By Larry Lark / Herald Special Sections Writer
This isn’t just any ol’ Honda Civic.
The 2017 Honda Civic Si sedan (and coupe) is a performance, enthusiast-oriented variant that advances the fun, fast and agile attributes of previous generations.
This is the first Si to use turbocharged engines, utilizing an upgraded high-boost version of the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, direct-injected engine to deliver more power and torque down low with minimal turbo lag.
Coupled with a slick-shifting, six-speed manual transmission, the Si race from a standing start, and finds more power when called upon even at freeway speeds. The engine generates 206 horsepower and receives a 38-mile-per-gallon rating from the EPA in highway driving.
Better yet, the Si looks the part. My tester came with an Aegean Blue Metallic coat of paint, 18-inch alloy wheels, high-performance summer tires, an aggressive gloss-black, solid-wing front fascia with larger lower air intakes and a chrome center-mounted hexagonal exhaust finisher. At the rear, the Si sedan includes a unique rear fascia and a decklid wing spoiler incorporating a LED brake light.
The Civic Si now features two driving mode options – Normal and Sport – allowing the driver to choose vehicle dynamic characteristics according to their tastes and the driving environment. Normal mode is comfort-oriented, while Sport Mode adjusts the suspension damping characteristics, plus steering and throttle response for a more taut and direct driving experience.
The new Civic Si also benefits from the extensive remake of the 10th-generation Civic platform – which was benchmarked against luxury C-class competitors for ride, handling, steering precision and high-speed stability – and are further enhanced by Si-exclusive chassis tuning and engineering.
All of this stuff adds up to lots of fun for a surprisingly small cash outlay. Plus, Honda’s quality, reliability and resale value come free.
For the first time ever, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, walk-away auto lock and an electronic parking brake with hill-start assist are included as standard equipment on this year’s Si.
Creature comforts are highlighted by a premium audio system with 10 speakers including a subwoofer, rear-view camera, USB audio interface, Bluetooth, XM radio, push-button start, cruise control, 12V outlet, sport pedals and numerous apps.
Interior features include Si-exclusive bolstered front sport seats with red stitching, including stitched Si logos and integrated head restraints. The red stitching carries through to the doors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot.
Safety equipment is not over-the-top, but more than enough to keep the driver, and up to three passengers, safe. Highlights include vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution, anti-lock braking system, Honda LaneWatch, fog lights and auto on/off headlights.
And, for those of you who care, the Civic Si is produced in Ontario, Canada. And the engine is manufactured in Anna, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Base Price: $24,100
Price As Driven: $24,975
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.