Honda gave its compact Civic lineup a thorough refresh for the latest model year, with the updates extending to the sporty Civic Si Coupe. Changes to this driver-focused two-door include a tightened suspension, a more upscale cabin and extra standard kit.
The Civic Si Coupe enjoys a more stylish look than the sedan model thanks to a fast roofline and an upswept stance. If the lines don't do enough to convey the fun and excitement to be had in the two-door, Honda recently added a new Sunburst Orange Pearl paint color that changes in appearance depending on sunlight conditions.
The heart of the Si is a 2.4-liter inline-four that produces 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. All-new for the previous model year, it boasts .4-liters of added displacement compared to its predecessor along with four additional horsepower and 31 lb-ft extra lb-ft of torque.
While the peak numbers being larger are of course a welcome change, the real key change is that the power comes at lower engine speeds. The outgoing model required 7,800 rpms to hit its peak horsepower and 6,100 rpm for peak torque, now the Civic Si engine requires just 7,000 rpm for peak hp and 4,400 rpm for max torque. This change in the usable power band equates to a much more street-friendly driving experience, although some Si fans will likely miss thrill of running the outgoing motor to its stratospheric redline.
The engine - a transplant from the Acura TSX - is mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission and benefits from a helical-type limited-slip differential (LSD) to get power to the ground. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Mechanical changes for the latest model year include handling-focused suspension tweaks such as stiffer springs and rear bushings along with thicker roll bars front and rear, while the body structure benefits from a number of strengthened components. A retuned electric steering setup is also among the revisions.
As with the rest of the Civic lineup, the Si received new front bumpers with chrome trim, a black honeycomb mesh grille, clear-lens corner lights and a more sculpted hood as part of the latest refresh. However, the Si continues to telegraph its sporting intentions with an array of unique touches ranging from more menacing front and rear fascias, side skirts, a body-color deck lid spoiler with an LED center brake light, fog lights and a chrome exhaust finisher. Wheels come at a sporty 17-inches with 215/45R17 tires.
Inside, the dashboard has been subtly restyled and now includes upscale soft-touch materials. Si-specific elements include bolstered perforated cloth sport seats with suede-like trim and red stitching as the main attraction, accented by a matching leather-trimmed and red stitched steering wheel and gearshift knob. The unique touches are extended to several pieces of aluminum accents, including the shift knob base and pedals.
The latest Civic Si also features an "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that includes an exclusive Power Monitor (as one of its screens) that can indicate the percentage of total horsepower generated by the engine. Honda also added a Sequential Rev-limit Indicator in the upper instrument panel to show when the i-VTEC high-lift camshaft profile is engaged, as well as to show incrementally when the engine redline is approached and reached.
Standard and Optional Features
The Si comes standard with a rearview camera, a sunroof, a seven-speaker, 360-watt AM/FM/CD sound system with USB and AUX inputs, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity with audio streaming, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights and 17-inch alloy wheels in addition to expected items such as cruise control and power windows and locks.
Summer tires and a navigation system packaged with XM Radio and FM Traffic are available at an additional cost.
The Honda Civic Si Coupe's safety features include two-row side curtain airbags, dual-stage, multiple-threshold driver's and front passenger's airbags, driver's and front passenger's side airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and anti-lock braking (ABS) with Brake Assist.
Performance-oriented compact rivals to the Civic Si Coupe include the Volkswagen GTI, the MINI Cooper S and the Subaru Impreza WRX, though it should be noted the later car comes only as a sedan or hatchback.