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Honda Civic Type R

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Honda Civic Type R
8/10

Overall
verdict

It took forever for them to finally release the Honda Civic Type R, and when it did people were a little underwhelmed to find the same engine in it as the old one. Still, Honda’s made a great little hatch here; useable, involving and, above all, different.

Additional Info

  • ‘Looks faster at a standstill than it feels when you’re actually driving it. What’s going on there?’
  • Top Gear wildcard

    There is a limited edition lightweight version available. This gets us excited.

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What is it?

The Civic is the best handling hatch on the market thanks to a fairly arcane solid rear axle, but the stiffer Type R makes better use of what technology it’s got, producing a sharp and positive drive.

Driving

There are many bees in many bonnets about the excessively stiff ride on the Type R. For a car that is consciously striving to be more user-friendly than its predecessor, this was a bit of an oversight.

On the inside

With the same 197bhp 2.0-litre VTEC unit that the last Type R had, albeit with a few refinements, Honda’s hot Civic is markedly less hot than the Golf GTI or Astra VXR. But the engine is still compelling with its free-revving nature and superb transmission.

Owning

Destined to split opinion, the startling styling of the Type R will appeal to many and appall the rest.

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Latest road tests

8/10 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Driven
January 2014
7/10 Honda Civic Type R Mugen 200 driven
September 2010
6/10 Honda Civic Type R Mugen
December 2009
6/10 Honda Civic Type R Mugen Pre-Production Spec
October 2009
8/10 Honda Civic Type R Championship White
January 2009

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