The 2004 Honda Civic Si Is a Quirky, Forgotten Hot Hatchback


Honda Civic Si evaluation! The EP3 Honda Civic was a quirky, interesting hot hatchback– and today, I'm reviewing it. I'm going to reveal you all the peculiarities and functions of this uncommon vehicle, and I'll likewise drive the EP3 Civic Si hatchback and show you what it's like behind the wheel.


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The 2004 Honda Civic Si Is a Quirky, Forgotten Hot Hatchback

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About the Author: RareCars


  1. I had a black 03’ EP3 just like this minus I put a type R body kit on it. I loved it dearly. Had a nicely built Frankenstein motor swap (the K20A3 is fine but so much better with a K24) , 6 speed swap. LSD. Peakboost turbo… fuuuuck I miss that car. Was such a fun build and an even more fun drive. And despite the hate on it, I loved the shifter mounted on the dash.
    Edit also fun fact- the front seats were actually made by recaro. The reason they were not branded so, is to keep the cost of the vehicle down

    1. Never driven this civic but In the same time we got the FD2r I owned the car for 7 years it was the greatest daily driven Type R for me

    2. Alfa Romeos had the shifter on the dash like that. It is nice because it is closer to the wheel for shifts. Also, my Element had its manual shifter on the dash too.

  2. my favorite part about this car was the rear wiper fluid mechanism. it basically sprayed backwards into a shield that reflected it back onto the rear window. well my ‘shield’ fell off and the rear wiper fluid just blasted backwards like 15 feet. was amazing for being tailgated and watching people turn their wipers on in confusion.

    1. Till the guy tailgating you is mad af and starts road raging prob shooting at you don’t do that in Dallas

  3. What’s interesting about this car is that it was developed in Europe. So it is extremely stable at high speeds due to its time spent on the German autobahn. Truly is a gem of a car. My brother had one for years and he loved it. The type R was the same body style but just had the better motor. VTEC in these was only on the intake camshaft. In fact I the believe the K20A3 was the same engine as in the base Acura RSX

    1. I have a 2003 EP3 Si, and it is evidence of how terrified Honda of America was of the lift off oversteer. They gave it a large front sway bar and a tiny rear sway bar so the damn thing is more likely to understeer, and it shows. The 04 and 05 they changed a lot on the suspension so it performed a lot better, but my year is just longing for more everything.

    2. @Benny Buffa The thread originator referred to it as “V-tech” clearly showing never owned a Honda, also an engine with VTEC or i-VTEC only in the exhaust cam was never produced, it’s stupid to even think about it.

    3. @No nah It appears I’ve been an idiot! My brother was the one that told me about it but it appears he was wrong. So based on some googling, it seems the K20A3 did not have variable valve lift, just advanced variable valve timing on the intake side. There was no actuation on the exhaust side what so ever. I change this in the origination of the thread so I don’t mislead anyone else. Thanks for the correction! Never owned a Honda myself but we’ve had Hondas in the family for 20ish years in the form of vans.

    4. @Benny Buffa learning something new every day! I appreciate the distinction. Did some more research and now I get the full difference between the two. Definitely NOT on the exhaust side lol. The timing advance is on the intake side with the variable valve timing for the K20A3

  4. 70-year-old Grandma buying a civic SI with a performance package. Definitely a very cool Grandma

    1. @sonickgq Yep, extremely likely that’s exactly what happened. Salesman probably convinced her the base one was underpowered.

    2. @sonickgq I was thinking that initially, that a sketchy salesperson convinced her to upgrade for no reason but $$$
      Also dude who likes their own comment within 1 min of posting it 😂
      Whatever makes u happy just found it funny is all

    3. @TzadikTheManic 🇺🇦 umm no I didn’t like my own message, not sure what you’re talking about?

  5. I currently own an 04 ep3 type r (I’m from the UK) and I absolutely love the way it drives and feels in the corners. The type r model came with 197 bhp as standard so it’s still not fast but what we call nippy or quick.

  6. Oh man, I remember these new. I’d drive through my local Honda dealers lot and see this. It really only looked good with this performance kit. Otherwise it looked boring 😂

  7. These were type R here in the UK which had 200bhp. Engine, drive train and gear change were beautiful. Very well engineered and mega fast once the revs were 5500rpm. Great car

    1. You also had the Si in UK as the type S i would believe. Also “in a straight line” is rarely used in europe beside germany, our roads almost always have corners.

