The 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan
Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ
The sleek 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan may be tiny, but can still get the job done and is valued at a great price.
This year, Honda has introduced a “Type-R” model of the Civic, which takes the crown as the new, highest performance variant of the Civic — more about which you'll read next week.
Just because there is a new top model, doesn't mean that the “Si” has gone away; in fact, it has an allnew model. Question is, is it any good?
From an appearance point of view, it sure catches your attention, although it seems to attract and detract onlookers in equal measure. Some find it to be very stylish, while others think it is over styled. It does feature a lot of creases and angles, plus snazzy wheels, a large rear spoiler, and a very unusual wide-mouth exhaust — you'll either love it, or you won't. Whichever camp you belong to, you have to admit, the new Civic range is certainly the most creatively designed vehicle in the compact car segment.
However, while it may be classed as a compact car, at 4645 millimetres, this is no small car; in fact it is actually longer than the original BMW 5 series (E12), which was a mid-sized luxury sedan.
Size does have its advantages, because step inside the new Civic models, and you'll find lots of lounging space. Couple that with comfortable seats all around, and all the infotainment gadgetry that your heart desires, and you've got yourself a very good place to spend time in — most of the time!
I say that because, that while this Civic Si was great to drive around in the city, on long highway treks, it was a bit tiring. The problem is not with the seats — already mentioned that they are comfortable — but with sound insulation, which it can benefit from having more of. The main noise problem is created by the tires, which on the Civic Si, are wider than all the regular Civic models — measuring 235/40 R18. The rolling hum created by these tires does take a little getting used to, although I should add, that the Si is far from being the worst in its class in this regard.
What the tires do give you that is beneficial, is cornering grip, and on twisty turning lanes, the Civic Si handles really well. The suspension soaks up the bumps quite well, and the steering offers good feedback. Through country roads, it is not as hardcore as a Subaru WRX, but even I was surprised by the pace of the Si on such challenging tarmac.
The pace comes courtesy of a 1.5 litres, inline-four cylinder motor that features a turbocharger. Max power output is 205 horsepower, and 192 pounds per foot of torque — which is higher than any previous Si model. Power is sent to just the front wheels, via a six-speed manual gearbox — sorry posers, no automatic available on this trim.
This motor has a wonderful power band, which comes into boost at 2100 revolutions per minute, and stays on to 5000 revolutions per minute. What impressed me the most, was how smooth this motor is, even above 6000 revolutions per minute — a very well engineered motor for sure. Activate “Sport” mode and the motor, steering, and suspension tighten up. Put your foot down, and that odd shaped exhaust makes a pleasing noise, too.
Pleasing, but not perfect! I think, the previous generation Civic Si models, which had a high-revving, naturally-aspirated motor (K24Z7), was certainly more tuneful, and hence more entertaining. However, the new turbocharged motor is a lot more economical to run, as I averaged a city and highway combined run of just 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres — that is better than most hybrids I've tested.
Make no mistake, the 2017 Honda Civic Si is a very good vehicle, and with prices starting from $28,490 — it is good value, too.
I guess the toughest question you'll have to ask yourself, regarding buying the new Civic Si would be, should you buy the sedan or coupe body style?