2017 Honda Civic Si Test Drive

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“2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan”
A 2 or 4-door Sport Compact Bargain

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Honda Proving Center, Mojave Desert near Cantil, CA -Whether you happen to be a Coupe aficionado or you are a fan of sedans, the 2017 Honda Civic Si models are hot, affordable sport compacts that deliver a satisfying level of high performance. The new Civic Si is based on the 10th generation Civic architecture, and these latest model Si offerings represent the 8th iteration of the performance oriented Si clan. The first Si model appeared on the scene as the CRX Si in 1985. This latest iteration Si is available as either a 2-door Coupe or a 4-door sedan, each geared to pleasing performance enthusiasts – each represents the most comprehensive revision in the line’s 44 years of existence. Si by the way stands for Sport Injected.


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The new Civics are the first Si models to incorporate turbocharged engines, utilizing an enhanced and upgraded, high-boost version of Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged and direct-injected new powerplant that debuted on our shores in the 2016 Civic Sedan. This new Honda AP2 engine provides drivers with more power and torque in the lower rpm range, with minimal turbo lag, while serving up a broader power band when compared to previous, normally aspirated models. All Si models are front-wheel drive and are exclusively equipped with a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox.
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The transversely mounted high torque 1.5-liter front engine is a DOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder, with a single-scroll MHI TD03 Turbochrger featuring an internal wastegate, dual variable cam timing, Direct Injection and drive-by-wire throttle system. It delivers 205 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, while developing192 pound feet of torque in a range from 2,100 to 5,000 rpm. Redline comes at 6,500 rpm.
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The 2017 Civic Si now features two driving mode options – Normal and Sport – giving drivers the ability to choose vehicle dynamic characteristics according to their tastes and the driving environment. The well controlled default Normal Mode is more comfort-oriented, while the Sport Mode adjusts the suspension damping characteristics as well as steering and throttle response for tighter and more direct feel.
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The new Si models also benefit from the enhanced Si-exclusive chassis tuning and engineering along with Si-exclusive performance elements, including a helical limited-slip differential, a new Adaptive Damper System and variable-ratio electric power steering. The upgraded performance prowess of Si Civics is matched by significant exterior and interior improvements that clearly distinguish Si from the regular or more mainstream Sedan and Coupe siblings. Spring rates are stiffer, stabilizer bars are more rigid (+7 percent front, +26 percent rear), and there are solid front and rear compliance bushings borrowed from the track focused Type R Civic.
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Raising the car’s the sporty exterior design factor over the standard Civic Coupe and Sedan, Si models display a bold, aggressive gloss black “solid wing” front fascia with larger lower air intakes, 18-inch split 5-spoke alloy wheels with a high contrast dual finish, low-profile 235-series tires, and a chrome center-mounted hexagonal exhaust finisher.
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At the rear, the Si Sedan includes a unique rear fascia and a decklid wing spoiler incorporating a LED brake light. The Si Coupe continues the Civic Coupe’s distinctive full-width light bar and adds a higher, more prominent raised wing spoiler. The only available option for the Si is a $200 set of Summer tires.
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The cabin showcases Si-exclusive bolstered front sport seats with red stitching, including stitched Si logos and integrated head restraints. The red stitching theme continues to the doors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot. The Si interior also features a red driver’s TFT meter and audio system illumination; alloy sport pedals and matte carbon-look trim for the instrument panel.
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In terms of comfort, convenience and connectivity features offered, the new Civic Si builds on the EX-T Civic Sedan and EX-T Civic Coupe, with a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen, serving as the nerve or control center for audio, HVAC and other functions. The Display Audio is integrated with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ platforms, delivering the smooth integration of smartphone features and functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, and access to a host of Apple- or Google-approved smartphone apps. All Si models come with a 450-watt, 10-speaker premium sound system with AM/FM, SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio™ and Pandora® capability.
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New for 2017 is a Driver Information Interface that adds a variety of selectable real-time information designed to support performance driving. The 7-inch color TFT is able to display throttle input and brake input application in a graphic percentage format, turbocharger boost in pounds per square inch, lap time (intended for use on closed circuits), race-inspired Rev-limit indicators, and a graphical G-Force gauge that provides a representation of acceleration, braking and cornering forces.

