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Sport Injected: 1986 Honda Civic Si Hatchback

1986 Honda Civic Si Hatchback

While sitting at the stoplight, you’ve probably noticed that some Hondas have the letters “Si” emblazoned on their backsides. Today every new car has fuel injection, but back in the eighties it was still something special – especially on a Honda. So, as you may have already guessed, Si stands for Sport Injected. These were Honda’s own hot rods with more power and better handling than the base models. Finding nice originals like this can be hard today because many have fallen victim to bad body kits and blown turbos. This Civic Hatch has been tucked away for the past 10 years though and may be the perfect way to experience what made these little cars special. It’s located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is listed here on craigslist for $7,500.

Sport Injected

If this were an American car, we would all be questioning the mileage, but this is a Honda so 150k isn’t a bid deal. More damage was probably done by letting it sit, but the seller claims that it was started every year and runs fine now. Clean up the fuel system and you’d probably get even more out of that tiny 1.5 liter four cylinder. Honda’s PGM-FI fuel injection system bumped the base engine’s horsepower from 76 to 91 ponies!

Civic Si Interior

Nothing fancy in here. Crisp shifting five-speed, roll-up windows, and deeply bolstered seats. What more do you need really?

Removable Moonroof

Well, how about a removable moonroof? Honda was really going wild with this hatchback! You can’t see it, but they also upgraded the suspension and added sway bars in the front and rear. This wasn’t a race car, but I bet it was substantially more fun to drive than the standard Civic.

Si Badge

There’s that Si badge! Now you will know what it means next time one of these cars is sitting in front of you. It may not be as prestigious as something with a M, S, or AMG on it, but it’s still something special in it’s own right. You have to give Honda credit for trying to inject a little bit of excitement into their otherwise boring cars. Does anyone here have any good memories in a car with with the letter S and I on the back?


  1. Chebby

    I wonder if the Si models were especially popular in Mexico.

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  2. Todd Zuercher


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    Very clean and a great find. The wheels being correct are a hot item being bought up and used on later model Civics. My only concern would be where it’s from Michigan in the heart of the rustbelt. I would want to see its underside.

    If I wanted one the asking price seems fair however ($4500 would be better) for the same asking price of $7500 or a little more you could get a real JDM RHD Civic Si/R. Other cars with a fun factor for a lot less is the JDM Toyota Sera. They have been making their way on American soil showing up on ebay recently. My choice for a few grand more would be a Nissan Silvia. But moneys is no object. For $20K more lets get a Nissan Skyline GTR

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    • John K

      Pretty sure those are just wheel covers on the Si Civic.

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  4. Blindmarc

    These were the sh#t in their day. Along with the GTI rabbit.

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  5. Glen jenkins

    These were really fast in their day very light car with heaps of power. I had one as a company car and it left my own 82 1600 carb 3 door accord behind in its dust. They were a great car and comparatively good still today

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  6. Schwag

    Love it! Not quite as nice as a Wagovan or an EF Si, but an EA in Greek white is getting tougher and tougher to find.

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  7. Blueprint

    Great looking example! Interior in these were fantastic for the period. Trivia: Canada got a carbureted 1500S instead of the Si, with 13″ wheels, bigger tires and black bumpers, unlike the US market Si.

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  8. angliagt

    I had the regular version of this car.
    About the most “nothing” car I’ve ever driven.
    It wasn’t a car – it was a machine.

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    • sparecr

      And that is the difference between an Si and the “lesser” DX and HF models. Si is a fun “sports car” the DX and HF are appliances.

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  9. John K

    Nice find but I think the price is optimistic. Like AMCFAN notes, for this price you are almost into the range of a number of JDM cars that are now finding their way into the country. The SiR’s and even the JDM Si’s came with better drivetrains than the US market cars.

    Very surprised not to see rust on a Civic from the north, so I’d go over it with a fine tooth comb.

    That sunroof was probably dealer installed, so it doesn’t do much for me.

    Although 150K isn’t bad mileage for a Honda from the 80’s, it’s still high mileage for the asking price.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      The removable sunroof was actually factory installed. That was a special feature unique to the Si.

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      • John K

        Thanks. I had an ’84 CRX (non-Si) with a sunroof and found it was a dealer installed item. Never gave me any trouble but fit and finish was lacking.

