The Honda Civic Type R has forever and a day been the poster boy for boy racers and the latest model has not taken anything away from the original recipe. I’ve have not driven a car that gathered this much attention in a very long time. It struck up conversations at nearly every stop I made. Most people, really just loved the thing.
The Type R has recently been upgraded with a few minor tweaks here and there but the overall car is still as exciting to drive as the model it replaces. Now it’s bigger, better looking and offers even more tech gadgetry than any computer boffin can dream of.
The biggest improvement over the previous model is the electronic suspension. Yes, the previous model had this too, but it wasn’t nearly as good as this. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how the older brother drove, but most occupants complained that it was too hard and too focused and in a way they were right. Honda has revamped this and now offers 3 modes of suspension, Comfort, Sport, and R+. The latter also makes the throttle response a little sharper and changes up the fuelling so the car will run about .2 bar more boost, peaking at about 1.6bar of pressure at the coast.
The interior is still very much Type R. Red seats, red belts and a big red H badge reminds you that this is no ordinary Civic. The lateral support is pretty snug, even for larger guys, but I really miss the lumbar support on longer drives. The speedo console has also been changed and now featured some more advanced digital info like boost pressure, brake pressure, lap timers and then, of course, the usual fuel economy type of things that is normal for most. The analog has also been dropped for a more favorable digital unit and everything just adds to the boy racer flair.
The center console is typical Honda now, with a big LCD screen that controls mostly everything. From the dual zone climate, audio and new to this model, the navigation. It is however very user-friendly which is a bonus, the last thing you want to do is struggle with your infotainment.
The 2.0 engine is pretty much left unchanged, or at least it feels the same in the power department. The 228kw engine loves to be pushed hard and rewards drivers with a few moments of torque steer as the front wheels fight for traction. Overall the fuel consumption is on par with most cars in the segment, but frugal driving saw below 7l/100 on the open road. In the real world and city driving included, figures around 9l/100km is probably the norm. The monstrous Berlina black 20” wheels fit the arches perfectly but offer a relatively hard ride. The big Brembo 4 pots and 350mm disks do a perfect job of stopping, the rears are slightly larger at 305mm vs 296mm from the old car.
There is just something about this front wheel drive hyper hatch that has me frothing at the mouth. Maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s the way it rewards you when pushed or maybe its that around the Nurburgring, its 2 seconds faster than a BMW M4. But at the end of the day, you either love it or hate it. I guess by now you have figured out that I’m totally besotted.
The Type R is priced currently at a very yummy R635 000 and this includes 5 years 200 000km warranty and a 5 year / 90 000km service plan.
Fast and agile.
Not as refined as competitors
Styling too much for some
No lumbar support in the driver seat