The perfect alternative to a hot hatch
When you hit the higher RPMs, as you should with any i-VTEC motor, the engine sounds particularly good and the slightly gimmicky i-VTEC lights fire up on the dashboard.
It is no secret that I absolutely love the current designs that Honda has to offer – I consider myself completely in love with the redesigned (2013-present) Honda Accord family, and the facelifted 9th-generation Civics are growing on me nearly as much. I drove the 2013 Civic Touring earlier this year, so I figured it was finally time to try out the fun version, the 2013 Honda Civic Si Sedan.
My tester for the week came in a stunning Dyno Blue Pearl, complemented by a black interior using some seriously high-quality fabrics. The exterior is virtually the same as the regular Civic Sedan, with the exception of the rear spoiler (I personally find it a bit too big), 17” aluminum wheels unique to the Si, and a chrome-finished exhaust tip. In terms of the spoiler, I feel as though a more subdued lip such as the one on the Si Coupé would be more aesthetically pleasing and add to the down-to-earth look of the car. Getting into the Civic Si, I was expecting a bit more of a difference on the interior.
To my surprise, everything was identical with the exception of the gauges being backlit in red, and the seats being unique to the Si. A neat touch is that the Si comes completely loaded, with familiar goodies such as the Honda i-MID system and the multi-angle reverse camera.
As if to remind you that you didn’t just buy a run-off-the-mill Civic, the Si comes with unique embroidery on the seats with; you guessed it – “Si” emblems. The seats themselves are extremely comfortable and are probably the best seats in the hot hatch/sedan segment. I actually prefer fabric to leather, especially when the fabric is as good as in this car.
Speaking of the hot hatch segment; even though the Civic is not exactly a hatchback, this sedan competes directly with the likes of the Subaru WRX, the Volkswagen GTI/GLI, and the Ford Focus ST. I’m classifying it as a “hot sedan”. For a little less power than the others, the Si makes up for it in other ways. The power delivery is spot on, the shifts are incredibly precise, and the ridiculous amount of time Honda has invested into the development of their i-VTEC technology. With 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, the numbers aren’t as shabby as one might imagine. Unlike anything else in the segment, the Si is naturally-aspirated, and the motor sounds great. When you hit the higher RPMs, as you should with any i-VTEC motor, the engine sounds particularly good and the slightly gimmicky i-VTEC lights fire up on the dashboard. They may be a bit cartoonish, but I really like them as they remind me of the video games I played as a kid.
The Honda Civic Si comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission – one of the best clutch/shifter relationships in the industry. The close gearing means the car needs to be shifted constantly during city driving, but when rowing through the gears is this much fun, nobody’s going to complain. It’s a great thing knowing that Honda has not succumbed to offering an automatic transmission on the Si. The fact that they’re holding onto the “save the manuals” theory says wonders for the future of the automotive industry.
The current Civic dashboard is the subject to much controversy, but I personally really like it. It’s so ergonomic and comfortable to use; everything I need while driving is exactly where I would want it to be. The touchscreen navigation is very simple to use, and I actually prefer this unit to the all-integrated one in the bigger Honda and Acura products.
My experience with the Honda Civic Si was essentially very positive, but there were some flaws I noticed. I found the suspension to be a bit too loose on the highway, rendering the car a bit floppier than I’d like. Particularly noticeable when pulling out from the shadow of a huge transport truck or when blasted with a huge gust of wind, I do wish the car was a bit more composed at higher speeds. I found myself driving a bit more aggressively during this test week as the Civic Si is just that much fun to drive, but I still managed to muster a combined average of 8.1L/100km. Seriously, this car is great on (premium-grade!) fuel no matter how hard it’s driven.
The best part of the 2013 Honda Civic Si Sedan is that it only comes in one configuration. None of this nonsense you see nowadays with pricey option packages and confusing individual options. You get to decide how many doors you want, and then you pick your colour. Decide on a payment option, and Honda will send you on your way. It’s really as simple as that, and the fact that the Si comes completely loaded anyway is an additional sweetener. With the sedan priced at a very reasonable $26,250, it’s actually an incredible buy. If you’re one of those enthusiasts and want the exhilarating driving experience of the Civic Si but thinks you’re too grown up for a Civic, don’t worry. The Acura ILX Dynamic is available too, and it’s very similar and nearly just as good.
2013 Honda Civic Si Sedan Gallery