Remembering the glory days of the Honda Civic Si
In addition to watching host John Davis slowly age over his decades on the show, MotorWeek’s Retro Review series on YouTube allows us to look back on some of the favorite models of yesteryear to see their evolution toward present day. Take the 1989 Honda Civic Si for example, which is newly featured. The name is still on the market, and the current model boasts 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque from its 2.4-liter four-cylinder. However, the current Si is being left behind in power by other performance compacts like the latest Volkswagen GTI, Subaru WRX and Ford Focus ST.
Back in 1989, the Civic Si was still something of an upstart in the hot hatch ranks and definitely had something to prove. Remember, this was a about decade before the tuner boom of the late ’90s gave these Hondas massive popularity. Though, the writing was on the wall for eventual success, based on the MotorWeek review. The show called it “stylish” and was attracted to vehicle’s sharp handing, even with no power steering. Like today, power was lacking compared to major competitors like he VW GTI, but Honda’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 108 hp and 100 lb-ft still received some praise.
As always, it’s fascinating to see how these now beloved models stack up when looking back. The high-performance Civic might be due for another surge in popularity too, if the forthcoming Type R from Europe ever makes to the US.