Honda Civic Si 9th Generation 2012-2015 (FB/FG) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Civic Si 9th Gen

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9th Gen Honda Civic: What Owners Say

  • The 8,000 RPM redline means it's still a true Honda. The K24 powertrain may not have the spunk of its more revered K20 counterpart, but the engine characteristics are unique and aid the Si in distinguishing itself as an individual performance car rather than a diluted Type R.
  • The close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and helical limited-slip differential are key components when it comes to the 9th-gen Civic Si experience.
  • The list of standard features is respectable as it caters to your average safety and comfort requirements, including a comprehensive airbag configuration and a premium audio system. Facelifted models are more generous as they feature a standard touchscreen and keyless entry.
  • As is the case with the entire ninth-generation Civic, the cabin quality of the Si is poor due to cheap plastics that are applied across the dashboard, doors, and center console. Things are improved from 2013, but overall it remains substandard.
  • If the car does feature the navigation package, it has been noted to be of poor quality and not easy to read.
  • Despite having a limited-slip differential, the Si struggles with understeer as a large portion of the mass sits on the front axle. Honda attempts to resolve this in later models by stiffening the rear stabilizer bar, but this only helps so much.

Ninth Generation Honda Civic Si Facelift

Two years after its launch, the 9th-gen Honda Civic Si was handed a fairly conclusive visual update in a bid to make the FB sports coupe appear more modern and athletic. This includes a full revision to the front and rear design. Changes to the interior were made one year before this as a response to criticisms relating to the launch model's quality across the FG sedan and FB coupe model lines. The Si Sedan was handed a visual upgrade in 2013 too, which results in a more premium front end with chrome trimmings and a new grille. Alterations to the rear are more notable as it introduces a new wing affixed to the decklid, a larger and more distinctive pair of taillights, and a sportier lower bumper.

9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Front Changes CarBuzz
9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Front Changes

Creating a more imposing front design for the 9th-gen Civic Si Coupe is a completely new front grille and bumper design1. The black honeycomb grille with a lower chrome strip and gloss black trimmings now connects the slightly slimmer headlights2 while the lower bumper, which has been penned with a more curvaceous signature line, benefits from larger air intakes at the center and sides3. The fog lights are stretched further to the edges and are housed in a new gloss-black frame4. You'll also notice that the hood has been reshaped to appear more muscular5.

9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Rear Changes CarBuzz
9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Rear Changes

Changes to the rear are in line with what has been applied to the front as the Civic Si Coupe shows off a more aggressive bumper with integrated reflectors1, a modest diffuser2, updated taillights3, and a sportier decklid wing4. The shark-fin antenna has also been removed from the roof5 while the trunk brake light now sits closer to the badge6.

9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Side Changes CarBuzz
9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Side Changes

The most notable change to the profile of the Civic Si Coupe are the more muscular front quarter panels that shift the two-door model's sleek silhouette into a more aggressive and athletic one. This is accompanied by a new set of 18-inch alloys that replace the 17-inch designs1 and the aforementioned decklid spoiler2.

9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Interior Changes CarBuzz
9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Facelift Interior Changes

The Si Coupe's interior was revised one year before the exterior redesign as it was applied to the entire Civic range. Included here are the restyled and repositioned air vents1 and push-start button. A new set of HVAC controls2 and boot for the six-speed manual gear shifter3 are also included together with some multimedia connection inputs and power outlets located at the base of the center console. Highlighting the car's sporty nature is a set of faux-carbon fiber panels applied to the two-piece dashboard4. This is contrasted by a leather upholstery applied to the upper part of the dash.

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The Honda Civic Si range is available exclusively with the Japanese brand's reinvented K-series naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four unit driving the front wheels with a short-ratio six-speed manual transmission. 2012-2013 models have power outputs of 201 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque while the 2014-2015 models benefit from a slightly increased 205 hp and 174 lb-ft, thanks to a new exhaust system.

