By Anthony Souza
- Interior and Exterior Design
- Sweet, High-revving Motor
- Low Torque
- Terrible Speedometer Placement
Driving Impressions: 2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan
A lot of words come to mind when thinking of Honda four-doors: practical, reliable, dependable, and mostly boring. There’s nothing wrong with making that type of vehicle….Honda has sold millions of them. But what do you do if you’re looking for a little sport in an economical and practical four-door and you don’t want to break the bank. Well, you could start off by looking at the four-door Honda Civic Si.
Conditions for the test drive were incredible (isn’t the Bay Area great), with clear skies and eighty to ninety-degree temperatures. I drove a combination of highway, city surface streets, and winding back roads. I think the conditions in which we tested the car will be consistent with how most people will drive the car.
This is the 2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan. It comes equipped with a 4 cylinder 2.0 liter motor that pumps out 197 horsepower at 7800 RPM and 139 pound-feet of torque at 6100 RPM. The motor is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Power is delivered to the road via a front-wheel drive system with a limited slip differential ending in 17 inch, split five spoke alloy rims shod with Michelin Pilot P215/45R17 tires.
Fit and finish is normal Honda excellence. The body panels align properly and the doors close securely.
Interior Comfort and Ergonomics
The Si has a very modern looking interior, with flowing lines and an intelligent design. The instruments are easily visible behind a three spoke steering wheel and the controls are easy to understand and use. However, I did find one area of major concern. The speedometer is placed at the top of a double-stack instrument cluster and is almost impossible to read under direct sunlight. While this design is very distinctive and attractive, it loses points for practicality and is a little disappointing considering normally excellent Honda engineering.
The cloth covered seats are firm and have side bolsters that do a commendable job keeping you in place during spirited driving. This makes for a fairly sporting seat that maintains an appreciable comfort factor. The cloth material which adorns the seats and other surface areas of the interior is very attractive, but acts like Velcro with hair and other debris. Keeping this interior clean will require a little more effort than leather or vinyl. Rear seat leg room is adequate, but becomes a bit crunched when the front seats are place in the full rear position.
The rear seats fold down to provide additional cargo area, but if you want to carry bicycles or other large items, a roof rack will be in order.
It appears that Honda may have left out a little insulation in the interests of keeping this car light. It’s not exactly noisy, just a little more noisy than most cars at this price level.
The Civic Si boasts a197 horsepower i-VTEC engine with 139 pound-feet of torque….yaaawn. Where’s the sport in this Civic Si? Wait a minute,…I’m starting to feel something. There it is, just had to get over 6,000 rpm to find it. All kidding aside, this is a very nice little motor. Smooth, high-revving, and no quit. This motor is well-served by its six speed manual. Stir the gear-box frequently and keep the RPMs over 6,000 and this is a fun ride. This car makes you want to accelerate just to hear that great exhaust note. Not bad at all for a normally aspirated 2.0 liter.
I did notice that the shifting on this vehicle felt a bit vague. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the transmission, it could just use a better shifting linkage that would allow more positive shifts.
(Continued on page 2 – Handling | Styling | Value | Ratings | Conclusion )
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