Let's take a moment to personally thank Honda's product planners for a couple of things. First, we must thank them for spreading the love and making the Civic Si available to an audience that couldn't previously justify purchasing an Si (Coupe). Secondly, we must thank them profusely for not messing up such a great thing.
2007 Civic Si and Product Planner Prexa Doshi
Hey, isn't that...
Yep, John Mendel Muscles the Si around the cones
2007 Civic Si expertly guided by yours truly
We spent a day checking out the full lineup of Honda's 2007 models at an event in Detroit recently, and we were extremely pleased to find that the 2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan drives almost exactly like its 2-door sibling. Besides the four door configuration, things are so similar between the two it's difficult to find any meaningful differences. The only real item worthy of mention mention is that Honda has tweaked the exhaust system slightly with a prechamber that's about 31% smaller (4.4L vs 6.4L) than the Coupe's in order to change the pitch of the exhaust note, but in quick back to back drives I found that the difference was difficult to sense from inside the car. Exhaust diameter and flow rates remain unchanged.
The Si Sedan accelerates, brakes, corners, rides, and sounds almost identical to the Coupe, but now people with the need to frequently carry backseat passengers have no reason for despair. According to Honda's internal testing, the Si Sedan accelerates to 60mph around a tenth of a second behind the Si Coupe, but it still outpaces the Volkswagen GTI, Scion tC, and Mazda 3 S (the MazdaSpeed 3 was notably absent from this particular chart). In terms of slalom and braking figures, the Si Sedan and Coupe perform identically. This means that Honda has just created one of the most rewarding and fun to drive Honda sedans ever to be offered in the USA.
Our time with the Si Sedan was limited to some brief freeway romps and around a short and tight autocross-style course that Honda had configured in a parking lot of the Dearborn Hyatt, so we'll have to wait until we can spend more time with one to provide the full rundown. Our earliest indications, however, are that Honda absolutely nailed it with the '07 Si Sedan.
The chassis responds in a very similar fashion to the Si Coupe, which means the LSD and available summer tires provide it with an exciting level of lateral grip, and it possesses amazing steering response. But it also means the car is dialed in with a bit of understeer to keep things safe. There are ways to induce oversteer, but you have to familiarize yourself with the car (and the corner) a bit to determine the right balance of braking, steering, and throttle inputs required to provoke it.
Out on real-world streets, the Si Sedan delivers an almost perfect balance between ride comfort and handling. The engine is audible when you want to hear it, but if you prefer to cruise in a more relaxed mode on the freeway, the tall 6th gear ratio delivers exactly that. The Si Sedan is one of the lightest (credible) sport sedans you'll find on the market, and this is certainly one of the reasons I enjoy driving it so much. The best part about the Si's low curb weight is that it exploits all of the advantages of its reduced mass without any real tradeoffs. The car feels very solid and carries itself impressively down the freeway, with a commendably low level of road and wind noise. Dynamically, the Si does an amazing job of masking the fact that it's based on an entry level platform.
The Si Sedan borrows virtually everything from the 2007 Civic Si Coupe, including the road wheels (which have a new darker "Sparkle Silver" finish for 2007), available high performance tires, the 3-spoke steering wheel, drilled pedals, red stitched seats and interior trim, the complete drivetrain (yes, that includes the 6-speed transmission and LSD), stereo system, and even the i-VTEC decals on the rear doors (these probably will be peeled off by a number of Si Sedan owners). One thing it doesn't quite inherit from the Si Coupe is the styling. People seem to be divided in terms of their styling preferences between the Civic Coupe and Sedan bodies, but I've never fully warmed up to the stubby, abrupt styling of the sedan. Fortunately, that's not a dealbreaker for me. If there's a single thing I would change about the Si Sedan, it would probably be the odd rear spoiler, which looks something like a dead otter draped over the trunklid. In my opinion, the lip spoiler from the Civic Hybrid would have been a much better choice, but that's just my opinion. Again, it's certainly not a dealbreaker in my eyes - the car is so rewarding to drive, I can look past its styling.
While the Si Sedan retains all the hardware of the Coupe (including the new-for-2007 VSA system), you may think that the supply of good news has been exhausted, but there is indeed more good news: the addition of 2 doors pads less than 60 lbs. onto the Si Coupe's curb weight, and the Sedan is projected to be priced almost identically to the hot selling Si Coupe. That means you'd better be on good terms with your local Honda salesman because Honda only plans to build about 15,000 of these Sedans per year.
With so many choices out there in the low $20,000 range, it's a great time to be an enthusiast, and now is an especially good time to be a Honda enthusiast. The Civic Si Coupe has already proven itself to be a superb platform for aftermarket upgrades, and many parts (such as suspension components) should bolt right up to the Sedan, so that means there's an instant aftermarket awaiting prospective owners of the 2007 Civic Si Sedan. We applaud Honda's recognition of their enthusiast base and hope to see more products oriented to their large contingent of fans. With a few minor exceptions, the Civic Si Sedan meets or exceeds every one of our lofty expectations and delivers it all at a superb price point.
|2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan|
|Date of Test:||August 27, 2006|
|Test Location:||Dearborn, Michigan|
|Miles Driven:||~50 miles|
|Onsale Date||November 1, 2006|
|MSRP||Est. $20000 to $22000 (Navi + High Perf. Tires)|
|Projected Volume||15000 units|
|EPA Mileage Estimates (city/hwy):||23/32 mpg|
|5 Characters: K20Z3|
|Everything the wonderful Si Coupe offers, without the guilt|
|Practical, comfortable, and roomy interior|
|Great front seats|
|The benefits of a low-mass body with virtually no compromises|
|Not much to complain about except I'm not a huge fan of the sedan's styling|
|Dealers may try to gouge|
|Sign me up!|
Exclusive TOV Video Clip
Here's a quick video clip of Honda's Sage Marie driving the Si Sedan around the autocross track.