2.4-liter inline-four K24Z7
201/205 hp| 170/174 lb-ft
201/205 hp
170/174 lb-ft
Six-speed manual

The Si may not be a fully-fledged Type R, but its K24 mill is more than happy to spin at 7,000 rpm, giving the car a fluid progression of power from a standing start. With a six-speed gearbox with a final drive ratio of 4.76:1 controlled by a short-throw shifter, the Si makes for an inviting straight-line driving experience. The K24 engine family in general is prone to oil leaks on the front crankshaft seal. This is due to the rubber compound wearing out after the 120,000-mile mark. The rear main seal is noted to disintegrate less frequently. The K-series engine's claim to fame is its valve-lift technology; however, with this unit, it is noted that the exhaust camshaft lobes can show significant wear. It's an unlikely occurrence that can cause it to seize with the contact point of the valve which you may expect at the 100,000-mile mark. An issue with the spring within a timing chain tensioner may also be experienced. This can result in a rattling noise that can lead to severe damage to the engine's internal components.

2012 – 2015 Honda Civic Si Coupe Real MPG

As per the EPA's estimates, the Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan manages 22/31/25 mpg city/highway/combined, which is fairly respectable when you consider its larger displacement engine and close-ratio transmission that'll have the motor spinning at 3,000 rpm at 75 mph. With a tank size of 13.2 gallons, you can expect a range of 330 miles. The EPA's unofficial estimates sourced from vehicle owners suggests that the Si range averages 28.3 to 30.9 mpg, but this is data sourced from drivers who are not controlled by proper testing parameters and thus should not be treated as gospel.

2.4-liter inline-four 6-speed manual FWD22/25/3128.3-30.9

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


With the Si being an aspirational model of the Honda Civic family, its standard safety specification is commendable. Ensuring the safety of its occupants in the event of a crash is Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure design complemented by airbags for the driver, front passenger, as well as side and curtain airbags. Driver aids consist of ABS with electronic brake distribution and brake assist as well as vehicle stability and traction control. A tire pressure monitoring system helps you keep track of the air in your tires at all times. Stopping power is provided by a set of front 11.8-inch ventilated rotors and 10.2-inch solid rear discs.

All Si models feature a backup camera with guidelines, but cars that are fitted with the optional navigation system feature a multi-view system with dynamic guidelines. Adding to the level of convenience and safety are the halogen headlights with auto-on and -off functions supported by LED daytime running lights and fog lights and variable intermittent windshield wipers. Honda's camera-based blind-spot monitoring LaneWatch system is only found on models made after 2014, but cruise control is fitted as standard throughout its life cycle.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

The Honda Civic Coupe body style is afforded a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. This consists of a four-star rating for the overall front and rollover and a five-star for the side crash test. The 9th-Gen Civic Si Sedan on the other hand benefits from a five-star overall safety rating despite having the same scores for its front, side, and rollover tests. The NHTSA has not clarified why it has deducted a star for the Coupe.

2015 Si Coupe

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

2015 Si Sedan

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

9th Generation Honda Civic Si Trims

There is only one trim available for the Honda Civic Si but nominal changes are applied with the updated 2014 model. All examples have the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder unit up front. This can only be had with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox that has the added benefit of a helical limited-slip differential. All cars were sold standard with all-season tires but performance compounds were available as an optional extra.

Comfort and convenience features are plenty, and both the coupe and sedan feature a power sunroof, auto-on headlights, air conditioning with an air-filtration system, bucket seats with fabric upholstery, a premium sound system, and more, fitted as standard. Other than the tires, the only optional equipment for the Civic is a navigation system.

2012 - 2015
2.4-liter inline-four
Six-speed manual

All Si models are powered by Honda's revered K-series 2.4-liter inline-four engine with a power output of 201 hp and 170 lb-ft for the 2012 and 2013 models and 205 hp and 174 lb-ft thereafter. All cars employ a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and a helical limited-slip differential. Prospective owners also had the option of upgrading the all-season tires to a set that is better suited for dynamic driving. On pre-facelift models, this would be the Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 for the 17-inch alloy wheel (Michelin no longer produces this compound for this wheel dimension) while the updated model's 18-inch wheel's standard Continental ContiProContact compound can be exchanged for the ContiSportContact 5.

