The 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder has been bolstered slightly to 205 horsepower for the 2015 model year (a 4-hp increase), and torque is similarly boosted to 174 pound-feet.
Related: 2015 Honda Civic Si review
Even though it’s significantly zippier than its non-Type R cousins, the Si doesn’t slack on fuel economy. Both sedan and coupe hold steady at 31 mpg on the highway, with 22 mpg coming in the city and 25 mpg combined.
With its close-ratio six-speed transmission, it’s also one of the few cars left to fly the manual-only flag.
Honda has also tweaked the suspension of the new Si, emphasizing the sporty compact’s eager, animated character. There are new dampers, higher rate springs, and a stiffer rear stabilizer on the car, which will hopefully improve its ability to fly into corners.
All these improvements come at a $100 increase over the 2014 model.
The rapid approach of the Civic Type R makes the gap between it and the Si more apparent in the Civic range. It’s obviously not a sports car, but it’s one of the best selling vehicles in the world, so more variety would be welcomed.
Something that sit where the 252-hp Focus ST sits in Ford’s lineup could be wondrous: above the standard car but below the range-topping, 350-hp Focus RS.
It could feature progressive styling as well. The boy-racer Type R is probably a bit too loud for those with a decent credit history, and the regular Civic is too humdrum for weekend warriors. Think of something like the U.K.-based Black Edition: sleek, aggressive, but not too showy.