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
26 September 2018

Honda Civic Type R and ancestors

The car: Honda Civic Type R GT 2.0 VTEC Turbo manual

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 2338 Official economy 36.17mpg Test economy 36.6mpg Options fitted None


25 September 2018 – drawing on a rich heritage

I recently got the chance to drive the Type R back to back with some of its ancestors. I couldn’t resist starting with an Integra Type R. Even though the car I drove dated back to the late-1990s it still felt taut and well screwed together and had great cornering poise and straight-line acceleration, just like my car. And just like my car, early Integra Type Rs could only be had with red Recaro seats. Good to see that Honda has stuck with this tradition.

Honda Civic Type R and Legend

Just for good measure I also had a punt in a Honda Legend; a non-UK car that had previously been used as a limo for Honda bosses. Although the Legend didn’t break into the corporate car park and sell well in the UK, it’s laden with fascinating technology including an all-wheel-drive system that shifts 70% of the engine’s power to the front or rear, depending on where it’s needed and is able to turn the outside rear wheel when cornering to reduce understeer. Allied to a smooth but powerful 3. 5-litre V6 engine it helps the Legend glide down the road at an impressive pace.

Next up I tried an Accord Type R, which was swift yet composed over pothole-strewn roads. It’s clear to see that Honda drew on this winning combination of qualities when creating the latest Type R – my car can be driven like a racer in R mode or like a regular hatchback in Comfort mode.

Popular with the boys

I was surprised to find my brother-in-law and nephew loitering by the front doors of the Type R when I heading out of a restaurant after a family meal out. They were so keen to see the car that they’d left before everyone else and were waiting for me to unlock the doors so they could jump in and look around. 

Their verdict was that it was an outrageous looking and great car. They loved the racing seats, metal gearknob, red dials and trim.

My brother-in-law owns a EP3 Type R so we’ll take the cars out together soon to see how they compare.

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