Ninth Generation Honda Civic Si Features (Last model year)

Throughout the 9th-generation Civic Si's life, Honda continually made revisions to the front and rear stabilizer bars and steering ratio. The launch model was the softest of the batch as it featured a 0.71-inch front and 0.6-inch rear bar with a steering ratio of 16.08:1, giving the wheel a lock-to-lock rotation of 3.11 turns. One year after this, the engineers tightened things up by increasing the bar thickness to 0.83 inches on the front and 0.71 inches on the rear. The steering ratio was shortened to 14.94:1, providing the wheel rotation with a shorter 2.87 lock-to-lock turns. Honda continued pushing the limits of stiffness with the arrival of the facelift as the rear stabilizer bar was increased to 0.79 inches. The steering wheel's lock-to-lock was shortened even further down to 2.78 rotations.

As the Civic Si is a halo model, it comes fitted with a power sunroof as standard together with air-conditioning with an air-filtration system, central locking with an auto-lock system, cruise control, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, and aluminum pedals with a complementary shift knob. Both the coupe and sedan are treated to an armrest and air vents for the 60:40 split rear bench.

Pre-facelifted Si models employ a traditional audio unit connected to a premium seven-speaker system including a 360-Watt amplifier and subwoofer. This features an auxiliary, Bluetooth, and USB input together with the usual MP3, CD, and radio compatibility. Selecting the optional navigation package will add a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Sirius XM, FM traffic updates, and voice recognition. Without this, the display configuration is still comprehensive thanks to the intelligent multi-information display (i-MID) which showcases information such as average fuel economy and speed, the odometer with two trip meters, elapsed driving time, exterior temperature, and fuel range. It also lets you customize the door locks, interior lighting, screen colors, and wallpaper.

The facelifted Honda Civic Si is a slightly more comprehensive offering as it adds keyless entry with a push-button start, a sliding armrest for the center console, and a 7.0-inch infotainment screen acting as a display for the backup camera. The navigation package adds HD and XM radio, voice recognition, and FM traffic updates. Dynamic guidelines are also included for the multi-view backup camera.

Back-Up CameraSi
Bluetooth ConnectionS
Leather SeatsaS
Apple CarPlayS
Keyless EntryS
Keyless StartS
HD Radio?
Alloy WheelsS

Interior, Trim And Practicality

Honda Civic Si 9th Gen Interior Overview Honda
Honda Civic Si 9th Gen Interior Overview

Considering that the Si is on the higher end of the Civic range, the cabin experience is a bit more upmarket than what you would find lower down in the range. Unlike the rest of the Civic lineup, the Si benefits from slightly better cabin quality throughout its lifecycle although plastic trimmings still feature along the dashboard, doors, and center console. Soft-touch materials give the perception of improved quality and are applied to the 2013 model, which includes carbon-fiber inlays for a sportier appearance.

The highlight of the interior is the Si-branded fabric bucket seats that keep the driver and passenger secure through dynamic lateral maneuvers. 2014 and 2015 models retain the fabric finish but a dynamic red shade is applied to the center to create a sportier look. Those looking for a more conservative interior may not appreciate this too much.

Naturally, the coupe body style is less practical than the sedan but you'll be surprised to learn that the variance is not huge. The 103.2-inch wheelbase of the coupe is slightly shorter than the sedan's 105.1-inch figure, which translates to a shorter rear legroom space of 30.8 inches compared to the sedan's 36.2 inches. Interestingly, the coupe's front legroom measures 0.2 inches longer than the sedan at 42.2 inches but the headroom is 0.2 inches lower at 37.7 inches. Despite both cars measuring 69 inches wide, the shoulder room of the Coupe is 5.5 inches narrower at 55.1 inches. If it is cabin space that you're looking for, particularly if you are commuting with taller rear passengers, the sedan is a clear choice but if it's a car that will likely be used for carpooling, there's no reason why the coupe won't work for those in the region of six-feet tall.

If you aim to cart goods in the trunk, the Civic Si FB sedan would again be a more suitable option as it has 12.5 cubic feet of space compared to the coupe's 11.7 cubic-feet figure. Both of these are enough to accommodate roughly four medium-sized suitcases with a small amount of additional space. Daily grocery runs will not be an issue in either body style.


