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Honda Civic Type R (2015–2017)

Last updated 14 July 2017

Engaging, enjoyable and exciting. Seriously fast thanks to 310PS turbocharged engine. Superb grip and handling.
Tough and uncompromising nature may make it too extreme for some. Looks are bordering on the 'boy racer' side.
Updated 14 July 2017

Report of wiring loom problem with October 2016 Honda Civic Type R GT, bough as an ex-demonstrator in January 2017. Engine management light came on. Took it to Honda dealer who did an HDS diagnostic...

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If you wanted to come out on top in a game of hot hatch Top Trumps - the Civic Type R would be your winning card. It boasts 310PS, a top speed of 167mph, peak torque of 400Nm and a 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds.

Those numbers aren’t just for winning card games though – this is one of the most engaging, enjoyable and exciting cars on sale. That does come with a caveat though - it's far from cheap and possibly a little too hardcore for some.

Unlike old versions of the Civic Type R, the new model has a turbocharger, though Honda has still seen fit to install its VTEC variable valve timing system. The result is, frankly, a bit mad. The 0-62mph sprint figure doesn’t really do the Type R’s performance justice - on the road it picks up speed like a genuine sports car, rather than a beefed up family hatch.

It’s seriously exciting to drive. The steering is precise, sharp and well-weighted, the gear change is satisfyingly slick and there is a huge amount of front end grip. That is thanks, in part, to a mechanical limited-slip differential that does its very best to keep the car pointed the right way when accelerating out of bends.

The suspension is very firm though. In fact the whole driving experience feels extreme - the Type R is tough and uncompromising. The seats have hard bolsters that are great for holding you in place, but aren’t great for three hours on the motorway, while the clutch is heavy in traffic and the engine is loud.

The bodywork is hardly subtle either which will be either very appealing or massively off-putting. Still, under all those muscular plastic addenda there is a Civic, so there’s a big, usefully shaped boot and two wide-opening rear doors. The back seats are good for adults and it’s easy to fold them down to free up a bit more load space.

Officially the 2.0-litre petrol engine in Civic Type R is capable of 38.7mpg, with emissions of 170g/km. For most, those figures probably don’t matter compared to excitement and performance. A Volkswagen Golf R is similarly priced and easier to live with plus there's the Ford Focus RS, but for those who want a genuinely thrilling, exciting hot hatch, the Civic Type R is fantastic.

Owners' reviews

Awesome performance, awful instrumentation, vulnerable wheels.
List Price from £31,550
Buy new from £29,244
Contract hire from £405.14 per month

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