Honda Civic Si Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Hottest JDM Hot Hatch

  • Always buy the newest, nicest Honda Civic Si you can afford
  • If you want a vintage Si, be prepared to hunt for it and pay at least $20,000
  • The Civic Si is a hot hatch icon worth every penny

There’s a very short list of cars that inspired a generation. The Honda Civic Si is definitely one of the cars on that list. For a very long time, these Honda models were the hottest JDM hot hatch we could get in the States. Now, of course, we do get the depreciation-proof Honda Civic Type R. But for those of you that can’t spend $40,000 on a Honda? The Si is for you. Here’s all you need to know about this iconic tuner car.

What year of Honda Civic Si is best?

A red 2020 Honda Civic Si shot from the front 3/4
2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe | Honda

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There’s two roads to follow when considering a Civic Si. First, there’s the old road. That means any Si before the 9th or 10th generation of the iconic hot hatch. We’ll get to that one in a second. For now, we’ll focus on the second. That entails buying the newest, nicest Si you can afford without making any deals with that shady horned fellow on the corner.

Thankfully, the 10th and 9th generation of Civic Si models are nearly problem-free. Yes, the adaptive suspension can be a four-figure fix, but it’s a rare fault. Far and away the largest issue on these newer cars is a fragile clutch. Should you want to modify your Honda, it’s best to start with the clutch. Just about every Si of this vintage will have nice, modern features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto. So, why not go all the way and get one that’s optioned out? Should you choose to do so, expect to pay around $25-$30,000 for the turbocharged 205 hp Honda Civic Si.

Is the Civic Si rare?

A silver 2005 Civic Si shot from the low 3/4 angle on a back road
This era of Si is particularly hard to find | Honda

Now, the old road. This is where you start to get into availability issues. It’s not that pre-2015 Honda Civic Si’s are rare by any means, it’s that certain model years can be difficult to find with low mileage and no modifications. Of these, the 8th gen (2006-2011) will be the easiest to find. Nice ones start around $15K. However, the 5th generation (2001-05) and older is where you’ve got to hunt. We perused the internet for a bit, and it’s tough to find any clean pre-2006 Civic Si models worth buying.

Now, supposing you do, they’ll be just as reliable as any Honda from this era. The early Honda B and K-Series engines are stout little things, and complaints are hard to come by. Most pre-2006 Civic Si models will suffer from typical old car things like bad bushings and fuel pumps. But it’s hard not to stress enough the availability issues you’ll run into. These cars were heavily modified and run into the ground. A clean one will be worth north of $20,000 and will likely appear for auction.

The hottest Civic hot hatch holds its value well

A blue EG series Civic Si shot in profile
The EG series Civic Si is climbing in value | Honda

That said, just about any clean, low-mile Honda Civic Si will hold its value well, provided you keep it that way. That’s even true of the modern 9th and 10th gen cars. The Honda Civic Si is a phenomenal hot hatch, and one you’ll certainly not regret buying. If you’re on a budget, simply look for the nicest car within that budget. $15,000 goes a long way in Civic Si land. Happy hunting you VTEC-hungry car nerd.

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