Civic Si Coupe returns to liven Honda line

The brightest of the Honda Civic Si Coupe colors is energy green. (Bud Wells photo)

Cars and trucks flourish with bright colors these days.

Energy green pearl is a new hue, showing up on the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe. The spirited Si, removed from the Honda lineup for 2016, returns with stiffened suspension, a horsepower boost and quick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission.

And the extreme green paint.

For the finish of the Civic Si, there are other choices, including silvers, reds, blues, blacks, whites, grays, all of which probably ought to be considered before settling for the energy green.

We had no trouble spotting the Civic when we walked out of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen (Thornton) into a very crowded parking lot recently with Kurt and Tammy Wells. It’s a standout, and that’s not complimentary to its color scheme.

The sport compact’s exterior style is sharp, with a wide grille, honeycomb mesh air dam and large corner air intakes up front and a high-riding rear-wing spoiler. Inside, there is room for passengers in the rear-seating area, though headroom is very limited.

Performance comes from a 1.5-liter, direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder engine of 205 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque with a low redline of 6,500 rpm.

Noticeable when settling into the Si’s low-slung front seats are a short shifter for its 6-speed tranny and a relatively small steering wheel. Handling is superb, ride often turns somewhat rough. Push the Sport mode button and the suspension firms up and steering is more responsive. The hatchback rides on Goodyear Eagle 235/40R18 tires.

The Si tuner model carries an impressive EPA estimate of 38 miles per gallon on the highway; my overall average was 33.8.

When engaging the right turn signal, the camera lends a view to the right side of the car for added safety in that direction.

As quick and responsive as the Civic Si is, it is overshadowed by the Civic Type R, a 306-hp, turbocharged four-door hatchback. Its pricing begins about $10 grand above that of the Civic Si.

Pricing for the Honda Civic Si Coupe is $24,975, a bargain it seems, especially when measured against competitive makes Subaru WRX, Golf GTI, Focus ST and Mini Cooper S.

Among standard items in that $24k sticker are a power moonroof, Bluetooth hands-free link, CarPlay/Android Auto integration, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front sport seats, sport pedals, cruise control, rearview camera, intermittent wipers, capless fuel filler, center outlet sport exhaust and a rear-wing spoiler.