ngine size is increased from 1.7 to 1.8 litres and horsepower is up from 117 to 140, except for the Si, which receives a 197 hp version redlining at close to 8,000 rpm. For the past few years, Honda has been criticized for its comparatively low-horsepower base engine in the Civic (2006 Mazda3 is 150 hp; Kia Spectra is 138 hp, for example), and this horsepower boost makes the Civic competitive with all vehicles in the compact class.
Even though power is up, fuel economy is very close to the previous generation Civic (7.8/5.7 L/100 km city/highway, manual transmission). In real world situations, these cars may even beat official estimates (see CanadianDriver's 50-litre Challenge). The engine uses intelligent variable valve timing (i-VTEC) and is an ultra-low emissions powerplant.