By on April 6, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Si

Honda needed to put some distance between the much-anticipated Civic Type R and the forthcoming Si before giving up any additional specifications. With so much buzz surrounding the 306-horsepower Type R’s North American debut, any news on the more modest Si would have been lost in a sea of Honda fanboy fury.

Still, the automaker was probably also aware that some enthusiasts might get a little snippy when they find out that the Si’s massaged 1.5-liter mill won’t see significant horsepower gains over the previous naturally aspirated engine. In fact, it makes the same 205 hp as the old model.  

2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan

The automaker’s earlier slip that the Si would produce 192 lb-ft of torque from a 1.5-liter engine held true. While the previous generation’s 2.4-liter churned out 170 lb-ft, the new car adds a dollop more and puts its power down earlier in the rev range. That is certain to annoy some grizzled VTEC veterans who think every sporting Honda should have its motor peak right at the redline. However, the practical benefits of lower-end torque will definitely be appreciated by regular people.

Mated to a short-throw six-speed manual transmission, the new Si motor hits peak horsepower 1,300 rpm lower than with the previous incarnation, and maximum torque arrives 2,300 rpm sooner. Honda also claims that power is sustained significantly longer throughout.

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

Other Honda promises include reduced weight and a much more rigid chassis than the former vehicle. Si-specific goodies include a helical limited-slip differential, 12.3-inch front brake rotors, adaptive dampers, and selectable driving modes with variable steering ratios. There is also a factory option to wrap the 18-inch wheels with 235/40 R18 performance rubber.

Changes in appearance from the unsporting Civic are evident but not gregarious. The large honeycomb-filled air inlets, black accenting, and rear spoiler serve to easily distinguish the Si as a performance variant but nothing seems quite as over-the-top as on the Type R. Meanwhile, the interior receives bolstered seating, Si badging, unique trim pieces, red accented displays, and sport pedals.

2017 Honda Civic Si

Aimed directly at the Volkswagen GTI and Ford Focus ST, Honda is pricing the Civic Si in the mid-$20,000 range. Many will complain that the power doesn’t rationalize the price, but don’t forget that the Civic isn’t quite so portly as the other two. It might not win any drag races but it should be able to hold its own on a tight track.

The new Civic Si sedan and coupe will hit dealers next month.

2017 Honda Civic Si

[Images: Honda]

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50 Comments on “Honda Unveils Civic Si Specs After Type R Buzz Dies Down...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    No sedan, no interest. There’s good reason VW ditched the 2 door GTI, at least in the US. And the less said about the 5dr Civic the better.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    I’m trying really hard to like the new Civic, but every time I see those “asteroid Impact craters” on the front bumper cover, it just turns me off! Imagine how hard it will be to keep those foglight surrounds clean, and how rough they’ll look after being blasted by road debris! :-)

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Would you guys but this, or a GTI? I am thinking of buying one of the two…

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      About owning a Honda, I’m on my 3rd Civic and will buy a 4th. I currently just have a coupe with a manual that’s a lot of fun for the money, and I’ll consider an SI next time. (Last time, the dealer was rather pushy in trying to upsell me into one.)

    • 0 avatar

      Buy the base WRX

    • 0 avatar
      TDIandThen....

      That was the line in the article that made me laugh, that Honda are aiming this at competing against GTI. Maybe put this SI engine in a Fit and we can talk. You may feel differently.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      I bought a Fiesta ST after driving the GTI.

      Buy a Chevy SS.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      I bought a Fiesta ST after driving the GTI.

      Buy a Chevy SS.

    • 0 avatar
      Robbie

      I like the GTI interior; the 1.5L does not appeal to me. Honda reliability has a big appeal; also, the current GTI first went on sale in Europe six or so years ago. Any other considerations?

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      I own a gti and I’ve owned (and liked) Hondas. This new si has to be really good to beat the current gti. The gearing has to be short to overcome the power disadvantage, but it also has to be impressively quiet, comfortable and fuel efficient. The power problem also means it has to compete on price, which the old one definitely did. As to weight, the bar is also high, the gti weighs just over 3000 lbs after the weight reduction, so Honda needs to beat that by at least 75 or 100, and not just on one trim level, while maintaining the attributes listed above. The lower displacement engine is what makes me skeptical here.

      Tech bragging rights also present a real problem. That lsd is necessary and probably will be the si’s saving grace. BUT, the gti has active torque vectoring and the next st probably will, since they share a common primary market (not here). Both the gti and the st have very interesting turbo solutions.

