What should I be paying?
£46,995. Wow. Buy it through Honda’s lease scheme at £499 a month on 8.9 per cent APR and you’ll have shelled out £55,256 by the time you actually own it. Plus, if you want the 'Carbon Pack' that adds black woven stuff inside and turns the rear wing into a carbon fibre sculpture, that'll be an extra £3,265.
But let’s use the base price and look around. Hyundai builds the closest natural rival in the i30N – one of the few front drive, manual hot hatches left. That starts at £34,000. A 4WD VW Golf R is now £43k before the many options you need to add, an Audi RS3 is £52k and a Mercedes A45 even more than that. Performance-and reward-wise the Civic is worth it, the biggest hurdle is that it’s £10,000 more than the old one and essentially the same underneath.
Honda can justify it because supply will be limited. It won’t say how limited, but hundreds rather than thousands is Honda’s line. Expect the Type R, like the Toyota GR86, to be well over-subscribed.
There’s a reason for this. Group CO2 targets. Even though we’re now outside Europe, we still have the same strategy. Sell too many Type Rs, fleet emissions go up and Honda gets fined. In other words Honda can only sell Civic Type Rs provided Jazz sales are strong, so the best dodge is to reduce supply and increase profit.
There’s a dodge to that though, but you’ll need the hide of a Rhino to do it … go and buy an old one. Do it soon before others do and make residuals even stronger. Running costs aren’t too bad thanks to outputs of 34.4mpg and 186g/km mean first year tax of £945. The fuel tank is only 47 litres – small for a big car – and means although the claimed range is 355 miles, in reality panic is probably going to be setting in after 280.
As mentioned your colour options inside are limited to what you see above, but exterior colours include black, red, blue and grey. We'd stick with Honda's classic Championship White, though.