2013 Honda Civic Si Coupe
2.4L L4 DOHC 16 valves i-VTEC
201 @ 7000
170 @ 4400
10.6 / 6.4
Kids that are into cars have a poster of some supercar on their bedroom wall. As they grow older and the day they will finally be fully licensed drivers approaches, that supercar poster has usually turned into a less powerful and much more affordable car that is now stuck in their mind to own. One of the most popular cars those poster supercars are transformed into is the Honda Civic Si Coupe.
The latest 2013 Honda Civic Si Coupe packs all the necessary elements that are required for this type of car. It looks angry, it has Si badges all over the place, it comes in wicked colors, it is fast enough, it makes an attractive noise and with all the modern features on board, it costs less than thirty grand.
The heart of the Si is now a 2.4lt i-VTEC power plant, booting out 201 BHP and 170lb-ft of torque at 4400rpm which is rather low for a hot Honda and far away from the red line. This has resulted in a Civic that is more civilized than ever and when used for your daily commute it is also very fuel efficient. That is, if of course you drive it as slow as an anorgasmic Prius. To illustrate how much sporty Hondas have changed, keep in mind that this one can set off in 3rd gear for God’s sake!
The Touring sedan we drove a few weeks ago had an awesome looking front spoiler which oddly didn’t make it on the Si Coupe. Instead, the Si Coupe looks more like last year’s model and I am not sure that is a good thing. The side profile remains dynamic with a low roof line, while the raised rear sets the mood to sport. The 17” alloy wheels are gorgeous and the 215/45/17 Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 tires match the chassis like butter on toast.
Inside the cabin the Si madness continues. The cloth bucket seats are very supportive without being too narrow and they have the Si logo stitched on them. The dashboard remains unchanged compared to the Touring trim level, but the VTEC shift lights have replaced the ECO gauge while the accent around the speedo is now permanently furious red. The rear seats are comfortable enough for two adults as long as they are not over 6ft tall, as the low roof line has compromised the available headroom. The cargo area is at least well shaped and at 331lt, it is much better than what you get in other sporty small coupes.
Driving the Si is a blast. The electric steering might be way too light but at least the it does feel connected to the wheels. Its small diameter, aggressive styling and having both height and reach adjustments save the day. The clutch is strong, the shifter feels amazing and the gearbox ratios are shorter than that Bieber guy. What makes it even more fun is feeling the Helical mechanical limited slip diff pulling you out of the corners, when you go full throttle after hitting the apex.
The 2.4lt i-VTEC 4-cylinder power plant delivers 201 BHP and 170 lb-ft of torque at 4400rpm. Mated to the short ratio 6-speed manual gearbox it is capable of launching the Si Coupe to 100km/h in just over 6 seconds and the top speed is well into the two hundreds. The i-VTEC light and shift indicators add to the fun but the Civic Si is fun by nature. Thanks to the low fat body type, the Si Coupe is light and athletic and will never get fed up with sporty driving styles. Touch the right pedal and away it goes, no questions asked. Fuel economy is surprisingly good, as we averaged a combined 8.9lt/100km with a rather heavy foot. Unfortunately, premium grade fuel is recommended which basically means required.
What sets the Si apart from its competition is that it has been engineered and fine tuned to work in perfect harmony and precision rather than just being bonkers fast and all over the place. Handling is crisp and the Si coupe doesn’t like clowning around. It has been set-up for razor sharp racing lines and when driven to the limit it is very fast. There is no room for mid-turn corrections but the chassis is forgiving and will only progressively understeer when you overdo it. The rear end feels planted and will never slide to help you steer or have even more fun. I must point out that Honda deserves some credit for not relying on electronic aids to make the car handle really well. Even with the stability control off, the car remains as solid as a rock.
Despite the no-nonsense handling, the all-round independent suspension has been tuned in a way that the ride is soft enough to be considered pleasant. The superb chassis allowed soft enough shocks to be used and as such the ride is composed and refined as the Si coupe goes over rough surfaces without knocking or shaking up the passengers. The brake pedal has a positive feeling to it as it doesn’t need to travel very far until the brakes are applied. When pushed hard, the brakes bite with determination and the results are reassuring. During out tests, the Si Coupe came to a complete stop from 100km/h in 42m showing only minor fade indications.
The 2013 Honda Civic Si Coupe is a superbly engineered vehicle and right down to the point. It is simple, comfortable, affordable, fun, fast and it forces you to learn how to drive properly as it comes with a clutch and a stick. Add the limited slip diff to the equation and it does sound like Honda got it right this time.