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      • sparecr

        I thought the Sunroof on the Si was a power slid back into the roof glass panel. The CRX Si used the same thing except a solid panel and slid over the roof. I have only owned CRX Si, starting with an ’85 in 1988. $7500 is what these cost new and that seems the bar, a solid stock Si Civic or CRX now sells for original sticker. Very tempting.

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      • David ward

        These ones maybe, but all Si’s in the day had aluminum alloy wheels… and the horsepower estimate is lower than it actually was, these were extremely fast little cars I had one myself.

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  10. EmmyJ

    Whoa, throwback Thursday. An ’86 Si just like this was my first car. If I had the $$ I’d consider picking this one up, too.

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  11. Kralik

    Owned a 1989 Si from new; put over 200K on it until New York road salt finally claimed it. I drove it all over Europe, and it would cruise happily at 105-110 all day. Loved that car, and wish I still had it. The price here seems optimistic, but these are great, light, good-handling cars.

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  12. John

    I had a silver 87 fastback SI. I drove it 277,000 miles. It’s speedometer cable broke once. That’s all I ever had to repair. It went 60k on tires (Pirelli P6). It got 45 mpg on the highway. Its front fenders were plastic. It’s air conditioner could never cool the car. I loved it. I wish I could get it back. Wonderful little cars.

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  13. Bruce Best

    I had a 1985 Si in red with a black interior and it was wonderful. I have driven a few of the original Mini Coopers and these had very much the same appeal and feel on the road. They were faster with more room but the feel was the same.

    Mine was shortened by a very large Buick that hit me doing over 100 miles an hour and was airborne for over 200 feet after the first hit. A young man suffering from hormone poisoning trying to get to his girl friend and being chased by the police. Every piece of glass was broken but the structure flexed as it should and I and my two passengers survived. The doors never opened again as the were forced into the body.

    I loved it

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  14. kenzo

    This is just another run of the mill mass produced one of thousands Honda…. Here in the greater Vancouver and Victoria B.C. area they are everywhere. I see at least a half dozen in various states of hop up, air bagged, lowered, raised etc etc every day going to and from work…
    So not sure why this mediocre non barn find is here …
    Surely there is enough submissions to eliminate mediocre non-interesting vehicles like this one..

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  15. Charlie Davis

    I’ve owned 3 white ’86 Civic Sis, an ’88 CRX Si and an ’89 Civic Si. I’ve autocrossed all of them and enjoyed driving them on the street as well. Great, spunky thrifty cars.

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  16. Jubjub

    Still one of the cleanest small car designs. Friend had the red version of this car but with CRX Si phone dial wheels. Lots of miles but still in good shape. Traded it for some reason for a really clapped put CB360.

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  17. Bob Slayden

    I had one of these. Bought new. Added stiffer sway bars and Tokico gas struts, a chip, headers and Ansa exhaust. Used some soft compound tires so that I could come off the line better. It handled really fine. A real fun car to drive in the curves. I thoroughly enjoyed owning it.

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  18. Chris A.

    My Dad’s last car, he loved it almost as much as his “Big 4” Riley 2.5 touring sedan. These were just plain fun to drive. Good mileage too, the last full tank through it was just over 30 MPG.

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  19. David ward

    I noticed some of the comments are incorrect. The SI models had a retractable sunroof, not a removable one. All models have aluminum alloy wheels. All Si’s were also manuals. They also had double Wishbone suspension. Zero to 60 times we’re actually in the mid 7’s. I had an 85 SI and to this day I got the best gas mileage for a car as fast as it was that I have ever owned. Truly was a fun car to drive.

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  20. Bob Slayden

    I had an 86 Si and it’s sunroof was removable. Came with a vinyl bag to store it in when you took it off. You could cant it up at an angle and that is all I usually ever did. When you took it off, there was a small air deflector that you fitted to the front of the opening.

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  21. Sparecr

    Yes the Civic Si had a glass panel that slid back into the roof, if factory. The CRX Si had a solid panel that slid over the roof. A glass removable that went into a bag was aftermarket. However 85 Si (Civic and CRX) would have steel wheels with covers. 86 and newer Si had alloys that differed them from the HF and DX models.

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  22. Bob Slayden

    Maybe mine was dealer installed because it was on there like that from new. Mine was a Civic Si, 86 model. I put headers, aftermarket air intake and cleaner, (also “test pipe” for a while) chip, and free flow mufflers. Tokico struts, sway bars front and rear, Yokahama soft tires. Reved freely and handled tight. Always enjoyed the drive.

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  23. Irving Nunez Moreno

    Owned one back in the day really miss it!

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