The Civic Si HFP gets points for its precise, short-throw, 6-speed manual transmission. But with 0-60 in 7.4 sec., the Si isn't quick. Power is weak down low, the fun beginning at 5,800 rpm when the VTEC variable-valve timing kicks in.
Electric-assist steering has good weighting but little feel. Dunlop SP Sport FM 901 tires don't grip as well as expected, affecting handling and braking numbers. Still, the Si corners flat and the chassis is communicative.
The dealer-installed HFP suspension feels oversprung and underdamped; big bumps bounce you nearly into the ceiling. The Si's awesome sport seats help, as they're comfortable yet have large bolsters for great lateral support.
The Si is loud at wide-open throttle, but the little 4-cylinder isn't objectionable during normal running. The expansive windshield causes more wind whistle than usual. Road noise is reasonably minimal considering the car's performance intent.
Two-tiered dash looks futuristic, but you feel like you're very far away from the windshield. We love the center analog tach and large digital speedo. The audio system's small buttons are fiddly, but most controls have excellent detents.
The huge windshield gives terrific forward vision, and although the A-pillars are long, the side mirrors don't impede front view. Rear/side vision is reasonable considering the car's thick C-pillars; the large rear window helps here.
Seat Access & Space
The Civic doesn't have an abundance of front/rear head- and shoulder room, although rear knee room is excellent. Keep in mind, this is a subcompact. Front ingress/egress hampered only slightly by seat bolsters. Rear doors open very wide.
Cargo & Storage
In the grand scheme, the Civic Si sedan has a small trunk, but 12 cu-ft is good for the class, and the rear seats fold down. Extra points for the multitude of interior storage bins, and the excellent front cupholders with grip tabs.
The interior is very well screwed together (hey, it's a Honda), although there is an abundance of hard plastics; we prefer soft-touch. The suede-/clothlike material on the seats, door and center armrests feel great to the touch.
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