2017 Honda Civic Si
by John Davis
A Honda Civic with Si in its name is hardly new. There has been a “Sport Injected” Civic compact available here, off and on, for over 30-years. But, since the latest 10th generation Civic is clearly the best one yet; does it follow that the 2017 Honda Civic Si is the best of its kind as well?
Well, for starters, after our initial drive, we found the Si felt just as expertly put together as other Civics. We mostly drove a Si Sedan, but a Coupe is also available. Sadly, as of right now, no hatchback is offered.
Both the existing bodies get their own unique updates with the four-door’s a little subtler in nature. There’s a distinctive fascia with gloss black trim and larger air intakes up front, 18-inch split-spoke alloy wheels underneath, and a central-mounted hexagonal exhaust tip around back.
The exhaust note comes, not from the previous gen’s naturally aspirated 2.4 I-4, but from an up-to-date turbocharged 1.5-liter. True, it’s the same engine in other up-level Civics, but now with boost cranked up to over 20-psi. So, horsepower rises 31, to 205; torque climbs 30, to 192 lb-ft. A 6-speed manual is the only transmission available. But, it’s a really good one.
As is the Si in general, provided you have the proper perspective. It’s not meant to be a no holds barred performance car. That’s for the Type R. Rather, the Si is a much more interesting daily driver.
Things can get a little noisy inside if you have a heavy foot, otherwise the interior is very comfortable, with nicely supportive sport seats. Steering has good weight to it, and there is a thick wheel for setting things in motion.
The suspension has of course been “sport tuned”, complete with new adaptive dampers. As before, a limited slip differential is included.
We found that maintaining peak boost from the little turbo to be a delicate job. So, Honda has included some shift lights in the gauge pod to help. Just wait a beat after you see them, and you’re golden. The shifter itself is slick and precise.
More by-products of a smaller engine are larger Government Fuel Economy Ratings. This Civic Si comes with an almost economy car like 32 MPG City-Highway combined rating using Premium gas.
For our complete test of the 2017 Honda Civic Si, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3704 that begins airing on September 29, 2017. For a complete listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. New episodes of MotorWeek premiere on Tuesday evenings on the Velocity cable network.
Clearly the base Civic has come a long way in recent years. Yet Honda has managed to take the 2017 Civic Si even further. It is the best Si yet. Moreover, it’s a good bet that if you love your current Si, you’ll want this one even more.