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2017 Honda Civic Si Test Drive Review

The tenth-generation Honda Civic is about as diverse as a compact car can get, with models that range from an economical base model up to the performance-tuned Civic Type R. Positioned squarely in between these two extremes is the exciting yet affordable 2017 Honda Civic Si, which returns to the lineup after a one-year hiatus.

As was the case with the previous generation, the 2017 Honda Civic Si is still offered in two- and four-door variants, and while most of its rivals (Ford Focus ST, MINI Cooper S and Volkswagen GTI) are hatchbacks only, the Si Sedan gets some direct competition from four-door sport compacts like the Volkswagen GLI and Subaru WRX. With the competition hotter than ever and the all-new Type R positioning itself as the hottest of hot hatches, we spent a week in 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan to see where this performance icon stands on the temperature scale.

2017 Honda Civic Si Exterior

Right out of the gate, the tenth-generation Civic ushered in a new design language for this compact car that was already bold and aggressive. The Civic Sedan’s sleek roofline meant that it could offer a similar sporty profile as the coupe but with added passenger and cargo space. If that wasn’t enough of a win-win for buyers, the 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan arrives to back up its proven performance credentials with a more mature, modern look.

Where the Si Coupe and Type R hatchback have more of a boy-racer look to them, the Si Sedan is somewhat reserved… but this car is far from a sleeper. Aside from the obvious “Si” badges, the 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan stands out from lower Civic Sedan models with the massive (and fake) air vents at the front and rear, exclusive wheels, a rear wing perched atop the decklid and a center-mounted exhaust outlet. Even this tester’s Aegean Blue Metallic paint job had an understated yet unmistakably sporty vibe to it.

2017 Honda Civic Si Interior

Just like the previous Si, the 2017 Honda Civic Si is a monospec trim level offering a well-equipped cabin with sporty touches. The driver and front passenger get heavily bolstered, cloth sport bucket seats with integrated headrests, manual adjustments and heated seat bottoms. Further adding to the Si’s sporty flair, the interior also adds aluminum pedals, red stitching through the cabin, faux carbon fiber trim and a short-throw shifter with a round shift knob. Helping to keep the back-seat passengers in place, the outboard seats are sunk down lower than the center seat providing a little extra bolstering during hard corners.

In terms of tech, the 2017 Honda Civic Si doesn’t come with navigation, but it does have Honda’s easy-to-use, seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system offering the conveniences of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as audio sources such as HD Radio, Pandora, Bluetooth and SiriusXM. The Civic Si models get a unique instrument gauge cluster with a digital display showing a multitude of vehicle info including a g-force meter. There’s also a screen for a tachometer readout that has nine lights telling you when you’re getting close to redline.

Of all the reasons to love the current Civic (or any new Honda products), one of my favorites is the center console. While some small cars don’t even come with an armrest for the front passengers, the new Civic has a reconfigurable center console that is deep enough for a 32-ounce water bottle. There’s also a two-tier front storage area with USB charging port and an optional wireless smartphone charger.

2017 Honda Civic Si Powertrain

Sure, the 2017 Honda Civic Si looks nice and all, but a chief reason to buy this car is how it drives. And that starts with the 1.5-liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder pumping out 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. This is the same horsepower rating as the previous Si, but now there’s more torque available across a broad plateau (2,100 rpm – 5,000 rpm); there’s also the 6500-rpm redline to squeeze every last rev out of each gear. Staying true to form, the Si can only be had with a front-wheel drive, a six-speed, close-ratio manual gearbox and a helical limited slip differential. Even with all that peppiness, the Si’s powerplant is still very efficient with EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway**; Honda recommends premium gas, but it isn’t required.

Although high revs and low-end torque make the Civic Si Sedan a hoot to drive, the true beauty of this car comes from how it handles. Weighing in at 2,906 pounds (just 17 pounds heavier than the Si Coupe), the 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan is surprisingly lightweight for a modern compact sedan, and Honda has taken this car’s performance up a notch by giving it bigger brakes, stiffer suspension, a retuned electric power steering system and the Adaptive Damper System. Like the Miata and other sporty small cars, the Civic Si doesn’t have a break-neck 0-60 time, but tossing it into corners is effortless and downright amusing.

2017 Honda Civic Si Safety

Like the rest of the Civic lineup, the 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan gets a five star crash rating (in all tests) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And while the Si wasn’t tested on its own by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2017 Honda Civic did receive a Top Safety Pick rating.

2017 Honda Civic Si Overall

The 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan carries the torch for Honda’s iconic sport compact as an everyday car with weekend aspirations! Taken to the track or back-and-forth to work, the Civic Si is sure to put a smile on your face. And the best part of this car is that it won’t break the bank either. Compared to the $18,840* starting price of a base 2017 Civic Sedan, this 2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan had an as-tested price of just $24,300 including the optional ($200) summer tires.

Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Honda dealership and test drive the exciting 2017 Honda Civic Si today!

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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