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My Honda Civic Si

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Old 08-11-2017, 09:10 PM
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Default My Honda Civic Si

2017 Honda Si

Now that I have about 1,300 miles on my Si I thought I’d write a preliminary review. So far I’m very happy with it, there is much to like and a few things that I don’t like. There are a few very pleasant surprises and a few disappointments. So far I"m really enjoying it.

From the minute you get into the car, you know that you’re in a Honda. I can’t exactly say why this is so except to say that it looks and feels very much like all the Honda’s that I’ve owned in the past. I say this happily because I very much like Honda cars. The Si is very much my kind of car, relatively small, bouncy, bumpy, noisy and a lot of fun to drive. More on this later first the likes, dislikes, surprises and disappointments.

As many of you know, I owned a 2006 Civic Si which I gave to my son Adam with 80,000 miles on it. Adam put another 100,000 miles on it and sold it last week for $5,500. Not bad. I loved that Si and I have long thought of it as my all time second favorite car after the S2000. I mention this because I will from time to time refer to that Si in this review.

Things that I like about the car. (not in any order)

1. The Transmission-The Honda transmission/shifter is arguably the best transmission/shifter on the road. While not exactly as good as in the S2000 the transmission in the Si is easily as good as in my 2006 Si. The gears are well spaced but I’ve found 6th to be a bit too high for my regular commute in traffic. I generally find myself in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. On the highway, however, 5th and 6th are the stars.

2. The seats-The seats in this car are very comfortable and an added bonus they are covered in cloth. As much as I like leather, cloth seats don’t get hot in the summer or cold in the winter. And cloth seats hold you in place. You don’t slide around on them. Much to my surprise the Si comes with heated seats standard. I personally hate heated seats and probably will never use them, but Liz likes the feature and I’m sure she’ll use the heated passenger seat in the winter.

3. Sport mode-It actually makes a difference. In my BMW switching into the sport mode really didn’t make too much difference, but here, it really changes things. The steering is very good and precise in normal mode, but in sport mode there is less power assist and more road feel. I really like that. Also, the suspension firms up a bit, and I really like that. I find myself spending much more time in sport mode in the Si than I ever did in my BMW.

4. The capless gas filler-Somehow Honda has come up with a capless gas tank filler neck. There is no more gas cap to worry about turning to the click. Here in New Jersey where we still have pump jockeys filling our tanks, I no longer have to remind them to turn to the click or get out of the car a block away from the station and tighten the cap myself. It closes automatically.

5. The gauges-In the center of the dashboard, in front of the driver is the gauge pod. Immediately in front of the driver is the tach and speedometer. The tack is analogue and the speedo is digital but they are both on an led screen and very easy to read (there is also a brake pressure and turbo boost gauge incorporated in this cluster). Off to the left is the temperature gauge and to the right is the gas gauge. For some reason they are mechanical, but well lit. My only complaint is that I wish we had an oil pressure gauge and an ammeter, but I think they are very hard to find in today’s cars.

6. The Touch Pad Screen-there is a 7 inch touch pad screen in the middle of the dash. I have heard that many people complain about the lack of dials, but I love it. It’s intuitive and quite easy to use. There are touch buttons for most everything and I’m pleasantly surprised by how well everything works.

7. The Audio System-The sound is strong and clear. I wouldn’t have paid extra for it, but it’s quite good. There is no CD player, but instead usb connections and Bluetooth. Loading in phone numbers is quite easy and mating your phone to it is almost automatic.

8. Android Auto-One of my absolute requirements was a navi, but a navi isn’t available on the Si, but Android Auto is. By plugging my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S8) into the USB it automatically goes into Android Auto. While the graphics are not quite as good as on a navi, they are still very good, and “OK Google” sets it up for voice commands. The maps are always up to date and I’ve found that Google maps is better at recognizing places by name that any navi I’ve used. Sometimes, once in a while Android Auto gets a little quirky, but 99% of the time it’s very, very good. I’ve also found that while in Android Auto I can also play the music that I have stored on my phone.

9. The turbo charged 1.5 litre engine-I prefer naturally aspirated engines that rev to 8,000 or 9,000 rpm. Unfortunately the Si comes with a turbocharged engine that only revs to 6,500 rpm. Much to my surprise, I’ve enjoyed the engine. It’s much more torquey than any engine I’ve ever had in a Honda including my prior Si and my S2000, and so far I haven’t missed the extra revs. There is no VTEC but the turbo kick that comes on as you accelerate feels the same. There are things about the engine that I’m not especially fond of, but that will be in the things I don’t like section. I have heard people complain that the engine is underpowered. I don't find that to be the case, but than, I like small, low powered engines that make you drive the car. For me the fun is in the gearbox not the engine. This engine is more powerful than I expected and easily the equal of the 2.0 liter N/A engine I had in my 2006 Si. The same horsepower and much more low end torque.

10. The body of the car-Generally, with a few exceptions I think the Si is a good looking car. The exceptions will be noted in the things I don’t like area.

11. The Handling-The Si is under 3,000 pounds and as a result the car feel relatively light and nimble, not nearly so heavy as my BMW felt. The car handles as well as my 2006 Si and as well as you could expect any daily driver to handle.

12. The Owners Manual-As opposed to the unreadable manual that came with my BMW, the owners manual is straight forward and easy to read. Most everything is intuitive and easy to use.

