2017 Honda Civic SI

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2017 Honda Civic SI has returned to dealerships and driving enthusiasts are rejoicing. It may look like a Honda Civic from the outside, but under the skin, this is a very different car. The SI is a performance sedan and coupe that incorporates a lot of the technology that Honda’s gained from their long experience in Formula 1 racing.  When the tenth generation Civic was introduced for the 2016 model year, SI fans had to wait about a year before their favorite car was reintroduced. But now it’s here and it’s worth the wait.

The first SI variation appeared in the Civic’s 1985 model year as part of the car’s third generation.  It soon became a big favorite with drivers who liked fast, great handling small cars, a huge departure from Detroit’s heavy muscle cars. The SI models usually a featured different engines than the other Civic in the same lineup and always only manual transmissions. The last couple of SI models were noticeably anemic when compared to their predecessors so the designers at Honda took a breath and really made sure the 2017 Civic SI would energize its fans.

With a starting MSRP of $23,900, the base 2017 Honda Civic SI drives out of the showroom as a pretty complete package.  The only engine available is an enhanced version of the same engine in the rest of the Civic models, a 205 hp, 1.5 liter  direct-injected turbocharged powerplant.  Although purists may frown at this small, turbocharged engine, it puts out plenty of power to kick the SI around the track or down the highway.  If that’s not enough power, just wait a few more months for the seriously brawny Civic Type R with a 306 hp engine.  And yes, only a manual transmission is available.

The suspension is specially tuned for the SI and 18 inch tires come standard.  There’s a Sport model, which dampens the suspension and stiffens steering by reducing the power assistance. Distinctive badging lets the neighborhood kids know you’ve got the SI – just don’t expect leather or powered seats because only specially designed cloth seats are available. A navigation system isn’t an option, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow your phone’s map feature to be your guide.    

If you’ve been waiting for the 2017 Civic SI, you won’t be disappointed, and if you’ve never driven any Honda Civic SI, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.