Buyers shopping for a “warm” mini sports car in Australia are limited to a pair of Hyundai and Kia twins. But in the United States, there is another option from Honda.
Is the standard 2022 Honda Civic not enough, but the Type R is a step too far? North Amarica 2022 Honda Civic C It might work for you – but don’t expect to see it in Australia anytime soon.
Although the Civic Si badge hasn’t been seen in Australia for a decade, in the US it’s the nameplate that Honda has applied to the Sport version of the Civic for 40 years – as a replacement for the Type R, which wasn’t sold in the US until 2017 .
Once offered with the same power output as the Type R sold elsewhere, today’s Civic Si has been repositioned in the US as a competitor to the Hyundai i30 N Line and Kia Cerato GT (sold in the US under different names).
But while its competitors sell well in Australia, the Civic Si is offered only as a sedan, and was built exclusively in left-hand drive in the US – which rules it out in Australia, where the Civic range consists of a few Japanese-built right-hand-hatch hatchback variants.
The Civic Si operation is a modified version of the standard Civic 1.5 liter four-cylinder petrol enginedevelopment 149 kW And the 260 Nm – Up to 15 kW / 20 Nm in the regular Civic.
While those outputs are on par for the ‘warm’ sedan, they are 1 kW/5 Nm lower than the Korean twin, 4 kW in the old Civic C model with the same engine, and only 2 kW (albeit , 72 Nm) more than the eighth-generation Civic C sold 100 kg lighter in weight 15 years ago.
Despite the lower power, Honda says the new engine produces maximum power for longer – and develops peak torque 300 rpm lower in the rev range – towards the 6500 rpm redline.
The drive is sent to the front wheels through a Six-speed manual only – Not available automatic – with limited-slip helical differential and lighter monobloc flywheel (compared to the old Si two-block unit).
Honda does not quote a claimed 0-100 km/h time, but independent testing in the US and Canada reports a figure of just under seven seconds.
The six-speed manual features an electronic R-type matching system and throws 10 percent shorter than the old Si, while the dual-coil muffler exhaust system claims to increase exhaust flow by 27 percent over the standard Civic.
Higher than the standard Civic sedan, the Si gains a sporty suspension with stiffer springs (eight percent front, 54 percent rear) and new dampers, firmer anti-roll bars, stiffer bushings and suspension arms, and stiffer steering components for improved feel.
Brakes measure 312 mm in the front and 282 mm in the rear – 31 mm and 23 mm respectively than the standard Civic, or 7 mm and 20 mm larger than the i30 N’s manual line – while 18-inch wheels wrapped in 235/40 tires fill the arches.
The Si sedan visually distinguishes itself with the hatchback’s sporty front bumper (with upper honeycomb grille), as well as the unique lower rear bumper, dual exhaust tips, gloss black rear spoiler, gloss black mirror caps and window surrounds.
The sporty model can also be specified in a unique glowing orange pearl color, which joins the red, blue, white, silver, black and other movable finishes.
Inside, upgrades include one-piece front sports seats with red and black fabric trim, red contrast stitching, a red dashboard and door card inserts, and alloy sports pedals.
The drive mode selector in the center console unlocks the Si’s individual mode, allowing engine, steering, instrument cluster customization and rev matching.
While the Civic C in the US gets a 7.0-inch instrument cluster, Canadian models get a full 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, along with heated front and rear seats, parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, and a rear view mirror. Rear auto-dimming, fog lights, wireless phone charging.
The Canadian Si sedan pairs best with the Australian single Civic hatchback (until the arrival of the hybrid and the R-Type), the highly-specified, automatic only VTi LX.
Using the local price of the $47,200 VTi LX — and the 6 percent difference between an equivalent slot and the Si in Canada — we expect the Civic Si to cost the equivalent of $45,000 if sold in Australia.
That’s about $3,000 more than an auto-only Hyundai i30 Sedan N Line Premium, or $7,000 more than a Kia Cerato GT sedan — although it’s $4,000 cheaper than a Hyundai i30 N “basic” hatch or Subaru-wheel drive. All-wheel drive WRX sedan.
The ‘starter’ Volkswagen Golf GTI now costs more than $60,000 on the road – and while prices haven’t been confirmed yet, the next Civic Type R hatch will likely cost $65,000 or $70,000 in Australia.
However, this is only a guess, as there are no plans to sell 2022 Honda Civic C in Australia.
Should Honda Australia bring the Civic Si to local beaches? Would you buy one via the i30 N line at $45,000?