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Honda Civic Type R review, photos



Honda Civic Type ROur Honda Civic Type RBenjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • The Honda Civic Type R is the fastest and most powerful car the company has ever sold in the US. 
  • The Civic Type R debuted in the US market in 2017. Sky high demand saw some dealers mark up the British-built car by as much as $10,000.
  • The Honda Civic Type R is powered by a 306 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with VTEC. 
  • The 2018 Honda Civic Type R starts at $34,700 with an $895 destination fee pushing the as test price to $35,595.
  • We were impressed by the Type R’s powerful engine, slick six-speed-manual transmission, confidence-inspiring handling, and surprising versatility. 
  • We were less than enthused with the boy racer styling, uncomfortable racing seats, and frustrating infotainment system. 

The Honda Civic is the best-selling compact car in America and has been a sales leader since its introduction more than four decades ago. 

However, it is hard to ignore how far the compact cars segment has fallen. According to Kelley Blue Book, sales of small passenger cars in the US fell nearly 7% last year. This year things are even worse with sales down roughly 14% over the first ten months of the year. And there’s no indication America’s mass exodus to crossovers and SUVs seems will end anytime soon. 

But even a shrinking compact car segment will still account for roughly two million units sold this year and comprise around 11% of the entire auto market.

Read more: Honda just unveiled a new all-American SUV to take on Ford, Nissan, and Chevy.

The Civic’s combination of fuel efficiency, reliability, and enthusiastic driving dynamics has helped it achieve long-lasting success around the world. 

In spite of the Civic’s popularity in the market, US consumers have never had the chance to own the Type R, the performance halo atop the Civic lineup. That all changed in 2017 when Honda finally corrected this glaring omission with the introduction of the 10th generation Honda Civic Type R. 

It’s the fastest and most powerful car ever sold in the US with the Honda badge. (The NSX is sold as an Acura in the US.)

The response from consumers was swift. The initial batch of 2,500 cars quickly sold out with many less scrupulous dealers selling the Type R for more than $10,000 above the sticker price. According to Honda, it’s a practice the company’s executive actively discourage. 

Read more: The Kia Stinger is Business Insider’s 2018 Car of the Year.

This year, Honda imported another 5,000 Type Rs into the US and they have sold quickly well in spite of the price markups.

Recently, we spent a week with a 2018 Honda Civic Type R in Rallye Red. 

The base 2018 Honda Civic LX sedan starts at $18,940. However, the Type R’s impressive performance credentials means it lives at a considerably higher price point and starts at $34,700. However, with the $895 destination fee, the as-tested price shoots up to $35,595.

Here’s a closer look at the Honda Civic Type R.

So, what’s it like to drive?

So, what's it like to drive?

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

The Honda Civic Type R is a beast to drive. It’s easily the best Civic I’ve ever driven, and one of the finest hot hatchbacks ever made. 

The Type R is smooth and docile in comfort mode and an all-out monster when required. It’s old school in feel, but thoroughly modern in execution. 

The Type R is a bit of an oddity in that its front-wheel-drive as opposed the all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive setups that are in vogue these days. According to Honda, sending power only to the front wheels saved considerable weight and cut the car’s price by a few thousand dollars. 

For what it’s worth, the Civic’s trick front differential negated any sign of the dreaded torque steer that has plagued other cars in the genres. 


Our verdict.

Our verdict.

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Whether it’s on a cold rainy day or if you’ve just stumbled home from a night out, there are few things in life more consistently fulfilling than the simple pleasure provided by a bowl of noodles. 

But look at bit deeper and you’ll realize that there’s much more going on that you’d expect. The subtle interplay between the savory broth and the warm noodles or how the roast pork melds with the freshly poached egg. 

I’m reminded of this when I drive Civic Type R. 

The high-revving turbo VTEC engine and its slick shifting six-speed offer up some truly old-school driving pleasure. 

But the advanced aerodynamics and performance-tuned active suspension remind you that this machine is far from a simpleton. 

For me, the Honda Civic Type R is nothing short of incredible. Sure the seats aren’t terribly comfortable and I’m about a decade too old for the boy racer looks. But apart from that, there isn’t a whole to complain about. 

We’ve waited 20 years for Honda to give us this car. It was well worth the wait.

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