Honda Civic Type R long-term test review

The Type R is our Hot Hatch of the Year for 2018, so it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face whenever you drive it enthusiastically, but how well does it stack up as a family motor?...

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Claire Evans
02 January 2019

The car: Honda Civic Type R GT 2.0 VTEC Turbo 

Run by: Claire Evans, consumer editor

Why it’s here: To find out if the sheer brilliance it possesses on the track and on a fast country road translates to liveable road manners and enough practicality for everyday use

Needs to: Take the dullness out of the daily commute and double as a family hold-all at the weekends without breaking the bank for running costs


Price £33,525 Price as tested £33,525 Miles 5423 Official economy 35.6mpg Test economy 34.1mpg Options fitted None


2 January 2019 – The Type R stretches its legs

The hot Honda can be fairly hard work to drive around town because its clutch is rather stiff, its steering is on the heavy side and its ride is a bit crashy over pockmarked urban roads. However, once you get away from the city, it really comes into its own, as I discovered when I drove my daughter from London to the Thruxton race circuit near Andover.

Any reservations I may have had about living with the Type R vanished as we headed along country lanes and dual carriageways. It not only ate up the miles, but it did so with the utmost finesse, remaining perfectly poised while passing slower vehicles and cornering at speed. 

Honda Civic Type R long-termer

The trip to Thruxton was for my daughter to do a skid pan driving experience. She has recently passed her driving test and was bought the experience as an 18th birthday present, partly for the pure enjoyment of sliding around on four wheels and partly to prepare her for the perils of winter driving. 

She drove a front-wheel-drive Mini Cooper and a rear-wheel-drive Toyota GT86, each with the traction control on and off on a polished concrete, water-covered track, so she could experience what happens when a car with each type of drivetrain loses grip. Needless to say she had a great time, and gained a good understanding of what to do, and not do, if she encounters icy conditions in her own car. 

Mini Cooper

Afterwards, I decided to take the slow, non-motorway route home so that I could enjoy the Type R’s great combination of power and poise some more. At the end of a fantastic day out, it was hard to say whether my daughter or I had had the most fun. 

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