      This car has its work cut out for it, and that’s from someone who’s always really enjoyed past si’s. Another problem is the gti is on deck for a tech update, while the focus st must be due for a comprehensive redesign fairly soon. I’m sure the Honda brand can bring the si sales success, but on the product side (which is the current discussion) I’m inclined to treat it as a new entrant and wait a generation.

      All of this is so much bs until I get a chance to drive the thing though.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        Not that but maybe 1-2% of owners will track their cars, but I will offer this up:

        I have driven both systems, and prefer a mechanical LSD. Active torque vectoring accomplishes the same thing, and can be advantageous in autocross, but as someone who tracks it is the worst thing ever because it does it’s job via selective braking. In the heat management department, the last thing I want is a system I don’t control putting more heat into my brakes, thereby shortening my time on track.

        I watched a guy with a newer Bimmer have to swap rear pads at the track recently because his torque vectoring/stability control system used them to the point of frying them. It’s not something I’m particularly excited by over a zero maintenance mechanical solution like the helical LSD in the Si.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          I agree but only the base gti has a brake based torque vectoring solution (the st has it and so do regular golfs). Every other trim has a clutch pack that can direct power side to side. If the mechanical lsd ends up with an advantage it might be feel related, not performance.

          I’d bet good money that ford will incorporate a non brake based system on the next st.

          • 0 avatar
            Malforus

            I am going to disagree with you from a force perspective.

            Brake based systems are great because they are light and piggybacked onto existing hardware so they don’t “add cost” beyond software and control hardware.

            Mechanical LSD’s don’t introduce more parasitics the way brake vectoring does. That said, to me the performance is “Proven LSD structure that has shown to be very track competative” vs. A system that works but we don’t know how much its going to cost you in pads.

            I doubt Ford will switch to mechanical LSD because for the most part they have been moving away from them in favor of brake systems.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Malforus

            I agree that ford probably won’t go mechanical lsd. I think they’ll do what vw did and install a clutch pack off of the transmission. That’s not too dissimilar from what they pulled on the focus rs rear axle, which is that car’s advantage over the golf r (which, unlike the non base gti relies on brake based torque vectoring).

            The only advantage to me of the clutch packs is their capability to mitigate torque steer. That’s a big advantage on a high torque fwd car though. I’m pretty sure that comes at a steering feel cost on the other hand (I have a gti with each system in my immediate family, I think the non performance pack car feels better unless the brake system, xds, is working).

            The dueling product/tech cycles and common supplier base of the focus and golf hot hatches is what makes them the best in category. Honda absolutely has the talent and budget to join, but they are relatively new to this as the si has been grimly holding on to its sub-segment status for quite some time now.

          • 0 avatar
            Nedmundo

            Ford Performance sells a Quaife mechanical LSD available for the Focus ST, but IMO it should be standard:

            https://performanceparts.ford.com/part/2363-ATB-AA

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      I like my cars to start every morning, so this.

      Really, it depends on price. If this is 23 grand? Okay.

      If it’s 25-26? You’ve be nuts to buy it over a base WRX unless your marriage requires dual zone climate control.

    • 0 avatar
      manny_c44

      I would buy a GTI but this thing will be way more reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        My comment on this got swallowed but why are you guys assuming that the cost of ownership from Hondas 2.4 and 1.8 will carry over here? This is the highest output version of a new to the US engine. It hasn’t been flawless in the regular civic.

        I’m not saying it should be avoided, but I wouldn’t stake my reputation on it by recommending it to friends and family just yet.

        • 0 avatar
          Nedmundo

          I agree on the “just yet,” because avoiding the first model year is the best approach even with manufacturers with great reliability like Honda and Toyota. In this case, even the first year might be OK because the lower powered versions of the 1.5T have been on the road for awhile, as has the previous generation Type-R, from which Honda should have learned plenty about high specific output turbo fours.

          But this also has an adaptive suspension, which could be an issue.

          I’d seriously consider this car to replace my TSX, but even if I wanted to buy something now, I’d hold off for at least a year. I did the same with my TSX, and it worked out, because they fixed a couple of problems (steering, engine pinging) from the first model year.

        • 0 avatar
          manny_c44

          @tedward: just based solely on past performance. Honda engines are more reliable than even Toyota engines by almost a factor of two.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Manny

            That’s definitely not enough for me. I’ve seen plenty of Honda products break. I’ve seen Honda, just like everyone else, make major design mistakes that lead to repeat failures. I have not seen modern Honda or Toyota take many of the risks that their competitors have, which is where their reliability comes from. I have also never seen any data to support the claim that Honda engines are twice as reliable as those from Toyota.

