The interior layout, fit and finish
The standard Civic’s low-slung driving position and gearlever set relatively high up suit this high-performance Type R model perfectly. Add in figure-hugging sports seats and it really feels the part when you're sitting behind wheel. 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. But the minute you try to operate the infotainment system – well, let’s not beat around the bush: the Civic has one of the worst infotainment systems of any modern car. The standard 7.0in touchscreen is disappointingly low in resolution, it’s slow and clunky to operate and the menus are frustrating to say the least.
Mercifully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are standard, so you can at least bypass Honda's own operating system and use the touchscreen to control your phone instead. Plus, you get Bluetooth, a DAB radio and an eight-speaker sound system, 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 red seats, red dashboard inlays and smatterings of faux carbonfibre 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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