2009 Honda Civic Sdn
Simply put, the 2009 Civic Si
is what you get when you take an already popular car with a great starting price and couple it with more horsepower and improved handling. Honda hasn’t done anything drastic with this generation of the Si; they’ve left it as a more powerful – and decidedly more fun – Civic. There’s nothing wrong with that. The boost of 57 horsepower over the standard Civic’s 140 makes for a zippy drive, and a manual six-speed as your only transmission choice clearly speaks of the enthusiast qualities of the car. A multitude of standard features aimed at interior comfort keep the Si livable on a daily basis as well. The Si does have its faults, and those we noted are carried over from the regular Civics. The interior design won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re coughing up around $22,000 for this car. The exterior has been spiced up, helped by a rear spoiler and 17-inch wheels, but it still smacks of civility. Against the competition, however, the Si holds its own and delivers a full package that anyone can have a good time with.
2009 Honda Civic Cpe
What's to Like
The 197 horsepower VTEC engine is potent and fantastically fun. Drivers will get more than enough play out of the seemingly never-ending powerband. Trunk space isn’t sacrificed – even the most enthusiastic drivers have to stop for groceries every once in a while. Two body styles, coupe and sedan, are offered to accommodate various lifestyles.
What's Not to Like
The navigation system, should you opt for it, doesn’t have the same quality appearance as the rest of the interior design. Some functions can be difficult to access as well. A short nose and vast dash make it impossible to see the hood of the car. The gauge cluster isn’t the most appealing we’ve ever seen, and the heads-up digital speedometer will either please or repel potential buyers.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
There are a number of Civic trims that have a basic drive perfected for the casual driver. This is not that trim. The Si’s powerful 2.0-liter VTEC engine will rev ‘til the cows come home – which conveniently occurs upwards of 8,000 rpm – and keep revving long after old Bessie’s been milked. Controlling power delivery is a smooth-shifting six-speed manual – the only transmission option available in this trim. True to enthusiast sentiments, the Civic Si proves to be a harsher ride than you’d expect out of a Honda, and engine and road noise freely pervades into the cabin. However, it is the only trim to offer stability control and a limited-slip differential for more controlled driving dynamics. The most challenging aspect of the drive can be found when initially starting the car. Finding the exact steering wheel position so you can clearly see both the heads-up speedometer and traditionally-placed tachometer takes the patience and skill of a Jedi master. Of which we have neither.
Engine and Drivetrain
Honda’s 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine produces 197 horsepower – compared to 140 hp in the standard Civic – and 139 lb-ft of torque. The increased power can be attributed to a larger engine versus the standard 1.8L found in the base Civic. The Si puts power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
The Honda Civic is still a budget-friendly car, even with the added horsepower. So trimmings like cruise control, tilting/telescoping steering wheel and a sunroof are welcome standard features. A USB audio jack hooks your mp3 player up to the navigation screen for a fully functional interface.
Key Technology Evaluation
Most people won’t need more than what Honda offers in the way of auditory pleasure. A 350-watt audio system includes seven speakers and a subwoofer to efficiently push sound around the small cabin space. Opting for the navigation system will not only help you find gas stations and ATMs on your route, but also provides you with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity – a plus for those living in states that ban driving with your handheld phone.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Both the sedan and coupe bring in the same gas mileage, 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, due to the models’ similarity in weight and size. The addition of the larger engine has considerably decreased fuel economy compared to the smaller 1.8-liter engine found in other Civics, which bring in 34 city, 26 highway. Still, the Civic Si receives a LEV-II emissions rating.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
Red ambient lighting moderately spruces up the bland instrument gauges, but when rush hour rolls around we still want something prettier to look at than what Honda has offered. Front sport seats are comfy and heavily bolstered. The sedan gains an extra two inches in rear headroom and four inches of legroom over the coupe, resulting in a big difference in overall comfort for passengers.
The exterior styling may not set hearts aflutter, but it’s not exactly going to make babies cry at the sight of it either. The solid sedan design features a blunt nose and basic body panels. The coupe fares significantly better, with a similar rear end to that of the sexy Honda Accord coupe. The Si trim adds a rear wing spoiler, fog lights and 17-inch alloy wheels to the mix.
Market Segment and Pricing
The U.S. market isn’t lacking in competitors facing off against the standard Civic trims, whereas the Civic Si has far fewer bad boys to go up against. Among those select few are the $20,660 Nissan Sentra SE-R
and $23,230 Volkswagen GTI
, whose pricing sandwiches both the sedan and coupe at $22,105 and $21,905 respectively.
What We Think
The Civic Si is a great option for those who love the Civic but need more excitement in their daily drive. Honda’s dependability and quality fit and finish can be found all over the Civic Si, but the drive has been dirtied up for the true enthusiasts. With two options, the coupe or sedan, the Si’s playful nature can be accessible to all. But those looking should also pay close attention to the GTI – the revvy Honda isn’t the only kid on the block.