I really enjoyed your story, It really remind me a lot of my story - writeup at:I want to preface this review by first acknowledging that I went into the purchase of this car without having a test drive of it. However, since it is an evolution of the 11th gen Civic Si (2017-2020) and the overwhelming positive reviews, I was confident I would like it. I also was trading in my Modified 2015 VW GTI DSG. It had a stage 1 tune, Eibach Pro Kit, Koni Yellows, and 034 Motorsports Camber plates. I put 78k almost trouble free miles on it. The only issue was a wiring harness that got crimped, but was covered under an extended warranty from VW.
Styling: This is one of the controversial parts of the 11th gen. I personally love the more restrained look overall compared to the 10th gen. It has great body lines, and the metallic white paint really pops in the sunlight. The two tail pipes look cool too when combined with the black spoiler. However I do wish it was just a little bit more aggressive. It looks almost exactly like a Civic Sport with the HPD wing. Even the wheels are the same. Honda definitely could have changed it up just a tad bit more and it still would have fit the Si mantra of a Sporty Civic.
Interior: One word, Amazing. The seats are phenomenal, really well bolstered and supportive on longer drives, the cloth is really nice too. The dashboard is well put together, with super nice buttons and knobs. I really like where the infotainment screen is at, and the functionality is great. Wireless Apple CarPlay works well, and it’s not a laggy system. The “upgraded” Bose stereo is good, but not great. I still prefer the Fender system in the GTI. The instrument panel is cool with the digital Tach and analog Speedo. It has a lot of options for what gets displayed in the space in the middle of the tach.
Driving Dynamics: It is a surprisingly nice for just driving around town and commuting. The controls are light, the clutch is easy, and it’s fairly quiet. It makes stop and go easy. The gas mileage is good too. In my mostly Highway commuting I’m seeing 34 mpg and that’s cruising at 80mph. The radar cruise works well, and so do the auto high beams. I still need to try the lane keep assist where it will maintain lane for longer drives though. The ride is definitely on the firmer side, but it is not harsh. It manages bumps and road imperfections well.
For spirited driving the chassis balance is downright epic. The car encourages you to drive harder and faster. The auto rev match system works near flawlessly, and even without it it’s super easy to heel toe. The shifter is a joy to use. Well defined gates and a good shape knob. It does require a little heft but is so fun to operate. The way Honda tuned the engine, it pulls all the way to redline, add in the short gearing and it feels much faster than it actually is. People on the internet are complaining that 200hp isn’t enough, but honestly it feels like a good amount. I like being able to wring out the car without breaking the speed limit too much. Plus it still has enough power to get around just about anything. When it’s put into sport mode you get pumped in audio that I actually think sounds decent. The steering is super precise and the way the car builds confidence in you, it’s just fun. The diff is magical too, but I’m sure that’s any helical LSD in a FWD car. It genuinely shocked me but down my favorite local twisty road, the Si was able to be just as fast as my MK7 GTI. The way the car allows you to carry speed is wonderful. Unlike that GTI you don’t have to fight the car either. It seems like it is eager to have fun. The GTI was very German and would shut down any fun, even with ESC coded to be fully off.
I do have a couple of nitpicks with the Si though. To start, I am bummed Honda decided not to put seat heaters or dual zone climate in the car. I’m sure it has more to do with chip availability, but it’s still silly since the Canadian market Si gets them. It’s also frustrating that Honda doesn’t give you a water temp or an oil temperature gauge. All you get is a dummy light. I would have much rather have those in the configurable dash instead of a throttle%/brake pedal/ gauge or some of the other useless options for that screen. While I’m grateful they gave us an individual mode, it seems like it was a last second addition without a ton of thought out into it. They should have let you also configure the auto rev matching, and the fake engine noise. Also the OEM All Seasons are pretty terrible. However that’s an easy fix.
Overall I’m really happy with my purchase, on top of getting better gas mileage, it’s more fun to drive. Yet I really only sacrifice the heated seats and some of the quietness from my GTI. For less than $31k OTD and with a new car warranty, I think the Civic Si is hard to beat if you need a 4 door car that has to do everything. I can’t wait to toss some sticky tires and go autocross it this spring!
Added Mods I have done so far: Tint, LED Reverse and Signals, Black Honda Civic Badges, and a red Acuity shift knob.
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