The 2012 Honda Civic Si introduces very few exterior styling changes, but makes some big updates to the powertrain. That's just about the opposite of what we expected, and it turns out that it may be the opposite of what the typical enthusiast wants, too. Our overall rating of 7 reflects those changes, but also shows there's still a lot to like about the new Si.
How, you ask? For 2012, the Civic Si ditches its scrappy, high-revving 2.0-liter four-cylinder and attempts to turn the dial to 11 with a new 201-horsepower 2.4-liter four-pot. The problem is that it's not as ready to rev, it doesn't rev as high, and there's not as much of an increase in usable torque as you might expect. Worse, it's less fuel-efficent than the 2.0 that came before it (the 2.4 rates 22/31 mpg city/highway for 25 mpg combined), it's noisier, and it doesn't respond as crisply.
On the plus side, the chassis is still good, though it doesn't feel as sharp as the previous Si. Still, for a front-drive two- or...