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?...

20 November 2018
Honda Civic Type R long-termer with Willow 2

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 4225 Official economy 35.6mpg Test economy 35.4mpg Options fitted None


20 November 2018 – We're all warming up to the Type R   

After a few weeks of sharing the driving enjoyment of the Type R with colleagues, I was glad to get back into its red Recaro seat. I’ve recently driven a good range of cars from a Seat Leon 1.0 turbo petrol to a Mazda MX-5 RF and a Ford Mustang V8 Convertible, and while they all had their merits, none had the swathe of talents the Type R is endowed with. 

The Mustang had power galore, but lacked the ability to let a driver use it in a controllable way, the MX-5 was agile but not really swift enough and the Leon was superbly frugal but otherwise uninspiring. They made me appreciate the Type R more than ever for its combination of tenacious grip, punchy power delivery, precise steering and relatively gentle ride. It’s just such a great all-rounder. 

Honda Civic Type R long-termer with Willow

I wasn’t the only one to be pleased the Type R was back. After I’d made an early morning mercy dash to a local newsagent for cat food and milk, I left the car on my drive. Within minutes of polishing off his breakfast, my canny tabby cat Willow soon realised that a warm bonnet was the perfect place to snooze. He’d tucked himself into the cooling vent on the top of the bonnet, and was so happy and warm there that he refused to budge even when I started the engine up. I did have to go to work, so he did get gently removed.

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Read our full review of the Civic Type R