Our Favourite Affordable Performance Cars - Honda Civic Type R

Lisa Harper

By: Lisa Harper

Kicking off our look at some of our favourite affordable performance cars we explore the:

Honda Civic Type R

Vital Statistics:

- 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO engine
- 6-speed manual transmission
- 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds
- Top Speed 169mph
- Approximately 35.1mpg real world capability
- 179g/km of CO2
- 20” alloy wheels
- 245/30 ZR20 tryes

Awards:
- Top Gear Car of the Year 2017
- Evo Car of the Year best hot hatch 2017

Honda’s vision when designing the latest generation Civic Type R was to create a car with “manoeuvrability that the driver has complete confidence in.” So did they manage to pull it off?

Well consensus from us is a resounding yes! Not only is the latest Civic Type R the most powerful and fastest accelerating front-wheel-drive car Honda has ever built, it’s also incredibly practical and driveable.

The 2.0-litre VTEC TURBO engine provides impulsive pulling power and delivers 320PS. There’s also no mistaking the adrenaline inducing roar delivered by the bold triple exhaust. While improvements to the 6-speed rev-match manual transmission have ensured that seamless gear shifts are instinctive, requiring little effort from the driver to hit the sweet spot.

With three driving modes, comfort, sport and +R, you’ll find that the Civic Type R is as enjoyable on your daily commute as it is on the track. The comfort mode is ideal for everyday use as the suspension is set to absorb undulations found on British roads, making journeys less arduous. Switch to sport mode and you’ll find it less forgiving over the bumps, however you’ll be rewarded with superb agility and a car that is firmly rooted to the road, with reduced body lean for smooth and consistent cornering.

Finally the +R mode is best reserved for the smoothest tarmac found only when you hit the racetrack. Here you can truly unleash the beast and delight in its vigorous acceleration that will see you reach 0-100mph in an eye-watering 12.5 seconds. The dash display alters as you switch modes too ensuring the most relevant information for your chosen mode is displayed, for example in +R mode you benefit from a larger easier to read rev counter. What’s more switching from driving modes couldn’t be easier and can even be done whilst on the move.

The exterior may look slightly nineties with a brash rear spoiler and aggressive front end, however Honda have put a lot of work into ensuring every single aspect of the car helps to minimise drag and reduce lift to improve overall aerodynamics. The short body overhangs and taut lines help to manage airflow over and under the car for better stability when travelling at high speeds.

The inside of the Civic Type R perfectly balances the need for comfort with its sporty credentials. Meaning you get an interior that has solid technical appeal teamed with touches of luxury like the comfortable figure-hugging sports seats. Room is plentiful for a hot hatch, with generous head and leg room you can comfortably seat four adults. Whilst the boot has room for a plethora of paraphernalia from the big shop to buggies.

The low-slung driving position allows you to really appreciate the connection between car and road. It comes at a cost of reduced visibility through the rear window when reversing, however as the Civic Type R comes with a reversing camera as standard this shouldn’t be a problem. Plus if you opt for the upgraded GT trim then you’ll also benefit from front and rear reversing sensors too.

Whilst the Civic R Type is geared up for life on the track, it is equally practical for daily driving and has technology and features to make the daily commute more comfortable and convenient. The 7” touchscreen interface controls the DAB radio and has smartphone mirroring technology. You’ll also find a range of safety features including collision mitigating braking, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed limiter, which have helped the R Type to achieve a maximum five-stars in recent Euro NCAP testing.

Upgrade to the GT trim for a host of extra features like blindspot monitoring, parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors, wireless phone charger, built in Satnav and 11-speaker stereo system, to name just a few.

All-in-all the Honda Civic R Type provides exceptional performance, incredible practicality and an entertaining drive, all for less than you might expect. So why not pop into your local dealership to get behind the wheel for a test drive.

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