I love this car!!!! Everything about it is truly amazing! The k20z3 engine is a true gem. The car feels pedestrian below 5,800 RPM; however, rev it past 5,800 all the way to it's 8,000 RPM redline and and you will be treated to aural ecstasy courtesy of Honda's infamous vtec technology. When i-vtec engages the car sounds like a high revving v8, pulling hard all the way to the redline. The i-vtec helps deliver top notch performance (for an N/A four cylinder) while maintaining great gas mileage and drive ability. The high revving k20 engine is pared with an unbelievably smooth short throw six speed manual gearbox. The combination of the engine and perfect shifter make this car a pleasure to drive. However, the car's practicality set it apart from other sporty car options. The seats are comfortable and will hold you snug, the air conditioner is ice cold, and the additional two doors really make life easier. Interior materials are of excellent quality and the faux suede seats with red Si stitching look great. The red gauge lighting and aluminum pedals are superb touches. Other great features include an auxillary and usb port. The car is also well equipped in the storage department. Now, the car does have its issues and those issues are why I didn't give it a perfect rating. For one, the tranny is complete garbage, which is a shame considering how smooth it shifts. My second and third gears grind on a weekly basis. They are fine under normal driving conditions; however, under spirited driving they tend to grind. My second gear loves to grind when I accelerate to the redline in first gear. This has caused me to bang off of the rev-limiter on multiple occasions in an attempt to shift into second. My second gripe with this car is the paint. Like wtf Honda? My car is a 2009! There is absolutely no excuse for fading paint on a six year old car! What makes it worse is that this problem isn't unique to the Si either. My brother's red 2009 Honda Fit is starting to turn pink :(. My last issue with this car is a performance issue. I used to own a 2000 Honda Prelude prior to buying my Si. The Prelude was miles ahead of the Si in terms of handling. The Prelude was more well balanced and neutral when attacking corners. The Si? Well, the Si feels like a wet sponge in the corners. The car's body roll and understeering tenancies are pretty noticeable and are downright scary at times.
The Civic Si is a fun car to drive. Every time I get in the driver's seat, I smile to myself, even though I'm aware that fun doesn't mean winning over all of the other sporty cars on the road to the next signal light ('cause it is probably not going to happen).
For those of you considering the Si, this is my recommendation: test drive at least 4 Civic Si's (so you know when one of these is dead). And, conduct your test drive in two phases: 1) gentle, "everyday" driving - this also allows the engine to warm up, too. 2) then, rev it out! The red line is 8000. Make it go there. If possible, turn off A/C & roll the windows down for this phase.
UPDATE: This is still one of the best FWD cars on the market from a performance standpoint. I've read the near-constant complaints from reviewers that the ride is too harsh or the noise is too much. I have yet to get tired of the "harsh" ride after three years. The feedback from the "harshness" is totally worth it. I've done canyon carving with newer FWD models including the Mini Cooper S and a lightly-modded GTI, and the eighth gen Civic Si still hangs out (and might even pull a little) on the others. Of course, you MUST be 100% on your game with the 6k-8k powerband, but that's part of the allure IMO. It's always DEEPLY satisfying to beat some "fast" cars/bikes on mountain roads, and then have them be like, "Dang, I didn't expect that Civic Si to be able to keep up with my GSX-R". Of course in an era where everyone is targeting 0-60 times, the Civic Si hangs out at about 7 seconds. That's not what these are about, anyway.
The sound is still just amazing. You get used to it, and then it's funny going to other cars and being like, "Only 6500rpm? Oh right. Most cars don't rev to 8300rpm". OR "Wow this car sounds bad. Oh wait. My car just sounds really good." With all these turbos, I don't see this changing much in the near future.
I also got used to the interior controls, and now I find a lot of other cars highly inefficient and awkward. The two-tier setup in the eighth-gens is really a sweet-spot. Visibility is superior for the model year.
Safety is STILL amazing. I encourage you to watch crash tests of the eighth gen sedans compared to several newer cars. The passenger compartment stays completely intact. Airbags are like ... everywhere.
The sound system would put most cars not in the luxury segment to shame.
Fuel economy is directly tied to the skinny pedal and how many short trips you do. For a cruise on the freeway at 65mph, I still get 30+ mpg. For the around-town stuff I'm always doing now, I get about 19mpg. I can kick it up to 22 mpg around town if I'm easy on the accelerator. The trick is to let it rev more before shifting so the VTC can do its magic (3-4k shifts in normal driving). Anyways.
Get one while you can. This is perhaps the best-handling Civic Si of all time (so far, at least). The resale values have flat-lined accordingly.
I considered gti and civic si. Picked si thinking it would be more reliable. I was wrong. Many things have gone wrong and Honda will not fix unless you have deep pockets. Door handles stop working, trunk will stop working, and now 2nd gear is making noises and Honda wants 700 dollars just to open it up and diagnose. I bought this car to avoid this problem and here I am with the warrantee over, and transmission issues with 2.5 years left of payments. I'm stuck with it now, bought it for performance and excitement but now it's a point a to b car that I have to skip 2nd gear. It was fun and good until this. Get a warrantee or buy another car, I have 95,000 miles on it, and I drive good.
Transmission quality, interior quality, overall quality of parts such as trunk, door handle mechanisms, noise harshness and vibration, wind and road noise on highway, rattles from glove box and sun visor, paint tends to chip easily, longer/more extensive warrantee, ac does not cool cabin easily secondary to big windshield, too much sun comes into cabin, disappointed with Honda service department for several issues unaddressed/abuse of car in parking lot, engine revs hang between shifts, lack of torque.
Drivetrain should not have issues with less than 100,000 miles.
This thing is a blast. Engine is powerful, don't be deceived by the numbers. It'll drive very comfortably for the everyday driver, but push the pedal the slightest bit and you're off. Handles like a foreign sports car. Engine has an awesome note to it as well. I just got this as my first car, and every single day I look forward to getting in that car, I love it. Couldn't ask for anything better. Great on gas too. We got it used with about 51k miles on it. Runs, looks and smells like new. Overall an outstanding car, and a thrill to drive. Even comes standard with premium audio system which includes subwoofer. Has enough power to rattle the rear view mirrors, with a motor that's smooth as silk
Had the car for over two years now. Feels alot faster than it is. I love the high revving 4. Traded an S2000 for this because of family expansion. Haven't regretted yet. Would prefer a little more power but am satisfied. I commute 82 miles round trip to work and get 28-33 mpg depending on how hard I drive it, usually 29 mpg in mixed driving. 33 mpg on long trips consistently. Great car.
8200 RPM redline, gearbox, exhaust note, USB drive.
Offer satellite radio as a stand alone option instead of coupling it with the nav.
A little more power.