJustKickedInYo

      The em1s hold their value pretty well, especially if you sell it up north rust free. Preludes are a dime a dozen.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I can count on one hand how many Preludes I have seen in the past two years of regular driving and that includes some travel. Now If you say to me the supply of all Preludes exceeds those of Civic Si, I would believe you and see your point more.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          The market speaks, and it holds EM1s in much higher regard than all Preludes.

          Why, I don’t know, but I will get into that in a separate comment. One relevant point is theft- Preludes get stolen too, but nowhere near as much as EM1s and ITRs. So the few that are left will go up in value for sure. On the east coast Preludes are a dime a dozen and not at all hard to find.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Preludes are only rare when you add another word, “Stock”

          Around here I’ve seen several from almost each generation, the only stock one was an old Gen-1 example.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Prelude wins, gets second place to the Integra R for rare, while the Si comes in third.

          Also saw a pristine Prelude 4WS in CA, bright yellow! Those rusted in the Midwest in about 1991.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Once the Type-R version of this Civic becomes importable, that will be collectible.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Did you look at the Carfax? It seems like the first owner was on a mission to destroy this car! Unloaded just 40k miles ago and a succession of short ownerships lead me to believe the consequences of those 4! accidents may be worse than cosmetic.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Chris Tonn: “I can’t think of another small car that has been so consistently good… as the Honda Civic.”

    Mark Stevenson: “It only took Honda 15 years to get the Civic right again.”

    Heh, heh, heh.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      I drove the hated 2012 Civic for a year as a company car. I really didn’t mind it.

      Notice I said consistently good, not brilliant. Every Civic has been a good car, just not necessarily perfect or great for the enthusiast.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I traded a guy a set of snow tires mounted on steelies for a nice looking set of alloys taken off one of these Sis, which I promptly slapped onto my rusty, brown 1990 Civic Wagon. ‘Twas dope. Really completed the picture of a lower lip spoiler from a ’94 Accord and autozone foglights :p (I was in high school)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Such little torque. No intake cam phasing. These things drive like regular Civics with an extra 1000-1500 RPM at redline. Dog slow.

    For me, a better buy would be an EX coupe with an H22A (or H23A) swap. PS and AC can be kept intact, and the H22A doesn’t weigh much more than a B16A. Cheaper and easier to buy and modify too and you don’t even need to change transmissions.

    Hating aside those cars look really good. Easily the high point of the Civic’s design, exterior wise.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    I wanted one of these so bad when they came out. My parents had matching Accord hatchbacks with adjustable Konis that I’d been riding on road trips since the early 80s. We watched F1 narrated by Jackie Stewart and rooted for Mansell, Prost and Senna. I had just finished school, had a job, had money and in the late 90s everything was pretty optimistic. Then I tried to buy a Civic Si.

    No dealer was particularly interested in talking to me, though one salesman swore it had antilock brakes. When I finally sat in one the sunroof cut into the headroom so badly I had to lean the seat back too far for comfort. Reviewing SCC’s Eight Great Rides from 1998 the other car in the price range (Not paying more than $20k for a car, no matter how rosy things looked) was Subaru’s Impreza RS. I bought one, loved it to death and bought a WRX when it was hit.
    So I mainly get nostalgic for that generation Si because it got me hooked on Subaru.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Wouldnt the Acura RSX/Integra work better as a “sporty Civic”?

    I swear Honda contracted out to Elmers for their badge-glue, most Hondas have long lost their “Accor, Civic” badging. I’m sure ricers like this though. These Civics were just cheap all around imo.

    Back then Honda made reliable cars I’ve yet to see one with a reliable history, lots of patched up wrecks out there, lots of ricers trying to milk 500 hp out of that sewing machine under the hood. I’d rather have Grandpas Buick Century.

    Like all Hondas they’re no good until you mod them, or tape up a wreck and sell it for a $2k profit to some unsuspecting 15 year old.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Like all Hondas they’re no good until you mod them”

      Huh? I’d actually argue Hondas of all eras are sometimes best enjoyed stock. I’m just really baffled by all the Honda trash talk coming from a serial-owner of a string of crappy old beaters. Odyssey is arguably best in class, Accord arguably best in class, CRV arguably best in class, new Pilot arguably best in class, 2016 Civic is looking like a top contender. Do all of these cars need “mods” because they’re “no good?”

  • avatar
    calgarytek

    I’ve never been a fan of how these cars are modified. Not into ‘stance’, severe camber angles, or excessively compromised ride height or body kits.

    I have a modified 2000 EM1. I just purchased a B18C with a Limited Slip diff and will be installing it over the winter holidays. The engine practically ‘looks the same’ as compared to stock (save for a red valve cover). I also have an exhaust for it, but not one with a fart can muffler. Never been a fan of that, esp. on 4 cylinder engines. I also have a rear strut tower brace, chassis brace, and a rear sub frame brace.

    So yeah…

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