Several premium features are also gained for the first time on an Si model including: heated front seats (both cushion and seat back), dual-zone automatic climate control, Walk Away Auto Lock® and an electric parking brake with hill start assist.

Safety features and equipment include: standard four-channel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control and Agile Handling Assist, all combining to enhance dynamic stability, emergency maneuvering and braking performance.

My road test 2017 Honda Civic Si was in coupe form and had a base price of $$23,900. And an as tested price of $24,775. The exterior wore an Energy Green Pearl metallic, while the interior was executed in Black fabric with Red stitching. The bright green really stands out for the Highway Patrol in speed trap areas.
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SUMMARY: Test driving of the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupes and Sedans took place on both challenging Southern California roads and at Honda’s newly renovated 3840-acre warm-weather testing facility – Honda Proving Center (HPC) in the Mojave Desert near Cantil, CA. The facility, one of Honda’s two U.S. test facilities features a 7.5-mile high-speed banked oval track capable of testing vehicles at speeds over 200 miles per hour, and a 4.5-mile winding road course that incorporates 28 curves and six different hills into the design.

The proving grounds also includes a new 1.3 million-square-foot vehicle dynamics area and a modified powersports complex to support the development testing of Honda motorcycles as well as all-terrain vehicles and side-by-side vehicles, which are designed, developed and manufactured in America*. All original and existing asphalt was recycled on site and used in the rehabilitation of the facility.

Our Si testing was conducted on HPC’s 1.9-mile South Winding Road Course, with pro drivers riding shotgun. This was not a track mind you – it had no safer barriers, guardrails or run-off areas and journalists were forewarned. Most took heed, one did not, destroying one of the test cars, but was fortunately not seriously injured.

Both the SI coupes and sedans delivered crisp acceleration, smooth shifting, positive steering feedback, excellent braking and solid road holding capability with a flat, stable ride and no body roll. They were a complete joy to drive, delivering amazing performance in all aspects, especially when taking in to account, the price. In the final analysis, one will be hard pressed to find a more capable compact high performance sport coupe or sedan at a more reasonable price point. By the way, the Si sedan only outweighs the Coupe by 17 pounds, so if you need the extra two doors, the performance of the two is equal with no sacrifice. The Si Coupe, however, does present the sportier appearance.
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2017 Civic Si Coupes and Sedans produced for the U.S. market will be built at Honda’s Ontario, Canada plant, utilizing both domestic and globally sourced parts. The Civic Si’s turbocharged engine is produced in Anna, Ohio, the largest automobile engine plant in Honda’s global production network.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan

Base Price: $23,900.
Price as Tested: $24,775.

Engine Type and Size: 1.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder with single-scroll MHI TD03 Turbo with internal wastegate Direct Injection and drive-by-wire throttle system.

Horsepower (bhp): 205 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 192 @ 2,100-5,000 rpm
Redline – 6,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed manual.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel Drive with Helical limited slip differential.

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with 27.0 mm x 4.5 mm tubular stabilizer bar and Adaptive damper system.
Rear – Multi-link with 18 mm solid stabilizer bar and Adaptive damper system.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA and VSA with TC and Hill Start Assist and Brake Hold.

Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 235/40 R18 91W All-season mounted on 5-stylized angular loop/spoke alloy wheels with machine faced outer and painted inners. TPMS and Tire Repair Kit.

Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Length Overall: 177.4 inches
Width: 70.8 inches
Height: 54.7 inches
Curb Weight: 2,889 lbs.-Coupe / 2,906 lbs.- Sedan
Turning Circle: 37.8 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 12.4 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 28 mpg city / 38 mpg highway – 32 mpg combined.
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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