Expert Reviews

2024 Honda Civic Si Review

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Canadians bought more Honda Civics than any other passenger car for 24 years in a row.

That streak was broken by the Toyota Corolla in 2022, but the Civic remains popular for its reputation as an affordable, reliable, and fun-to-drive compact. And while the latest generation is bigger and heavier – and has more technology – than before, it retains the core attributes that have made the Civic a favourite for so many years.

Whereas the hardcore Civic Type R takes the aggression up to entirely new heights, the 2024 Honda Civic Si trades some of that rowdiness for a more civilized experience. Unlike the Type R, it’s offered only as a sedan, although it comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and a stiffened suspension, just like its hatchback sibling.

Power: 7/10

The Civic Si is motivated by a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. That’s actually five fewer horsepower than the previous generation, for those keeping score. In fact, the Si has made around 200 hp since the eighth-generation Civic debuted in 2006.

Rather than brute force, the Si has been – and remains – a driver’s car with a fizzy engine that loves to rev, and employs one of the best manual transmissions on the planet. And while the turbo means it no longer hits a redline north of 8,000 rpm, the forced induction adds low-rev torque that manages to make up for it.

Give it the beans and the Civic Si feels quicker than its numbers might suggest. It’s not actually that quick, but it feels quick, which is what really matters on the road, while the stereo-enhanced engine noise has a bit of a nostalgic quality to it. There are more powerful sport compact cars out there, but on the flip side this Civic can be pushed a bit harder without fear of breaking every speed limit in the country.

Driving Feel: 10/10

Civics are fun to drive and always have been. Soichiro Honda wanted to infuse joy into all his products but still keep them accessible and approachable, and the Civic in any form is the epitome of this. It’s a car that makes you feel comfortable right away, like an old friend.

The driving position and pedal placement are about as good as it gets. The steering wheel, which is the perfect size and thickness, requires more effort to turn in the Si, but the responsiveness and feel you get from the front end is more Porsche-like than that of an economy car.

Then there’s the transmission, which is topped on by the Type R’s, as well as the ones in the Mazda MX-5 and a few Porsche models. The shift lever has a wonderful mechanical feel to it and takes a satisfying amount of force to engage each gear. Add clutch take-up that’s predictable and forgiving, and few cars are as easy to drive quickly or inspire as much confidence.

The Si gets thicker anti-roll bars and stiffer springs than the regular sedan, all of which keeps body roll to a minimum. There’s tons of control when turning into a corner, and it feels about as neutral as a front-wheel-drive car can. A standard helical limited-slip differential makes putting the torque down easy, and the brakes offer a firm, reassuring feel. The Civic Type R has 100 more horsepower, but when the road starts to twist and turn the Si can hold its own.

Styling: 8/10

If the origami-like folds of the previous Civic weren’t your thing, the smoothed-out lines and cleaner design of this latest generation are much easier on the eyes. The Si gets a unique honeycomb grille, dual exhaust, and 18-inch matte black wheels.

Inside, there’s red trim and red door panels, because red is sporty, but it’s also traditional in the world of Honda performance cars. The Civic Si gets its own firmly bolstered seats covered in a grippy – also red – textured fabric that’s perfect for keeping you glued in place during spirited cornering.

Features: 8/10

Canadian-spec cars get super cool shift lights at the top of the instrument display that illuminate as you approach redline. There are three drive modes: normal, sport, and individual, the latter of which can be customized to suit driver taste. We also get heated seats and a heated steering wheel in Canada, items not available in the United States. Also part of the deal here is that seven-inch digital instrument display, a nine-inch infotainment screen, and a 12-speaker stereo.

User-Friendliness: 10/10

Approachability is another key attribute here. The redesigned interior is an exercise in simplicity and functionality. The low cowl height provides exceptional forward visibility, and the buttons and knobs are big, tactile, and easy to use. With the exception of the infotainment screen perched on the centre of the dashboard, this is a design that will look good and should function just as well in 20 years.

Comfort: 7.5/10

Choosing an Si means that you’re giving up the regular Civic’s ride quality, which is quite good. The Si uses stiffer springs and shocks, which together provide sharper handling with the trade-off being decreased ride comfort. It gets choppy over rough pavement, but for the most part it’s completely livable. The Si gets top marks for its sport seats that are very supportive and comfortable.

Practicality: 8/10

There’s plenty of legroom here for rear-seat passengers, and the trunk is large at 408 L. Unfortunately, the Civic Si isn’t offered in the more practical hatchback bodystyle, which would make it an even better buy, but it’s well packaged for a small sedan.

Fuel Economy: 10/10

In spite of its performance, there’s no penalty to pay at the pumps for the Civic Si’s extra power. While officially rated to burn a combined 7.7 L/100 km, it’s not difficult to land somewhere in the mid 6.0 mark without driving too enthusiastically.

Safety: 10/10

The Civic Si comes with all the latest active driver aids like forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, and traffic sign recognition, while a full gamut of airbags are included to keep occupants safe.

Value: 7/10

Paying nearly $40,000 for a sporty Civic can seem a bit outrageous, but then a Type R is more than $50,000. The Civic might deliver one of the best driving experiences in its class, but then the more intense – and powerful – Hyundai Elantra N is a steal at a similar price to this Civic.

The Verdict

The Si is a Civic that offers an elevated driving experience if not quite a Type R-lite. It adds some extra power but a whole lot more feel. There are quicker cars for less money, but the 2024 Honda Civic Si is less about the numbers and straight-line speed and more about how it makes a driver feel.

Engine Displacement 1.5L
Engine Cylinders Turbo I4
Peak Horsepower 200 hp @ 6000 rpm
Peak Torque 192 lb-ft @ 1,800–5,000 rpm
Fuel Economy 8.7 / 6.4 / 7.7 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 408 L
Model Tested 2024 Honda Civic Si
Base Price $35,630
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,830
Price as Tested $37,560
Optional Equipment