>> Honda doesn't really do any macho cars. This is
about as hot as it gets. That's okay. This is the
Civic SI Coupe with navigation. Let's check it out.
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>> Now the first thing that strikes me -- ow -- about
this car, is the roof on the side of my head. There's
really limited head room in this guy. I guess that's
the price you pay for being arguably the sleekest roof
line in its class. But it still hurts. We happen to
have a Civic SI with navigation package. Bottom line is
we've got the nav. There it is. There's also voice
command so you can talk to it and tell it what to do.
It's also a touch-screen as you can see, and it's close
enough to be useable. I'm still not happy with the map
resolution. I haven't been for a couple of years. This
is in an era when we have iPhones and Blackberries and
high def TVs that all have super-fine rez, this just
looks old and stale to me. This is also a premium audio
system. In case you forget that, it's in really huge
type right there on the top of the frame. But it does
have a lot of sources, and that has been revised and
made more modern since a couple of recent Hondas we've
looked at. Let's go through our various audio sources.
Of course we have FM radio, AM radio, no HD radio. XM
is your choice optionally. We have that accentuated
here. Again, good display, rapid channel acquisition.
It works well, if it's a little bit crude in its look,
it's not in its function. CD is a single-slot CD back
here. Place for one disc. You can add an 8-disc
changer optionally outboard, but just one with the nav
unit. But then after CD is gets interesting, slash
goofy. We have the PC card. You saw that when I had
the door down, right? I'm never going use that, are
you? Yeah, I know I can get an adapter, but what? Aux
is interesting. Two positions there. One is USB, I've
got that USB drive right here in the console, blinking
away. And another aux is a true aux, which is right
down here for a standard cable connection. Whatever
you're playing, comes out of seven speaker. One of
those is a sub, so six speakers plus one, and 350 Watts.
Pretty significant for a car this small. And by the
way, the nav trim level in this car also rolls in the
Bluetooth hands free. Hence the buttons over here.
Aside from your throbbing head you know you're in a SI
thanks to the lip-stick red gauge illumination, and on
our rally red car, it's a clever match. The 2 liter 4
in the SI does 197 horse power, but drops off to just
139 foot pounds of torque. That's only 11 foot pounds
more than a standard Civic with a 1.8. And within your
first few gears you don't need those numbers to tell you
this car is a rever, note a stump-puller. The gear box
feels good, but like it needs a little use to make the
moves between the gears a little more slick. And that
six-speed manual is our only choice. The only real
problem with this power train is massive RPM flow. Rev
up a gear, go for the next one, and you can almost count
to 2 before the RPMs come down after you put the clutch
in, even though you're off the gas. It makes sporty
shifting a rather slow affair, unless you're okay with
using the clutch friction plate to do brute force rev
matching. But I was raised better than that. Once
you're in the right gear, handling is just plain fun.
Reminds me of the original ads for the CRX which said
point and shoot. Now our '09 Civic SI with the nav
package has pretty much all the bells and whistles.
24.5 is your base, including destination. There are two
dealer installed options you might consider. 8-disc CD
changer. Ah, I could take it or leave it. 600 bucks.
XM radio is $300 more.
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