13. The Customer Service-about two weeks after I got the car I received a brochure in the mail with the address to my own Honda Si portal. The portal contains information about the car, and some tips and tricks to using the car. I got on the portal and saw things that I didn’t realize were in the car.

14. Its Only a Civic-When I owned the BMW people used to ooh and aah over it telling me how expensive a car it is, what a great car it is and how much money I spent on it. I really didn't like the whole BMW thing. Now that I own a Civic nobody says anything like that. Most don't even know what an Si is. And when someone does say something, I simply say, "It's only a Civic".

Things I don’t like or are disappointed by

1. The headlights-The Si comes with projector headlights and they are sufficient, but I think every new car should come with HID or LED headlights. HIDs are simply much brighter and better. I’m disappointed by this. I also wonder why the turn signals aren't LED's. They should be.

2. The rear spoiler-I’m not a big fan of wings or spoilers. I have the 4 door Si and the spoiler is reasonably small, but I wish it wasn’t there. I happen to think the rear end of the regular Civic is very good looking especially with the “C” lights. The spoiler seems to interfere with the smoothness of the lines. I wish it wasn’t there. I don’t find it ugly enough to not have bought the car, but I’d prefer it wasn’t a part of it.

3. The front and rear bumper inserts-I understand that Honda was trying to appeal to the “ricer” crowd, but the oversize front an rear bumper inserts are ugly. Part of the reason I bought the black car (I originally wanted the dark grey) was because black blended in with these inserts and more or less disguised them. I’d much prefer the plain Civic front and rear bumper.

4. The rear exhaust outlet-I don’t know what possessed Honda to put a rear exhaust outlet on the car that looks like an upside down HDMI input. I’d prefer two round exhausts pipes. Even the Type R, for all it’s “over the top” design features has round exhaust pipes.

5. The turbo charged 1.5 litre engine-I’m enjoying the engine and the torque, but I’d still like to have a higher reving, naturally aspirated engine.

6. No spare tire-I know that this is a trend among automakers but I don’t like it. Instead of a spare I have a repair kit and a mini compressor. I do have 3 years of roadside assistance, but thats no consolation when I’m standing on the side of the road on a rainy 30* day waiting for a flatbed and calling to cancel the appointment that I have to miss. I want a spare tire. I’ll probably buy a donut spare and throw it in the trunk, but I really wish the car came with a spare.

So far I’m delighted with the car. It’s a lot of fun to drive, certainly as much fun as a daily driver gets. Much like my 2006 Si it puts a smile on my face when I drive it. I’m hoping the car come with the legendary Honda reliability that I’ve come to expect.

I will update this after I put another few thousand miles on the car.

Last edited by ralper; 08-12-2017 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:27 AM
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Very thorough review, you should think about becoming a review writer. Sounds like you really like the car and that is all that matters. It must be a blast to drive and certainly a great DD. Good luck with it. I look forward to future reviews.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:35 AM
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Great review, how is the mpg? Does it take regular?
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by S2KRAY View Post
Very thorough review, you should think about becoming a review writer. Sounds like you really like the car and that is all that matters. It must be a blast to drive and certainly a great DD. Good luck with it. I look forward to future reviews.
Thank you. The car is a lot of fun to drive.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by NNY S2k View Post
Great review, how is the mpg? Does it take regular?
Levi
Thank you.
So far, mostly in traffic, I've gotten an average of about 26 miles per gallon. I'm sure that will improve as I take the car on the highway and as I put more miles on the car.

Honda recommends premium gas and so far that's what I've been using. I probably will only use premium, but I think the car could run on regular.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:12 AM
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One more dislike that I forgot to mention in the original post, the gearshift knob. I don't know who designs these things, but they surely never test them. The gearshift knob is metal with a leather wrap around the perimeter. While it is very stylish the metal gets very hot in the summer. When I get into the car to go home I can barely touch the gearshift knob as it is too hot. I've taken to putting an old sock over it, but my wife and people who see it laugh and tell me its a phallic looking device. I wish the designer/Honda would have made it of a material that wouldn't get quite so hot.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:05 AM
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I'd use the premium gas too if called for, like in our S and our 13 Si. Get some driving gloves
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:48 PM
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Rob, you missed your calling. You should have been a writer for an automotive magazine. I found your review to be Interesting, informative, and honest. Great Job!
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ralper View Post
One more dislike that I forgot to mention in the original post, the gearshift knob. I don't know who designs these things, but they surely never test them. The gearshift knob is metal with a leather wrap around the perimeter. While it is very stylish the metal gets very hot in the summer. When I get into the car to go home I can barely touch the gearshift knob as it is too hot. I've taken to putting an old sock over it, but my wife and people who see it laugh and tell me its a phallic looking device. I wish the designer/Honda would have made it of a material that wouldn't get quite so hot.
I have a felt cover from a miniature Crown Royal bottle that I keep in my wife's G for that same reason.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ralper View Post
One more dislike that I forgot to mention in the original post, the gearshift knob. I don't know who designs these things, but they surely never test them. The gearshift knob is metal with a leather wrap around the perimeter. While it is very stylish the metal gets very hot in the summer. When I get into the car to go home I can barely touch the gearshift knob as it is too hot. I've taken to putting an old sock over it, but my wife and people who see it laugh and tell me its a phallic looking device. I wish the designer/Honda would have made it of a material that wouldn't get quite so hot.
That is why I changes the knob in the S to a walnut knob. It has a much better feel and doesn't get hot.

I never understood Honda's choice in knobs. So the replacement for the S is a solid metal knob!?!?
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