2012 - 2015 Honda Civic Si Maintenance and Cost

The K24Z7 unit requires an oil change and tire rotation every 7,500 miles as per Honda's recommendation. At 15,000 miles, the engine oil filter needs to be replaced while a thorough inspection must be conducted on most of the mechanical and structural components. At 30,000 miles you'll need to replace the air-cleaner element, spark plugs and inspect the drive belts and adjust the valve clearances. The K24 has a reputation for being both an enjoyable and dependable engine but it must be routinely maintained to ensure its integrity and longevity.

9th Gen Honda Civic Si Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

4.2-liters (4.4 quarts) for K24Z7 2.4-liter inline-four

Recommended viscosity: 0W-20 synthetic oil

Replacement: 7,500 miles

Average price: $59


K24Z7 2.4-liter inline-four

Part code: 12290-R40-A02

Replacement: Every 100,000 miles

Average price: $99 for four



Part number: 31500-SR1-100M

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years

Average price: $145

Air Filter

Part number: 17220-RX0-A00

Average price: $22

9th Generation Honda Civic Si Tires

2012-2013 Si
Tires Size:
215/45 R17
Between $384 to $726 per set
2014-2015 Si
Tires Size:
225/40 R18
Between $748 to $992 per set
Continental ContiSportContact 5
Tires Size:
225/40 R18
$558 per set

Check Before You Buy

The ninth-gen Honda Civic Si coupe and sedan are fairly problem-free performance cars, provided that maintenance is conducted on a routine basis in accordance with what the manufacturer recommends. It is of the utmost importance that you ensure the Si's oil and coolant are always topped up. Overall, the 2012-2015 Honda Civic Si coupe and sedan should not suffer with Bluetooth, power steering, transmission, AC, battery, clutch, intake, manual transmission, throttle body, electrical, engine, front-bumper or push-start button problems.

The 9th-generation Si coupe and sedan are included in the recalls issued for the Civic range relating to an incorrect steering column that affected 157 units produced in October 2012. 50,190 units were affected by a recall relating to the left driveshaft that suffered an irregular fitment of the retaining clip which can cause the part to separate. Some Civic models were also recalled for a leak in the fuel line feed due to poor placement of one of the O-rings. No recalls for the 2012 to 2015 Honda Civic Si's paint have been issued.
Here are some typical ninth-generation Honda Civic Si OBD2 error codes:

Honda Civic OBD2 Fault CodeFault Code DescriptionFault Code Possible Cause
2012-2015 Honda Civic Si Code P0172This code means that the fuel system on your Honda Civic Si is running too rich and an excess of gasoline is being detected from the exhaust gasses being emitted from the combustion chamber.This could likely be due to a vacuum leak, faulty oxygen or mass airflow sensor, worn-out fuel injectors, or a poor fuel pump or filter
2012-2015 Honda Civic Si Code P0720Your countershaft speed sensor circuit is malfunctioning. This fault may send incorrect information to the car's transmission.You may suffer this issue due to a worn gear at the output shaft speed sensor. The output shaft speed sensor can also be faulty. If both of these are still intact, consider inspecting the wiring.
2012-2015 Honda Civic Si Code P0137The secondary heated oxygen sensor (Secondary HO2S) circuit is suffering from a low voltage.The issue could be due to a bad oxygen sensor, wiring harness, clogged catalytic converter, damaged oxygen sensor terminal or the incorrect application of an O2 sensor.
2012-2015 Honda Civic Si Code P0685You'll see this code when your powertrain control module is suffering from low or no voltage.If your engine is starting but you still see this code, it's likely to be a wiring issue of the powertrain module.
2012-2015 Honda Civic Si Code P0507The idling engine speed is higher than the specified rpm.This can be because of a dirty throttle body, damaged electric throttle control, a leak in the air intake, or a bad connection on the air intake control valve.
2012-2015 Honda Civic Si Code P145cThis code is related to an issue with the fuel tank pressure sensor.You may experience an issue with the fuel tank pressure sensor if the harness is open or shorted. It can also be due to a poor electrical connection or the circuit.

