Reliability and an attractive price point were the main reasons why Honda limited the power of the 2017 Honda Civic Si.

If you’re in the market for a sports compact car like the Honda Civic Si, not only do you want for your drive to now be just that more fun but you want that car to last for the long haul. If there’s one thing Hondas are known for, it’s their reliability which is why Honda didn’t squeeze any more power out of the engine they stuffed into the Civic Si. Automotive News got the chance to shoot some Q’s at Rob Keough, Honda Civic’s senior project manager, and he revealed some of the design philosophy behind the Civic Si’s final power number.

According to Keough,

“We wanted it to be attainable and affordable, so our target for Si was really to come in at this price point with this performance level.”


Since the 10th generation, Civic was introduced, according to Honda, they’ve sold over half a million units. Thanks to economies of scale, Honda is able to offer higher performance models at a good price by picking and choosing from their available parts bin and engineering in more power, and more importantly reliabiltiy.

The engine in the Civic Si is pretty much the same engine found in the 2017 Honda CR-V which is also found in the Civic EX-T. With a lower compression ratio, 10.3:1 compared to 10.6:1., and that sticker saying you should opt for premium fuel at fill-ups, Honda is able to squeeze out 3.8 more psi over the 16.5 psi in the Civic EX-T. Like we’ve mentioned before, what results is a power increase (+25 HP /31 lb-ft) true to its name, sports injection.

Rumors that Honda would put a detuned Type R motor in the Civic Si placing power levels comparable to the GTI and Focus ST were proved wrong. Although they could’ve done just that, the price would’ve jumped by a couple thousand and would’ve placed the Si in direct competition with its own Type R. By shifting the price curve away from $25K, it would’ve also placed the Civic Si out of the grasp of potential buyers.

Civic Si
2017 Honda Civic Si

On paper, 205 HP may disappoint a lot of armchair enthusiasts but with first reviews from journalists and even a couple of first-time owners chiming in with their experiences, we can safely say the Civic Si is an improvement over the last generation Si. As one owner put it

the trip computer showed 41.4 MPG at the conclusion of my 238-mile drive home at speeds of 80 MPH for long stretches including an hour-long drive through a torrential downpour. Try THAT with your ST, GTI, or WRX.

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