Honda Civic Si Automatic
Does anyone know why Honda does not offer by now a civic si coupe or sedan with an automatic trans?
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- An automatic transmission ruins the sporty image of the Si brand
- The automatic that fits that car can't deal with the power of the engine
- The automatic hurts the performance of the car
Which is the truth? Don't know, however, I surely wouldn't want to own an Si with a nasty slush box. :P
By the way, the Si isn't the first performance version of an otherwise pedestrian car that has been available only with a stick. The original version of Audi's Quattro system comes to mind, and while the list is relatively short, that isn't the only example. As I understand it, when Audi initially developed the second generation Quattro system, it was automatic only, and the cars languished on the dealer lots. Dedicated Quattro drivers wouldn't touch it and eventually forced Audi to bring the stick back.
This just in, the 2008 Subaru WRX STI is only available with a stick and a proper clutch pedal under the dash. ;-)
I personally don't want an auto to change gears on me and trigger a loss of traction while I'm in the middle of taking a corner...
Mustang owners obviously are more into straight line acceleration, so auto option is absolutely valid and does not surprise me here, and WRX is probably just trying to please American market...
For the record - I own 92 and 03 Si, and used to own 84 JDM one...
Of course, the new Subaru Impreza WRX - STI is only avaliable with a 6-Speed manual. No nasty slushboxes need apply. ;-)
and good for Subaru
I was also looking at used to possibly save a few K. Although its a Honda, the concept of buying a one year old Si makes me a little nervous because I have to wonder why it was already traded in- not broken in correctly, ridden too hard, etc. Is it worth buying an 06 or 07 with 20K for $19k from somewhere like Carmax/Honda dealer or for that difference is it better to just go new?
Also, I saw a few used ones that have leather seats. Is it worth looking into or does it take away from the way the seats grip you when going around a curve?
Some snobs laughed when BMW introduced 4 doors M3.
There is a maket for people who are forced to drive auto. but is still longing for the taste. Just like light beer.
In general, if you care about the image of the Si and getting full use of its performance, then you'll absolutely go for manual. If you want the name and image but don't care about the performance as much, then an auto would be fine. (this goes for any car, not just the Si, of course... mustangs, BMW's, whatever)
In the way of comparison... Automatic transmissions are specifically designed for economy and ease. They are designed to keep the engine within the most efficient range, no matter what. However, if you want to use a car's full performance, you can't do that... using the performance capabilities is inherently inefficient. While I'll admit that some trannys have made progress toward allowing for more performance use, a) this defeats the purpose of autos b) it still limits your performance (relative to what you could do in a manual) c) it's difficult to switch between the 'normal' and 'sport' modes. I gauge this from a test drive I did in the auto VW GTI. While their double-clutch system works very well, there were still usable regions of the tach that still went ignored. Additionally, in order to change the tranny to the 'sport' mode (to allow me to bring it above 3k rpms), you have to stop the car and then change it :sick: . Flash forward to my Si, and anytime I want to suddenly switch from driving like normal to having fun, I just stand on the pedal and enjoy. Easy as that.
This is just me, but really, I can never be convinced that an auto tranny belongs in any sporty car on the road. It just defeats the purpose of having that sportiness, or keeps you from utilizing the full capabilities of the car.
Nissan offers the Sentra Se-R (race inspired) in both manual- the Spec-V with 200 HP and in automatic with 177 HP.
Why doesn't Honda take a similar path and develop a less powerful automatic Si- with say 175 HP. I'm sure that it would draw a lot more people in- especially with the regular Civic only offering 140 HP.
I seriously agree with this statement. What's the point in having a performance car if you want to leave all of the control to the tranny? Just because other manufacturers defile their performance cars with an auto doesn't make it a good idea.
If you're willing to take that big of a performance hit just for an auto tranny, why not just take the Civic EX?
The Sentra Se-R is 177 hp in auto. and 200 hp in manual.
The Civic Si is 198 hp in manual and could be 175 hp in auto.
Makes sense to me.
The Sentra that has been mentioned has what amounts to a Nissan Altima powertrain. It's larger in displacement, and offers much more usable power, without the race-car experience of the Civic Si. An automatic is ok there, because around town, it'll still feel punchy. A Civic Si has only 139 lb-ft of torque, and would feel little different from the mainstream 1.8L Civic with an auto left to rev under 4000rpm, as most people drive. The torque peak in the Civic is over 6,000 RPM, with max horsepower coming at 7,800 RPM. You need a manual tranny to utilize that power properly.
Others that have posted comments to my Si vs. Se-R comparison should take some pointers from the Graduate.
Thanks for the detailed explanation.
The Sentra wouldn't lose all the fun because it has a lot more low-RPM power to play with, and automatics typically find the highest gear they can comfortably perform what the driver's foot expects. With a Civic, if running down a two-lane road in a "fun" way (i.e.: fast), and you let off the gas, the an automatic will go back to lower-RPM versus the high-RPM you were doing when you gunned it down the next straightaway. From that low RPM, the Sentra will still have some punch, while the Civic would be left waiting for the downshift to get it back "on-cam" and making its high-revving power.
With a manual, you can leave the Civic on-cam while not actually using the gas pedal, and will be immediately ready for the next big acceleration burst.
I guess it is time to move to the manual Si when my lease is up.
btw, some folks can't "learn" to drive a manual. They have no right arm.
even tossing 25-30% with an auto, the 2L would still give you more power than the 1.8L (with auto). It's just that simple. Even tho personally i am perfectly able to use a manual and have in years past, my present needs just don't warrant a manual. (Driving 60-80 miles a day in Houston traffic isn't exactly cut out for performance of any type! ...endurance, yes, performance, no....)
Granted, the lack of torque at useable speeds would remain a handicap for most normal drivers, there's just no getting around the fundamental shortcomings of a high-rpm, low torque power plant for most urban drivers, manual or auto. Altho the auto would exacerbate the problems, it would still provide a bit more power for those that want it.
2.0L i-VTEC I-4
155hp at 6,000 RPM
139lb-ft at 4,500 RPM