Living with the 2017 Honda Civic Si: the good and the bad Page 2

The Good: For a long time, I thought my 2006 Mini Cooper S would have the sharpest, most aggressive turn-in of any affordable car. The Civic Si took that crown. This four-door sedan can change direction remarkably fast, and after that steering input is received by the front axle, some spectacular suspension tuning allows the Civic Si to barrel into turns at speeds that simply don't feel possible in a vehicle this affordable or one that is based on such humble bones. The 2018 Civic Si is a hoot around the turns.

The Bad: The wheels are only 18 inches in size, but the Civic Si and its nifty adaptive dampers aren't as balanced or poised as a rival like the Volkswagen GTI. It's not especially uncomfortable—especially if my Mini rejoins the conversation and the Civic stays in Normal—but it's very clear from the first pothole that the Civic surrenders a sizable chunk of its ride and NVH prowess while transforming into the Si.

The Good: The Civic Si has a fantastic driving environment. The H-point in the seats, the location of the shifter, the range of adjustment on the steering wheel, and the position of the pedals are nearly perfect. It's a terrible auto writer cliché, but everything really does fall readily to hand in a way that few modern cars can match.

The Bad: The front seats could really use a thigh extension. Long-legged drivers will find a lack of under-leg support that becomes grating on longer drives. We also wouldn't mind an additional color scheme—black and red is growing tiresome. But beyond those quibbles, the Civic Si proves a happy home for an enthusiast without losing out on a lot of what makes the base model's cabin so agreeable while commuting.

The Good: The Honda Civic Si has never been a very expensive car, but as its competitors—the Volkswagen GTI, being the prime one—increase in price, Honda is offering the latest Si for under $25,000 (including an $875 destination charge). A base GTI, meanwhile, starts at $26,415 (again, including its $820 destination charge) and can increase past $31,000 with the mid-range SE or up to nearly $35,000 for the fully-loaded Autobahn trim. In other words, the Civic Si remains an amazing performance bargain.

The Bad: The Civic Si's list of missing equipment borders on the egregious. Would sir like LED headlights, or perhaps some of the active safety systems from the Honda Sensing suite, like automatic emergency braking or adaptive cruise control? Too damn bad. While the Civic Si's price is very reasonable—it's $100 more than a Civic EX-L, and the equipment level matches that—the only available option are a $200 set of summer tires. I'm not asking Honda to give away the milk for free here, but if Honda is offering the Si with EX-L-level equipment for just $100 more, why can't we have an Si with Touring-level equipment for the same premium? Hell, kick this theoretical Si Touring's price up a few hundred dollars—it'd still be a screaming bargain.

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