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Honda built its reputation in the 90s. The late 90s set the scene for Japanese automaker Honda to dominate the 2000s. The Honda Civic would emerge as one of the most popular vehicles in America after years of tweaking the nameplate. The 1999 Honda Civic Si coupe was one of the Civics that changed everything for Honda.

The 1999 Honda Civic Si knew how to party

A gray Honda Civic.
The Honda Civic | Koichi Kamoshida/Liaison via Getty Images

Honda Civics have improved over time, but some of the nameplate’s fundamental design language has remained constant. Regardless of the model year, for the past two decades, Honda Civics have been compact, affordable vehicles that are reliable and fun to drive. The 1999 Honda Civic Si set the standard for the years of Civic models to come by embodying what the nameplate is all about.

The 1999 Honda Civic Si was the first Si coupe. The B16 VTEC 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine made 160 horsepower. Not bad for a compact car from the 90s. The base price was $17,000. Despite being just as affordable as most compact cars at the time, the Si drove like a performance model.

The 1999 Honda Civic Si brought some much-needed fun to the nameplate and that fun has been an integral part of Honda’s winning formula ever since. This thing could reach up to 8,500 revolutions per minute. Front and rear anti-roll bars, stiff front and rear springs, and a front strut tower brace made the Si handle like a dream.

Is the Civic Si a sports car?

A red Honda Civic Si.
Honda Civic Si | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

The 1999 Honda Civic Si’s trim level stands for “Sport Injection” referring to its fuel injection. Ironically the Civic Si never really fit in with the sports car of yesteryear, and modern iterations wouldn’t necessarily qualify either. Instead, the 1999 Civic Si was a sporty daily driver.

The Civic Si was perfect for everyone, from the young new driver looking for a compact sedan with a little oomph to the middle-aged 9-5 office worker looking to enjoy some great acceleration on the highway after work. It was about as far as you could get from a performance vehicle price-wise but provided more zip to it than most consumers originally expected.

Is the Civic Si rare?

A red Honda Civic Si.
Honda Civic Si | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

Why the Honda Civic Is a Great Car for the Average American

The 1999 Honda Civic Si is extremely rare for a Civic, especially considering its age and the advancements that the automaker has made. Bring a Trailer held an auction for a 1999 Honda Civic Si with 12,000 miles. The compact coupe sold for $24,027. To put that number into perspective, 2018 Honda Civics started at $18,940. The buyer preferred this classic Si over a brand new Honda Civic at the time.

1999 Honda Civic Si models are rare because they represent the start of an amazing run for Honda. The Civic models that followed the ’99 Si solidified the Civic as one of the most popular nameplates in the United States. Over two decades later, the legend of this speedy compact coupe lives on as a part of Honda history. Can another Si ever have the same impact as the 1999 model year?