    2. this si is the type s but with some type r body panels and seats. the type s had the same engine and 5 doors

    3. Yh this Si is our Type S 158bhp. Comes with cruise so might be a better daily than a type R

    4. Came from the era when the golf gti 0-60 was around the 8 second mark. If I remember correctly, autocar or one of the magazines at the time had the type r 0-60 measured at either 6.2secs or 6.4 secs. Was quick in its day.

  8. What I’ve always liked about Hondas isn’t that they’re fast, but that they feel fun and quick and have what Jeremy Clarkson called “a sense of urgency”. He even credited that version as having more sense of urgency than the generation after it even though it has way less HP. Even my old 87 and 88 Accords felt fun and had a sense of urgency only to find out they had just under 90 hp.

  9. I had the EP3 type R in the UK. The engine and gearbox combo was fantastic, and handling superb. This was the hot hatch that changed the rules… nothing would touch this in the same price bracket. These were selling for 17k new. Pound for pound one of the best cars ever made by Honda. It’s still regarded as the best Type R by many… shame the US only got the Si…

    1. Thanks for watching you have been randomly selected among winners for today contact me to claim your prize right now 👆

    2. True, but the US got the Acura TSX (Accord mk7) with a V6 engine choice. We only got the k24a3, even their K24 was the a2 version with VTEC on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. So it’s swings and roundabouts really

  10. I had a silver 2005 model from 2012-2016. It was my first car and I loved it! It taught me how to work on cars ! It was slow but so much fun to drive on mountain roads. I actually bought the very last HFP rear spoiler that Honda had in stock for the ep3 it cost me like $600 😅 but anyway I only sold the car because I wanted a rwd car.. sold for a FC RX7 that lost compression after 1 week of ownership lol and my EP3 got totaled in a car wreck by the guy I sold it to 😞 I would’ve loved to buy it back. Someday I’d like to import a Type r ep3 to daily! Also on another note 10 years ago no 99% of the Honda community from my experience didn’t like the Ep3 they also got hate because of the engine. But the EP3 owners club was awesome and prob one of the best car communities!

    1. Thanks for watching you have been randomly selected among winners for today contact me to claim your prize right now 👆👆

  11. Love these more common car reviews from Doug. I know supercars are probably better clickbait, but these common man cars are what keep me coming back. Nice work, Doug 👍

    1. Agree! This is a type of car many of his viewers are actually interested and able to get. I’ve always liked that they were distinctive in comparison to other civics of the era.

  12. I had a 2003 Si hatch until 2015. I absolutely loved that car. It was easy to work on and so reliable. I miss it so bad.

  13. I absolutely love when cars have the shifter in/on the dash. It’s a rare thing to see, but it always looks cool

    1. I had an 04 2 door MT LX and it is strange to see how different this interior is to what I was use to for a car that was the same year.

  14. Watching this to let Doug know we actually appreciate his enthusiast (not in it purely for the $ views) videos and not just endless white SUV’s.

  15. That car was the most unloved back in the day even though it was amazing. My sister had an ep1 90hp 1.4 sport with factory type R suspension. It was extremely awesome. The ep3 type R is still today one of the most fun cars money could buy.

  16. First car I ever owned – absolutely loved it. Learned to drive stick on it. Learned a bit of electrical, a bit of wrenching/maintenance. Drove wonderfully. Now I only wish I could find an unmolested one to buy as nostalgia

    1. I learned on mine too last year lol, its fun and handles great – compared to my Tacoma. Mine’s a 2005 ep3 si, 71,000 miles, quite low. Stock everything except rear “wing” and I’m going to replace all the control arm bushings and maybe struts if they go bad.

  17. Everyone hated the EP3 because it was unreasonably slow for an Si even back then. The RSX Type S made 200hp. Also, the MKV GTI wiped the floor with it. The VW Rabbit at the time made the same horsepower as the Si.

  18. I’ll never forget the placement of the manual in these model years. It felt very minivan at first, then became centric with my palm. I’ll never forget the anticipation for VTEC to kick in, it was magical at that time.

  19. I had one of these for a couple years! Handled wonky (for a civic any way) but the console mounted shifter was amazing and the K20 sounded so damn good, even with the stock exhaust. I Ioved it so much and regret selling it every day.

  20. The seats didn’t start green. They must have gone that way over the years. I had one of these for 8 years. Even did a K24a2 swap and then supercharged it. Also autocrossed it lots. The true definition of bulletproof.

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