Drive Time: Civic Si Coupe livens Honda lineup | MyWindsorNow.com

Drive Time: Civic Si Coupe livens Honda lineup

Bud Wells
For The Tribune

New cars and trucks flourish with bright colors these days.

Energy green pearl is this week's hue, showing up on the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe. The spirited Si, removed from the Honda lineup for 2016, returns with stiffened suspension, a horsepower boost and quick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission.

And the extreme green paint.

A week ago, the color of interest was silver teal (light blue) on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. It was strikingly good looking, so much so that I said no other colors are offered for the van. There are nine other colors for the vehicle, a Chrysler exec told me in an e-mail. Sure enough, there are billet silver, bright white, brilliant black, dark cordovan (red), granite crystal (gray), jazz blue, molten silver, tusk white and velvet red colors.

For the finish of the Civic Si, too, there are other choices, including silvers, reds, blues, blacks, whites and grays, which probably ought to be considered before settling for the energy green.

We had no trouble spotting the Civic when we walked out of Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen (Thornton) into a very crowded parking lot Tuesday evening with Kurt and Tammy Wells. It's a standout, and that's not complimentary to its color scheme.

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The sport compact's exterior style is sharp, with a wide grille, honeycomb mesh air dam and large corner air intakes up front and a high-riding, rear-wing spoiler. Inside, there is room for passengers in the rear-seating area, though headroom is very limited.

Performance comes from a 1.5-liter, direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder engine of 205 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque with a low redline of 6,500 rpm.

Noticeable when settling into the Si's low-slung front seats are a short shifter for its 6-speed tranny and a relatively small steering wheel. Handling is superb, ride often turns somewhat rough. Push the Sport mode button and the suspension firms up and steering is more responsive. The hatchback rides on Goodyear Eagle 235/40R18 tires.

The Si tuner model carries an impressive EPA estimate of 38 miles per gallon on the highway; my overall average was 33.8.

When engaging the right turn signal, the camera lends a view to the right side of the car for added safety in that direction.

As quick and responsive as the Civic Si is, it is overshadowed by the Civic Type R, a 306-hp, turbocharged four-door hatchback. Its pricing begins about $10,000 above that of the Civic Si.

Pricing for the Honda Civic Si Coupe is $24,975, a bargain it seems, especially when measured against competitive makes Subaru WRX, Golf GTI, Focus ST and Mini Cooper S.

Among standard items in that $24k sticker are a power moonroof, Bluetooth hands-free link, CarPlay/Android Auto integration, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front sport seats, sport pedals, cruise control, rearview camera, intermittent wipers, capless fuel filler, center outlet sport exhaust and a rear-wing spoiler.

The Si (sport-injected) sprinter has been a part of the Civic offerings for the past 30 years.

The Civic is assembled in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. The Civic Si Coupe is 5 inches shorter than the four-door. The coupe is 177.4 inches long on a wheelbase of 106.3 inches, with curb weight of only 2,885 pounds.

— Bud Wells, a native of Wray, is a former Page 1 editor of the Denver Post and has reviewed automobiles for the past 40 years. He can be contacted at budwellscars@comcast.net.