2018 Honda Civic SI; affordable performance and fun
By Asian Journal Auto Editor
While the awesome Honda Civic Type-R is the superstar of the Civic lineup, the 2018 Honda Civic SI Coupe is the milder, but no lesser sports orientated version of the popular Civic. Designed to appeal to the Fast and Furious generation, the SI really does look the part on the outside with its aggressive styling. There are a subtle bodyside mouldings with the requisite aerodynamic aids, a big rear spoiler and large center tailpipe. There is a lighter curb weight, a stiffer body structure, and sport tuned chassis, a lower ride height, combined with a sport orientated suspension, and performance 18-inch tires on alloy rims. Power for the SI is courtesy of a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission via front-wheel drive. This unit is not as powerful as the Type R’s engine or a lot of its competition, but is a willing performer offering value and affordability, so it’s a good combination.
The SI interior cabin is also specific to this model, with exclusive, high bolstered sport seats with red contrast stitching and embroidered Si logos. There is also a leather wrapped steering wheel, and leather/ aluminum-topped shift knob, and red TFT instrumentation. A faux carbon-finish instrument panel and alloy sport pedals round off the look. The Si comes extremely well equipped with dual-zone climate control, an electronic parking brake, an infotainment system with seven-inch screen as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, The Civic Si coupe is roomy enough, while the four door Si offer more practicality of you haul passengers around most of the time. However, the SI coupe’s 289-litre trunk is fine.
On the road, the Honda SI’s chassis and handling are superbly engineered and offer excellent on-road dynamics, making the SI agile and fun to drive. The suspension upgrades also stiffen, and stabilize handling with the SI’s firmer springs, stiffer bushings, thicker roll bars and multivalve adaptive dampers. There is also an as standard front mechanical limited-slip differential to cope with better performance. The slick six speed manual transmission with its delightful short throw action offers fast, firm positive gear changes. The new turbo engines torque combines with the SI’s true limited slip differential to really take on fast corners with exhilarating speed and tighter entry and exit lines. The two-mode adjustable damping suspension, also add to the performance quotient. The turbo engine revs smoothly and willingly up the tach range. Floor the gas when safe and there is very little turbo lag.
The SI is a wonderful car to drive, you sit firmly wrapped in the deeply supportive sport seats and everything falls to the hand and feet with the excellent ergonomics. In closing, the SI comes across as an affordable sporty car that offers a mix of satisfying driving and ownership. Downsides are few, it seats four in comfort, five at a push, is practical and versatile. Fuel economy is rated at (litres/100 km): 8.4 city, 6.2 highway. Highly recommend if affordable performance is what you need.
2018 Honda Civic Si Priced from $28,990.