Honda Civic Type R Review & Prices
The Honda Civic Type R is an absolute triumph, whether having fun on a B-road or on track. It’s not quite as practical as the standard Civic though, and it’s very expensive
Find out more about the Honda Civic Type R
The Honda Civic Type R is a hot hatchback that builds on the iconic status of five previous versions – with four of those having come to the UK. And the latest one is so good it was highly commended in the Pleasure of Driving category at the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards.
Based on the latest Honda Civic, the new Type R offers a more mature package than the last – much like your rowdy mate from teenage years who’s gone on to be successful lawyer, but who still has their playful side.
On the outside, this Civic Type R is much more reserved than the frankly wacky previous generation. Instead of all the aero bits being tacked on, the panels are smooth yet muscular to give off the sporty look you’d want – with it being wider and lower than the standard Civic. The only thing that looks a bit aftermarket is the rear wing, but it’s there to get you as much downforce as possible.
Inside, you’ll see most of the styling from the base car, like the cool air vent design, 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment and separate climate controls. However, with fake suede now on the steering wheel, you’ll also find two of the best bucket seats you’ll ever sit in, trimmed in red faux suede and lots of red trim elsewhere.
You’ll also find the regular Civic’s automatic transmission buttons have been replaced by a sweet-shifting six-speed manual. The teardrop aluminium gear knob is carried over from the last car, while you also get a ‘+R’ button to put the car in full attack mode. The dials are now fully digital too.
In the back, you do lose the central passenger seat so the two outer seats offer a bit more fold than the normal Civic, but it is only a four-seater. The centre seat is now two cupholders. Even behind those big bucket seats, space is as good as in the standard car.
You don’t lose out on boot space though. You get the same 410 litres as the standard Civic, but weirdly that’s 10 litres less than the previous generation. It is ahead of most of its hot hatch competition though, with the Audi S3 (325 litres), Mercedes-AMG A35 (370 litres) and VW Golf R (341 litres) all lagging behind. Only the Skoda Octavia vRS is streets ahead with 590 litres.
You only get one engine and transmission combination – but it’s a rather good one. The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been tweaked from the previous car, now giving you 329hp and 420Nm, up from 320hp and 400Nm from the previous generation. It’s paired to a six-speed manual transmission, which has one of the most precise and smoothest gear changes currently available.
With the upgrades over the previous car, the latest Civic Type R is a triumph. I love it. Shame that it’s so expensive
Getting through town in the Type R is simple enough, with the adaptive dampers helping smooth out the sport suspension. As you need to change gears yourself, the manual gearbox is less than ideal at slower speeds compared to an automatic, but it’s smooth and the steering – while a bit weighty – is still light enough so you can get through manoeuvres easily.
With the Civic safety systems fitted as standard, the adaptive cruise control helps make long-distance drives quite simple. The Type-R isn’t too unrefined either so you won’t be rattled by the end of a long drive.
But where the Type R shines is when you’re on a twisty road. With the front-wheel drive setup, you have loads of grip when you plant the throttle out of the corners and the sweet manual gearbox complete with change-up lights make the experience feel like you’re in a race car. The only issue is that in slippery conditions, it can’t match the traction and sure-footedness of a four-wheel drive hot hatch.
There’s a lot of feel through the steering compared to alternatives like the VW Golf R, and you’ll have much more fun. The exhaust note may not be as exciting, but you get a decent grumble as well as some noise pumped into the cabin. The overall experience is excellent.
However, where the Civic Type R falls down is the price – with a starting price of just under £47,000. In relation to previous Type Rs, this is quite steep and not particularly realistic for many.
But even with that problem, there’s little competition for the Type R for an overall hot hatch experience. It remains as practical as the base car, and is a proper laugh to drive.
If you want to get the latest deals on the Civic Type R or any other Honda, check out Carwow. You can also find and buy used Hondas, where we have a wide selection of models available. You can sell your car through Carwow too, with dealers bidding on your car, allowing you to select the best offer and get the car taken away.
The Honda Civic Type R has a RRP range of £49,995 to £49,995. Monthly payments start at £677. The price of a used Honda Civic Type R on Carwow starts at £44,000.
Compared to a lot of its alternatives, like the VW Golf R and Audi S3, the Civic Type R is competitively priced. But most of those are automatics and faster accelerating, which may be a key selling point for you.
Saying that, the leap from the previous generation Type R to this new one is rather substantial. So if the price hike is off-putting, look into used versions of the FK8, which offer similar levels of performance but don’t have the same level of modern equipment.
As a hot hatch, there is a firmer edge to the Civic Type R at all times, which could turn people away for day-to-day use. The new individual mode is a game changer for getting the right setup for you, and it’s an absolute delight to drive on a twisty road
The Civic Type R is based on a car that’s comfy around town, so you would expect that accommodating character to be found here too. It is, mostly, but you will have to deal with some bumps feeling harsher due to the sportier setup.
Steering is also a little more of a workout as it’s quite heavy compared to the lightweight setup in the base Civic. It has a larger turning circle at 12.1 metres, with the standard car measuring 11.5 metres. That means manoeuvring into parking spaces or performing a U-turn is a little trickier.
With the three set driving modes, it’s best to stay in comfort. The adaptive dampers help iron out some of the bumps in the road, while using Sport or +R mode isn’t recommended unless you’re hammering round a track where the surface is super smooth.
On the motorway
With the addition of larger wheels, more aggressive tyres and a sportier setup, the Type R isn’t quite as refined as the base Civic – but you wouldn’t expect it to be. Saying that, the adaptive dampers in comfort mean it’s very civilised on a cruise apart from the additional road noise from the larger wheels.
