Honda Civic Si in Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Honda Civic Si (Sport Injection) is the sportier sibling of the regular Civic.

This class of sport compacts is available with various body styles and comes as either a coupe or a sedan.

Both of which are 205-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that feeds the front wheels through a manual transmission.

In this article we’ll analyze the Civic Si’s ability to handle winter conditions, read on to find out more…

Here is the short answer about whether the Honda Civic Si is good for snow and winter driving:

The Honda Civic Si can drive in snow reasonably well. Features such as front-wheel-drive, traction control and ABS enhance its performance in slippery conditions. Safety features include collision mitigation, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, all of which are great for winter driving.

Is a Honda Civic Si Good in the Snow?

The Honda Civic Si, whilst not our first choice of car for driving in snow, is equipped with a number of features that certainly improve its winter performance.

The best types of vehicles for driving in heavier snow are of course SUV’s, a crossover or a truck. However, these vehicles are often out of price range or simply not needed.

The Honda Civic Si is more than adequate to use in winter conditions due to its front-wheel-drive system and traction control. The combination of the two helps to keep weight on the driven wheels which increases traction and reduces wheel spin.

These features when combined with a good set of snow tires will help the Si to navigate snowy roads with relative ease.

A downside to Si is that it doesn’t have a huge amount of ground clearance, standing at just 5.2 inches. Ultimately, this can become an issue when dealing with heavier snowfall.

On the flip side, in lighter snow conditions, having a low center of gravity can actually be advantageous as this reduces the risk of the vehicle rolling over as it ‘hugs’ the road.

The Civic Si does offer some great safety features such as collision mitigation, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control, all of which can be useful in winter driving conditions.

If you’re considering purchasing a Civic Si and you’re contemplating its winter ability, then you need to ask yourself what level of snow you’re likely to be facing.

If it’s a relatively heavy amount, then we would recommend looking into something more along the lines of an SUV or truck.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

The Honda Civic Si is naturally equipped to take on light snow and boasts some excellent features that boost its performance in colder climates.

Here are some of the features that come in handy when faced with winter driving:

Collision and Pedestrian Detection System

The Honda Civic Si is able to use its forward-facing camera to detect objects, pedestrians, and other cars in front of it.

If the vehicle detects an object that is too close, or it believes that the driver is not paying attention the car will automatically begin braking.

This feature comes in handy when driving in the snow as it means there is an extra set of eyes on the road. This helps the driver to avoid potential collisions, especially when braking distances become longer due to the slippery conditions.

Lane Keep Assist

Lane keeps assist is a great feature that also makes use of the forward-facing camera on the Civic Si.

This system monitors the lane that the vehicle is currently in. When it detects that the car is unintentionally drifting out of its lane it will gently correct the steering to ensure the car makes its way back into position.

Snow causes the surface of the road to become slippery, and it can be easy to drift out of a lane.

In addition, visibility may be poor, or the driver may have lost focus, in both of these cases the lane keep assist can help to avoid an accident.

Related: 25 Best & Worst Honda Civic Si Years (With Pictures)

Road Departure Mitigation

In the same way that the car can monitor when it drifts out of its lane, it can also detect if the car is unintentionally leaving the road itself.

In this case the car will give a visual and auditory warning to the driver as well as correcting the steering back onto the road.

This feature may seem unhelpful as most drivers are able to keep their cars on the road in normal circumstances. However, in some scenarios where the visibility is poor or there is a fresh layer of snow on the road, it can be difficult to focus on where the tarmac ends.

This is an extra safety net that can potentially prevent a serious accident.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control is the advanced version of the system found on most modern cars.

This system allows the driver to set the speed of their vehicle to match the car in front of it.

The system will do this by judging the distance between itself and the car ahead of it. If the car in front slows down, then the Civic Si with adaptive cruise control will also slow down.

Adaptive cruise control is helpful to the driver in winter as it allows the car to take control of the speed and keep a safe following distance to the car ahead.

Sometimes a driver may lose focus on long drives, and this system will come in handy to help prevent any collisions with other cars.

This system will help to keep a safe following distance to the car ahead in the snow.

Its worth mentioning though there is no substitute for vigilant driving and such features should be seen as a supplement to attentive driving.

Traction Control and Front Wheel Drive

Traction control is a system that controls the amount of wheelspin during acceleration.

The system essentially limits the amount of power that is sent from the engine to the driven wheels. This gives the car better traction and grip.

The Honda Civic Si is also equipped with a front-wheel-drive system, and the reason why this is of use in the snow is quite simple:

The engine is the heaviest part of the vehicle and in FWD’s, is situated at the front of the car, above the front wheels.

Having majority of the weight over the driven wheels pushes them into the surface of the road which also gives them added traction and grip.

Does the Honda Civic Si Have a Snow Mode

The Honda Civic Si unfortunately does not come equipped with a snow mode. However, with the latest technology added to this model, there shouldn’t necessarily be a need for a snow mode.

This vehicle has traction control, ABS, stability control and front-wheel drive. All of which help the car to handle well in the slippery conditions.

The best way to enhance your Civic Si’s winter driving capacity is to fit it with a good set of snow tires.

Please also read our article: Honda Accord Sport in snow and winter driving

Can you Install Additional Snow Gear on a Honda Civic Si?

Additional snow gear can be installed on the Civic Si.

  • Snow tires
  • Studded ice tires
  • Snow socks
  • Snow chains

How Much Snow Can a Honda Civic Si Handle?

This vehicle stands around 5.2 inches off the ground and so we would advise it is capable of handling snow between 1- 4.5 inches.

How Does the Honda Civic Si Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

With Honda implementing the latest of technology in their cars such as direct fuel injection, the Civic Si has no trouble handling the cold winters.

The engine may seem slightly sluggish at first, however, it can warm up rapidly and there is no need to wait for it to reach an ideal operating temperature before commencing your journey.

Can a Honda Civic Si Drive on Ice?

The Civic Si can be driven on ice, although it is highly recommended to use studded tires in these circumstances.

Studded tires will aid the overall grip and traction of the car on the slippery surface.

The low center of gravity helps the car here as it remains stable on the ice. Front-wheel drive is also hugely helpful here as you won’t experience as much fishtailing from the rear end of the car.

Does the Honda Civic Si Have 4WD?

Unfortunately, the Honda Civic Si does is not equipped with four-wheel-drive.

With fans of the Civic eagerly awaiting a four-wheel-drive edition of the car, there have been many rumors of one being released in the near future; however, Honda has not provided any updates on this as yet.

What About Older Honda Civic Si Models and Winter Driving?

Older models of the Honda Civic Si are certainly capable in the snow as they all have the same DNA of being front-wheel drive with punchy engines.

Older versions though will lack the latest safety features and technology found in the newer models, and that is something to be aware of in terms of driving in winter.

Does the Honda Civic Si Need Snow Tires?

It is always recommended to use snow tires when driving in winter, especially with the Honda Civic Si.

Snow tires will give the car that much needed extra grip and traction in slippery conditions, and they will provide you with an extra safety net should there be a sudden loss of grip.

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a Honda Civic Si?

Due to the small size and low ground clearance of the Honda Civic Si, it is not recommended to mount a snow plow onto the car.

Using a snow plow with a Civic can cause serious damage to the exterior of the car as well as the engine and driveshaft since the car does not have the necessary torque to utilize a snow plow.

Resources

https://automobiles.honda.com/civic

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

    View all posts