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2017 Honda Civic Si limited slip enables exceptional wet weather driving

Durring our first opportunity to drive 2017 Honda Civic Si on wet roads, we discover that Honda’s updated original sport Civic enables exceptional wet weather driving sport through superior suspension dynamics and limited slip differential engineering.

For many of us living in the Pacific Northwest, the Summer of 2017 has been a rather dry one. I took delivery of Honda’s 10th generation Civic Si on Tuesday, low and behold, the first rain of the season came across the hill Sunday morning; affording a great opportunity to drive Honda’s first turbocharged, limited slip differential, Civic Si in the rain.

You won’t find AWD in 2017 Honda Civic Si

Say what you will about the inherent advantage of all-wheel-drive enabled traction in wet weather. And certainly, Ford STi, Subaru WRX, and the no longer available in the U.S. Mitsubishi Lancer WRC, arguably have an advantage under extreme track and gravel road driving conditions.

However, Honda Civic Si, the long standing performance benchmark in low displacement, FWD (front-wheel-drive) performance coupe and sedans, comes to market for 2017, with not only the first factory turbocharged engine offered in Civic Si trim, but a much improved drive and ride dynamic.

The icing on the cake for Honda performance enthusiasts, is an exceptional limited slip differential, and arguably the best working close-throw 6-speed manual found in the compact performance segment to date; I can’t get enough seat time in 2017 Honda Civic Si. For Torque News, the 2017 Honda Civic Si adventure began at the Honda Mojave Desert Proving Grounds.

Hard pressed to find a greater performance value than Civic Si at any price

I realize that that’s a bold statement, and that the quad-drive-tuner crowd will chime in with a harsh rebuttal or two. Here’s my argument: $24,975 fully equipped! O.K., there’s a bit more to the 2017 Civic Si than MSRP, but that’s a great starting point. Honda brings simplicity to the Civic Si buying experience. The only option you’ll find for Civic Si, outside of the coupe, sedan variable, is summer tires.

Our stunningly good looking Aegean Blue Metallic 2017 Civic Si. rides on German made Goodyear Eagle 235/40R18 F1 low profile radial tires, mounted to 18 inch, black accent alloy wheels. Adaptive dampening technology works in tandem with a McPherson Strut front and multi-link rear suspension, achieving the finest Civic Si suspension dynamic in the mark's history.


Under the hood sits a performance tuned 1.5 Liter turbocharged VTEC Earth Dream ™ 4 cylinder gas engine; producing 205 horsepower, 192 lb-ft torque, that happily engages a bit off idle and stays in the game well through the 3rd quarter. And yet, Honda’s performance Civic Si, when driven “normally,” achieves exceptional fuel efficiency. (28 city/38 highway) Gear shifting duty is relegated to a very forgiving, close-trow, low -pressure, foot clutch engaged 6 speed manual transmission/ front differential. For 2017,torque steer is reduced to nil, with break-free traction insured under most driving, road conditions, by Si’s standard equipped factory limited slip differential; It’s sweet!

Remarkably: 2017 Honda Civic Si presents exceptional sport-performance, while maintaining the everyday driving attributes of Civic; the interior while “sport,” is non-compromised as to drive comfort, safety, and relative quiet. If I was to change anything, it would be to reduce the driver's seat hip bolstering a bit, and install power adjustment and seat heating, but that’s just me.

For 2017, Honda Civic Si retains the historically correct ballistic fabric covered seating surfaces, red stitched piping, a leather rimmed allow shifting knob, and perforated steel control pedals. The newly designed electronic dash array and center stack static touchscreen, bring Civic Si into the next decade; as to convenience features and futuristic tech-driven personal electronic connectivity.


You’ll also find a keyless ignition, toggle activated electric parking brake, a very decent resolution color backup camera with directional lines, and, right-hand lane-watch, activated with the flip of the right directional turn signal lever.

And yes, for you audiophiles, this Civic Si is equipped with a remarkably good sounding premium audio system sporting 10 speakers and subwoofer, controlled from the smart wheel or 7 inch dash integrated touch screen monitor. What you won’t find standard or optional, is Honda Sensing, Si doesn’t offer it, let’s drive.

Putting 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan through its paces in the rain

Pushing Civic Si to reasonable limits on a rather wet road surface, traction remained exceptional throughout the 6-speed gear range; the turbocharged 4 cylinder engine produced seemingly endless torque, with tight 2-lane country road sweeps; reminiscent of a downhill ski run, melting in the rear view mirror.


More than once I glanced down to the dash display only to discover near 3 digit speed sprints -- 2017 Civic Si is more than enough “sport,” to gain several points on one’s driving record -- with the suspension, braking, and stability track standard equipped to keep the seasoned performance driver out of serious trouble. On the completion of my short fourth or fifth run of the day, I wanted more; Civic Si is that fun to drive. I recommend a 2017 Honda Civic Si test drive to anyone considering the purchase of a compact sport coupe or sedan.

Photo Attributions Parks McCants 2017.