While that bold statement may rub the Scion, Mazda and Subaru loyal a bit raw at first read, the truth is Mazda and Subaru no longer sell a coupe based sport platform in North America.
You won’t find a hatch on the Civic Si.
And, while the Civic Si may be considered a little front end heavy and a tad under-powered for the serious street and club racing crowd, the ninth generation Civic Si offers a quality ‘sport’ driving experience without breaking the bank.
Bottom Line: A fully loaded 2014 Civic Si Coupe carries an MSRP of $24,215. You can check out the specifications here. But in short what you receive for the buck is a 201 hp,171 ft-lb torque 2.4 liter, 16 valve 1-VTEC 4 cylinder, coupled to a close ratio 6 speed manual transmission and limited slip differential; full technology personal communications interface and a very decent suspension and wheel-tire set.
You won’t find an automatic transmission option available for the Si. This is Honda’s answer to the small performance coupe. On driving the sports Civic, we find available power to be more than ample for a car tipping the scales at 2966 lbs. With maximum torque kicking in at mid range (4400 rpm) there’s enough power here to keep one engaged while keeping an eye in the rear view mirror.
Although we found the car to be a bit front end heavy in the s curves, braking, handling and lane tracking was precise and adequate. While readers have reported a throttle response lag in Honda’s electronic “Throttle By Wire,” we didn't experience it and found the information center to be useful in its instantaneous “shift point” indicator. The dash stays busy without being overwhelming.
The Si’s fit and finish scream Honda quality with advanced 5 inch touchscreen I-Mid personal communication interface standard in the Si. While we've read a handful of complaints in Honda owner’s forums as to the front end styling of the 2014 Civic, we found the design to be visually appealing while providing just a pinch of ‘sinister’ implication in its blacked -out grated grill.
We like the race inspired stainless steel pedal array, 6 speed center mounted shift council and dash gauge configuration. While this 6’5” driver found his knees interfacing with the driver’s seating slot ( dash and center council,) the Si was not unusually restrictive of space and provided a reasonably comfortable, yet stiff, driver to road love fest.
Setting the 2 seat CR-Z aside for another day, the Si is Honda’s answer to a reasonably priced performance coupe. Those with expanding families may wish to consider the Civic Si Sedan.
The car works very well for its intended purpose, and fills a quickly vanishing configuration in the automotive world. In looking to Hyundai, Scion and Toyota for comparable Coupes, we found none.
As to fuel economy, the Civic Si is relatively thirsty by Honda standards. With a stated EPA fuel economy rating of 22/31/25, the Si is the fuel Hog in the Honda line-up. But, comes stock with 40% greater horsepower and torque than the standard 1.8 liter 16 valve sohc-VTEC offered throughout the Civic line-up.
Until Honda steps up and offers the Civic Type R to North America, The Si with available HPD body, performance and suspension components will be the answer for the Honda loyal wishing to purchase a new tech-laden performance sedan or coupe; a lot of car for your performance dollar.