Test Drive: 2017 Honda Civic Si
Entry Price: $23,900
Price as Tested: $24,975
This week, we’re driving the all-new generation 2017 Civic Si, a compact sport sedan or coupe that has already sold 500,000 units in its first 18-months of production. Introduced in 2016, not only is the new Civic Si lower and longer than the previous generation, the interior has received a major overhaul resulting in best in class interior volume. The coupe and sedan carry identical entry prices at $23,900.
Our tester came in four-door sedan dress and I have to say up front this car is a real “looker.” Although the Si probably attracts more of a younger demographic (they call these import lovers “tuners”) Honda Civic comes in many flavors and varieties that always attract consumers from a broad base.
Through my years of test driving cars on a weekly basis, which began in 1994, I’ve been fortunate to drive just about every car Honda and Acura have ever produced over the years, sans the ultra-high end Honda/Acura NSX. From the thousands of Honda miles driven since then, this all-new Civic Si deserves special note.
Remember, too, that the words “new” and “all-new” have important distinctions in the auto manufacturing vocabulary. “New” can mean a tweaked front grille, better shock absorbers and upgraded rear taillight assembly. “All-new,” meanwhile, refers to a really new generation from designer drawing board to platform assembly. And speaking of assembly, the Honda Civic is built 100-percent in North America thanks to Honda assembly line employees in Ontario, Canada, and engine builders in Anna, Ohio.
Back to our Civic Si review.
Now in its 10th generation of the popular compact that debuted in 1973, the new Civic Si rides on a 3-inch longer body, 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, 1.3-inch wider stance and a 1-inch lower stance. With all this information, one would think this new Honda is heavier than the last generation … but that would be incorrect. Thanks to Honda utilizing stronger yet lighter build components, the Civic Si sedan is anywhere from 98 to 113 pounds lighter than the previous generation while increasing torsional rigidity by 25 percent.
The Civic Si wheelbase stretch not only increases cabin roominess by 2-full inches (making for happier rear seat passengers), there’s also a sporty black Si logo and stitched bucket seat ensemble that offers excellent side-to-side support. These seats merge well with the use of aluminum, leather, and faux titanium/carbon fiber deco panels for the ultimate in delivering a cabin with sports car written all over it. Add in special Si instrumentation and either sport or normal driving modes, and you have a truly unique little sports car draped in Honda Civic clothing.
At first glance, our Honda Civic Si looked like the coupe version until I realized there are four doors. Its aerodynamic motif, which Honda calls “a new look for a new generation,” is muscular and very cool for those who seek a fun car. Thanks to these sporty looks, everywhere I took the Civic Si people wanted a closer look, especially the “tuners.” This younger group was most impressed with the chrome center mounted exhaust, performance exhaust tone, rear spoiler, power moonroof and the $200 extra wheel/tire combo of 18-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 summer tires on 10-spoke two-tone alloys.
Under the hood sits Honda’s powerful 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that comes standard on all Si trim Civic models. Thanks to a larger high-flow turbocharger that delivers a more powerful air/fuel mixture, you are now controlling 205 horsepower and 192 lb. ft. of torque. Our tester came with the only transmission available in the six-speed manual resulting in outstanding 28 city and 38 highway EPA fuel mileage estimates. This mechanical formula results in a pretty quick little Honda, and with some quick shifting abilities a zero to 60 mph exercise arrives in 6 seconds. If you are not a manual gear changer, you can’t buy a performance Si model but don’t fret as an automatic is available on other “non-Si” Civics.
Underneath, a fully independent suspension coupled with Honda’s electronic stability control and driver assist programs guarantee a solid, road hugging ride with more than enough comfort for those who demand both.
Notable standard features include a right hand turn display, Honda Lane Watch radar, blind-spot detection, rear safety camera (on all models), climate control, cruise, LED headlamps, fog lamps, all the airbags, four wheel ABC discs and much more. All of today’s top active and passive safety features are standard, resulting in expected 5-Star government crash ratings. Stereo? Our Si came with a standard Bluetooth, Apple and Android compatible 450-watt 10-speaker w/sub sound system with SiriusXM and Pandora streaming.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, 2,906 lb. curb weight, 14.7 cu. ft. of cargo space, 12.4 gallon fuel tank, and a 37.8 ft. turning circle.
With $875 delivery and the $200 tire option, our Civic Si came in at a great buy of $24,975 retail. Your Honda dealer is awaiting your arrival to explain any buyer incentives and everything a 2017 Civic offers in detail.
Overall, the new 2017 Honda Civic Si is much better than the 9th generation yet carries a similar price tag. I believe this Honda Civic Si has re-written the book as to what a sport compact should be as it will fulfill your every driving expectation, and exceed them in the fun and performance categories.
Likes: Power, fuel mileage, fun factor, easy on the pocketbook.
Dislikes: Touchscreen stereo system, no automatic transmission available on Si.
— Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and other GateHouse Media publications. He welcomes reader questions at email@example.com.