I've read a lot of forum posts and tweets and fanboy rants about how the 2017 Honda Civic Si is underwhelming. Everyone points out that it makes 205 horsepower, which is unchanged from its predecessor. To quote Motor1's own Chris Smith (sorry, buddy), it's "like ordering a chocolate ice cream cone and getting vanilla … it’s totally not what you wanted."
But here's the thing, it is what I wanted. It's a half-step between the lovely Civic Sport and the holy-grail Type R. It's a lightweight Honda Civic with beefed-up suspension bits, including some Type R-sourced parts. It's got cool, supportive seats. It uses turbo power. It only comes with a manual transmission. What about this paragraph doesn't sound good?
The Civic Si's turbocharged 1.5-liter engine makes 205 horsepower, or 5 hp less than a base Volkswagen GTI. But it also makes 192 pound-feet of torque, which is an 18-lb-ft improvement over the old Si, and that torque is spread from 2,100 to 5,000 rpm. And while I'm thinking about the GTI, let's remember that despite being down on power, the Civic Si is often still just as great to drive. Let's remember this MotorWeek video – let the dulcet tones of John Davis sooth your worries about the new Si not being any fun.
Whether you buy coupe or sedan, the Si comes with stiffer springs, bigger front and rear stabilizer bars, and upper control arms that come from the Civic Type R. A new Sport mode adjusts suspension damping, steering input, and throttle response. Considering the Civic Sport is already a hilariously fun car to toss around, amping up its chassis bits and throwing it a little more power should make it a total hoot.
So, yes, the 2017 Honda Civic Si only has 205 hp. But if this total package sounds underwhelming to you, time to have your fun-meter recalibrated.
Live Photos: Nathan Leach-Proffer / Motor1.com