Chasing after the last sunny days of summer in a 2015 Honda Civic Si

Written by on September 21, 2015 in Cars and Chicks, Coupe, Performance, Road Review - 24 Comments

 

KrystynaLagowski2015CivicSiA couple of weeks ago, journalists and photographers crowded in the cavernous halls of the Messe Frankfurt to get a better view of bewitching vehicles like the new Ferrari, Lamborghini Huracan, yet another Porsche Carrera, and the new Bentley Bentyaga SUV. With almost a million people attending, the annual Frankfurt Motor Show is easily the biggest in the industry.

So it took chutzpah for the newly revamped 2016 Honda Civic to rob Frankfurt’s thunder in New York, where it got up close and personal with a good sized crowd of auto media. When a car has sold 40 million units around the globe, an all-new redesign will steal the headlines! In Canada alone, the Civic has been the top selling passenger car for the past 17 years. Even thieves love the fearless compact, as it makes the list of top ten most stolen cars year after year.

What does it take to be the best-selling passenger car in Canada (and many other locales) for almost two decades? I decided I couldn’t wait for the dishy new model, and jumped into a 2015 Civic Si. That’s the sinewy athlete of the Civic family, with a hefty shot of power and performance. In Taffeta White, with contrasting dark 18-inch wheels, and fierce front fascia balanced by a playful rear spoiler, Honda’s favourite son looked smokin’ hot.

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Inside, the natty red and black cloth seat easily accommodated my butt, and as I put my hands on the thick steering wheel, it was like sliding into Mission Control. Everything was digital, barely a knob or button to be seen. But not to fear, the large seven-inch touchscreen made it easy to manipulate the infotainment system, and soon we were properly plugged in.

Honda is renowned for their slick shifter and light clutch, and we easily breezed onto the highway. With the last vestiges of hot summer sun beating down on me, I felt like the Beach Boys singing about their “Little Honda” – first gear, it’s alright (faster, faster) second gear, I lean right. Okay, so they were extolling the virtues of a motorcycle. Had they been in a Civic Si, they no doubt would have been equally inspired!

Now that summer was on the run, serious roadwork made its inglorious return to my neighbourhood, complete with stinky asphalt, sudden stops and starts, and unwanted detours down side streets with “traffic calming,” aka speed bumps. These are anything but “calming.” In fact, the annoying road bulges may slow down traffic, but are killer on the suspension, brakes, tires and driver’s frame of mind. Luckily, the game Civic swam over the hillocks with elan, as did my sunny disposition.

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And here I have to give a shout-out to Honda’s simply brilliant Lane Watch. As soon as you activate the right turn signal, the large touchscreen displays absolutely everything that’s on the right hand side of the car. Driving around the Toronto downtown core, with bicyclists popping up out of nowhere, this feature is worth its weight in Bianchis.

I spent the better part of the week dashing to client and social appointments, in and out of the city, starting new projects and trying to capture the last precious moments of summer. After a hectic week of too many early mornings and late nights, I decided to treat myself to a day on the beach. Not just any beach, but my own private secluded getaway, where my only companions are dusky double-crested cormorants, twittering red-winged blackbirds, and buoyant mallard duck families.

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Setting out in the early morning, I packed sunscreen and a snack, and slid into the Civic. We glided ably onto the highway, thanks to the 205 horsepower i-VETC engine. I watched a small gauge showing me how far I ventured into Honda’s famed i-VETC system, with a heart-popping alert as I approached the red line. We handily floated in and around the slowpokes, opening up the throttle while shifting. The Civic seemed to grip the road as firmly as I did the gearshift, and welcomed the narrow side roads off the highway. Every move sent a blissful rush, and the Civic embraced every corner that led us further from civilization, ingratiating itself under my hand.

And as I lay back on the beach, sipping my lemonade and watching the lazy waves, I realized that, relaxed as I was, I was really looking forward to driving home.

That’s what a Civic Si can do to you.

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24 Comments on "Chasing after the last sunny days of summer in a 2015 Honda Civic Si"

  1. Jacqueline Gum September 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm · Reply

    I thnk that is one cool looking car! Wow! I never hear anyone talk about the Civic so this was really quite informative. The lane watch thing certainly grabbed my attention! It really is sort of sexy, isn’t it?

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 24, 2015 at 2:54 am · Reply

      This Civic really was quite sexy, and had all the other great attributes that you’d find on a Civic – economical, reliable, comfortable. That Lane Watch should be on all cars!

  2. Lenie September 22, 2015 at 12:37 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna – my husband reads the wheels section in the Toronto Star on the weekends and I told him to stop and just read your posts – much more enjoyable.
    I loved the right side view feature – wow, that would stop a lot of run-ins. I used to have to go to Toronto on occasion for conferences and trying to make a right turn was a nightmare – people and bikes just kept coming and coming. For a country gal like me that was pretty unnerving.
    Have a great week.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 24, 2015 at 2:53 am · Reply

      Aw, Lenie, you’re too sweet. Many years ago I wrote for Wheels, it is still a good informative read. And yes, the Lane Watch feature is one of my favourite tech items, for those exact reasons – so hard to keep an eye on that side of the vehicle, especially in the city. You have a fantastic week as well!

  3. Patricia Weber September 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm · Reply

    You are having way too much fun Krystyna! I love that Lane Watch feature. Of course auto technology is moving so fast these days, I decided in July for the first time ever, to lease a new car. Usually we buy, but our sales rep gave us an inside preview of what is coming down the pike in just 3 to 4 years.