            They make reliable naturally aspirated engines, sure. But this is something different, and their competitors are several design cycles ahead of them here.

          • 0 avatar
            DearS

            Don’t know about a factor of 2 but all 6 of the Honda products with 120k+ miles in my family have been pretty great. The Pilot started leaking power steering at 153k though.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      I personally like the GTI but Honda should bring the Si up to its level with the 2017 (and for maybe a grand or two less). If you want something comfortable, practical, and just as capable then check out the VW. If you’re only interested in the best manual gearbox, then I think Honda will probably deliver. But, as everyone else already said, they aren’t the only two worth taking a look at.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    The ricer kami is old and wants to die.

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    It must be good if people are struggling to come up with clever hate posts.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      It’s fine. The Civic Si has always been just fine. Last time I tested one, I thought it drove like a normal Civic ought to, and would be best without the accouterments and pretenses of the Si trim. But it’s a perfectly fine car.

      It’s not even worth disliking.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    It likely drives very well and will probably have a substantially lower TCO than a GTI but I just cannot drive anything that looks like that. It’s not just polarizing, it’s juvenile. Even the sedan in dark grey would still have the dumb spoiler and awful lower bumper treatments.

    With the additional 25 hp over the Sport, it will probably be quick enough.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Bummed that there’s no hatchback.

  • avatar
    AK

    Coupe looks good. Sedan looks bad. The low power ratings don’t concern me given its lower weight and Honda probably underrating the output.

    Used to be a big Honda fan but the 9th gen SI was sub par in a lot of ways and lead me to buy a Focus ST.

    I’ll be genuinely surprised if this new SI drives as well as the ST.

  • avatar
    noneuimport

    I just can’t get over the looks of the current generation Civic..that said, coupe Si looks ok, but i hope there is spoiler delete option, that wing in the back is way too big.

    • 0 avatar
      carnick

      I’m with you in hoping for a no-spoiler option. It might be fine for 20-somethings, but to me (at a more ‘mature’ age), it just looks like an ironing board stuck on the back, like so many eye-meltingly bad home-brewed hack jobs.

      I like the idea of a sportier, more fun to drive Civic. 205 hp is more than enough for me for sane street driving. 0-60 will probably be in the low 6’s? How fast do you really need a fun economy commuter to be? I’ll take it for hopefully better fuel economy than a hotter engine would give.

      I second the thanks to Honda for offering it as a coupe. As others have said, I rarely need a back seat, and coupes invariably look better than sedans (and two normal size doors are easier to get in and out of than four small ones). I just would never consider the Civic, or any car, if it was only available as a 4-door.

      But that spoiler… don’t plan to use it as a picnic table. If there’s no way to delete it, that would probably also keep me from buying it – to me it just looks silly.

      My experiences with Honda’s in the past is that rear spoilers are often packed separately in shipping (to avoid breakage in transit). The trick is to make a deal with a dealer to intercept a car as soon as it arrives, before it goes to prep and it’s automatically installed (I’ve done that).

      Failing that, it might be possible to convince a dealer to swap trunk lids with a regular coupe without a spoiler (I’ve done that too). It was once done for me at no charge, their thinking that they’d recoup the labor cost by selling the recipient car with a spoiler ‘option’.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I long for the day when the “angry front end” styling craze gets swept away. Yes, looks are purely subjective and there are plenty of folks that will love the Civic exactly because of the way it is designed…but maybe I’m getting old(er) and want my car to look a bit more grown up. Dang, did I just say that???

  • avatar
    mesh

    Please god, don’t give me rev hang.

  • avatar
    GogglesPisano

    Is it just me or man is that front end ugly?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Well, disappointed with the non-existent power gain but not shocked. I’m going to guess that this had something to do with wanting to also use the motor in the heavy CR-V. Guess that’s to be expected given how hefty automatic CUVs are the bread and butter now. They’re not gonna make a specialty motor for a low volume sling shot.

    Extra torque is good at least. I’m reminded here of my old ‘ 76 Electra 225 from high school. Not much HP by the numbers and it ran out of steam above 4,000 RPM or so. But the low end torque of the 455 made her feel real strong in daily driving.

  • avatar
    mikehgl

    I would generally agree that 2 door coupes almost always look better than their 4 door
    counterparts. That said, My Focus ST is still a pretty functional vehicle with the added benefit of a back door for the most common occupant….my dog.


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