The interior layout, fit and finish
Like the standard Honda Civic, the Type R has a low-slung driving position (lower and sportier than the Toyota GR Yaris’s) and a gearlever that’s set relatively high up. It all suits this high-performance version perfectly, especially when you add in a set of figure-hugging, bucket sports seats. With driver’s seat height adjustment and a steering wheel that moves in and out as well as up and down, you can get everything set up just so.
It's easy to see out the front but, due to the huge rear spoiler, it's not so easy to see behind you. That’s where the Sport Line trim comes to the rescue, which has a much smaller rear appendage. Mind you, the standard-fit reversing camera and the addition of front and rear parking sensors on the pricier Sport Liner and GT trim, make life easier. The LED headlights do a proper job of lighting the road at night, too.
Thankfully, you can bypass Honda’s infotainment issues by using the standard fit Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. It allows you to use your phone’s software and apps instead, including sat-nav apps like Google Maps or Waze. That’s a double bonus for the entry-level trim, which doesn’t have in-built sat-nav as standard.
All versions have Bluetooth and a DAB radio, with a punchy, eight-speaker sound system on the cheapest model. Sport Line and GT trim add an 11-speaker stereo as well as wireless phone charging.
Unlike some of its rivals, the Type R is made to feel truly distinct from regular models in the Civic range. That’s thanks to its racy, Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, red Alcantara-trimmed seats (they’re black in the Sport Line trim), red dashboard inlays and smatterings of faux carbon fibre highlights throughout.
And the underlying quality is there because it feels solidly made in the main. In terms of tactility, it isn't up to BMW M135i standards of material finish, but the Type R’s at least as good inside as the GR Yaris and better than the Ford Focus and Renault Megane RS.