BY H. THROTTLE
A real automotive treat arrived this past week in the form of the 2022 Honda Civic SI sedan. This car was just voted by members of The Rocky Mountain Automotive Press “Car Of The Year.” I’m a founding member of this group that test drives new factory distributed vehicles.
The Honda Civic SI , meaning “sport injection,” versus the old carburetor fuel system, gives this 200-horsepower turbo charged 1.5L engine a burst of power that reaches 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and 120 mph. in 27.3 seconds. The drive performance is enhanced by a 6-speed manual transmission, made in India, and teamed with the USA engine. The power-package achieves 31 overall fuel economy with three drive options: normal, sport, and individual.
The transmission is smooth and shifts easily, but a manual transmission in heavy “stop and go” freeway traffic is a drag with lots of shifting and clutch play. This is the only drawback of any manual transmission found on sports cars. With the turbo power and stick shift this is a really peppy car and is fun to drive, except in heavy traffic.
I had the opportunity to test drive the front-wheel drive in the early morning after the heavy snowstorm. The snow didn’t stick to the streets, but the pavement was wet. The 18” alloy wheels, and all-season tires had perfect traction as snow fell off the snow laden trees. A gob of wet snow fell on the car hood while parked at an overhead stop sign. There was little tree damage observed in the Centennial area of South Denver. What a magnificent snow for lawns, trees, shrubs, lawns and farmer’s wheat fields.
The Honda Civic is an automotive bargain with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $27,300, loaded with many options and the only extra charge for “Blazing Orange” paint at $395, and destination charges of #1,015.00. The Civic final assembly is in Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
Named “Car Of The Year” is quite an honor and no doubt this model is in short supply, but what a great model for a student heading for college or just any driver who likes performance and the thrill of a manual transmission and turbo acceleration.
The car has not been given a safety rating yet but has all of the Honda safety systems that include the collision mitigation braking system (CMBS.)
Along with the powertrain package the engineers have added 4-wheel disk brakes, front-end MacPherson strut suspension, and rear multi-link suspension along with precise electric power steering.
The interior is attractive with leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and sport front seats. A 12 speaker Bose sound system graces a 9” color screen with multi-view rear camera viewing.
Along with being the top honored car of the year this is the top economic bargain of the year.