Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Honda Civic SiAn iconic badge graces this car, and it rests on it a bit.
Well, SI don't need to give me any buttering up when they hit our drive. I used to love my 87 CR-X SI, but this is it's long distance cousin, the 2012 Honda Civic Coupe SI. Let's see if the DNA made it all the way down family tree and check out this 2012 while we check the tech. But the SI has 3 or 4 different sitting cabins that I want to point out to you since a standard Civic crossed our garage door a few months ago. First of all, you see that iMid display they call up there, that is like a 4 inch LCD, it's kind of cool this information button runs it. You have 1 additional screen though in an SI and that's this dubiously useful power monitor. I shows how much I guess horsepower you''re using and it's got the little VTEC diagram next to it that I thought it was gonna change color depending on my RPM but no the shift point stuff takes place on that screen on the left. You've got yellow lights that come on as you approach red line and then the last 2 are red, they kick in from 5200 to 7000 RPM, kind of a graduated shift light. And the red light right next to the iVTEC word tells you when the i-VTEC valve train has kicked in yo. Other iMid screens include when you can put up a wall of paper it would be the black one there, I don't do that nonsense. You got a clock with date and a media screen and a fuel economy screen. Now that the head unit mildly revised same crappy map that Honda has been hobbling their cars with for ages but you do have some nice media choices now including the ability to do Bluetooth streaming and when you do so at least on my droid, I'm getting nice (Medi Tag?) information to flow through and pretty good transport control. The rest of your choices include AM FM but no HD radio. You've got satellite radio. Down here is an aux and then here in the cabin in the console a little pigtail for USB or iPod. Now that navigation screen dated as it is with satellite radio and traffic is a $1500 up charge. I'd go for the standard head unit and I can do something aftermarket and put a few hundred in your pocket. Now of course the SI is largely about it's motor. This is Honda's 2.4 liter inline 4 with their famed i-VTEC variable valve timing and geometry, that's one of the key things here because there's no turbo, no supercharger, no silly games being played. It's kind of a conventional motor. Little guy turns out 201 horsepower, 170 foot pounds of torque gives this 2900 pound car up to 60 in a few tenths below 7 seconds while delivering 2231 MPG. The drive train is also very simple. Front wheel drive only is laterally non-engine. Although the SI does get a limited slip gearbox. Okay, underway the first thing I noticed about the SI is that it really loves to be opened up. This car is a breather not a grunter, not a big torque box but it does runs all the way to the what, 7000 RPM red line quite happily, a nice smooth power delivery through it. They pumped up the actual amount of power and torque on this car a little bit in the last generation but it still tends to be a little boggy below 4 grand, it's a rever, it's all there is to it. If you don't drive it that way it becomes kind of a drag because of the low amount of power down below 3 or 4000 and the fact that the engine kind of makes an unpleasant or at least uninspiring noises down there. When you open it up is when you get that nice little snap and snarl. But regardless of how and when you drive it, I find the most annoying trait of this motor is incredible RPM flow. When you go to get the next gear you put the clutch in you come off the accelerator entirely or mostly, the needle just sits there like someone stuck some masking tape on it. Handling is good but I feel like the rear end is a little bit light, little tail happy and it feels like what it is the front wheel drive car (??) drive train technology. That's it, it's a nimble refined fun little sporting car, just not top of the class perhaps anymore. Look, I like the SI Coupe a lot just don't love it the way I would have a number of years ago. It no longer defines the category like it used to. That's it, here's how I view it. 23 grand base for an SI Coupe, it's nicely done in terms of audio system and most of the gear and I'd hold it right there. Skip that $1500 Nav system, waste of your money, go aftermarket or just go smartphone. And skip the HFT tuner package, you don't become a tuner by having the factory do your package, that's not a tuner at all.