The interior layout, fit and finish
The standard Civic’s low-slung driving position and gearlever that’s set relatively high up suit the high-performance Type R perfectly, particularly when you add in a set of figure-hugging sports seats. And with driver’s seat height adjustment and a steering wheel that moves in and out as well as up and down, it's comfortable, too.
One issue is visibility; due to the huge rear spoiler, it isn't easy to see behind you when reversing. Mind you, that’s mitigated by the standard-fit reversing camera, while front and rear parking sensors are added if you go for the pricier GT trim.
The main dashboard layout is fine, with user-friendly air-con controls and the major buttons grouped conveniently. It's just a shame that the infotainment system is not up to snuff. With confusing menus, low resolution graphics and slow response times, it can be frustrating to use. That said, we do prefer it to the current system in the Volkswagen Golf GTI. That's because the VW system features touch sensitive buttons, which are distracting to operate on the move. Conversely, the Honda has physical buttons for essentially every function. Of course, that doesn't make the Honda's native operating system any more intelligible, but with standard fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, you can at least bypass Honda's own operating system and use the touchscreen to control your phone instead.
Plus, you also get Bluetooth, a DAB radio and a punchy eight-speaker sound system as standard, while built-in sat-nav and wireless phone charging are added if you upgrade to GT trim.
Unlike many of its rivals, the Type R feels truly distinct from regular models in the Civic range, thanks to an Alcantara suede wrapped steering wheel, red seats, red dashboard inlays and smatterings of faux carbon fibre highlights throughout. And the underlying quality is there, too; it isn't up to BMW M135i standards, but the Civic feels considerably plusher inside than the Renault Mégane RS.
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