2017 Honda Civic Si: A Sport-Compact Bargain [Review]

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe
Honda’ Civic Si coming at ya. [photo: Honda]
Whether you happen to be a coupe aficionado or you are a fan of sedans, the 2017 Honda Civic Si models are hot, affordable sport compacts that deliver a satisfying level of high performance. The new Si is based on the 10th generation Civic architecture, and these latest model Si offerings represent the 8th iteration of the performance-oriented clan born in 1985. 2017 marks the most comprehensive revision in the Civic line’s 44 years of existence.


2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe engine
The mighty-sprite 1.5-liter turbo-four in the ’17 Civic Si. [photo: Honda]


The new Civics are the first Si models to incorporate turbocharged engines, utilizing an enhanced and upgraded, high-boost version of Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged and direct-injected new powerplant that debuted on our shores in the 2016 Civic Sedan. This new Honda AP2 engine provides drivers with more power and torque in the lower rpm range, with minimal turbo lag, while serving up a broader power band when compared to previous, normally aspirated models. All Si models are front-wheel drive and are exclusively equipped with a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox. (Si by the way stands for Sport Injection.)

The transversely mounted high torque 1.5-liter front engine is a DOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder, with a single-scroll MHI TD03 Turbochrger featuring an internal wastegate, dual variable cam timing, Direct Injection and drive-by-wire throttle system. It delivers 205 hp at 5,700 rpm, while developing 192 lb-ft. of torque in a range from 2,100 to 5,000 rpm. Redline comes at 6,500 rpm.

The new Si now features two driving mode options, Normal and Sport, giving drivers the ability to choose vehicle dynamic characteristics according to their tastes and the driving environment. The default Normal Mode is more comfort-oriented, while the Sport Mode adjusts the suspension damping characteristics as well as steering and throttle response for tighter and more direct feel.

The new Si models also benefit from the enhanced Si-exclusive chassis tuning and engineering along with Si-exclusive performance elements, including a helical limited-slip differential, a new Adaptive Damper System and variable-ratio electric power steering. The upgraded performance prowess of Si Civics is matched by significant exterior and interior improvements that clearly distinguish Si from the regular or more mainstream Sedan and Coupe siblings. Spring rates are stiffer, stabilizer bars are more rigid (+7 percent front, +26 percent rear), and there are solid front and rear compliance bushings borrowed from the track focused Type R Civic.

Safety features and equipment include: standard four-channel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control and Agile Handling Assist, all combining to enhance dynamic stability, emergency maneuvering and braking performance.

New for 2017 is a Driver Information Interface that adds a variety of selectable real-time information designed to support performance driving. The 7-inch color display is able to display throttle input and brake input application in a graphic percentage format, turbocharger boost in pounds per square inch, lap time (intended for use on closed circuits), race-inspired Rev-limit indicators, and a graphical G-Force gauge that provides a representation of acceleration, braking and cornering forces.


2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Interior
All the Si’s interior creature comforts come standard. The only option available: summer tires for $200. [photo: Honda]


The cabin showcases Si-exclusive bolstered front sport seats with red stitching, including stitched Si logos and integrated head restraints. The red stitching theme continues to the doors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot. Several premium features are also gained for the first time on an Si model including: heated front seats (both cushion and seat back), dual-zone automatic climate control, Walk Away Auto Lock® and an electric parking brake with hill start assist.

In terms of comfort, convenience and connectivity features offered, the new Civic Si uses a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen, to serve as the nerve or control center for audio, HVAC and other functions. The Display Audio is integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms, delivering the smooth integration of smartphone features and functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, and access to a host of Apple- or Google-approved smartphone apps. All Si models come with a 450-watt, 10-speaker premium sound system with AM/FM, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, and Pandora capability.

Fun fact: The Si sedan weighs just 75 lbs. more than the coupe. [photo: Honda]


My road test 2017 Honda Civic Si was in coupe form and had a base price of $23,900. And an as tested price of $24,775. Test drives took place on both challenging Southern California roads and at Honda’s newly renovated warm-weather testing facility, the Honda Proving Center (HPC) in the Mojave Desert near Cantil, Calif. I took to the 1.9-mile South Winding Road Course with a pro driver riding shotgun. This was not a track mind you — it had no safer barriers, guardrails or run-off areas and journalists were forewarned.

TFLCAR’s TAKE:One will be hard pressed to find a more capable compact high performance sport coupe or sedan at a more reasonable price point. Both the Si coupes and sedans delivered crisp acceleration, smooth shifting, positive steering feedback, excellent braking and solid road holding capability with a flat, stable ride and no body roll.

By the way, the Si sedan only outweighs the Coupe by 17 pounds, so if you need the extra two doors, the performance of the two is equal with no sacrifice.

TFLcar’s Roman Mica had a chance to put the new Civic Si through its paces as well. You can check out his driving impressions in the video below.



SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan

  • Base Price: $23,900
  • Price as Tested: $24,775
  • Engine Type and Size: 1.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder with single-scroll MHI TD03 Turbo with internal wastegate Direct Injection and drive-by-wire throttle system
  • Horsepower (bhp): 205 @ 5,700 rpm
  • Torque (ft./ lbs.): 192 @ 2,100-5,000 rpm
  • Redline – 6,500 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel Drive with Helical limited slip differential
  • Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with 27.0 mm x 4.5 mm tubular stabilizer bar and Adaptive damper system
  • Rear – Multi-link with 18 mm solid stabilizer bar and Adaptive damper system
  • Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA and VSA with TC and Hill Start Assist and Brake Hold
  • Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 235/40 R18 91W All-season mounted on alloy wheels with machine faced outer and painted inners. TPMS and Tire Repair Kit
  • Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
  • Length Overall: 14.78 feet
  • Width: 5.9 feet
  • Height: 4.5 feet
  • Curb Weight: 2,889 lbs.-Coupe / 2,906 lbs.- Sedan
  • Turning Circle: 37.8 ft
  • Fuel Capacity: 12.4 gallons
  • EPA Mileage Estimates: 28 mpg city / 38 mpg highway – 32 mpg combined