It is the most backwards si from the factory to date.. And I love it. My previous car was an 8th gen and going through the steps of intake exhaust flash pro and finally boosted I loved it. That being said I love the new 1.5 boosted engine. It reminds me of a boosted integra ls with a small turbo on it. Broad predictable power. One thing I've noticed over the 8th gens is instant torque. No more having to be in vtec. (Also keep in mind I'm comparing my new si to my 8th when it was factory. Not fair to compare it to your modded previous model. It's still in factory form) the power is there when you need it. Sure it doesn't redline at 8k rpms and there's no crossover to assure you you're now making power. It's just there as soon as you put it down. Yeah there's a lower redline, but also a lower final drive. It may not be as rev happy as previous models, but acceleration is what counts right. The dual mode driving system is cool. I love the fact I can get a flash pro and run more boost only in sport mode. The suspension is very firm. The car handles great from the factory. I would say much more fun to drive on winding back roads than my factory 8th was. Definitely a good representation of what the civic si has always been. It may not have the potential that my 2.0 vtec engine does. But I'm sure it will do quite well once a turbo upgrade is available. I plan to wait an see what comes out but leaning towards the injen intercooler and cold air intake. Also the flash pro is a must. All and all I'm happy with it. If your plan is to smoke big liter v8's I would find a previous generation in good shape and purchase and aftermarket turbo kit. (I kept my turbo 8th gen, couldn't part with it) this is a great street car. All and all I'm happy with the car and my purchase.