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Check out the 2015 Honda Civic Si sedan (pictures)

The hottest version of the ninth-generation Honda Civic returns to the garage to vie for sport compact superiority.

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Antuan Goodwin
2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
1 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
2 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The Si is available in coupe and sedan variants, both of which turn up the wick on the Honda Civic's performance.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
3 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Under the hood is Honda's 2.4-liter i-VTEC engine. Power is stated at 205 horsepower and torque at 174 pound-feet.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
4 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
5 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The Civic Si has the same track and geometry as the standard model, but features beefed-up suspension components and thicker stabilizer bars.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
6 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Underpinning the Civic is a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link setup out back that gives the Si a planted feel.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
7 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Exterior bits, such as this spoiler, add a bit of form to go with the improved function.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
8 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The exhaust flows more freely than the standard Civic's and features a chrome tip.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
9 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
10 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
11 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
12 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

As a top-tier model, the Si comes pretty close to fully loaded. So every 2015 example comes equipped with Honda's LaneWatch camera.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
13 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
14 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The LaneWatch view takes over the central infotainment screen and features markers to indicate distance.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
15 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
16 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Up front, the Si illuminates the road with halogen headlamps and breathes through a black honeycomb grille.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
17 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

18-inch wheels come standard on the 2015 Si.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
18 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Those wheels are shod with 225/40R18 Continental ContiProContact all-season tires.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
19 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Essentially a top-tier trim level of the standard Civic, the Si's cabin is comfortable and well-made.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
20 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Power steering is of the electric-assist variety. Steering effort is light and feels precise, but feedback is minimal.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
21 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The Si models are only available with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
22 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
23 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Push-button start and keyless entry are also on the list of standard features.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
24 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

In place of the standard Civic's big green 'Econ' button is a prominent toggle for the stability control system.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
25 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Most of the Si's styling is sporty, but understated. However, something about these red seats strikes me as especially gaudy.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
26 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The rear bench features similar red accents.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
27 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

Around the cabin, you'll find red accent lighting and faux-carbon fiber trim.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
28 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
29 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

At the top of the dashboard is a brow that features a digital speedometer, a fuel gauge and an i-VTEC indicator.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
30 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
31 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
32 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
33 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

The main infotainment system is a 7-inch HondaLink navigation system.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
34 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
35 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
36 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
37 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

A 380-watt stereo system features a powered subwoofer and reasonably good audio quality and volume.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
38 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
39 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

At the base of the dashboard is a USB port, a 12V-power point and an HDMI input for use with MirrorLink-enabled smartphones.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
40 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

In the center console is a second USB connection. This one is a removable pigtail.

2015 Honda CIvic Si sedan
41 of 41 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2015 Honda Civic Si sedan

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.

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