Remember a few years back when I had a 2000 Honda Civic Si? I really enjoyed that car. It remains one of my favorite front-driver cars out there. There have been a few iterations of the Civic Si since then and in fact, Honda has just revealed the latest version. It’s based on the new 11th-generation Civic sedan and I’m happy to report that it is very good.
The basic bits are this… the engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. While peak horsepower arrives a bit high at 6,000 rpm, the torque curve is nice and fat. Peak torque hits at just 1,800 rpm and cruises on up through 5,000 rpm. And the combustion party is backed up by a wonderful six-speed manual gearbox complete with a rev-matching system taken from the prior Civic Type R. Sandwiched between the two, Honda is using a lighter flywheel compared to the prior-gen Si, which means better throttle response to boot.
Shod with 235-series Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber on 18″ wheels, this Civic Si is supremely happy at home ripping on canyon roads. It corners flatly, yet the ride remains comfortable and composed. Honda upped the brake rotor size over the standard Civic too, which means it has no problem hauling that extra speed back in.
In the cabin, the car continues to impress. This isn’t a surprise as the cabin of the standard Civic is now quite a nice place to sit. With the Si, this is more of the same except you can only get the larger screen, there are red pinstripes everywhere, and the Si-specific seats are excellent.
But the most excellent part is the price. Honda starts the Civic Si at $28,315. Add in $200 for the performance Eagle tires and you’re at $28,515. And really, that’s it. The car is perfectly equipped and a blast to drive. This is a sleeper performance sedan you can enjoy on a daily basis at any speed.
And it also leaves me eager to learn a whole lot more about the upcoming Civic Type R.