Most will agree that the new Honda Civic is better than it's been in a very, very long time Improved looks, better performance, it's been an across the board improvement this year.
So it stands to reason that this, the new 2017 Honda Civic SI, the hotted-up version, should be even more appealing to enthusiasts than before.
Let's take it for a spin and find out.
Now the SI recipe is a simple one, you take a Civic Coupe or a Sedan, you toss that in a pot with a little extra power, stiffer suspension, and Maybe a spoiler out back and you got yourself a stew, baby.
Well, it's not that simple.
But we're talking about the kind of modification that your average teenager would make to their hand me down base Civic given enough time and money, only it's a turn key solution that works that way out of the box.
Now this new Civic sticks really close to that formula but has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
For this generation.
Now under the hood, we've got a 1.5 liter turbo charged engine that gets a bigger turbo that now outputs 205 horsepower and around 192 pound feet of torque.
That is a reasonable performance boost and more than enough fun for most people.
But it is a few horsepower short of its natural enemy, the VW Golf GTI is 220 horse power.
Now that power reaches the front wheels via a 6 speed manual transmission and a limited slip differential to make sure that power makes it to the road.
The transmission have a really good shifter with a nice light and short throw and a really good engagement but the clutch pedal is not very good, it does not have very good engagement.
It's also really light but it lacks any sort of feeling to let you know when it's actually engaged or coming or out of gear.
The really light feel is all right.
When you're on the road.
And I imagine that in stop and go traffic, it's not very fatiguing.
But I was able to drive this car on the track earlier, and those sort of high pressure quick shifts that you need to make when performance driving are really hard to time and get accurate when you have that vague feeling in your left leg.
Now in the suspension department, we've got the stiffer springs, stiffer bushings, stiffer suspension Component that you would normally expect in an FI.
But here's where we are thinking interesting.
Honda has outfitted this generation with a two mode adaptive damper system.
That means that at the touch of a button you can go from a normal to a support program and stiffen or soften up the ride.
That's important because at this price point the FI is likely to be your one car, your daily driver and it's nice for it not to punish you when you're driving it Monday through Friday getting to work.
And it's also nice to be able to push a button and sharpen things up when you wanna cut loose on the weekends.
Now aside from a few other go faster goodies the rest of the Si is pretty identical to well-equip, non-Si Civic and that includes the tech in the dashboard.
I won't go into detail.
You can pretty much watch any other civic review of this generation we've done, but I will hit the high points.
Android Auto and Apple Car Play is nice because it's standard, but I would like for there to be a volume knob instead of this capacitive swiping Thing.
Overall, the SI feels like a substantial performance bump over the standard Civic, but it doesn't really compromise its on road performance, and I really like that the
This is the kind of car that you can daily drive without punishing.
Although that means that it does sort of sacrifice a little bit of its out of the box trackability, but the SI was never actually a track car That sounds like a job for the Type R.
But while the SI has been improving, so has the competition.
And now there's even more of it than before.
Heck, even Hyundai started to elbow in on the enthusiast game.
So the bar for this generation SI is a little bit higher than before.
But Honda has definitely met the challenge.
Overall I'm really liking the SI.
It's a great car and the nitpicks I have are really small and should actually be fun to fix in the after market.
At the end of the day I'm really satisfied with the 2017 Honda Civic SI, but on some base level All it's really done is whet my appetite for the no holds barred Type R coming later this year, I cannot wait.