Thursday, June 18, 2009

2008 Honda Civic Si Coupe

Alright. After having this car for slightly more than a year, I'm finally able to do a detailed review of this small little torqueless MONSTER! (I know I know... torqueless and monster don't go together but with this car, THEY DO!)

I can definitely tell you straight up that there would be no other car I would buy given the price range.

  • Aggressive sounding exhaust and engine note
  • Bolstered seats provide good support for aggressive driving
  • Handles like it's on rails
  • 8000-rpm redline
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Impressive sound system
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Third gear grind
  • Stock tires (Michelin Pilot MXM4's)
  • Interior material and fabrics
  • Drive-by-wire system
As you can see, there are WAY more pros than there are for cons. This car is wicked. Hahaha.


The Civic Si's powerplant is a 2.0 litre high-revving naturally-aspirated engine. It produces 197-horsepower at the crank and 139 pound-feet of torque. These numbers seem quite low compared to many other performance sport cars but I kid you not, this thing is ownage around a track. The thing I like the most about this engine is the way it produces power. The power production curve is very linear; this means that it doesn't feel like you've hit a brick wall while you're building up your revs. It feels like the car just doesn't stop pulling. The powerband lasts for about 2,600rpms.

However, there is a trick to these crazy high-revving Honda's. Well, it's not really a trick, it's a must if you want continuous power. YOU HAVE TO STAY IN V-TEC OTHERWISE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE HIT SOME FAT BOY RUNNING ACROSS THE STREET!!! This means that shifts must be at redline or else you'll find yourself crawling in the next gear and the adventure starts all over again. Oh, and by the way, the V-TEC engagement point is at around 5,600rpms.

A downside to this vehicle is the drive-by-wire (DBW) throttle system. This DBW throttle system leaves your revs hanging for a tiny bit after you've pushed in the clutch which results in difficulty for smooth up shifts. But I've got used to this and it is no longer a problem. Apparently, it is supposed to be better for emissions output but in my opinion, WHO CARES? It's a friggin sports car that revs to 8,000rpms. Stupid. I'm gonna refrain myself from going into all this environmental BS or else I'm going to head off on a HUGE tangent and become very angry.

One thing I wished Honda packaged in with the Si is better tires. I cannot tell you enough how bad these stock tires are. They have very minimal cornering grip. They squeal very easily and they don't really let you know that you're approaching the limit of their traction. This car can definitely gain a HUGE advantage with stickier tires.

Surprisingly, the stock suspension is very good. It provides a ride that is not too stiff and not too soft. It makes for a good daily driver although some would say that it's on the bumpy side. It definitely provides a huge sense of confidence around corners as the suspension makes the car seem very stable.


The Civic Si is actually very comfortable. I've driven it for 4 hours straight and had no complaints whatsoever. The seats are well bolstered for hard-cornering and provides a lot of support. Seating position is very good as well. The last thing you want to worry about when driving hard is if you're going to be thrown out of your seat.

Also, the pedals are all placed very efficiently which makes it easier for advanced techniques such as heel and toe.


Ok, I don't want to emphasize this part much but THIS THING HAS A THREE-HUNDRED AND FIFTY WATT SOUND SYSTEM! I would have never expected something like this in a Civic. Anyway, it sounds amazing. The bass and treble tones are well produced and thus, no over-powering between the 2 is present. Makes for a very clear and pleasurable audio experience.

There are audio controls on the steering wheel as well as cruise control settings. All the buttons are very neatly placed which allows the driver to focus on the road.

Also, the 2-tier dashboard is really neat. Some people like it, some people do not. To me, it's awesome. It sorta looks like a space ship. :) It's extremely convenient when driving aggressively since there is a shift light right beside the digital speedometer.

Something that I did not understand is why did the American models get a navigation system while we DON'T? Racism.

Design/Fit and Finish

I think the exterior styling looks pretty darn good. However, Honda should have included the performance aero kit on the Si trim. It makes the car look a whole lot more aggressive. A bad thing about the exterior is the paint quality. This paint will get OWNED by rock chips over time. I have a few on my hood and it is just painful to look at each time I wash my car.

