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.

Powertrain and chassis

Not a great deal is carried over from the previous Type R, but the engine, transmission and brakes are. Honda could not simply drop the old engine into the new car, however, so the 2.0-litre VTEC turbo unit has been ‘optimised and refined’. This means an extra 19 horses, now putting out 320hp with peak torque of 400Nm.

The six-speed manual transmission has been improved too – a switchable ‘rev’ match’ system added. As its name suggests this precisely aligns engine speed to transmission to ensure the most efficient shifts and no ‘shock’ through the gearbox. And the Brembo braking package boasts bigger discs.

Possibly the most visual aspect of the powertrain changes are the triple tailpipes of the exhaust, looking for all the world like some weapon pointing at following vehicles. Exhaust flow is improved by 10% while the smaller central pipe performs multiple functions, both improving efficiency and that essential element, the sound the car makes!

All of which contributes to a 5.7-second 0-62mph time and a 169mph top speed. The Civic Type R claims the title of fastest-accelerating car in its class. It also – currently – holds the title more manufacturers these days appear to be chasing, as the fastest front-wheel drive car ever around the daunting 14-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife track in Germany.

Honda also dubs the Type R’s chassis as the most sophisticated in the model’s history. Allied to the platform and rigidity improvements is the significantly revamped suspension. The front MacPherson struts use a lot of aluminium and a bespoke ‘dual-axis’ setup which cuts torque steer – the tendency of a powerful front-wheel-drive car to want to go sideways when the power is put down.

The rear suspension is completely new too, a multi-link system designed to improve stability under braking. But just as important are the revisions to the adaptive dampers, both improving performance at pace but adding ride comfort in normal use.

Next page: Driving experience

Red and white - Honda Civic Type R

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…

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.