Review: Honda Civic Type R (2017)
Superb performance and great handling. Not too difficult to live with day-to-day. Acceptable ride quality in Comfort setting despite 30 profile tyres.
Uncomfortable ride in +R mode. Poor turning circle. Navigation optional.
Honda Civic Type R (2017): At A Glance
- New prices start from £31,525, brokers can source from £29,502
- Contract hire deals from £408.52 per month
- Insurance Group 40
- On average it achieves 103% of the official MPG figure
Hot hatches have never been as powerful or wild as they are now – and the Honda Civic Type R is probably the wildest of the lot. And that’s not just because it has a giant spoiler and angular styling – it also has a massive 320PS on tap and a huge 400Nm of torque, delivering exhilarating performance.
That results in a 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 169mph. And while those aggressive looks do turn heads, they're not just for show. The spoilers, vortex generators and various other pointy addenda are designed to provide downforce and stabilisation at high speeds.
The result of all the aerodynamic honing, performance and handling tuning is the front-wheel drive lap record for the Nurburgring - in case you care. So it has proven handling prowess and that shows on the road – with precise steering and huge grip levels through corners.
But it’s fine day-to-day too. There’s a comfort driving mode that provides decent ride quality and reasonably light steering, so town driving isn’t a chore – while the purposeful exhaust note doesn’t sound too loud if all you want to do is get home in peace. The only fly in the ointment is a heavy clutch that’s hard work in traffic.
It’s practical too. Boot space is the same as the regular hatchback, so there’s room for all your family gear including pushchairs and shopping, while the back row is spacious enough for adults to sit in reasonable comfort. The front bucket seats do have hard side bolsters though, so some people might find them uncomfortable or hard to get out of.
If you want your hot hatch to turn heads, then the Civic Type R beats rivals like the Ford Focus RS hands down. It has great performance and handling too – and yet it’s a car that isn’t too tricky to live with on a daily basis. And that’s exactly what a hot hatch should be – an everyday performance car.
What does a Honda Civic Type R (2017) cost?
Honda Civic Type R (2017): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
Inside, the Civic Type R has plenty of touches that make it feel like a proper hot hatch, with loads of bright red elements livening up the layout. The most noticeable difference between the standard car and the Type R are the supportive bucket seats – though these can be tricky to get in and out of.
There are some other Type R trademarks too like an aluminium gear knob that gets frustratingly hot or cold depending on the weather, along with a serial number plaque behind the gear lever. There’s also a drive mode selector, which in +R mode makes all the instruments in the digital binnacle turn an angry shade of red.
But under all the vibrant hot-hatchery there’s a sensible family car. That means plenty of cubby holes, storage bins and handy touches like a compartment for your phone, which features a wireless charger if you go for the pricier GT model. There’s a touchscreen system too, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support – but to get navigation you have to pick the GT.
In terms of practicality it’s more or less the same as the normal Civic. It’s a five-door, so access to the back row is easy and space is generous enough for adults. The boot is a good size too, with 420 litres of capacity - plenty for pushchairs and a weekly shopping trip.
Safety and convenience features include auto lights and wipers, auto emergency brakes, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assistance, along with a speed limiter that adapts to the current limit using the traffic sign recognition system.
Type R comes with sports seats, alloy gear lever, serial number plaque, 20-inch alloy wheels, triple exhaust, adaptive dampers, LED headlights with auto-on and auto-dip, electric parking brake, auto emergency brakes, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, intelligent speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, touchscreen system, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, DAB radio and a reversing camera.
GT trim adds wireless charging, front and rear parking sensors, Honda Connect with navigation, dual-zone climate control, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
Child seats that fit a Honda Civic Type R (2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Honda Civic Type R (2017) like to drive?
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 34–42 mpg
The Honda Civic Type R uses the same 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC engine from the previous model, but with power upped to 320PS – 10PS more than before. Peak torque is the same, a colossal 400Nm, available from 2500 up to 4500rpm. Once the turbocharger runs out of boost, VTEC takes over – so the engine keeps on soaring to redline.
The result is superb performance. Acceleration from0-62mph takes 5.7 seconds (on paper), but it’s on the move that the engine shines, with performance on tap almost regardless of the gear you’re in. If you do need to change down then the auto-rev match system means you can do so smoothly even if you’re braking hard.
Depending on the type of driving you’re doing there are three different drive modes – comfort, sport and +R. They make a very noticeable difference to the way the car feels, with comfort making the steering ligher and significantly softening the ride.
Sport mode is ideal for a spirited on-road drive. It sharpens up the steering and handling noticeably and keeps any unwanted body roll at bay, yet avoids bone-breaking ride quality. There’s masses of grip and plenty of feedback to the driver – making the Civic Type R huge fun.
The +R driving mode is really best-reserved for track days, since it makes the standard-fit adaptive dampers so hard that almost any imperfection or crack in the road surface is sent thumping into the cabin. On a silky-smooth race track that’s great, but it’s not so good on the B6270...
Despite all that power going through the front wheels, the handling remains extremely composed even when accelerating out of a tight bend, thanks to a limited-slip differential that stops the steering becoming too wayward. That said, the wheel will occasionally squirm a little when accelerating – not a problem in the all-wheel drive Ford Focus RS.
When you’re not enjoying your very favourite road, the Civic Type R is more manageable than its predecessor. The exhaust drones less, the suspension is comfier and it’s just that little bit less hardcore. There are still frustrations though – the clutch is heavy and the turning circle is terrible, so not ideal when parking.
|2.0T VTEC 320||37 mpg||5.8 s||176 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Honda Civic Type R (2017)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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