"When I first started driving ('05) my brother and I went in together on a 2002 Acura RSX-S that was our pride and joy for the short 2 years that we had it. Unfortunately, it began suffering near constant mechanical issues over 110k miles even though the vehicle history / maintenance history was immaculate, with documentation.
I wanted something similar in power, driving dynamics, and resale as the RSX, and I knew the Si had the same base K20 engine, and was essentially the younger cousin to the RSX. I'll break this down in three parts: Performance, Reliability, and Quality.
This car weights ~2800 pounds, has a 197hp 2.0L I-4 in a FF layout. It easily has enough pep to be enjoyable around town or on the back roads without being threatening to a newer driver if too much throttle is used. The FWD aspect does tend to lean towards a bit of understeer, which is completely fine, but this can be mitigated with stickier tires and some camber adjustments if desired. The limited-slip is a welcome addition coming from the RSX, and it works quite well when pushing the limits. Acceleration is pretty standard for its' class (maybe slightly on the slower side versus some), somewhere in the 6.5s-7s range 0-60, though it always feels faster when rowing through the gears at 8k rpm. If you do want that sudden burst of power, you will need to make a downshift or two to get the revs up around 5k but I enjoy this, as I feel it delivers a more intimate driving experience. Also, the shift throw is nice and crisp (you'll often see that many people remark how great the shifter feel is in honda transmissions). Steering feel I think is great, and I've always been able to feel the limit of grip since the car transmit's the driving sensations quite well. I've driven this car in every weather condition and and very happy with the way it behaves, as well as the way the safety systems behave. I've also taken this car to a few autocrosses (bone stock), and it has performed great.
I took delivery of my '07 with ~4500 miles on the clock, and have just passed 62k. I have yet to have a single issue outside of the recommended maintenance schedule. I started oil changes every 3k but have recently let them go 5-6k based on the maintenance minder indicators with no issues. I had rear brakes done last summer, and will do the fronts this summer. Standard schedule for brake fluid, tire rotations, air filters, etc... I haven't done transmission fluid yet, I've talked with a few mechanics who have suggested that MTF should be good for 75k+ or even 100k miles. My only issue has been the well documented 3rd gear grind with the 6spd manual. Just google search "3rd gear grind, honda/rsx" and you'll likely get hundreds of hits on forums detailing the issue. Is it annoying, yes, can you live with it, yes. Check with your local honda dealer, some will attempt a fix outright, some will try to replicate it first. I've taken my Si on several road trips, around the city, onto dirt roads, and everywhere in-between. It's built well and will stay reliable as long as you keep up with it. Take care of your car, and it'll take care of you.
For the most part, quality is great for a compact sports car in the $20k price range. The interior materials are nice, the cloth is soft, the seats are nice and snug, the buttons and other hardware do not feel cheap like the new 2012 civic. One thing I have noticed, after a while, the cloth and padding on the armrests does start to wear down after a bit. Imagine the knees on an old pair of jeans, constant use will just wear it down. I imagine I could replace them if I really wanted but they're not aesthetically un-pleasing just yet. If the car spends a decent portion of its time parked in the sun, the UV exposure to the black cloth will begin to fade the color a bit, but again, nothing you probably wouldn't see on any other car. As far as road noise/rattles/squeaks etc... It's the Si, it will ride firmer, and it may be a bit louder than its non-Si counterparts. I don't mind, and it's never been an issue for me. Rattles/squeaks, nothing unusual. A little vibration here or there, but again, it's a civic, not a BMW or Mercedes. Of all the cars (in the ~$20k range) I've been in, I'd say the interior quality is easily top 10%. The only exterior quality issue you may or may not have to contend with is paint. The paint is a bit thin and if you check the forums, you may see people with "crows feet" or similar paint related issues. I'm fairly meticulous about the upkeep of my cars, and aside from a few rock chips in the paint on the hood or front bumper, no issues here. The car is extremely nice from factory and if you put the work in to keep it maintained, you won't have any issues. People are generally surprised when the get into my car and realize it's almost 7 years old now, it still looks and feels almost as good as when I first took delivery.
****I know this is a long review, and I probably haven't covered nearly everything but I'll sum it up here. If you're looking for a dependable, good looking, fun to drive, all-around great car with good gas milage (30-32 highway), definitely look at a 2007-2011 Civic Si."
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