Edmunds' Senior Writer Carlos Lago heads to the test track to see how fast the 2017 Honda Civic Si will go in a straight line! He also takes it through a few corners for good measure, too. How good is the new Civic Si as a complete package and do you really need that Civic Type R? Watch this video, to get some answers.
[MUSIC PLAYING] CARLOS LAGO: That's the new Honda Civic Si. It's got a one and a half liter turbo engine and a six speed manual, and we're going to show you how to drive it fast in a straight line. [TIRES SQUEALING] Now you may think doing acceleration tests in the Civic SI would be similar to the Type R, but the only similarity, really, is that we have a six speed in front drive and a turbocharged car. This is an entirely different engine. It's a one and a half liter, and it's an entirely different front suspension design. And we'll see how that changes as we do some acceleration testing. The first thing that we're going to do, as always, is just our baseline acceleration run. Stability control is on, and we'll see what we can do. All right. [TIRES SPINNING] So a little bit of scratch. [TIRES SPINNING] A little bit of scratching to second gear, too. [BEEP] This redlines at 6,500 RPM, but power seems to fall off right past 6,000 so I'm probably going have to short shift. I've got the display for the VBox right here, so I'll check the acceleration. And that is a raw result of 7.6 to 60 and a 16.02 at the quarter mile at 90 miles an hour. I've checked test numbers for this. This should be in the mid six's. We'll see how we can do that, if we can do that. For a number two, I'm going to defeat stability control and traction control as much as it will let me, and we'll see how that helps. I'm going to bring up the revs to, let's say, 2000 RPM, maybe 2,500 RPM so it doesn't bog but we don't get too much wheel spin. And let's see what happens. [TIRES SPINNING] So OK. That felt good. Then I'm going to short shift at six. [BEEP] And that's already made a dramatic improvement. You can really shift this gearbox quick, which is nice. And we'll ease off at 100 indicated there. [BEEP] So run number two, we've already dropped the raw zero to 60 time to 6.9 seconds and the quarter mile to 15.4 at 93 miles an hour. So I've already made some progress. That launch felt really good at about 2,500 RPM thereabouts. I might bump up the RPM a little bit more, but the issue is you may run into some more wheel spin at that time. Overall feels good. You can really shift this transmission quickly. In the type R, I was getting a little bit of hesitation going from two to three if I shifted too aggressively. This I can really shift quick. And though the stability control doesn't come completely off, it is allowing a nice amount of wheel spin at the start. For this run, I'm actually going to turn on sport mode. I totally forgot to do that in previous runs, though I don't think it'll make that much of a difference. All, as I understand, it does is firm up the adaptive dampers, or firm up the range that they work at, and make the gas pedal a little bit more sharp. Let's give it a try. [TIRES SPINNING] Oh, bogged a little bit, but we got sport mode this time. Scratched into second, though it feels like there's a little bit of traction intervention when that happens. And that's something I also remember the Type R doing. A little bit of intervention to quell the wheel spin. [BEEP] And we're just getting slower. So I think that's a combination of the engine bogging by the RPM being like 50 to 100 RPM lower than it was on the best run so far. Sport mode didn't make a difference. And I felt the engine having power pulled from the ECU as I went into second gear, after I scratched the front tires into second gear. OK, I'll do one more run just to see if I can back up the best run I've gotten so far. And it's just a matter of hitting that launch RPM the right way. [TIRES SPINNING] This feels good. [TIRES SPINNING] That feels good. I saw that stability control intervention again. Don't slow me down, car. I'm trying to make you go fast. Don't slow me down. So-- hey. It backed up the fast run. Uncorrected, 6.85 to 60 and the quarter mile 15.29 at 93.6. We'll get those numbers corrected with rollout applied and see what that actually does. And that feels decent. I wish the computer didn't inhibit acceleration to second gear, but overall decent performance from 200 horsepower front drive and a vehicle that's intended to be cornered roughly. Nice stuff. All right. I'm on the Edmund's Handling Test Loop. This is kind of like the Simulate A country back road, so it's not a completely at-the-limit handling experience. Although we might get close. I've got stability control in the least aggressive or the most sporty setting, and I'm in sport mode. We've got about 200 horsepower, 200 pound feet of torque, and we're going to take a handful labs here to-- and talk about the way this front drive little sporty car handles. A couple of things I notice immediately. This is a small displacement turbocharged engine, and it packs the bulk of its power in the mid-range. It seems to be out of thrust by about 6,000 RPM. On top of that, it's a largely quiet engine, especially at low RPMs. You can hear a bit more of it as I get to like 6,000 RPM or so, but it's pretty much a quiet engine. The handling feels really good so far. This feels like a mature coupe, a very stable, controlled body. It's able with dealing with a decent amount of speed fairly well, and it stays balanced. In fact, it induces a little bit of slew. And that means a slight amount of rotation from the rear that feels enjoyable. It's a very small amount, but I can adjust this vehicle's behavior with drop throttle, over steer, or by using the brakes, and that's a nice feeling. I'd say as much as I like the way this vehicle handles, I'm a little bit disappointed with this one and a half liter engine. One is the amount that the revs hang between shifts. That's something I can demonstrate on the back straight as we get to it in a minute. You can hear it, though. It's just this sort of reluctant [WHINE] fall. I'll go down to second gear and I'll full throttle, up shift-- wait. There we go. And it takes seconds in order to drive smoothly to change gear. The issue is Honda's made such a pleasing shifter, and it's such a nice light clutch that you can really rush, that when the engine requires you to wait like that just to hit the right RPM it kind of defeats the purpose of having such a sweet clutch and shifter. The other thing that I am noticing and I'm not a big fan of is the fact that I cannot turn off stability control. It's always there. Even when I have the most aggressive mode I can put it in, there's always a little bit of brake grabbing and stability intervention. And that's something on a philosophical level I disagree with. Honda masks it fairly well, especially in this circumstance. But on roads that are really rough that you're going fast down, you can sometimes get some intervention and it can be quite extreme. I want to be able to turn it off myself. So the Civic Si-- it's got some really good qualities. I think the handling is very, very pleasing. It's almost adult-like in terms of how a sports cars should feel. It doesn't handle as wild as it looks, but it is very enjoyable to throw around. Unfortunately, the engine comes up short if you enjoy the way traditional Honda engines sound. And you may live with that if you enjoy the low RPM delivery of torque this engine has. But the thing that really kills it for me is the undefeatable stability control, and that's something you simply can't fix. Thank you guys for watching. If you want to see more videos like this one, keep it tuned right here and be sure to visit edmunds.com. [MUSIC PLAYING]
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2017 Honda Civic Type R Overview
The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is offered in the following styles: Type R 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Civic Type R models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The 2017 Civic Type R comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The 2017 Civic Type R comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.