Appearing in new car dealerships across America for the first time on 14 June 2017, the Civic Type R instantly turned heads with its brash new remodeling and a new world record for front-wheel drive cars with a lap time of 7:43.80 achieved at the Grand-Prix racing track in Nurburgring, Germany. With a solid history of reliability behind them and a much larger body, the guys at Honda have produced the best version Type R so far, and have achieved what I see as a full-proof future classic. So what’s it like? Read on to find out.
1. It’s a 5-door hot hatch with usable space for passengers and/or storage
2. Sticks to the road with the same amount of grip that high-end sports cars have
3. The responsive turbocharged 2.0 liter engine produces a powerful 306 horsepower output
4. Excellent suspension tuning making it more comfortable than previous models
5. Lightweight design enhances speed and handling
6. 6-speed manual gearbox with rev-match control
7. Gear shift lever positioned high allowing for easy gear changes
8. Sporty red and black interior trim come standard
9. Features a winged carbon fiber splitter, slatted ducts, and diamond-mesh air intakes
10. Plenty of aftermarket modifications and accessories to pimp your ride
11. Five star IIHS vehicle safety rating
12. There are extra ‘GT’ features such as blind-spot monitoring and power-folding door mirrors
13. Safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high beam assistance
1. Sorry ‘auto transmission’ drivers – this is only available with a manual gearbox
2. No Sat-Nav or climate control unless you upgrade to the ‘GT’ version
3. You will need to ‘splash the cash’ to get a used one. They start at around $34,000!
4. Recalls on some 2017-2018 models mainly regarding the power train/drive-line and incorrect information in the owner’s manual
Suspension, brakes and bumpers are the main checks first. These cars are made for action, so expect some usage when looking for one to buy. A thorough, detailed check by a mechanic should put your mind at ease whether to pursue a potential purchase. If you are buying a 2017 model, go to https://www.kbb.com/honda/civic-type-r/2017/recall/ and check the recalls by simply entering the VIN number of the car to see if it has been affected.
Ford Focus RS (2010-2018), Mini Clubman John Cooper Works (2013-2021), Volkswagen Golf R (2010-2020)
If you’re after subtlety, you shouldn’t be looking at a hot hatch in the first place. All-in-all the Honda Civic Type R is a great investment – even if it is a bit expensive. Honda’s years of reliability and getting things right has produced an awesome hot hatch worthy of street cred and admiration. Someone once said to me – ‘In a class of hot hatches, the Type R is bold and brash – proud to be big and muscular!’ and he’s right, it does.