Honda used the New York motor show to provide a first glimpse of the 2018 Honda Civic SI back in mid-April but it’s now already here and it’s ready to come out and play. The recent launch of the Type R may have somewhat overshadowed the new Civic SI hitting the shops but we take a closer look to see just what Honda’s neglected child has to offer.
2018 Honda Civic SI Redesign, Exterior
On the outside, the Civic SI perfectly fits the image of the bridge car which connects the standard model and the Type R. While it generally carries an air of menace and hints of the muscle-car which it’s big brother undoubtedly is, the SI also has a more refined appearance that makes it more acceptable for people of a conservative inclination.
The overall look is actually very similar to the previous 2015 model which was already modernly styled, however, with newly designed, bigger front intake vents that are covered with Honda’s new-look, honeycombed grille, and a new design bringing up the rear.
Read: 2017 Honda Civic Type R (US)
While the 5-door sedan has a small spoiler on the rear with 18” aluminum wheels while the 3-door coupé exaggerates the tail-wing and swaps out the Aluminium for alloys in two of the few variations between these models.
Both come with a new build that improves upon the chassis from the 10th-generation Civic EX-T and sees a similar-sized package of 182 inches (4.6 meters) in length and 71 inches (1.8 meters) wide but with increased rigidity and a lighter body that has been kitted out with a new, tuned suspension package, better steering and stronger brakes.
Honda Civic SI 2018 Interior
The red-tinged interior décor is almost a replica of the other Honda’s in the current range although the SI does have its own exclusive pair of bolstered front seats which only come fit inside the SI. With a general sporty overtone carrying through the sleek lines inside the car, the general feel is of comfort rather than luxury and this seems slightly disappointing although for no reason that you can specifically put your finger on.
With technology including a GSM which supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto, connecting into the HondaLink infotainment system that centers around the 7” mounted display, there are plenty of gadgets to keep you entertained from the advanced satellite radio to the rain detecting, automatic windscreen wipers. One thing that does appear to be missing though is the inclusion of a GPS system but given the nature of the unit included in the Type R, this may be a blessing in disguise.
At first glance, the new 2018 Civic SI appears to measure up exactly as it’s predecessor, featuring a newly-evolved but startlingly similar 1.5-liter engine which serves up 205 hp whilst creating an admittedly improved 192 lb·ft of torque. While this is in keeping with the previous version of the SI, it falls a long way behind the steroid-induced Type R which has been jacked-up further still in the 2018 variant. The reason behind this is primarily to keep the price at a competitive level which a ramped engine would have sent spiraling.
Where the new model diverges though is in the overall performance and this is mainly due to the first turbo-charged engine that has been given to the SI. While it’s only available as a six-speed manual gearbox, this car provides a much more responsive engine which coupled with the lighter, sturdier frame, sees it capable of hitting peak power at a much lower rpm meaning that you have more to play with when putting the car through its paces.
With a handling that is comparatively nimble and precise when lined up against its siblings and stats showing fuel consumption to be a credible 32 mpg on average, it may not have the fire that some of its competitors carry but it certainly has a sense of character in its drive and a clear improvement in performance over the 2015 model.
Price and release date
Having gone live on 13th May, both the coupé and sedan versions of the SI are currently available, with prices starting a the $23,900. This is a full $10,000 cheaper than the Type R and provides you with a lot of bang for your buck.
While the 2018 Honda Civic SI may not be attracting the limelight or reaping the praise that the Type R is currently being lauded with, the new SI does quietly go about its business in delivering a significant upgrade over the previous model, especially in terms of drivability.
it seems clear that Honda has engineered a winning formula with their new range and although this model lays a strong marker for the competition to live up to, much of that is due to the price which serves up a bargain for those wanting to hit a healthy balance between functionality and performance.
2018 Honda Civic SI pictures