2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe: Around the Block

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)
PORSCHE997PDK
Honda US has been putting way too much emphasis in budget friendliness. The recent Civics scream budget, even with the Si. Honda can do much more to the Si lineups but it doesn't seem it's going to happen here in the US anytime soon. That's a big disappointment!
captlwr
I found Chris's write-up interesting as it was pretty spot on - and - because he also alluded to what I've noticed and said since I bought my 2012 Sedan 2 years ago………..that it somehow has the "feel' of my friend's original M3 that I drove extensively after he bought it in 1987 when I bought my original M5 (both from a Milwaukee, WI Dealer)………..my Si currently has just over 17,000 miles on it. Only "mods" I've made are: a K&N Filter, one-size larger Nitto INVO Tires with lighter TSW Snetterton wheels and an Ingen Axle-back exhaust. Here is a car that is FWD vs the M3's RWD, yet almost all of the "specs" on the two cars are very similar…….might well be that I'm "living in the past" but I've always felt that a car should be engaging, responsive and maneuverable in Real-World driving - and, for me, the Si Sedan has all of that - even tho it may not be the absolute quickest on the road today. Thanks, Chris, for a straightforward Test!   Larry
paamf
The SI is falling farther behind the pack in both HP and torques as well as lap times. The little Fiesta ST will give it all it can handle and the GTI still will outpace it on the street and track. Honda has been admiring itself for too long and it's now playing catch up across their whole lineup.

Matt Chorba
I still have my 07 S2000. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Love me some revs! Just as whatnows says less than six seconds with no turbo is a fact Jack.
Fooer
A Type R would have still been nicer. 2015 Type R is going to dominate the Si hands down, but Honda is jerking Honda fans around by not bringing it over here.
Keith Godwin
I bought a 2007 Habanero Red Si sedan and have enjoyed it thoroughly. Good fuel mileage, the joy of reving it to its 8k rpm red line from time to time, it really scoots.
Whatnow
It might not look as good as the BRZ/ FRS, but it's faster, handles just as well, and gets better fuel economy.
It does 0-60 in under 6 seconds, and unlike Ford, VW, or Hyundai, doesn't need a turbo to do so. 
yynotnnh nnhtonyy
Only thing I hate are the seats to much red for me and still no HID/LED headlights why??
Andrew Hartzler
@paamf But what about looks and reliability? hatchbacks are the ugliest things i've ever seen
Sachin Gosine
@Keith Godwin What kind of mpg do you get when you drive easy?
Fooer
@Whatnow Is it really under 6? Citation

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