Recently I was testing the Civic sedan 2013, the model that Honda decided to revise after the negative criticisms received with the release of its new generation in 2012, with which I strongly agree. Now again I had the opportunity to test a new model of the Civic. This time it was the coupe version in its sportiest variant, the SI model, which features the 2.4 liter 4 cylinders engine with 201 horsepower, and a single six-speed manual transmission available.
The first thing you notice once you have it in front of you, is its image. Elongated, pointed, juvenile, aggressive, enhanced with the red color of the body and its alloy wheels of 17 inches. It is much more aesthetically pleasing than the sedan, which, in terms of shape, it looks a bit dull.
Behind the wheel, the visual sensations are confirmed. In general it is a fun to drive model despite its front-wheel drive and its 201-HP, somewhat scarce to compete fully with most sports coupes.
Even so, it has very good handling thanks to an inspected chassis of firm suspension with communicative electric power steering, and to the 170 lb-ft of torque (31 more than the 2012 model) of its engine that improves the acceleration from standstill. The manual gearbox, of quick and effective integration, is another ingredient that helps to accentuate the sportiness of the Civic Si Coupe.
However, a little bit of more power would have been preferable to fully enter to compete with the cream of its segment, the Subaru BR-Z, FR-S Scion, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Mini Cooper S. The 201-HP of power that it includes, are still very limited for those seeking sports sensations and match the benefits of the chassis.
In the cabin control of the Civic SI Coupe, its sports seats feel great and fit perfectly to the body. They are solid and have a good grip in all circumstances. In its sporty handling, a limited slip differential, standard on this version, works admirably distributing the power to the front wheels according to the turning radius. The steering wheel does its job properly and the wheels point exactly where we want to go.
In non-sports driving mode, the new Civic Si gains in comfort. It is easy to handle, with a smooth steering wheel and a precise manual gearbox. Obviously, in the market of sports coupes there are much faster and radical models, but this Civic also provides a wider range of uses, with its decent fuel consumption of 22 mpg in the city and 31 on highways.
It's inside where you can appreciate changes made in respect to the 2012 failed model. The quality of materials has been improved and in some ways this new Civic Si looks like a model from a upper segment. Its clean and functional design facilitates the handling of the different devices, as well as the intuitive Honda navigation system with voice recognition. Some carbon fiber imitation finishes, further improve the aspect of the cabin.
Regarding the 2012 model, it keeps the dual-screen system for the instrument panel, with the top reserved for the on-board computer,audio system,Bluetooth and the new text messaging system, and the lower one, which is huge, for the tachometer.
The initial price of a Honda Civic Si is $22,515 dollars, rate that easily could surpass $25,000 with the addition of navigation system, upgrade and bigger wheels and other extras that help to raise the overall quality of the model.
What is most striking:
- - Its sporty and aggressive appearance
- - The manual gearbox
- - Its nice and sophisticated interior
What would make it great:
- - More horsepower
- - Optional rear wheel drive available as an upgrade
As mentioned above, they are all the sports coupes available in the market, from the Subaru BR-Z and Scion FR-S, to the Hyundai Genesis coupe, passing through the Nissan Altima coupe or even the premium Infiniti G37 coupe.
The rectification of Honda with its Civic has been effective. The new 2013 model regains the confidence of criticism by minimal but accurate changes. The Honda Civic Si coupe, as the sportier model in the range, is no stranger to these changes, especially in the interior. But not only, with more amount of torque, obtained at low revs, the sporting behavior of this version, improves greatly. It remains a model less radical than its major rivals, but in return it offers best fuel consumption and a wider range of use.