9th Gen Civic Si Coupe Common Problems

K24Z7 Engine Problems

The K-series engine family, dating all the way back to 2001 and still being applied in Honda's modern performance cars, is revered for its robust internal components including the aluminum block supported by cast-iron cylinder liners. The highlight of the unit is the aluminum-alloy dual-overhead-cam cylinder head featuring Honda's i-VTEC system. In the ninth-generation Civic Si, the engine sources fuel from a multi-point injection fuel system.

Honda's K24 unit has been known to suffer from galling and fast-wearing exhaust camshafts. This is even more of a concern if you delay changing the oil. Frequent oil changes and adjusting the valve clearances every 30,000 miles should keep valve-gear problems at bay. It's also noted that oil leaks due to a worn front crank seal can also cause a hassle. The rear seal is also susceptible to leaking, but this is much less common.

Mileage: Expect the leaks from the front crank seals at the 120,000-mile mark but this is a component that can also wear with age, regardless of distance covered. Exhaust-cam galling may show itself at 100,000 miles. The K24Z7's cam chain tensioner has no set mileage attached to it as it can fair at any point.

Cost: The crank seal is a relatively inexpensive part that should cost in the region of $10 to $40 with an expected labor cost of $300 to $400. The worn exhaust camshaft is priced at $1,000 to $1,500 with a labor charge of around $1,200 from your average repair shop. A Honda dealer is likely to ask a bit more than this.

How to spot: If you notice any visible oil leaks, low oil levels, or a smoking and burning oil smell while driving this could mean it's time to check your crank seals. A clicking noise from the engine bay and a noticeable loss of power is likely to be a worn exhaust camshaft. These are symptoms that will have to be seen to promptly. A chain tensioner that is no longer in good condition will deliver a rumbling or rattling noise and could affect the ignition and timing of the powertrain. This will also likely signal the Check Engine light. In the worst case, a faulty timing chain can cause significant damage via a piston-to-valve contact.

Rodents Eating Soy-Based Wiring System

In a bid to make the Civic Si as eco-friendly as possible, Honda opted to use a soy-based wiring insulation for the car's electrical system. It was done in good faith but as a result, rodents tend to get attracted to the smell and gnaw through the wires. If this occurs, it can result in extensive damage to the car's electrical system that'll have you forking out large sums of money for repairs.

Honda's official response to this is a capsaicin chili tape that acts as a repellent to the troublesome critters. It's not a conclusive solution as you simply will not be able to reach all of the wiring so the best way to prevent this from happening is keeping the car's parking environment free of any rodents.

Mileage: N/A

Cost: A complete wiring harness kit for the Honda Civic Si costs about $2,300. This excludes the cost of the substantial amount of labor time needed to carry out the repair.

How to spot: Rodents biting into the wires become evident if you find droppings or chewed wiring in the area where your Civic Si is parked. This can also lead to electrical faults.

Less Common Problems

Some owners have noted that the Civic is susceptible to a tire-pressure monitoring system warning light that won't deactivate even if the tires are filled with the correct amount of air. This can be resolved with a software update.

Which One To Avoid

The 2012 Honda Civic Si is the weakest of the batch as it features the poorer interior materials and thinnest stabilizer bars. It also stems from the generation of cars that suffered the greatest number of recalls.

Which One To Buy

The 2014 and 2015 generation of the Honda Civic Si is the most composed and refined of the ninth generation. Considering that the FG Civic Si coupe sits on a shorter wheelbase, these are known to have sharper dynamics. The standard specification is also more generous with inclusions such as a backup camera and keyless entry. Ideally, you'd want to find one with the navigation package as it offers the most comprehensive ownership experience.

9th Gen Honda Civic Si (FB/FG) Verdict

The 9th-generation Honda Civic Si is a unique proposition as it is one of very few Japanese performance-minded products of the early to mid-2010s. Although the engine's performance may not be on par with its German counterparts, the unique chassis setup, short-shifting six-speed manual transmission, and high-revving engine offer a driving experience that you'd struggle to find anywhere else. It also has a solid reputation where mechanical reliability is concerned which is a key factor for this segment.

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