What Car? says...
It's not shy or retiring, is it? But then fantastical bumpers curved at odd angles, steroidal wheel-arch extensions and, of course, a tea-tray spoiler fit for the Mad Hatter have always been the Honda Civic Type R’s raison d'être.
Yet Honda is absolutely clear – none of it is mere costume jewellery. Every twisty-turny protuberance, it says, adds some of that Formula One stardust: aerodynamic downforce. Which is good when you have a 316bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that's capable of punching you through the air at 169mph.
Then there's the Ford Focus ST, a car that also undercuts the Type R on price. For just a few thousand pounds more, you could have a premium badge on the nose of your hot hatch by going for the BMW M135i or Mercedes A35 AMG.
So, in terms of speed, handling and everyday usability, where exactly does the Honda Civic Type R sit in the hot hatch pecking order? Read on through this review and we’ll tell you all you need to know – include how well it handles and what the running costs are like.
Whichever car you end up deciding to buy, make sure you check out the free What Car? New Car Buying service to find how much you could save on the brochure price without any awkward haggling. It's a good place to finds loads of new Honda deals.