2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe: Around the Block

June 3, 2014
2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe Front Three Quarter In Motion 02
Editors I now call colleagues wrote about great sports coupes from the ‘80s and ‘90s -- like the Honda CRX, Nissan 240SX, and Toyota MR2 -- and a generation of young men, like myself, clung to every word. No one intended for us, now grown, to feel like we’d be happier with just-vintage sports coupes than, say, a 2014 Honda Civic Si -- but that’s what happened.

Don’t buy a Craigslist Bimmer

Fellow young men: The 2014 Honda Civic Si is the car you should be driving. “But what about steering feel and wafer-thin A-pillars and throttle bodies attached to cables, not wires?” Don’t matter. Three years ago, my best friend test-drove a Civic Si before buying his 1986 BMW 325es. Today, he’s falling in love with his Civic Si while he waits for one of you to naively answer his Craigslist posting for the Bimmer.

Taking the Si to the track

To make my point, I’m taking a new Si coupe to an open track day at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. For 2014, the Si benefits from better suspension dampers, higher-rate coil springs, and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar. Its high-revving, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine gets four more hp and lb-ft of torque and is still bolted to a fantastic-feeling six-speed manual transmission. Performance tires are a $200 option, but our coupe came on stock, all-season rubber.

Turning lap after lap after lap

Coming up to a right-hander at the end of a long straight, I’m hard on the brakes and heel-and-toe shift from fourth to third to second gear. I touch the accelerator and balance the Si though the turn. Steering is precise but light, and body roll is noticeable but not stomach-churning. Coming out of the corner, the engine quickly spins to its 7000-rpm redline. I grab the leather-wrapped ball shift knob and fluidly change back into third gear. I turn lap after lap for twenty minutes and put down a best lap time of 2:02, very respectable for this track.

Fun on the road, fun on a road course

The Si is fantastic, on and off of the road course. My three-hour drive home from the track was comfortable and uneventful, which is what you want after a day of high-speed passes and close calls. And on my drive home, I never thought, “Will my car start back up when I stop for gas?” That would’ve bounced around my brain nonstop had I been driving one of those just-vintage sports coupes I’d yearned for as a youngster. And there’s no way I would’ve enjoyed racing one of them around Gingerman as much as I did a 2014 Honda Civic Si coupe.

2014 Honda Civic Si coupe

Base price $23,580
As-tested price $25,080
Engine 2.4-liter I-4
Power 205 hp
Torque 174 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Front-wheel
Fuel economy 22/31 mpg (city/highway)

Comments

Photo Gallery

  • Looking back at the paddock from the middle of the track.
  • Maybe it’s the light, but the Civic kind of looks like a Corolla in this picture.
  • Sleek and smooth, the Civic Si coupe looks great at speed.
  • We hate that we like the rear wing.
  • Who would’ve thought that a Civic could be attractive?
  • That Rallye Red paint sure did stick out on the track.
  • The Civic Si’s 2.4-liter engine.
  • An ostentatious-but-comfortable interior.
  • Faux carbon fiber? That’s 2 Fast, 2 Furious.
  • The Civic Si’s fantastic 6-speed manual transmission.
  • The Si’s wheels look like ninja stars.
  • There’s a nefarious group of gentlemen standing in the background.
  • The Si’s front fascia is more aggressive than it is attractive.
  • We dig the rear end more than the front end.
  • The Civic Si coupe is sleeker than the Si sedan.
  • Oil catch, grease-covered tools, and coffee—the tools of a track day.
  • Out on the track in the Honda Civic Si.
  • The Civic Si coupe has a surprisingly tall greenhouse.

2014 Honda Civic

LX FWD 2-Dr Coupe I4
starting at (MSRP)
$18,190
Engine
1.8L I4
Fuel Economy
28 City 36 Hwy
2014 Honda Civic