Interior styling is pretty sick as well. You'll pretty much see the "Si" badging everywhere - on the tachometer, on the floor mats, and on the 2 front seats. On the other hand, the material is something that I'm not quite fond of. This is simply because they scuff very easily.

Some Finishing Comments

All in all, I'm extremely happy with the purchase. For the price, you just can't beat it. But, if I were to do it again, I would buy something with BIGGER displacement which in turn, will produce more torque. It would be much easier for daily driving as I drive A LOT! I pretty much gotta rev the heck outta this thing to get somewhere. Perhaps.... a BMW M3. :)

So... Who Should Buy This Car?

Anyone who is looking for a great car that provides AWESOME fun and good fuel economy. This car definitely sets itself apart from the other "regular" Civics such as the EX, LX, and DX models as the biggest difference is the engine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8

SOOOO.... I decided to test drive a Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 this beautiful afternoon and although my expectations for this car weren't much, I was definitely impressed.

This is going to be my mini-review of this little BEAST and it probably won't be spot on accurate since I only drove it for a short 20 minutes.

  • Awesome exhaust note at low revs
  • Comfortable yet supportive seats
  • Great driving position
  • Very good handling

  • Manual transmission gearbox was pretty craptacular


The model I test drove was powered by a 3.8 litre V6 which was rated at 306hp and 266 pound-feet of torque. Within a few seconds of pulling out of the dealership lot, I could hear the exhaust note which was actually very nice sounding. It produced a very low grumble at low revs which sounds pretty beastly, and in turn, I REALLY wanted to get on the throttle. My oh my, it was pretty damn quick but not "holy-shit-it-felt-like-i-got-punched-in-the-stomach" quick. The suspension was also set up pretty well. It wasn't back-breaking stiff but it wasn't soft around the corners either. It definitely provides confidence around tight bends.

The brakes were nothing special. Actually, probably a bit on the soft side. However, there is a 3.8 GT model that offers BREMBO brakes and I'm pretty sure that it would make a SIGNIFICANT difference.

The thing that annoyed me the most was the piece of crap gearbox. It's actually pretty sharp and accurate under normal driving but when hitting redline up-shifts, it cuts the power for a bit which makes you feel like you just hit a brick wall. I did some research and the reason why the power cuts is because Hyundai decided to be retarded and fitted a transmission that could not handle all the power produced by the 3.8 litre V6 engine. And thus, THE POWER CUTTT to prevent any damage!!!! Stupid.


The Genesis Coupe 3.8 had a pretty decent interior. The finish didn't feel cheap like the rest of the cars in their line-up. The seats were well-bolstered which provided a snug fit during spirited driving. They were also very comfortable. It offered lumbar support to reduce back fatigue.

That's pretty much all I have to say in this section of my review since I didn't pay much attention to anything else other than performance. 20 minutes is not enough.


Function? What function? I didn't even bother playing around with the buttons on the center console. Again, didn't have time. If you want to find out, go visit a Hyundai dealership yourself. :)

The only other button I touched was the... TRACTION CONTROL OFF BUTTON...!!! Feels great when the stupid onboard computers don't cut your power. I'm pretty sure that this car would drive quite nice sideways.

Design/Fit and Finish

I don't have much of an opinion towards the exterior styling. I didn't hate it nor did I love it. It was just "Meh!". It definitely carries the lines from the Tiburon and I think it resembles a bit of the Infiniti G37 Coupe.

Interior styling was not bad. Everything was pretty driver-oriented except for a few things. The window open/close switches were placed in the weirdest position ever. It felt like I had to break my wrist to push the buttons properly. The hand brake position was pretty bad as well. Seemed like I had to pivot out of my seat to grab it. If a fat man was in the driver seat, the blubber probably would have covered the handbrake lever. Other than that, it's good.

So... Who Should Buy This Car?

A driving enthusiast on a budget. It can definitely give the new Nissan 370Z a run for its money.