The hot new kid on the block

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, June 30th, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Interior
By David Goodspeed
Special Contributor

When we first tested the 10th generation Honda Civic last year
we were left yearning for a manual gearbox. We got our wish as Honda
recently brought us its all-new 2017 Civic Si, the first turbocharged
Si in the model’s history.
Just for a quick review, we tested both coupe and sedan Civics
last year and really enjoyed our time in both. And given the sales
numbers for the new models our opinions were shared by many the world
over. This model year we see the sporty Si version arrive in showrooms
and Honda has a hit on its hands with this hot tamale which also
arrives in coupe and sedan body styles.
Our recent tester was the Si two-door coupe basted in Rally Red
paint. Front nose to tail this car screams “drive me” thanks to model
specific grille, chin spoiler, rear wing spoiler, and center outlet
sport exhaust. There are also the high performance tires on 18-inch
alloy wheels along with a few nice interior touches. And all of this
is before you even climb behind the wheel and fire the engine.
Under that hood is the first factory turbocharged engine for
Civic Si that comes in the form of an enhanced version of the
1.5-liter 16-valve DOHC direct-injected four-cylinder found in the
base Civic models. This powerplant boosts output to 205hp and 192 lb.
ft. torque across a nice wide powerband with plenty of oomph right
from the get-go.
Making this truly a drivers car is the exclusive six-speed
manual transmission that is legacy for Si. It is slick shifting with
precise gear selections and the clutch is just as forgiving in traffic
as it is impressive when really pushing this car to its limits. This
may just be the first car I did not experience any missed shifts in
while really hammering away at the slushbox.
Ride and handling is superb in the new Civic Si thanks to some
25 percent increase in body rigidity over the previous model. This
also translates to lower noise, vibration, and harshness that usually
transmits directly to the cockpit and occupants.
Honda engineers took quite a few other steps to reduce NVH while
also making the vehicle quieter. These methods include acoustic
windshield, sound-absorbing under panels, and body sealing. Si models
get specially tuned MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear
suspension components as well as another first for Si models –
two-mode adaptive damper system. The ADS offers comfortable ride with
drive mode in normal but stiffens things up when the driver selects
the sport setting.
I split my week about evenly between normal and sport driving
modes and enjoyed my time in both. Sport mode also tightens the
electric power steering response up a bit and increases
throttle-by-wire inputs slightly. I found the powerband to be quite to
my liking but I did bang up against the rev-limiter more than a time
or two but thanks to visual warnings and the audible output of the
engine I managed to keep anything from getting out of hand.
The 2017 Honda Civic Si coupe will seat up to four but I would
not feel right having to make any adults ride in the rear seat area as
it is quite tight. Legroom is decent but overhead things are a bit
low. The front sport buckets are quite comfortable and nicely
supportive as they did a wonderful job keeping my butt where it was
supposed to be when I was twisting the steering wheel left and right.
Seating material is cloth, which worked out quite well as we saw
outside temps soaring to the century mark during our week. The leather
steering wheel and shifter did get a bit warm in the afternoon sun but
were manageable, although put a cloth over the metal cap on top of the
shifter as I did not want the shift pattern seared into my right palm
on sunny days.
Honda provides all of the creature comforts and amenities one
would require in a compact coupe with our tester seeing such items as
power moonroof with tilt, electric parking brake, cruise control,
push-button start, keyless remote, Honda LaneWatch, 7-inch driver
information display with selectable performance content, 7-inch color
touchscreen audio display with integrated climate controls, Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and 450-watt/10-speaker
premium audio system.
Pricing for the 2017 Honda Civic Si coupe starts at $23,900 with
our tester arriving with a final window sticker of $24,975.
Fuel economy is rated at 28 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
Honda Civic performance is not stopping with the Si model – far
from it. You see, they brought back the hatchback model so they could
build this cool version called the Civic Type-R, and yeah, I hope to
see one of those babies in the test driveway in the not too distant
future. For now, Si is the hot new kid on the block and it drives
every bit as good as it looks.


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