RSS icon Home icon
  • 2017 Honda Civic Si HPT

    Posted on September 28th, 2017 ninarussin

    Compact sport coupe raises the bar

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    Honda has a talent for creating cars that are as practical as they are fun to drive, while at the same time delivering exceptional value. The newest iteration of the automaker’s compact sport coupe and sedan- the Civic Si- is a case in point. With pricing starting well below $25,000 and 32 mile-per-gallon average fuel economy, the newest Si is a performance car for the real world, with a five-star federal crash test rating adding peace of mind.

    For the all-new 2017 model, engineers modified the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine used in the EX-T, EX-L and Touring Civics, adding 31-horsepower and 25 pound-feet of torque. Turbocharging gives drivers access to maximum torque between 2,100 and 5,000 rpm for exceptional acceleration off-the-line, merging into high-speed traffic and passing slower vehicles on the highway.

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    All grades come with a six-speed manual gearbox with short-throw shift lever and reverse gear lockout.

    The test car is the mid-grade HPT coupe priced from $24,100 excluding the $875 destination charge. Standard convenience features include keyless entry and start, 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio, HD radio, USB port and Pandora interface, 18-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, power moonroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone climate control, rearview camera, Honda LaneWatch, heated front seats and 60/40 split folding rear seats. Final MSRP is $24,975.

    Test drive in Phoenix, Arizona

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    Honda calls the green exterior coat on the test car ‘energy green.’ I prefer ‘get out of my way.’ The retina-searing shade would be hard for a blind person to miss.

    The new Civic Si powertrain is, as advertised, perfect. The turbocharged engine has an abundance of power that’s easy to access and the six-speed manual gearbox makes quick work out of mashing the gears.

    The top of the shift lever is metal: an unfortunate choice for those of us in warm climates. The temperatures here in Phoenix weren’t particularly warm during the test drive. Highs were in the 90s. The top of the knob was so hot that I had to wrap a piece of paper around it to use for the first 30 minutes of the drive. It is the car’s only Achilles heel.

    A fairly-light clutch pedal enables the Civic Si to function well in stop-and-go traffic.

    Drivers can choose between normal and sport modes: the sport mode adjusts suspension damping for more aggressive performance. A new limited slip differential design improves handling off the line, while variable ratio electric power steering provides more assist at low speeds with heavier response on the highway. On-center response is excellent.

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe

    Engineers modified suspension using stiffer spring rates and more rigid stabilizer bars compared to the Civic EX-T for better cornering. The Si rides rails around corners, including decreasing radius turns.

    Visibility around the car’s perimeter is good. There are some blind spots at the rear corners, but the standard rearview monitor compensates when the driver shifts into reverse. Honda LaneWatch projects a view to the right side of the car when the driver signals to turn in that direction. As a cyclist, it’s one of my favorite safety technologies.

    The test car did not come with blind spot monitoring. Over-the-shoulder visibility is pretty-good due to the coupe’s lack of B-pillars, but the feature would still come in handy in dense traffic.

    Engineers did a good job of controlling noise intrusion to the interior. The driver will hear some road noise from the performance tires and the occasional belch from the exhaust, but with a performance-oriented coupe, that’s what most people want.

    Driver-focused interior

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Interior

    2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Interior

    Despite its compact dimensions, the Civic Si coupe is surprisingly spacious on the inside. I found the driver’s seat easy to adjust for a clear forward view with good lumbar support for drives lasting over an hour. The cloth upholstery is attractive and frankly more practical for hot climates.

    The fact that second-row seats fold flat adds significant cargo room, which is good news for buyers with active lifestyles. Dual-zone climate controls keep both front seat occupants comfortable in temperature extremes. Heated front seats are a nice add-on, and surprising for a vehicle in this price range.

    Climate and infotainment controls are easy to reach from either front seating position. It took me a few minutes to figure out the audio controls but once done, they were easy to operate.

    Standard safety

    The Honda Civic Si comes with six airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, LED daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring, Honda LaneWatch, rearview camera and automatic on/off headlamps.

    Honda builds the Civic Si at its Alliston, Ontario Canada assembly plant.

    Like: Exceptional performance from a reasonably-priced sport coupe that also delivers excellent fuel economy and reduced emissions.

    Dislike: Metal shift knob gets scalding hot in warm weather.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic Si HPT
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $24,100
    As tested: $24,975
    Horsepower: 205 HP @ 5700 rpm
    Torque: 192 pound-feet at 2100 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 28/38 mpg city/highway
    Comment: The manufacturer recommends the use of premium unleaded gasoline for optimum performance.

    Comments are closed.