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Photos: 2009 Honda Civic Si

A perennial favorite due to its speedy performance and excellent handling, the Civic Si gets some small updates for 2009, including a USB/iPod connector for the audio system, and a new grille.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 16 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

2009 Honda Civic Si

The 2009 Honda Civic Si is the sport model of the Civic line-up. Where the base Civic is bland, the Si version is very exciting, combining excellent handling and a high-revving engine.

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2 of 16 Corinne Schulze/CNET

New Grille

Honda made some minor style updates for the 2009 model year, giving it a new tiered diamond grille inset, a cue that is becoming standard for Honda.

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Engine

The engine is the same as in the two previous model years, being a 2-liter four cylinder. With an 8,000 rpm redline, it produces 197 horsepower.

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Coupe body

This Si is the coupe model. Honda released a sedan version last year, and is expected to again this year. The couple has an excellent shape, with a spoiler unique to the Si.

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Limited slip differential

The steering is very precise, and the car's handling is enhanced by a limited slip differential on the front wheels. The ride is sports car firm.

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Sport seats

These seats are well bolstered, doing a good job of keeping you in place during hard cornering.

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Inteiror design

The interior design and materials are the same as in the other Civic models, including the two tier instrument cluster, but the Si gets a few unique styling cues, such as the Si-logo tachometer dial.

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Steering wheel

The steering wheel feels a little thin and cheap. We would like to see one with a thicker wheel.

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Instrument cluster

The tachometer sits in the usual place for an instrument cluster, but the speedometer is a digital read-out in a display just below the windshield.

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Gearbox

This close ratio six speed manual gearbox feels great, with precise gear shifts.

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Navigation system

One thing that makes the Si a real value in this class of cars is its available tech, which includes this navigation system. The system works well, but is a little crude by today's standards.

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Destination entry

This on-screen keyboard can be used for destination entry, and the Civic Si also has a really good voice command system.

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CD and PC Card slot

The screen on the navigation unit motors down to reveal a CD slot and PC Card slot, the latter a strange accommodation for digital music.

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USB port

New for 2009 is this USB port in the console, which works with iPods and USB drives. This is our preferred method for digital music.

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CD screen

The MP3 CD interface, like the other screens on this system, is ugly, although the functionality is good.

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Honda fits the Civic Si with a seven speaker system, which includes this subwoofer on the rear deck. 350 watts of power make the music loud.

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