Honda Civic Type R review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Honda Civic Type R 2020 gear selector
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  • Honda Civic Type R 2020
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  • Honda Civic Type R 2020 gear selector
  • Honda Civic Type R 2020 wide front tracking
  • Honda Civic Type R 2020 right panning
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  • Honda Civic Type R 2020 boot open
RRP £34,320What Car? Target Price from£33,093
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Don’t dive into Type R ownership expecting run-of-the-mill hatchback running costs. Clearly, a 2.0-litre engine that pumps out 300bhp-plus isn’t going to be as parsimonious on fuel as a diesel. Once you’ve recalibrated your expectations, however, you can pacify yourself with the knowledge that our real-world True MPG test proves that a respectable 35.1mpg is realistic if you take it easy.

As for price, the Civic Type R sits between less powerful rivals, such as the Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30 NRenault Mégane RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI and premium-badged alternatives that include the BMW M135i and Mercedes A35 AMG. Meanwhile, PCP finance deals are usually competitive enough – in part because the Type R has residuals to rival the more 'premium' Golf GTI. 

If you like to budget well ahead, a competitively priced five-year service plan is available. Then there's Honda’s famed reliability, which stood up to reasonable scrutiny in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, in which the Japanese brand finished an impressive 8th out of 31 manufacturers. The Civic itself (all versions, not specifically the Type R) was less impressive, finishing in 8th place out of 12 entrants in the family car class, but at least there’s the reassurance of a three-year/90,000-mile manufacturer warranty.

The standard Type R comes with 20in alloy wheels, single-zone climate control, LED headlights and keyless entry. You also get lots of safety kit, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and automatic high beam assistance.

However, we'd recommend upgrading to GT trim if you can; you'll get blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, parking sensors at the front and rear, dual-zone climate control and power-folding door mirrors.

When it was crash tested by Euro NCAP, the Civic scored five stars overall, and when it came to the adult protection category it totted up very nearly as many stars as one of the safest cars in the class, the Mercedes A-Class. However, Euro NCAP also highlighted that the Type R isn’t as good at looking after kids in the rear seats as the BMW 1 Series, Ford Focus or the Golf. 

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Honda Civic Type R 2020 gear selector

Overview

The Honda Civic Type R offers awesome performance and precise handling, yet it’s also a practical and comfortable everyday car. And having been kept up to date over the years, the Type R still feels just at home on the track as it does on the road – something that can’t be said for most rivals. That’s why we consider it to be the best hot hatch in the world.

  • Thrilling, capable handling
  • Awesome performance
  • More comfortable and practical than most rivals
  • Terrible infotainment system is only saved by standard fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Lots of road noise
  • There are cheaper options

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