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)
- OIL FILTER LOCATION!!!!
- Interior material and fabrics
- Drive-by-wire system
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.