Roadshow Video Reviews
2015 Honda Civic Si SedanDoes the current generation's hottest Civic do enough to stop us from waiting for the 2016 Type R to drop? Brian Cooley hits the streets and checks the tech.
It's the end of the line for this era of the Honda Civic. There's a whole new one that was just unveiled and is on the way. So let's get a taste of the final chapter of Generation 9, as we drive this SI sedan with all the tech toys, and check the tech. [MUSIC] This generation began as the model year 2012 here in the U.S, and it was kind of, let's not put it softly. Hated. People gave it knocks for bland exterior styling, a cheap, tacky plastic interior, and boring driving dynamics. Nothing to work on, there. In the' 13 and' 14 model years, Honda really reworked the Civic while keeping it on the same generation and now it's ending it's life as we just got the announcement of the 10th generation 2016, but that's another video. Now this SI level has always been basically Honda's answer to, let's analogize it to, a VW GTI. Affordable, reachable, good everyday car, but sporty, fast, and fun. This remains the top of the stack until that next generation arrives when, for the first time, we will also be able to get the Civic Type R, stay tuned for that. Now the first thing you're going to have to deal with when you buy an SI is that. No matter what color you get on the outside, you've always got red. seats with black bolsters. Doesn't really work for me but maybe you're 20. Now the SI models have the same basic dash structure as any other Civic. But, of course they lose eco assist which is a greeny training gauge which other civics have and instead they get that [UNKNOWN] limiter and shift indicator on the upper left of the eyebrow display. You've got a five inch, what they call I Mid Helper Display over display with several different menu modes. And of course a giant tach right in front of the wheel, very SI. Now all these SIs are gonna come with this seven inch touch head unit up here, which is very much like a single glass panel. They've eschewed a lot of nobs and buttons. You have some down here for climate, but basically nothing for infotainment. Everything is via touch, whether it's the home button [MUSIC] The volume slider or the sub menu. Now having navigation in this head unit is optional and with that comes satellite radio, HD radio, a multi angle rear camera and a bunch of other things. We'll look at that in the pricing and see if it's worth it, but even if you go stripped on an SI, you do get a rear cam. You also get this guy over here, which is what they call their Lane Watch Camera, standard. I find it one of the best things Honda does with a camera. It gives you a very useful look down the far side of a car when you either make a right turn signal or just press the button on the stalk. Now, the navigation system seems like it hasn't changed since Nixon was in office, and it's never impressed me. It's perfectly serviceable, but Honda Nav's nothing to write home about. It is of course voice commandable and has live traffic via satellite radio, which is bundled in with the navigation option. Even if you go without it though and lose sat radio and HD radio, I think you might do okay. You've got basic Bluetooth streaming, you've got a USB port here. Youve got another one in the console. There's an HDMI jack down there which is kind of exotic. And of course you've got AM and FM radio and there's an optical disk slot as well. These guys are on board with car play and Android Auto but you won't see it on this generation, We're going to look for that later on down the road, perhaps in the 6Ts. Drive controls are real simple on this car, primarily because it only have one transmission choice, the six speed manual. There's no automatic of any kind on an SI. And if you buy an SI, that's the biggest motivator is cuz you're. You're gonna get a Honda Vtec engine. In this case a 2.4 liter side saddle inline four that breathes naturally. No turbos or superchargers in these cars. They're pretty basic stuff. But, boy, do they run nice and high. Super smooth. Two hundred and five horsepower, one hundred seventy four pound feet of torque all add up to the front wheels. By the way to a standard slip differential. Now this SI sedan weighs just a hair over 3,000 pounds, that's light by todays standards. So zero to 60 is pretty readily accomplished in a nice tidy 6.5 seconds. Your mpg of course in a Honda is not bad 22/31. And an SI does drink premium. Standard Civics: happy with regular. First thing you notice about an SI, got a great engine and that VTech valve-train. This thing stays on CAM and breathes readily at any point on the tack. The clutch feels really good. Not too light, not agonizingly heavy. On the other hand, I'm not. Not a huge fan of the gear box which is gonna surprise a lot of folks. The first half missed pretty good and then it starts to get real kinda tight and unnegotiable over on four, five and six. Not a gaiting that I really like, to be honest. You have to think to make sure you're gonna hit fourth and not second on some of these down shifts. Or surge versus fix. The space in here is very good. The ergo is excellent in this cabin. I love this two-tiered dashboard. Always have on these Civics. And everything is sort of plain that you, in a way, it's easy to reach, easy to see. The car corners. Nicely, predictable, and quite flatly in a way that doesn't bring any undue harshness with it. I do find some torque steer more than I see in many cars. Everything in this cabin, by the way, feels really solid. If you haven't driven a Civic in a lot of years, you think of it as kind of a cheap car, kind of stopped being that quite a while. Now a couple things to note about it's freeway behavior for those of you that commute a lot. First of all the things geared pretty low. I'm gonna get this up to let's see 60 here and let me go to fifth. And I'm at 3400 rpm and even in sixth I'm at 2700. Kind of a busy set of gears for long freeway cruising. Just bear that in mind. The other thing is we've got this very linear, very responsive steering rack but you do have to baby it a bit to maintain straight on those long boring freeways. This isn't one of those cars that kind of sits into a groove. And missiles there, it will wander very easily with a little steering input on the long straight. Now pricing the last of this current generation Civic SI is a little bit of a torn situation for me. I like to load' em up CNet style, you know that. But the base here is a little under $24,000. And I might just leave it at that, because for 15 hundred more, yes you can get that nav system. I find it uninspired. You add some media options that maybe are obviated now by what you are doing on your phone. And you get a multi-angle rear camera which I don't think is any substantially better than a single angle. Saving that 15 hundred bucks on that option package. Sends you over 6% on the overall price of the car because it's so cheap to start with. I might keep this one base. Si actually spells si, that's how I'll take it. [MUSIC]