What is it?
There are few names quite so synonymous with performance as ‘Civic Type R’. It’s a car that has, throughout its many generations, gone down an absolute storm with drivers who have loved both its sharp performance and its day-to-day usability.
Now, there’s a new one. It’s been designed to be more direct than its predecessor, but no less usable. Let’s check it out.
The new Civic Type R has gone on something of a growth spurt. It’s now closer in size to a saloon like the Audi A4, but most of these gains have gone into making the interior more spacious. Honda has also updated the Type R’s infotainment system - an aspect that was really lacking on the previous car.
Plus, we’ve got the addition of a new ‘Individual’ mode which allows you to chop and change between the car’s various settings to get the one which is right for you.
What’s under the bonnet?
Though the ‘standard’ Civic may only be available with a hybrid setup these days, there’s no such electrification going on here. The latest Type R still uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine - just as its predecessor did - but it’s got slightly more power, up to 325bhp rather than the 316bhp you got before.
It remains driven through a six-speed manual gearbox, too, and Honda claims that the new Type R should manage the 0-60mph sprint in 5.2 seconds. Flat out, it’ll do 170mph.
What’s it like to drive?
As with the previous Type R, your entry into the new Civic is dominated by the huge bucket seats which nestle you into the ideal position. Start up the engine and it’s relatively understated in character to begin with, but soon progresses and wakes up as you move off. In more comfort-oriented driving modes the Type R feels spot-on for UK roads, though the most aggressive Type R setting is best reserved for time on track.
The six-speed gearbox is a joy to use, too, while the steering is nicely weighted and really accurate. It all ties together to make the Type R really exciting to drive.
How does it look?
It’s fair to say that the new Civic Type R is a more grown-up affair. It’s considerably more rounded than the car it replaces, with fewer angles and edges to speak of. There’s still a huge rear wing, of course, but that’s the only real tie between the old and new.
It’s not boring, however. The front end has some real character to it, while the contrast black elements help to liven things up regardless of which colour you opt for.
What’s it like inside?
There’s plenty of space on offer inside the Civic Type R. Those sitting in the rear do reasonably well for leg and head room, and though boot space is slightly down on the previous car, the actual shape of the load area is nice and square. It’s easy to access, too.
As touched upon, the bucket seats up front and great both in terms of looks and supportiveness, giving you a really great place to start from.
What’s the spec like?
Prices for the Civic Type R will start from close to £47,000, which is a lot of money for this type of car. It does, however, come with plenty of equipment as standard, including Honda’s new infotainment system which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Honda’s full Sensing suite of safety assistance systems has also been added, incorporating features such as a forward collision alert and a road departure mitigation system.
The new Civic Type R arrived with a lot of expectations being levelled its way, but it has more than lived up to this. It’s brilliant to drive, more than capable of dealing with the UK’s rutted roads and it’s even pretty spacious inside.
Things are competitive in the hot hatch world, but it would appear that the Honda Civic Type R has done well to mark its place in the segment yet again.