TO THE POINTWhat’s New? With 197 horsepower flowing through a six-speed manual gearbox to a helical limited-slip differential and 17-inch Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 summer tires, does it matter what else might be new on the 2006 Honda Civic Si? Selling Points: Sleek styling, sophisticated engineering, comfortable front seats, lots of standard safety equipment, reputation for reliability, amazing performance Deal Breakers: Cramped back seat, funky dash design Our Advice: Honda unleashes a redesigned 2006 Civic Si, equipped with enough performance hardware that it sets the new standard by which sport compact cars must be measured.
Driving on RoadWhat a blast it is to drive the 2006 Honda Civic Si. Acceleration is thrilling, handling is impressive, the brakes work perfectly, and the transmission is a joy to row.
Wow, the 2006 Honda Civic Si is really nailed down. Honda sent us out on the closest thing resembling a twisty road that northeastern Illinois contains, and while the loop pales in comparison to our usual testing grounds in the Southern California mountains, there were enough whoop-de-doos and hairpin turns to comfortably make that assessment.
During acceleration, the 2006 Honda Civic Si’s power band feels flatter than the Acura RSX Type S, with more torque coming on earlier in the game, and the blinking rev-limiter light is a nice touch. The helical limited-slip differential effectively scrubs understeer in tight corners, and the summer performance tires stick to the road like Rove on Bush. The six-speed gearbox is tighter and more pleasurable to use than the EX Coupe’s five-speed unit, and the pedals are set up for easy heel-and-toe action.
Steering feels better too, quicker and with added heft off-center, though the electric drive-by-wire nature of the system produces little actual road feel. In terms of braking, the Civic Si feels like it can stop on a dime, and the suspension provides a taut ride, producing excellent communication with the road. Finally, the exhaust tuning produces a terrific sound, inside and outside of the car.
This new 2006 Honda Civic Si is a slick piece of work for less than $20,000.