The 10th-generation Honda Civic is one of our favorite cars. The all-new 2017 Civic Si doesn’t need more power. It doesn’t need more of anything, really. The intrinsic beauty of the Si is in its balance: It doesn’t overachieve at any one thing, rather, it does everything well. It’s fun to drive – more than its spec sheet would lead you to believe – and still works like a Civic, offering comfort and convenience for easy daily livability.
The fun-to-drive factor is super important here – that Si badge has to mean more than just a well-balanced Civic. We guess you know the Si uses an enhanced version of Honda’s turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four, with 205 hp and 192 pound-feet of torque. But those numbers only tell part of the story. The car also gets 38 miles per gallon highway. Compared to a standard Civic EX-T, the Si upgrade includes stiffer springs and stabilizer bars, adaptive dampers, and a limited-slip differential. It gets larger 18-inch wheels and wider 235/40-series all-season tires (Goodyear Eagle F1 summer rubber is a $200 option), as well as beefier brakes for better stopping power. Finally, the car sits five millimeters (0.2 inch) lower to the ground.
More importantly, it isn’t just a Civic Sport with a little extra power. The adaptive damping really improves the Civic’s chassis, offering compliance and comfort when you’re just need to get through traffic, but more stability and feedback when you’re cornering quickly. Likewise, the six-speed manual transmission is better in the Si, with a clearer take-up point in the clutch and crisper action of the shifter itself thanks to new linkage. Decide which body style you want, pick your color, and you’re done. Both the coupe and sedan start at $23,900, and adding the better tires and factoring in $875 for destination means you won’t crest $25,000, all in. A loaded Si undercuts the base prices of the Ford Focus ST, Subaru BRZ, WRX, Toyota 86, and Volkswagen GTI.