A well-built low-cost pocket-rocket!
For the most part, I have not had any problems at all with this car; the few I have had are:
1) At around 5,000 miles, while washing my car, I noticed rust around the hinges on the rear hatch. I took it to the Honda dealership and was told it was from the car being shipped on a train. They told me that metal dust, or "rail dust", gets into the cracks on the car and it is the actual dust that rusts. They scheduled an appointment to get it cleaned out, and even set me up with a free rental car from Enterprise for the day. When I got my car back, I inspected the area where I found the rust and found that it was completely spotless. I have not had this problem since, so they must have been truthful with me.
2) The transmission sometimes grinds going into 2nd gear, but, since it happens maybe once a month, I haven't bothered taking it to the dealership. I have seven years (extended warranty) in case something does go wrong.
3) The trim around the power-supply (sort of an empty cigarette-lighter for those of you who do not know what I'm talking about) and the trim, under the steering wheel, on the dash started coming loose. I got both fixed promptly. I haven't had anymore problems with the power-supply trim, but the trim under the dash is still loose. I'll get it fixed when I go in for my first scheduled maintenance (not oil change... I do that myself).
3) The small trim-ring around the temperature knob is somewhat loose. It is not a problem, but I can see some light through the crack when I have my lights on, which is somewhat distracting during night driving. I might have to get that fixed, along with the trim under my steering wheel, fairly soon if it keeps bugging me.
4) I don't care much for Honda's paint. I try to stay as far back from dump trucks, and other semi-hazardous vehicles, as possible, but it does not seem to help. I already have three small chips on my hood, one on my passenger-side fender, and one on my passenger-side door. The chips on my hood are no problem since my car is getting a new carbon-fiber hood soon, but the chips on my fender and door will most-likely get some touch-up paint soon.
5) The stock Michelin tires are horrible. I have less than 8,000 miles on my car and my front tires are worn so badly they are almost bald. While I do like to accelerate quickly, I do not spin or bark my tires, I do not race, and I *never* do burnouts.
Other than the minor problems listed above, I absolutely love this car. I went to the dealership to buy a Civic EX coupe, but fell in love with the Si at first sight. I did not even test-drive this car; I simply told them I wanted it. The first time I drove my little Si was when I drove it home.
With 160 horsepower, and 132 pounds of torque, I must say that I am absolutely amazed by the performance of this car. The 0-60 time is 6.8 seconds, which is pretty good considering a 2002 Mustang GT has a 0-60 of 6.1 seconds. The dash-mounted shifter is great for quick shifts, and is a lot of fun. I had a 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T before this car. It had a 3-liter DOHC V-6 engine (four cams!), but it couldn't possibly keep up with a new Si. The 0-60 for that car was around 7.7 seconds.
The suspension is awesome. The Stealth had ECS (Electronically Controlled Suspension), which changed the stiffness of the struts. While the ECS did improve the handling, it also added a harshness to the ride that my passengers usually complained about. My Civic handles better and rides smoother, without any sort of electronic suspension, than my Stealth did with the ECS turned on.
This car has a ton of storage space. It has a roomy hatch, that is about the size of a standard car trunk, and folding rear seats for extra storage space.
For $19,000, the only car I can think of that is a better deal is the Dodge Neon SRT-4 (turbocharged, intercooled, 230hp, $21,000), which came out after I bought my car. ;-)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 14th December, 2003