New car review

Honda Civic Type R review

Latest, more potent but more user-friendly very hot hatch.

Summary

The new Honda Civic Type R is a much more complete performance hatch than its predecessor, more potent, but also significantly more practical as a daily driver.

Review overview

Design
8.0
Performance
10
Handling
9.0
Economy
8.0
Value
8.0

Summary

The new Honda Civic Type R is a much more complete performance hatch than its predecessor, more potent, but also significantly more practical as a daily driver.

Exterior and Interior

According to Honda, the new Type R was developed alongside the standard Civic, demonstrating how important the model has become to the brand – those that make jokes about Hondas appealing to the ‘older’ set forget that company founder Soichiro Honda was first and foremost a racer.

The car is longer and lower than its predecessor, while its styling makes the car look wider even though it’s not. A lower centre of gravity helps too, and a driving position closer to the road. It sits on a new platform, which saves 16kg of weight while improving torsional stiffness by 37% – better for safety, much better for handling…

Aerodynamics have assumed their greatest importance yet on the new model. The underbody is smoother, while the specification includes phrases such as ‘air curtain’ and ‘vortex generators’ – the kind of thing you hear more often when talking about new race cars. We are promised such measures make the new car the most stable Type R at high speed yet, while other measures include the front splitter, sculpted air intakes, wheels enlarged to 20 inches, even a bonnet in aluminium because that saves 5.3kg over the steel version on the stock Civic.

Inside is pure Type R, a riot of suede-effect fabric in the signature red and black. The seats might be the lightest ever fitted but they still hold you firmly yet comfortably, and make you feel like you are in a performance car.

The dash is a big improvement – the display is still digital, but no longer something akin to a science-fiction spaceship. It is also no longer in two pieces, the pod sitting atop the fascia has gone which is an excellent move. In the old car, one had to choose either to partially block the view of this pod or the main display with the steering wheel.

And of course this is still a Civic, so benefits from the increased interior room provided by the new design, both in front and rear. All of which helps justify the car as a purchase for daily driving – as a passenger, you no longer feel like the car really doesn’t want you there, as you did in the 2015 Type R.

Next page: Powertrain and chassis

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Troll much? I happen to live in the biggest city in Australia, along with 5 million other people, and I personally like what this car offeres and will be checking it out when it arrives here in Oct. Do you live on planet earth, well you must be a VW employee, maybe we should chat about your latest emissions scandal – I won’t tell.

  2. Personally I think it looks great! It goes like a scalded cat, has the practicality of a well setup hatch, the reliability its competitors can’t touch, the handling of a racing car, and undercuts its competitors on price. Oh and it doesn’t have engine blocks failing after 10,000 kms, underengineered/overheating rear clutch packs, dual-clutch gear boxes that turn to rubble, and a parent company more interested in money then poisoning families with it’s emissions. Seems like the only choice really..

    • It could be coincidence, but judging by the IP address, “Persuaded” appears to be located very close to Honda Australia’s headquarters in Sydney…

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