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CARS REVIEW - 2007 Honda Civic Si Review


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2007 Honda Civic Si

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Handling
  • Interior and Exterior Design
  • Sweet, High-revving Motor

Cons:

  • Low Torque
  • Terrible Speedometer Placement

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.

On a side note, I would like to sincerely thank a good friend for allowing us to drive his brand new Civic with less than 1,300 miles on it. Thanks for trusting us with your new ride, Jason.

Honda Civic Si - 2.0L 197 HP engineHonda Civic Si - interior

Build

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 excellent. The body panels align properly and the doors close securely.

Honda Civic Si - interiorHonda Civic Si

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.

Performance

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 6000 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 6000 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.

Handling

Honda did a good job with the handling and ride quality of this vehicle. The ride itself is firm without being harsh or jarring. Handling is confidence inspiring and the Michelins are predictable and forgiving. There is some minor body roll during left to right transitions, but nothing that would prevent you from enjoying some spirited driving. I tested this vehicle on Calaveras Road, which sports some very narrow, tight turns, and very little room for error. This is the same road on which I tested the Ford Shelby Mustang several weeks back. The Honda is much easier to drive fast under these conditions. Given the same driver, the Honda would beat the Mustang on this road. Braking power is good and I experienced no fade under our limited test conditions.

Honda Civic SiHonda Civic Si

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Styling

Honda Civic sedans have always been fairly boxy in nature and it seems that Honda has always been satisfied to leave it to the aftermarket to improve this car’s looks. Not the case with this Civic sedan. The exterior design is smooth and flowing. And the Si package looks like it originated in the aftermarket. Nothing too crazy, but eye-catching none-the-less. I think they did a great job with the exterior design of this vehicle. It looks very modern and should age well.

Value

The MSRP for this vehicle is $22,085. If this vehicle is as reliable as other Civics have been through the years, it will be a great value. Well designed, sporting, good looks, and fairly practical.

Ratings

Solid engineering and excellent fit and finish deserve a 4 in the build category.

Flowing lines and quality materials earn this vehicle a 3.5 in the interior category. It would have been 4, but the speedometer looses half a point.

4 points in the performance category for a free revving, smooth, fun to drive motor.

Handling and ride quality that are consistent with what you should expect of a vehicle that is marketed as sporting earn this car 4 for handling. With more torque and a quieter ride, this vehicle could have earned a 5.

Modern styling that should remain fresh for years, 4 points for styling.

If this car is as reliable as its siblings, it will prove to be a great value and earns 4.5 points.

Build

Interior

Performance

Handling

Style

Value

Overall

Rating

4

3.5

4

4

4

4.5

4.0/B

Honda Civic Si

Conclusion

This car is about having your cake and getting to eat it too. Keep the motor revving at a reasonable limit, and you have an efficient vehicle good for commuting. The four doors make it practical for family transportation. It’s a Honda and should prove reliable and long-lasting. On the other side, its interior and exterior styling don’t scream, “I’m a practical car,” and the motor and handling package available with this vehicle give it a very high fun factor for more daring drivers.

So you say you want a practical vehicle for the work week and a back-road burner for the weekends, this Honda may just be the car for you.
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