Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Honda Civic Si - A Little Extra Oomph

The Honda Civic Si is the performance version of the popular compact--and has been so for decades. My experience with a loaded up 2012 model proves that it's still got what it takes to entertain--while going easy at the gas pump. My Rallye Red coupe earned over 28 miles per gallon--admittedly spending more time on the freeway than it should. This is a car made for taking the entertaining roads.

The Canadian-built Civic stretches out significantly longer than the 1986 model I owned. That was the first year of the Si. It still had some connection to the tiny, MINI Cooper-sized hatchback Civic of the 1970's, but with more sharply-drawn lines and a rear window that dropped off like a cliff. The new Si comes as a much roomier coupe or sedan.

Putting 201 horsepower under the hood (a 22 percent boost over last year) makes the car a quick performer. My '86 featured 90 horsepower--which was about 50 percent more than the standard Civic that year. Today's car offers a six-speed manual transmission, versus the, for the time, advanced five-speed in my car.

The new for 2012 Civic is an upgrade on the radical look of the previous generation, with the kinds of shapes you'd expect on BMWs. The interior retains the two-level instrument panel and in the Si, a sporty character with lots to move the eye. The plastics feel a little inexpensive and there is a lot of "rice paper" pattern surface.

Priced at $24,475, my Civic is positioned to give VW GTIs and other sporty compacts some serious competition. The reputation alone, on top of the sharp new look and upgraded power, should be enough to keep the Si popular.

1 comment:

Japanese Used Cars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.