2009 Honda Civic Consumer Review: It's all about the VTEC

2009 Honda Civic - Consumer Review

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It's all about the VTEC
By engineaddict on


2009 Honda Civic Si 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)


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.

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.

Best Features

  • Road holding
  • Braking
  • Shifting
  • Steering
  • Rear seats
  • Getting in out
  • Front seats
  • Instrumentation
  • Logic of controls
  • Interior design
  • Outward visibility
  • Rain snow traction
  • Headlights
  • Climate control
  • Entertainment
  • Usb ports
  • Repair frequency
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Electronics
  • Purchase cost
  • Resale value

Worst Features

  • Ride comfort

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