The body-hugging sport seats not only hold you in well through fast corners, they do a fantastic job of cushioning you on longer trips. Add into that the standard safety features that include adaptive cruise control and you’ve got a hot hatch that can be great going to the track, driving round it, and then heading back home again.
Even with the uprated power and torque figures, the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine still returns relatively decent fuel economy figures of up to 35mpg on a long run.
On a twisty road
This is the happiest stomping ground of the Type R, and the new one continues to be exemplary here. Unlike the previous model, this new Type R feels a bit more unhinged and on edge, with the steering and brakes not feeling quite as smooth.
Which may sound like the new Type R is a step back, but it really isn’t. You get used to those changes pretty quickly, and from there you can enjoy it. The front tyres grip excellently and the limited slip differential helps you hook up to get round corners brilliantly.
Honda’s engine upgrades may not be that significant when you look at the figures – only nine extra horsepower and 20Nm of torque – but the reworked turbo, upgraded cooling and ECU alterations all make a difference. It’s more responsive, there’s less turbo lag and it punches you out of corners with the help of the wonderful six-speed manual gearbox.
With the individual driving mode, you can have everything in +R or Sport settings for quicker responses, then add in the comfort suspension setup, which is the best overall configuration for UK roads. It helps you get the most out of the engine, steering and transmission, while ironing out a lot of the bumps that could unsettle the car.
Having the rev-matching function (which boosts the revs between gear changes to offer a more consistent gear change at on helps with the experience too, especially for those that can’t blip the throttle between gear changes themselves.
On the whole, the new Type R isn’t quite as predictable and have as consistent steering as the previous version, but it’s more fun, sharper and will get you down a twisty road just as fast and with a big smile on your face.
While you do lose the middle seat in the back making it slightly less practical, it still manages to tick a lot of the hot hatch boxes with lots of useful space
Up front in the Civic Type R you’ll find a lot of useful cubbies and storage spaces, just like you would in the base CIvic. You get well-sized door bins, a couple of cupholders in the middle and a small storage space under the central armrest.
The glovebox hasn’t changed from the standard car so that’s a good size still, and you have a space to plug your smartphone in in the centre console, where there’s also a wireless charging pad.
Space in the back seats
The main change with the Type R over the standard Civic is the removal of the central seat. Instead, there’s two cupholders, which for many won’t seem like a fair trade. The outer seats that do remain are deeper and sportier though, providing more support when the driver is hooning it. Leg room is as good as in the normal Civic, while the head room is also the same – so a bit tight for taller people, but okay on the whole.
You don’t get pockets on the back of the front sport seats either, but the door bins remain to ensure that not all practicality is lost.
With the sportier setup, you would expect less boot space. But no, Honda has kept the same 410 litres from the base CIvic here. That’s 10 litres less than the previous Type R, but it’s better than the majority of its rivals while being a very useful square shape.
The VW Golf R has 341 litres, while the Audi S3 has just 325 litres. The Skoda Octavia vRS has 590 litres, but performance is nowhere near as potent.
Folding the seats down offers 1,212 litres, which is slightly down on the base Civic, but you won’t really miss the eight litres you lose. The seats fold near to flat and it’s a useful space.
There aren’t a lot of changes to the design of the cabin from the standard car, but the Type R has some key and striking differences. For example, you now get a fully digital dial setup, which changes depending on the drive mode you’re in. F1-style gear shift lights have also been added above the display.
In the centre, the aluminium, teardrop gear lever replaces the buttons for the automatic transmission of the standard car, while there’s also a smattering of Type R-specific features, like a car build number badge and a +R drive mode button.
But the main changes are the swathes of faux suede, which can be found on the slightly altered steering wheel and gear gater with red stitching, and on the frankly superb sport seats, which are now all-red. You also get a lot of red trim in the footwells and red ambient lighting strips in the doors.
The infotainment is the same 9.0-inch touchscreen from the base Civic. That means a responsive system that is easy to navigate, and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which most will choose to use.
Strangely, you don’t get heated seats with the Type R – a small downgrade from the base Civic. Otherwise, you get an excellent level of equipment, with optional features including an interior illumination pack that adds extra red lighting, and carbon options to make it look a bit sportier inside and out.
For a hot hatch, the returns of the Civic Type R are okay, with an official 34.4mpg on the combined WLTP cycle, and combined emissions of 186g/km CO2.
Costing over £40,000, you will have to factor in the premium for road tax. From new, you would need to pay £945 for the first year due to the emission bracket it falls into. For the next four years, it is at least £520 to keep it taxed.
With the sensible Civic underneath the sporty surface, the Type R has an excellent fleet of safety technologies as standard. That setup includes blind spot monitoring, collision mitigation braking and throttle control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation and traffic sign recognition.
Add to that all-round airbags, emergency brake assist, eCall in Europe and Isofix points in the back, and the Civic Type R has all the safety kit you might need.
Although the Type R hasn’t been through Euro NCAP safety testing specifically, the base Civic scored five stars – rated above 80% in all categories. It scored the best in occupant safety for both adult and child categories.
The Type R comes with keyless entry and start available as standard, as well as an immobiliser and a smart tonneau cover that can easily be taken out and stored when required.
Previous versions of the Civic did have some issues that went against Honda’s image of being reliable and dependable. But this latest Civic has yet to suffer any major faults that would tarnish that image.
As standard, all Hondas come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, but there are some parts that get extended warranties. Your exhaust system is protected for five years, surface corrosion for three, chassis corrosion is covered for 10 years, while structural corrosion is under wraps for 12 years.
Honda also offers a service plan for the Type R for £699. That gives you five years of cover, which can extend the car’s overall warranty to five years instead of three, and roadside assistance for five years too.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.