    This Honda is nothing like the one I had circa 1980s. Keep on driving and telling us about these jewels!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 24, 2015 at 2:51 am · Reply

      Haha, Patricia, I must admit I likely have too much fun. The Lane Watch feature is one of the smartest tech developments anyone has come up with so far. Leasing is an excellent idea, because in a few years, many items that are available only as options or come standard in upper level vehicles will be standard equipment across the board.

  4. Beth Niebuhr September 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm · Reply

    When my daughter got her first car, we considered the Civic because it was known for making such good cars for an entry level car that people stayed loyal. It sounds like it’s still a nifty little car.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 24, 2015 at 2:49 am · Reply

      There are all kinds of reasons that the Civic is such a good selling passenger car, and that’s how that brand loyalty developed. Now in its tenth generation, it’s absolutely still going strong.

  5. Ken Dowell September 24, 2015 at 12:29 am · Reply

    I’m kind of amazed that the car in your photos is a Honda Civic. Look at what a few sports touches can do.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 24, 2015 at 2:48 am · Reply

      Hi Ken, well – it is the Civic Si! Which is the more performance oriented version. I guess with the Civic, there’s something for everyone!

  6. Tuhin September 24, 2015 at 8:08 am · Reply

    The car looks Fabulous Krystyna!
    This is perhaps the best post I have read which describes Civic in such a detailed manner.
    A fresh morning, lovely roads, beautiful landscape and an awesome car! What more can one ask to make the day better..
    keep enjoying.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm · Reply

      Why, thank you so much, Tuhin! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I guess my enthusiasm for the Civic Si showed through – and you’re absolutely right, there’s nowhere I’d rather be under a clear blue sky than on an open road with a fabulous vehicle!

  7. William Rusho September 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm · Reply

    I always liked the Civic. I enjoyed the description of the dash, and specifically the lane watch. That is a great feature to have on any vehicle. Thanks for sharing.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm · Reply

      Lots of people love the Civic, William! And yes, the Lane Watch is a very useful safety feature that should be on all cars.

  8. Marquita Herald September 24, 2015 at 11:30 pm · Reply

    Great looking car. I owned a Honda Accord and loved it! The only reason I gave it up was I given a company car and didn’t have room for both cars where I live, but this makes me think I need to take a look at Honda’s again in the future!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 5:55 pm · Reply

      Honda has a well-deserved reputation for making solid, reliable cars that are fun to drive. It’s hard to accommodate two cars, as you say, but if you’re ever in the market for a personal car, you can still be sure to do well by a Honda.

  9. Jeri September 25, 2015 at 3:23 am · Reply

    I’ve known a couple of people who have owned Honda Civics and they never had a single complaint. As for me, the Lane Watch feature would be very appreciated. I’ve never had a car with any kind of camera capabilities. I guess I have the dings and scratch marks to prove it.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 5:56 pm · Reply

      That’s the thing, Jeri, pretty much everyone knows someone with a Civic. And usually they’re pretty happy with them. If we’re lucky, we’ll see features like Lane Watch on many more vehicles, not just Honda.

  10. Jeannette Paladino September 25, 2015 at 3:27 am · Reply

    Krystyna — well, that’s a picture of my white Honda 2015 Civic. I just leased it in July. The Lane Watch was the deal maker for me. I know that this year’s Toyota, Buick and other cars I checked don’t have it yet. I’m sure they will soon. I love my Civic. It has great maneuverability and being able to see a wide swatch geography in the right side “blind spot” is just terrific. Also, did you know that white cars have the fewest accidents (you can see them at night) and dark cars have the most accidents? I didn’t know until a friend told me and convinced me to buy white.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm · Reply

      Hah! Obviously not only do you have great taste, Jeanette, but excellent timing as well. Pretty much everyone who’s tried out the LaneWatch really appreciates it, especially if you’re driving in the city. I’ve heard that white cars and brightly coloured cars are easier to see and therefore safer, and would love to know where that info comes from. White also looks sharp with those dark wheels!

  11. Erica September 25, 2015 at 11:38 pm · Reply

    I must admit that I bought a Honda Civic (the basic model) a few years ago and hated driving it. I didn’t mind the feel of it, but it was set up in a way that made it very hard to park and evaluate spatial relations. I gave it to my husband when he needed a car and now I drive a mini. Even my husband complains that it is really hard to evaluate spatial relations and park. Of course, the 2015/2016 models are probably a bit different. Needless to say, I think I’m done with Honda Civics for my lifetime. However, I realize that many disagree because it is such a popular, reliable car.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 27, 2015 at 4:37 pm · Reply

      Oh, no, Erica, I’m so sorry to hear it. You know, the 2012 Civic was found wanting by consumers in a number of departments, and Honda hustled it back into the design and engineering studio. I wonder if that’s the model you wound up with? Hope you’re happier with the MINI!

  12. Susan Cooper September 29, 2015 at 7:32 pm · Reply

    That is one cool car! I have always been a fan of Honda and this Civic looks worthy of a closer look for sure I do love that lane change alert tool. Gosh, I wish I had another car to trade.

    • Krystyna Lagowski October 12, 2015 at 2:04 am · Reply

      The Civic is one of those cars that we take for granted because there are just so many of them out there. And for a good reason – they look great, are reliable and provide fabulous performance. The lane change is, hah, a game changer if you ask me! Maybe your next next car?!?!

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