Fact: I have driven nearly every version of the Civic, with the exception going to the first and second gen CVCCs--essentially from the '87 model and up, I've put enough seat time in each one to safely say that each new model outperforms the last. While the EF and EG chassis still remain my most favorites, I still get excited when a Si comes with even better equipment than the one before it. And forget the days past where power required you to swap an engine out--the Si's so good now that all you really need to do is fill it with gas and pop VTEC (woo!).
Honda's latest revision to the entire Civic lineup comes just two short years after the last major refresh, a move that was implemented after receiving several consumer complaints about how bad the interior treatments looked and felt-not even parts of the exterior was safe from harsh criticism. This never seemed to bother me, though, because I was always more preoccupied with the actual driving and fun the Si provides instead of worrying about things like dashboard design. Speaking of which, it still looks pretty damn cool and with all its space-age accents--like VTEC and shift lights, Intelligent Multi-Information Display--that should have you beyond distracted, they surprisingly don't. They hang right in your peripheral line of sight.
Planted in the Si's seats, I felt nothing else that was out of place. They felt familiarly Honda, as always; it fired up normal, like a Honda always does; and loves to be driven at full force--and quite often; that's what you do with a car like the Si. With gears that short, the rpms jump quickly--a stern reminder that this is far from the '90s-era Civic I have parked in my garage at home. Thankfully, Honda left that part of the formula alone; the K-series still delivers the same 201hp and a very modest 170lb-ft, plenty good but it's also an engine that can pump out more if you build upon it. And as you can see from the rest of the cars we've featured in this special Honda issue, making power is something you should do and can do quite easily.
With the older Civics, enthusiasts were able to rely on their Japanese counterparts in terms of being able to source JDM performance and styling parts, but sadly, in the U.S., it's still no longer the case--that is, until Honda decides to one day offer the car again, which is unlikely. Europe still sells the very awesome Civic Type R, a variant that's so far removed from what we get here that it's almost saddening to think of what could've been. And yet, the Si continues to deliver on all levels. Fast, superb handling, all the amenities to satisfy the everyday commuter--what more could you ask for? Oh, right, a Civic Type R! Just kidding, Honda, we'll still take the Si. (For now.)
That New Car Smell
2013 Honda Civic Si
The Sticker Starting from $17,965 (coupe) and $22,715 (sedan)
Engine 2.4L DOHC i-VTEC K24Z7
The Power 201hp at 7,000rpm; 170lb-ft at 4,400rpm
Scale Tipping 2,943/2,966 (with navigation); 2,967/2,992 (with navigation)
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Transmission 6-speed manual transmission
Footwork & Chassis Front MacPherson struts, multi-link rear suspension, 21mm front sway bar/18mm rear sway bar
Wheels & Tires 17" alloys; 215/45R17 all-season tires
At The Pump 22/31/25 (city/highway/combined)
The Competition Scion FR-S; Subaru BRZ
Deep Thoughts 40 years and counting, the Si remains as one of the last standing performance cars in Honda's lineup. Grab one of these just in case it goes the way of the S2000, Integra Type R, NSX...