Si Sedan (100% stock)
Well – I’m not as stoked as I hoped to be. All the social media chatter set the bar real high on this one. And admittedly, I expected a lot… maybe too much. But on first drive, the power is ‘ok’, but it won’t knock your socks off. The suspension is real good in Sport Mode, I’ll give it that! The clutch/transmission is numb. The flywheel feels too heavy. And the car is ugly everywhere behind the front doors. There’s almost nothing visually exciting on the 4-door that makes it stand out as an Si.
One Week Later
Ok ok ok – the Si is quicker than I initially gave it credit for. It doesn’t make boost as fast as a Focus ST for example. But boost seems to come on a little more gradually & then hold stronger through the RPM-range. And in Sport Mode, as mentioned, the suspension feels very well dialed in. The car grew on me, at least from the inside. I got used to the shifter feel… and honestly couldn’t figure out why I was initially complaining. The interior is well designed, and the Si seats are great. It might bother you that there’s no radio ‘knob’, just an up/down button… but you’ll adapt to it just fine.
Stepping back: Where the Si seems to be falling short, is in its ‘PERCEPTION OF SPEED’. It’s quick… it’s just a little too passive.
I would like a lower, burbly, audible exhaust note from the turbo Si – it’s not there.
I would like the clutch to be a little more grabby & engaging – it’s not. There is a really awkward fall-off from boost between shifts… and a noticeable, frustrating boost delay that is really tricky shift-wise to overcome.
Visually – the 4-door Si is dull as an old pencil (in my opinion). The rear spoiler is half-hearted on the 4-door. That center exit exhaust doesn’t fit the bumper that well. And come to think of it, the rear bumper doesn’t fit the rest of the car that well. It seems like the whole thing was pieced together… like Honda was really just phoning it in on the 4-door.
It sounds like this review is a little on the negative side. But honestly, I left the new Si experience pretty excited. As Mike Sanders reminded me, the Civic Si was never an out-of-the-box killer. It was always an ‘aftermarket’ car. A little plain from the factory, it was the aftermarket that drove the chassis.
So the exhaust note it silent? Change it.
So the car doesn’t stand out enough? Let the aftermarket redesign it.
I’m optimistic that the aftermarket will pick up where Honda left off with the 4-door… and find the right lines to make this thing look good.
Big picture: A lot of the manufacturers have started to give consumers cars that are juuust good enough, to where we don’t feel a mega-urgency to upgrade it. And that’s bad for the aftermarket culture. The 2017 Si is BEGGING for a little modification. And throwing some mods at it, is going to be a ton of fun, because the results are gonna be night & day.
Si Coupe (with base Hondata tune)
(Thanks to Jeff from Temple of Vtec… for sneaking a Hondata tune on the press car & letting me drive it.)
Ok now THIS is more like it. Performance-wise, the Si really starts to wake up with a tune! Not only does the Hondata tune give the car additional horsepower but it ALSO enables you to flat-foot shift… which is cool, AND it eliminates that awkward boost fall-off between shifts (mentioned on the Si Sedan).
We parked the sedan next to the coupe. The coupe has more design treatment in the bumper around the exhaust. It had LESS overdone fake grille treatment. And the rear spoiler looks sharp! The coupe has MUCH more of what I would expect with Si trim.
Forget the gossip. Forget the click-bait bloggers & vloggers. Those guys are all assholes.
The 2017 Type-R absolutely, positively lives up to the hype. And it took me about 500-feet to shake any doubts & fall head-over-heels in love with it. Nothing against the Si, but the Type-R is NOT just a tweaked Si in 5-door/hatch form.
The turbo 2-liter K-series is razor sharp & responsive. The suspension is so perfected. The car is 100% engaging… and a blast to drive. A ton of FUN!!!
Remember when Hondas were fun?!
See – that’s why the internet loves to hate this car so much. Computers think in numbers… not emotions. And that’s why all these keyboard critics can’t compute what it is about this car, that’s so heart-stealing.
If more people would get out and ACTUALLY DRIVE sports cars like this 1st-hand… instead of critiquing them in the ‘comments-section’ based on their own biases……. our automotive landscape would look very different in 2017. And we’d have more cars like this to celebrate. Instead, the road today is full of rolling phone chargers. Because you know…. ‘numbers’.
I had the chance to go out on-track in the Type-R with Jason Owens, and the Type-R is incredible – stock!! Mind-scrambling. For any of you stuck on the car being front-wheel-drive, you’re barking up the wrong tree. And I think it would take Jason about ohhhhh 1-lap to change everything you thought you knew about FWD & the Type-R.