This is the 2015 Honda Civic Si sedan. About the only thing that's changed since its 2012 debut is that it now faces even stiffer competition.
The Si is available in coupe and sedan variants, both of which turn up the wick on the Honda Civic's performance.
Under the hood is Honda's 2.4-liter i-VTEC engine. Power is stated at 205 horsepower and torque at 174 pound-feet.
Fuel economy is stated at 22 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. These estimates are the same for both the coupe and sedan variants.
The Civic Si has the same track and geometry as the standard model, but features beefed-up suspension components and thicker stabilizer bars.
Underpinning the Civic is a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link setup out back that gives the Si a planted feel.
Exterior bits, such as this spoiler, add a bit of form to go with the improved function.
The exhaust flows more freely than the standard Civic's and features a chrome tip.
Personally, I think the sedan variant is a bit stylistically bland when compared to the coupe, but some drivers may prefer its less "attention grabbing" aesthetic.
The coupe and sedan have identically stated curb weights, but the sedan is just a tad longer with a 2-inch longer wheelbase and a slightly wider (+7.2 inches) turning radius.
The sedan also has a slightly higher roofline. Along with the increased wheelbase, this translates into a slightly more interior space for people and cargo.
As a top-tier model, the Si comes pretty close to fully loaded. So every 2015 example comes equipped with Honda's LaneWatch camera.
When the right turn signal is activated (or this LaneWatch button is pressed) a side camera activates, displaying a view into the passenger side blindspot.
The LaneWatch view takes over the central infotainment screen and features markers to indicate distance.
By design, it would seem, the Civic Si is light on driver aid tech. There's just the two cameras -- rearview and LaneWatch -- and no blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision alert or proximity sensing.
Up front, the Si illuminates the road with halogen headlamps and breathes through a black honeycomb grille.
18-inch wheels come standard on the 2015 Si.
Those wheels are shod with 225/40R18 Continental ContiProContact all-season tires.
Essentially a top-tier trim level of the standard Civic, the Si's cabin is comfortable and well-made.
Power steering is of the electric-assist variety. Steering effort is light and feels precise, but feedback is minimal.
The Si models are only available with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission.
Sport pedals feature aluminum surfaces and rubber nibs for increased grip. I found the Si's clutch pedal's engagement to be a bit too light for my personal sporting tastes.
Push-button start and keyless entry are also on the list of standard features.
In place of the standard Civic's big green 'Econ' button is a prominent toggle for the stability control system.
Most of the Si's styling is sporty, but understated. However, something about these red seats strikes me as especially gaudy.
The rear bench features similar red accents.
Around the cabin, you'll find red accent lighting and faux-carbon fiber trim.
Instrumentation is identical to that of the standard Civic -- which is to say that it's fairly overly complex and spread out across the dashboard. The Si features red detailing rather than blue.
At the top of the dashboard is a brow that features a digital speedometer, a fuel gauge and an i-VTEC indicator.
At speed, the i-VTEC indicator lets the driver know when Honda's variable valve timing is in its most aggressive mode. A sequence of additional lights act as indicators of RPM and shift lights.
To the left of these gauges is a small multi-information display that can be toggled to display the current audio source, fuel economy and other info.
Unique to the Civic Si models is a "power meter" that lets the passengers know how much of the peak power the 2.4-liter engine is making.
The main infotainment system is a 7-inch HondaLink navigation system.
The infotainment system ties into the trip computer and can display fuel economy information on its screen. Many of the HondaLink and the MID's functions are redundant between the two displays.
Navigation is optional, but the display is standard. I'm not a fan of Honda's dated mapping software and would likely steer clear of it.
The rear camera is also standard. I found the default viewing angle to be a bit too narrow, but models equipped with navigation can toggle between three progressively wider viewing angles.
A 380-watt stereo system features a powered subwoofer and reasonably good audio quality and volume.
I've got two major gripes with the HondaLink infotainment setup. The first is that it's simply sluggish to react to almost all inputs. The other is that the capacitive volume controls can be difficult to handle precisely.
At the base of the dashboard is a USB port, a 12V-power point and an HDMI input for use with MirrorLink-enabled smartphones.
In the center console is a second USB connection. This one is a removable pigtail.
The Civic Si faces stiff competition primarily from the Volkswagen GTI (a much more well-rounded sport compact), Ford's Focus ST and the Subaru BRZ.