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Honda Civic Si / SiR 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    blueiedgod and john make an important point - yes the SI is versatile and a good commuter and all that other stuff, but its primary mission, I think, is to inject some sport and some fun into all those humdrum things one has to do in one's car. So you have to ask yourself the question: do I ever take advantage of the sporty aspects of this car - great handling and rev-to-the-redline acceleration runs? Even occasionally. I mean, if all you do is commute in it and drive it like the CRV, then you should be in a more comfort-oriented car. If you do love driving the twisties and wringing out that wonderful engine a little bit, well, you won't get that from an Accord coupe. Those things are big and quite floaty by comparison, even the V-6 6-speed with the better tires.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • jifjif Posts: 23
    i have an 03 satin silver metallic and unlike most cars i have owned (accords included) this is the only one that i enjoy more and more each time i drive it. BTW i have driven every thing in between ie. corvette z06, wrx, evo, etc.

     none match the combo of refinement , value , w/ decent proformance of the si also @ 17k-19k there is plenty of money for upgrades to match acceleration times of the aforementioned cars

    all that said it is your personal preffernce that really matters

          Josh
  • jifjif Posts: 23
    BTW i have owned my si for about a year and i have put 17k on it looking foward to the next 183k
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    kauai, how do you compare the P5 to the Si?

     

    taykinitezy, I would also say follow blueiedgod's advice. But don't forget customization. There are shock/spring kits or coilover kits that will give you a softer ride, and there are adjustable ones too. I don't know exactly which would give you a softer ride, but there's a website dedicated to the EP hatch where you could ask. It'd cost you several hundred to over $1k including installation, so maybe it's not an option.

     

    Otherwise, just have fun!
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I love my car. I lowered it and threw on a set of 17"s. Sure the ride is a bit roghter but the thing feels like it can do 90 degree angles.

      

    I'll be the first to admit the Si isn't for everyone, but whenever you open an import sport magazine, the Si is all over it. Not bad for a minivan.
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:

    “kauai, how do you compare the P5 to the Si?”

     

    They are very much alike in character, both being sport compacts successfully targeting people like us. The Protege5 obviously has the convenience of two extra doors, and it holds more as well, so we use it when we load up our kayaks on the roof and all the gear in the trunk.

     

    The P5 sits lower, corners flatter, thanks to an excellent, and stiff suspension setup mated to low-profile tires (195/50-16), and can give the Si a run for its money through the twisty bits, despite what it lacks in acceleration. It’s a splendid car and a lot of fun. Build quality is outstanding; this car is built in Japan. The P5 hasn’t the power of the Si, though. But it has “enough” for sensible use. That’s untrue, of course, as I’ve never had “enough” power in anything, ever. . . but you know what I mean. ;-)

     

    For handling prowess, the nod easily goes to the P5. The steering is superb, far better than the Si, and it handles like the proverbial go-cart. As rough as our friend Takinitezy finds his Si, it’s nothing compared to the P5, which will beat you up on rough pavement. The Si is tolerable to us, if only just, but the P5 has me thinking about my routes. If you didn’t need to visit the restroom at the beginning of a one-mile stretch of really rough city street in the P5, you’ll be looking for that restroom at the end! ;-)

     

    We love the go-cart handling, but it comes at a price. It’s no problem if your roads are smooth. You’ll love it then. I think Mazda dialed the suspension back a bit in the new Mazda3, although I haven’t driven one. The magazines say the P5 is more fun, but the Mazda3 probably generates fewer complaints.

     

    We’ve had the P5 for a couple of years and I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. If some unfortunate circumstances forced us to live with only one car, I think we’d sell the Si and keep the P5.

     

    The engine in the Si is incomparable. I have never enjoyed such a sewing-machine smooth 4-cylinder as this Si. And with it’s amazing engineering, it has real torque at even 2500 rpm, unlike the P5. The P5 engine is rough in comparison, and doesn’t feel nearly so strong. The Si, I’ve long maintained, drives like a small displacement V-6 with much more flexibility throughout the rpm range. It’s amazing technology.

     

    The P5 gets superior fuel economy, but only by a small margin. The Si’s fuel economy will drop dramatically in town driving if you dip into the throttle much. That technology that gives the V-6 performance also returns V6-like fuel economy at low speeds when there’s a lot of slowing, stopping, going, accelerating, etc. Others have noted this as well. One time we actually saw around 22 mpg when we just used the Si around our village where the speed limits are 25-30 mph. A steady throttle opening on the highway returns the more expected fuel economy of a 2L 4-cylinder of around 30 mpg.

