Honda Civic SI: cute as a button and goes OK too!

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For those of us who like to beetle about in something just a bit different, you will love the SI Civic. It looks very much like it’s hot sister, the Civic Type R which we tested earlier in the year.

In fact one silly queen was trying to get into the back seat via the front door bless his little cotton socks. I explained the car was a 4 door and the rear door handle was concealed in the rear pillar and in a jiffy he was in the back. There were 4 fully grown adults in the little Civic that day. The rear passengers found all sorts of cute hidey-holes including one under the seat. That rear seat folds up out of the way and Honda claims a bike can be carried in the back. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be riding the bike. Perhaps it’s for someone who wants to look good in one of those pesky triathlons.  You would save loads of energy that way wouldn’t you? You could drive straight to the last few K’s, grab the bike from the back seat, don your riding gear,throw some water from your drinking bottle over your face and bobs your uncle.

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Personally I could imagine a million things I’d rather be doing than driving around with my pushy on the back floor.

The first thing to note is the looks. It is a striking car. The pointed tear tear-drop looks fast even in the base model. The engine, Honda’s strong point, is sweet. At 103kw it’s not neck snapping by any means, but it is nippy. Wasn’t it Magda on ABFAB who described “Nippy Hippy Biscuit Tins” as cars she wouldn’t want to have? Magda was a snootty cow who knew bugger all about cars. Those who know better will think the 6sp manual has oodles of oomph and the 5sp auto is smooth and easy to use.

I have driven both and enjoyed both. The car gets looks from passers-by, which is a good thing and even better should you be single. The new models will have the proper  bluetooth integrated into the dash and not stuck to the A pillar which is fairly easy to use.

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The dash too is like the nippier sisters’ but has spooky blue rather chilli red backlighting. The dials are different but the information is pretty much the same. It’s a fun interior so obviously aimed at the younger audience. That’s not a bad thing either. Our youth obsessed culture values the opinions of the young, but the young usually can’t afford new cars, so cars like this will probably be bought by older people wanting to appear  young. The base upholstery in all cars makes me feel a bit depressed. With the option of leather, pov fabric just looks a bit wrong? I’d be very tempted to tick the upgradenon the options list. Please don’t think there is anything wrong the seats, but of course we had been in the Type R before the SI, and that was a bit of a mistake.

The dash layout is fun and funky with huge knobs on the audio system. In fact most of the switch gear has a touch of  the “kids playground” feel to it. The steering wheel has the usual Honda buttons but the rest are peculiar to the Civic hatches. That means they are easy to see and most importantly, easy to use especially as you get older and your eyes develop permanent beer goggles.

One of my pet hates is big expensive cars with air conditioning that doesn’t keep to the temp it’s set at. You set it to what you think a normal mortal might like but instead you are sweating your tits off and your passengers are complaining that they may pass out. Honda is having none of it. They installed proper climate control which can have “arctic bliss” and “Sahara” so each front seat can tailor the air flow to whatever their  hearts desire.

 

The drive isn’t too shabby either. You get decent steering and brakes and although the upholstery isn’t that pretty, the seats are quite comfy. As I’ve already casually mentioned, should you find the need, the “magic” rear seat can be folded such that the entire back floor is available for you to do with as you wish. And no, a bike is just plain daft, but you can indeed get one in if you want. If you fold the seats flat instead, the bike will lay flat, but that’s as daft as standing a bike on the rear floor. So we’ve established that carrying a bike of any kind in any way is silly because you would ride it there wouldn’t you? So, as I am want to say, there is a ton of room for David Jones bags.  Perhaps our readers could save David Jones from imminent demise by filling their Honda Civic SI’s chockers full of canny purchases. I personally prefer the rear suspension setup of the Civic sedan. It feels just a bit more refined with better damping and a bit less clumping over bumps so you might find your parcels get a bit jostled about but not unduly so.

Because we reviewed the Type R, there is no real need to go in to too much detail except to say we like it very much. Like the Type R my only gripe is the price which starts at about 33k. Now that is about where the divine Honda Accord Euro starts isn’t it. The Euro is a class bigger, has a bigger engine, drives better and has more stuff as standard. I think pricing the SI within a cats’ whisker of the Euro is a bit silly. I can’t help but feel that some smarty bum pulling up beside me at the lights in a shiny new Euro would summon feelings of inadequacy in me I thought had disappeared with the wet sheets of my childhood.

I like it very much but not enough to tempt me from the Euro!

Engine Inline 4 Cylinder
SOHC i-VTEC
Capacity 1.8 litre – 1799 cc
Maximum power 103kW @ 6300 rpm
Maximum torque 174Nm @ 4300 rpm
Emission standard Euro 4
CO2 emissions (g/km) – manual 163
– automatic 172
Manual transmission 6-Speed
Automatic transmission 5-Speed
with Grade Logic Control

Fuel consumption combined (litres/100km)*
– manual 6.9
– automatic 7.2
Fuel consumption urban (litres/100km)*
– manual 8.9
– automatic 9.9
Fuel consumption extra urban (litres/100km)*
– manual 5.7
– automatic 5

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