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Honda Civic Si vs. Acura CSX Type S
Driving this thing instantly reminded me of what my stock Si had driven like - which is stunningly different than how mine drives today. I pushed in the slightly softer clutch pedal, and started the CSX. Looks basically the same inside except for the optioned navigation system, and heated leather seats. I found I was sitting noticeably higher up, and that the seats had less lateral support. The CSX does have a more usable back seat, but the trunk appeared to be the same size as the Si. I turned on the lights to find an effective high intensity discharge. The stock fog lights also seem to work. Back to the drive... I gave 'er a little tap on the same floor mounted, aluminum gas pedal, to find the revs shoot up, only to hold for a second before falling in again. Yes, this car would suffer the same annoying drive by wire throttle programming that holds revs when you take your foot off the gas for a second to improve emissions. Fortunately, shifting this 6-speed seemed to be smoother.
On my Si, I had put on an Injen short ram intake and a DC sports exhaust. I could not notice any difference in sound levels at low to mid RPMs. But this leads on to the most significant factor between my Si and the CSX - the VTEC experience. On the rare occasions where it can be done safely and legally, revving up to the 8000+ redline in my car is an absolute hoot! The performance intake system hugely amplifies the 5800 RPM cam change over - and it's great. Now step back into the stock CSX; the cam change-over experience is dulled and you REALLY have to listen to hear it. Both cars are probably equally quick, but my Si just feels so much quicker up at those RPMs.
Now onto handling. Having poured a few thousand dollars into my suspension set up, my car just feels like it handles better - but it's only at the track where I think the differences would show. The CSX's suspension, like the stock Si, is competent but not smooth. I was actually considering removing my performance coil-overs and returning to the stock ones to improve ride, but the small bumps come through the same. Big bumps are a different story as CSX can simply speed through. One thing I did notice while holding onto the same great small, leather wrapped, multi-function steering wheel, is that the CSX's feels lighter and thus slightly less direct; yet, both cars feel light and nimble - and the CSX exhibited none of the sloppy handling I had in a 2007 Civic LX sedan loaner.
Braking felt the same, as it should. The one piece of jealousy I have over the CSX is its VSA (stability control). Previously, I had thought that I really did not need this piece of technology driving a FWD car; when under steering, just pull off the throttle. But while exploring my car's handling limits at a dry track, I swapped ends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZllnGPjWzBU This is poor driving, but fortunately it reinforced the importance of driving smoothly (or better!). VSA should never have to intervene with truly good drivers; nevertheless, VSA will help many stay out of trouble on real roads - more so during low traction winter driving conditions (rare here in Victoria).
Now many will say the CSX's inflated MSRP reduces its glimmer, and I'd agree; but I simply wanted to share a comparison to its fraternal twin. The end result? Smiles all around.