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