     

    The Si sits higher and leans more in hard cornering. All the same, the Si is deceptively quick even with it’s scrawny 195/60-15 all season tires.

     

    The Si has superior technology, without question, but it falls short in equaling the build quality of the P5. That’s to be expected, though, when we recall the Brits’ “chequered reputation,” to put it charitably, for build quality. We’d buy the Si again as well.

     

    We’ve owned many Civics, three Si’s, and this is the best yet. Our ’99 Si would have made a better autocross car, though. The new Si’s don’t fare well in autocross compared to the older chassis, especially not when they’re modified for improved handling. The older wishbone design permits better maximum performance, I suspect. That’s what everyone anticipated, and it seems to be the case in autocross competition, at any rate.

     

    We both love the seats in the Si, while the seats in the P5 are ‘orrible, easily the worst I think we’ve ever had with the possible exception of our ’88 Mustang GT.

     

    These are definitely both fun cars, not mere transportation appliances, and they’re both easy to love.

     

    Both the Si and the P5 deliver on their promise of a fun sporting car with a practical nature. They’ll please any enthusiast, I should think. I recommend them both, and rather than choose, we got one of each! :-)
  • Man if you have to have jazz explained to you ...you'll never know, maybe hits the nail on the head. I think the Accord test drive may be a good idea. I think john500 could be right that the car I'm looking for doesn't exist. Part of my frustration is that the Si is the most I've ever spent on a car for myself and I have been disappointed somewhat in the build quality, from rattling glove box to creaking front struts. I like the Si for everything it offers except that it takes bumps like my old Ford Ranger. I appreciate blueiedgod and nippononly's enthusiasm but where the heck do you guys find a place around town to have acceleration runs? Two days before I entered my last post I was tagged with a $95 moving violation, first one in 32 years of driving.(maybe that's why I'm crying in my beer) jif is correct, it is really personal preference. You're right kauai you can't choose for me I don't expect you to, I am hoping for some enthusiasm from others to push me off the fence.....thanks all for your responses.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    My wife and I both drive our SI. It sees 100 mph or more at least once a week. I guess if all you have to do is sit in trafic and think about all the problems your car has, it's gonna be hard to find a nice $17,000 sporty car. That would explain the complaints about the ride though. My SI on 17's and Eibach Sportlines rides a little rough til 70 or so mph.
  • I do love driving our Si. It's the best commuter I think we have ever owned. It's also a great cruising car at 80 MPH if seeing the tachometer at 4000 RPM doesn't bother you. So far ours has been extremely reliable (knock on wood) in it's first 25,000 miles. Is is the best car ever made? Nah. But at 16 months we have had this car longer than almost any other car we have owned. That says a lot for the SI.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    I appreciate blueiedgod and nippononly's enthusiasm but where the heck do you guys find a place around town to have acceleration runs? Two days before I entered my last post I was tagged with a $95 moving violation, first one in 32 years of driving.(maybe that's why I'm crying in my beer) jif is correct, it is really personal preference.

     

    Get a good radar detector, or just keep an eye out for cops. We are not telling you to do anyting outrageously criminal. Accelerating to the speed limit is not illegal, taking turns faster than "suggested" speed sign is not illegal if you and your car can handle it. Of course, you need to know your and your car's limits. I suggest going to an empty parking lot and see what are the limits.

     

    Every winter, with the first snow fall, I take my car, whatever car I will be driving for the winter, to an empty parking lot. And re-train my self for snow driving. Although, driving skils are like riding a bicycle, if you don't do it often, you forget.

     

    PRoblem with people on the road, is that they lack emergency maneuvering skills. All they do is stomp on the brakes. With a front driver a combination of parking brake and throttle can save you from going into a ditch or hitting someone, as opposed to just slamming on the brakes and hoping not to hit anyone. This is where Si excells. If you just going to drive it to and fro work like a drone, get a KIA, it will get the job done just as well. One way to avoind traffic, is to switch your hours. When I lived and worked around NYC, I worked from 7 am, rather than 9 am, like everyone else. I rarely hit traffic doing those hours.
  • bobbsibobbsi Posts: 19
    Reinforcing driving skills (i.e., winter driving), I would encourage any & all to save up your pennies and attend a real performance driving school, such as Skip Barber, the Honda Driving school, etc and focus on the daily/performance classes. I had the good fortune to attend the Bertil Roos school in 1986 before it was strictly a racing school and it is some of the best money ever spent. You will learn car control at its best, finding the apex alone will make every enterence ramp more exciting & enjoyable, no mater what you are driving. Having said that, bye.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    I've passed the 20 K mark and now I am starting to think about modifications after the warranty expires. I found a site that describes some modifications to the SI, however, all of the data is in horsepower form. Has anyone done this step by step and reported quarter mile times or 0-60 mph times instead of dyno horsepower? For example, will an AEM cold air intake and a free-flow muffler get a 2003 Civic SI to 7.0 s 0-60 mph times, or are more modifications needed? The stock muffler on the SI seems pretty wide-bored, indicating that replacement might not net much of an acceleration gain (i.e. is it worth it).

