HONDA CIVIC Si REVIEW
Vehicle Style: Small hatch
Fuel Economy (claimed): 7.2 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 7.5 l/100km
Inside there’s a comfortable, quality interior and a high-tech feel that sets it apart from the rest of the small hatch brigade.
Quality: There’s no doubting the build quality engineered into the Civic hatch, everything within feels solid and robust, with well-weighted moving parts and tight panel gaps.
The hard plastics however detract a little and don’t provide a positive initial impression.
Comfort: Up front the seats are highly agreeable; though firmly-padded they remain comfortable even for longer trips.
Rear passengers however don’t fare so well with a lack of width, compact knee and legroom, and limited side-visibility thanks to the Civic’s quirky styling.
Equipment: Standard inclusions for the Civic Si include auto wipers and headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, trip-computer, heat absorbing window glass, dual-zone climate control and six-speaker MP3 compatible CD player with iPod intergration.
Storage: Boot space is 415 litres with rear seats up, stretching to 1282 litres with the completely flat-folding seats stowed.
Around the cabin there’s a variety of storage options including a useful centre console, good sized front door-pockets and a generous glovebox.
ON THE ROAD
Driveability: As suggested by the on-paper figures, the Civic is no fire-breather. But 103kW @ 6300rpm and 174Nm of torque @ 4200rpm is not unreasonable for a car of its class.
For city living the Civic has plenty of pep, and can be slotted easily into ‘holes’ in the traffic. On the open road it has no trouble maintaining highway speeds, even through hills, but can be blunted a little when fully loaded up.
Refinement: A smooth gearbox, nicely balanced engine, good noise insulation and low levels of harshness give the Civic Si a premium ambience. It feels well engineered.
Suspension: Although it lacks the multi-link rear axle of its sedan counterpart, the Civic hatch rides comfortably and securely on MacPherson front and torsion beam rear suspension.
Braking: With vented front and solid rear-discs, the Civic pulls up strongly and smoothly.
ANCAP rating: Not tested.
Safety features: Six airbags (front, side and curtain), VSA stability control, ABS brakes, Electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, front seatbelt pretensioners with adjustable belt height.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: 3 years/100,000 km, extendable to 5 years/140,000 km at extra cost.
Service costs: Servicing costs vary, consult your local Honda dealer before purchase.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
MINI Cooper Auto ($34,555) - A smaller package, and down on power, but a fantastic handler with every bit as much eye-catching appeal for the fashion conscious. Now common enough that it lacks the Civic’s (relative) exclusivity. (see MINI reviews)
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
With no base model below it, the Civic Si can look pricey at first glance. That is until you notice the solid equipment list, excellent comfort, Honda build-quality and balanced handling: all bolstering the appeal - and value - in Honda’s small hatch.
This isn’t a car for everyone, but with unique Type-R inspired style, a space-age interior and nimble dynamics, the Civic Si makes a clear statement.
If you want to break free from the mainstream, we’d comfortably recommend a look at the one-of-a-kind Civic Si.