Once upon a time, the Honda Civic Si was the most fun, most sporty Civic your money could buy. Long before the Type R was available on U.S. shores. The Si was the perfect starting point for endless enhancements and upgrades. If bolt-on intakes, exhausts and turbos, with lowering springs, oversized wheels and flashy body-kits were on the menu, there was no better foundation from which you could build than the Si.
Now, with more powerful options available. Like the iconic Type R. The Si remains sporty and engaging, though not the top pick for the most extreme and tuner-crazed out there. This positions it perfectly though. As the Type R might be too aggressively tuned and styled for most. The Si dials it back just enough. Better balancing performance and day-to-day practicality. While still offering great performance, a striking design and sporty interior.
The chassis has been specially tuned for the Civic Si model. Steering is tight and responsive. In Sport mode especially. The suspension falls on the firm side, but allows the Civic to handle tight corners with little understeer and lots of confidence. A punchy turbo-four engine churns out 200 hp. That power is sent to the front wheels through a standard limited-slip differential and 6-speed manual gearbox. The combination serves up enough performance to easily compete with the likes of the VW Golf GTI and Subaru WRX. There is little turbo-lag to be found, and the engine tone is pleasantly coarse and brassy. The manual transmission has a wonderfully light touch and short throws. Making the trip up and down the six gears a great experience.
Plenty of Si exclusive details abound. On the inside, bolstered sport seats come in a striking red and black interwoven material with Si logos in the headrests. Like aftermarket Recaro racing seats. Just much more comfortable and adjustable. Red stitching and striped details can be found on the shift knob, steering wheel, seats, doors and elsewhere in the cabin. Many of these elements are exclusive to the Si model and clearly denote the cars sporty intention.
After a brief hiatus in 2021, we are delighted and relieved to see the return of the Honda Civic Si. Its sharp exterior, sporty interior, punchy turbo engine and competitive price tag make it the perfect option for any Honda consumer trying to capture the magic of the Civic, while still preserving some everyday comfort and practicality.
Price as tested: $28,910.00