     

    Thanks,

     

    http://www.importtuner.com/tech/0307it_ppcivic/
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    For example, will an AEM cold air intake and a free-flow muffler get a 2003 Civic SI to 7.0 s 0-60 mph times, or are more modifications needed?

     

    I don't think the Si's lack of HP is the main reason for 7.5 sec (??) to 60, but rather that you have to shift three times. The low red line and low gearing in the 1st, 2nd and final drive are the culprit. If you just raised the red line with a Hondata chip to 8000 RPM (I think), you should be able to do 60 mph in 2nd gear, and it would probably put you in 7.0 sec to 60 mph. IMHO.

     

    performance chart

      HP Level HP+ TQ Level TQ+B Baseline 153.3 * 131.9 *

    1 K&N Air Filter 160.6 7.3 135.3 4.4

    2 Tanabe Exhaust 163.4 2.8 134.8 -0.5

    3 DC Sports Header 166.9 3.5 129.7 -5.1

    Final 166.9 13.6 129.7 -2.2
  • I love my AEM cold air intake, but changing just the muffler won't do a whole lot, I don't think it adds any horsewpoer on the Si. I do think it is worth getting a cat-back system.

     

    Most people modifying their cars measure the quarter-mile time, not 0-60. But there are plenty of people at 15.0 or better with:

    cold air intake, header, cat-back, and motor mounts.

     

    Hondata is great also, but a few people have blown engines with it. (it raises redline to 7400)
  • I'm kind of mad that the Si does not have an automatic as some of the older civic hatchbacks do. I know it's sporty but they should have made it somewhat like the mid-90's.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    You are mistaken.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Si has never had auto. Si is for spirited driving, there is no spirited driving with auto. I am glad Honda does not offer auto in higher perfoming vehicles. It keeps un-skilled people away from the cars. If someone does not want to take time and effort to learn how to drive stick, how can you expect that same person to take time and effort to learn how to drive properly?

     

    Please don't bring on traffic issues, it is non-existent. I find it more difficult to modulate lower speed (sub 10 mph) in auto than manual. Autos always want to shift, while I want the car to creep at 5-10 mph. Driving a Honda stick in traffic is not difficult as long as you are not riding the bumper of the car infornt of you. I rarely shift in traffic jams. Next time you are stuck in a traffic jam, pay attention what the big rigs are doing. They are constantly rolling, you may see me rolling with them. When you are driving auto, your right leg does twice the work alternating between gas and brake to keep up. When I am driving an auto, like a rental or comapny car, and I am in traffic, i shift it to the lowest setting on the gear selector. This way I don't have to alternate between gas and brake.

     

    End of rant.

     

    P.S. Learn how to drive stick and you will see what you are missing.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I think he meant that some of the old hatchbacks had automatics. So the problem is that currently, the only hatchback is the Si (and I agree that's a problem).
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    cars that come in automatic only, it's getting hard to use the "performance cars only come in manual tranny". These days even most Ferrari's are sold with automatics in the U.S. That's sad.

     

    As far as the hatchback/auto thing. No one in the U.S. wants hatches..manual or automatic. That's why they barely exist in this market.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Well, it sounded like automd984 wants a hatch. So do I, and lately they've been making a comeback (usually in 5-door form though). I think the next generation Civic will be sold here as a hatch in at least two trim levels, neither of which will be the type-R.

