Honda Civic Type R (2015 – 2017) Review

Honda Civic Type R (2015 – 2017) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
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.

+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.

Insurance Group 33
On average it achieves 91% of the official MPG figure

The Honda Civic Type R has always been the choice of hot hatch fans who enjoy a more focused and hard-edged sporting car than most in the sector. With the 2015 model, Honda took that to an even further extreme with a 310PS turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that sees the Civic from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and on to 167mph. That’s seriously fast for a car that can also take the kids to school, head to the supermarket and cruise on the motorway, albeit with a very firm ride. Therein lies the rub wit this car: it’s too singularly focused for many drivers.

The Civic Type R 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.

What does a Honda Civic Type R (2015 – 2017) cost?