The Honda Civic Si was born back in 1984 in Japan when engineers shoved a 122-hp DOHC engine in a small hatchback. Today's Si follows pretty much the same recipe: regardless of the body style (coupe or sedan), the car receives Honda's biggest four-cylinder engine, a 2.4-litre pumping out 205 horsepower. Thanks to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, the Civic Si can scoot to 100 km/h from a standstill in 7.4 seconds. Quick enough, but in a world where the similarly-priced Volkswagen Golf GTI can easily shave a full second off that time, it isn't ground-breaking.
And here lies the Civic Si's biggest weakness: none of its performance features are class-leading. Its handling may be sharp, but the GTI is sharper. It may be powerful, but Ford's Focus ST has more horsepower on tap.
Equipment-wise, the Si features 18-inch wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen that controls the HondaLink system – which doesn't feature any buttons and no haptic feedback, meaning it's maddening to use when the vehicle is in motion –, a blind spot camera and unique sport seats with red inserts, among other things.
Driving the Civic Si was fun. The car has a lot of torque – yes, I used the word torque while talking about a sporty Honda –, the transmission is very precise and the shifter’s throws are short. However, I have to admit that I miss the manufacturer's signature VTEC system; there is electronic i-VTEC valve timing in there, and even a light on the dashboard to try and convince me that “VTEC kicked in, yo,” but I honestly couldn't feel it.
During the week I test-drove the 2015 Honda Civic Si, I received a call from a friend. He had just traded in his BMW 328i to buy a brand-new car. When I asked him what he got, he proudly said to me:
“Just like your press car, but white!” So this is the second Si you see in the above pictures.
Since this friend was never a big Honda fan, I wondered why he chose the Si. I explained to him that there were vehicles in the same segment for pretty much the same price that would give him more enjoyment, that were more practical or that were more cutting-edge.
So why did he chose the two-door Honda?
He did the math: the Civic Si is one of the vehicles with the best resale value, and the car will be reliable for many years to come, thanks to a proven, relatively simple drivetrain. And it costs less to insure than a GTI or a Focus ST.
So from a pure driving standpoint, the 2015 Honda Civic Si might not be the #1 choice; however, in the real world, it still holds a few valid arguments.