Honda Civic Type R – Road Test

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Honda is a brand of contrast, for so many people it symbolises the epitome of Japanese reliability and quality. For year’s British car buyers have flocked to the likes of the Accord, the Civic and the ever ready CRV. These cars have never been exactly cheap but the level of comfort and unfailing engineering brought a quality that was previously only seen in German marques.

However, while Honda may have always had a place for perhaps a more sedate older generation as well as conscientious and safety minded family folk it has also always had somewhat of a naughty side. This side is nothing new, it’s not a fad or some kind of midlife crisis, it is just something that has always been, well, a little niche. However, in a time where Ford are producing 4WD monster rally versions of the otherwise sedate Focus and even Renault are popping out track ready versions of the Megane this darker side of Honda has very much hit the main stream and the rousing cry going out across the world involves people of all ages shouting “I want a Type R!”

History in Brief

Type R has always been Honda’s “shouty” badge. They have, in fact, been producing Type R Civics and selling them in the UK for some years but this latest version has taken everything that has gone before it and essentially throw the rule book out in favour of technical innovation that would shock Nasa and speed that will make a Porsche owner wince.


OK, let’s get this out of the way now. If you have read this far you are either interested or curious about the Type R, and either way you will have something to say about the looks. A number of people may have even failed to read this far purely based on the fact they don’t like the styling… but they have made a mistake and could now be missing out on one of the most exciting cars on the road right now. Yes it looks a little bit like a spaceship that crash landed on the set of a BBC 3 hip hop docu-drama and got mistakenly customised as a prop but there is method to the madness. The styling is not just for show, each wing, vent and line are all carefully planned and designed to allow the car to breath, grip and move through the air at a phenomenal rate. Look past the garish angles and find beauty in function.

Video Review


There is not getting away from the fact this is a fast car. Whether you like stats or not they are important. This car will do 0-60 MPH in 5.7 seconds although I actually think it’s faster. It is packing over 300 bhp and will keep going to a mind bending 167 mph! Yes that is 167 mph. But none of this describes how it handles or how it feels. The basic premise of this car is that it will go round a corner much, much faster than you think it possible and it will accelerate with more blood pumping fury than you are prepared for time and time again.

Living With The Type R

“It’s just not practical” I hear you cry. Well you would be wrong; this car is eminently practical and comfortable to boot. It has 4 doors, a good sized boot and adults can sit comfortably in the back seats. Not only that but it has Sat Nav, dual zone climate control, infotainment system with phone connectivity and DAB radio. It also has a massive array of driver safety gismos to keep you in a straight line and safe as well as front and rear parking sensors. These are not the usual facets of a road rocket and that is where the Type R really starts to make sense. You could take the kids to school, drive the mother in law to the shops and do a family shop in this car. But in one of those rare moments where you were alone and on the open road you can hit the “R” button and drive like you were filming for a good TV car programme that is not Top Gear. To top it all off it’s pretty good on fuel too! Claiming nearly 40 mpg but getting real world figures well into the 30s.

Should You Buy One?

Well, as brilliant as the Civic Type R is, it may not be for absolutely everyone but it is certainly for far more people than you might imagine. The test car I had for a week was £32,295 on the road and it is certainly worth every penny of that. It is the perfect car for people who perhaps have a family but still lust after a sporty car, as well as people who have finally been released from direct parenthood and feel they deserve something fun again. It offers safety, space, speed and reliability as well as a huge range of tech and engineering too. What more could you want?

About Ade Holder

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