2010 Honda Civic Si: Sporty variation on the theme
By Mike Blake, Carlisle Events
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Honda’s top-selling Civic is offered for 2010 in a number of guises, from the Hybrid, to the natural-gas powered GX, to the high-tech sedan and coupes. But for those who seek performance with their economy and style, Honda has created the high-powered Si.
The Civic line has been rated as the number-2 affordable vehicle out of 29 Affordable Small Cars in a study that included some of America’s top auto journalists. The Si adds a carload of substance to that style.
Enhanced slightly from the 2009 version, the 2010 Si has added new exterior styling, colors and increased tech, updated headlight and taillight combinations; new alloy wheel designs and upgraded seating cloth materials for a more premium interior feel.
Weighing in at a solid 2954 lbs. with a 60/40 front/rear weight distribution, Civic Si measures 177.3 inches long, 56.5 inches high and 69 inches wide on a 106.3-inch wheelbase. Si is built at the Honda of Canada manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario, Canada with globally sourced parts. It features high-rigidity unit-body construction for responsive handling and road-hugging stability – utilizing its MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension.
Si shines on the road and in the driveway with body-colored low-profile rear wing spoiler, Si badging, chrome exhaust finisher, impact-absorbing body-colored bumpers, multi-reflector halogen headlights, body-colored door handles, and it carries forward sloping lines, thin, angular shoulders and the tuner look of a quick, small Euro car. Under hood is a cosmetic change as the color of the engine cover switches from silver to black.
Standard exterior features on the Si include 17-inch alloy wheels, one-touch power moonroof with tilt feature, integrated rear-window antenna, security system with remote entry and trunk release, body-colored power side mirrors and variable intermittent windshield wipers.
While the Si looks quite bit like its Civic siblings, its substantial differences are under hood and in the cabin. By comparison, the Civic Hybrid moves forward with a 1.3-liter i-VTEC engine with Integrated Motor Assist gasoline-electric hybrid technology and the sedans and coupes on the eco-end are powered by a 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine mated to a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Si steps up with a 197-horsepower, 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine with a 6-speed manual transmission. The Civic GX uses a dedicated natural gas version of the Civic’s 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine – and is equipped with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
The front-wheel-drive Si’s 2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder aluminum alloy engine also puts out 139 lbs.-ft. of torque, boosted by a multi-line fuel injection drive-by-wire throttle system and has earned an LEV-2 CARB emissions rating.
Acting like a pocket muscle car, my tests in the Si showed a 6.8 sprint from zero to 60mph and a 17-flat quarter-mile run. My test ride was not specially tuned and was outfitted and prepared as one you would drive off the car lot. Nothing was adapted, no air taken out of the tires and no timing tricks such as ultra-smooth track or perfect atmospheric conditions were employed.
A fun drive with less road noise than comparable vehicles in its class, the Si corners well, is autocross worthy and exhibited only minor top-wobble in hairpins.
EPA rated at 21/29 my seven days of driving tests in varied circumstances yielded an average of 24.1mpg.
With seating for five, Civic Si has good interior expanse, providing 38.1 inches of front head room and 36.7 inches in row two; 42.2 inches of front leg room with 34.6 inches in the second seats and 53.6 inches of shoulder room for the driver and passenger and 52.3 inches for those traveling in the rear seats.
Included in the base package are air conditioning with air-filtration system, power windows with auto-up/down, cruise control, power door locks with auto-lock feature, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum shift knob with leather, textured aluminum pedals, tilted telescopic steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted controls, stain-finish door handle pulls, remote fuel filler door, map lights, coin tray, rear seat heater ducts, driver’s footrest rear window defroster and timer and 12-volt power outlet.
Standard entertainment systems include 350-Watt AM/FM//CD Premium Audio System with 7 Speakers including Subwoofer, MP3/Windows Media® Audio Playback Capability, MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack, speed sensitive volume control and USB audio interface.
Looking cool, interior gauges are red backlit, and the information center includes a two-tier panel, outside temperature, tire pressure monitor, maintenance minder, trip and airbag information.
Safety amenities include Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, side impact door beams, dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, front side airbags with passenger-side occupant position detection system, side curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist™ with traction control, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, child-proof rear locks, LATCH for children, emergency trunk release and daytime running lights.
Part of the Civic economy strategy, the Si is base priced at $22,255 and high-performance tires add $200. My test ride also added Navi and XM radio for $2000, as well as destination and delivery charges of $750, for a drive-off of $25,205 plus tax and license.
With Civic reliability a centerpoint, this sporty version of the Civic is one worth checking if you like sportiness and performance with your eco-car.
Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.
Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.
# # #
Journalist note: Information about the Carlisle Events Group, its event listings, auction offerings and expo center is available to journalists by phone:
Carlisle Event Marketing Dept.
# # #