Style and design
* Tested for 12 months and 14,500 miles * Is it easier to live with than previous version? * Find out our verdict on owning the Type R...
Style and design
The Type R's futuristic exterior styling carried on into the cabin. The two-tier dashboard layout, with its digital speedometer, certainly takes some getting used to, though it can be distracting at night when the lights from the dials reflect off the windscreen, for instance.
A bigger problem was rear visibility. In short, it was dreadful blame the big rear pillars, small window, the rear spoiler that cuts right across your view, and no rear wiper. I wish I'd opted for the reverse parking sensors (369), which would have made reversing into spaces much less of a heart-in-mouth affair. I never bashed the Civic, but it was just millimetres away once or twice.
Honda Civic Type R
What we liked - and what we didn't...
There were no complaints about the seating position, though: the adjustable figure-hugging bucket seats did a great job of keeping me pinned in place when blasting down country roads.
You don't buy a hot hatch for practicality, but the Type R shames many speed-but-no-space rivals. There's enough head- and legroom in the back for a couple of six-footers, plus plenty of cubbyholes for a secret stash of sweets and pop. There's even space under the rear seats for bigger items. There's more: the boot is large and well shaped, and the rear seatbacks fold down to reveal a totally flat loadbay. The low boot lip also means you don't need to have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger to load heavy items.
Although there was plenty of space, I decided that a roof box and bars would come in handy for our annual outing to the Geneva motor show in Switzerland. At a total cost of 615 the extra space wasn't cheap but, bearing in mind that we had skis, snowboards, filming and editing equipment as well as luggage for four, it was well worth the expense. It didn't do much for fuel economy or wind noise, so the box and bars didn't stay on the car for long afterwards.