     

    And as sad as the current market situation is, many economy performance cars (Civic Si, Neon SRT-4, Cobalt SS, etc.) only come with a manual. As long as automakers think this niche is worth putting effort into, there'll be manual transmissions.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    I am starting to consider replacing my 92 Civic Si. I am looking for a used, relatively comfortable hatch with a bit of zoom that handles nicely & will get 25 mgp around town and over 30 mpg on the highway. Today I drove a Focus 04 ZX SES, an 02 Subaru Impressa Outback, and a 03 Civic. Still need to look at the Mazda3, but there is not a dealer in my town. Surprisingly, none were significantly quieter or more comfortable than my current car. Maybe I just have the "old shoes" syndrome and don't really want to part with my beloved '92 or maybe I need to hold out for the Honda Jazz.

     

      As far as overall driving feel, the 03 Si was noticably superior - the feel and location of the 5 spd beats any car I have ever driven, it is tight & quick & easy to toss around. However, it was by far the noisiest on the highway, the seating seem too low, and I really would like an armrest (got an aftermarket in my 92).

     

    Si ownwers: Has anyone successfully muted the road noise? Is there a aftermarket armrest available? Thanks!
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    I am starting to consider replacing my 92 Civic Si. I am looking for a used, relatively comfortable hatch with a bit of zoom that handles nicely & will get 25 mgp around town and over 30 mpg on the highway. Today I drove a Focus 04 ZX SES, an 02 Subaru Impressa Outback, and a 03 Civic. Still need to look at the Mazda3, but there is not a dealer in my town. Surprisingly, none were significantly quieter or more comfortable than my current car. Maybe I just have the "old shoes" syndrome and don't really want to part with my beloved '92 or maybe I need to hold out for the Honda Jazz.

      

      As far as overall driving feel, the 03 Si was noticably superior - the feel and location of the 5 spd beats any car I have ever driven, it is tight & quick & easy to toss around. However, it was by far the noisiest on the highway, the seating seem too low, and I really would like an armrest (got an aftermarket in my 92).

      

    Si ownwers: Has anyone successfully muted the road noise? Is there a aftermarket armrest available? Thanks!


     

    I don't notice the road noise over the music the engine makes and wide open thorttle. The stock radio is pretty powerful for a Honda radio. If you are sure that it was road noise and not wind noise or engine noise, different tire may be the solution.

     

    There is an aftermarket armrest, it is very crude, it attaches to seat mouting bolts on the passenger side of driver's seat and driver side passenger's seat. It has a sliding coushion. After I saw it, I walked from it. I got used to driving without armrest.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    As long as you car is in reasonably good condition, I'd hold onto the 92 SI if I were you. I recently took an '05 Corolla XRS on a test drive. Although not a hatchback, if Toyota had the Corolla XRS when I bought the Civic SI in '03, I would have strongly considered getting the Corolla XRS for the ride and comfort. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Civic SI coupes in 99-00.
  • I found the Corolla XRS only marginally more fun to drive than a regular Corolla - it was a comfortable ride, but that is not a high priority for me if I'm looking for a sport compact.

     

    I really like the 92-95 Civic Si, it was one of my favorite cars at the time, but unavailable to me. It inspired me to buy the 02+ Si.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    that looks awesome! It is going to make my RSX look very very old when it comes out. If that is how it actually makes it to market. I wish Honda would market SI models with rims that large in stock form. See how they fill the wheel wells just the right amount?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • The big problem with the Corolla XRS' engine is the fact you really need to rev it WAY up there in terms of engine RPM's to get decent power. As a result, the acceleration times are not really that great.

     

    As for the new Civic Si coupé, I expect far better lower-RPM performance because of the use of i-VTEC, which gives the engine more "oomph" without having to rev the engine near the redline.
  • john500 - Additionally, while the ride in the Si isn't always that smooth (and when it was lowered, glass felt like train tracks), I love the seats. To be honest, the seats and the shifter give this car something intangible. Maye it's just because I'm used to it, but I am really going to miss this setup when I get another car. Sometimes I try to convince myself to swap to an RSX-S or RSX-R engine so that I can keep the shifter, but I don't think I ever will.

     

    raychuang00 - I don't think the new Si is going to have any better torque than the current Si. Honda says they are taking the redline back to 8000. As long as the displacement stays low, the low-end torque probably will too.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Has endeared itself to me too. It's not only the feel, but the placement. I want a CL 6-speed but I can't talk myself out of that wonderful shifter. That's why we've owned 3 HP's That and the fact I may kill myself in a 260hp CL.
  • I know this is off topic... but i gotta 92 Civic CX hatch.... its gotta d15b8.. and i wunna swap that out... i jus need to know if anyone can give me suggestions on some of the easier engine swaps... i dont wunna do to many mods... my pockets are kinda shallow... thanx....
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