By Maggie Barry on 2018-12-15 - Experienced car journalist.
Honda Civic Type R
THE day was miserable as I headed out in the Honda Civic Type R GT.
Yes, the countryside looked beautiful in its autumn livery but sadly what Mother Nature doles out with one hand, she takes with another. The rain was interminable and the clouds low.
What was impressive as I drove off in this car, however, was the instant response, the glorious sound, thepower behind it and the comfort which has not always been present in the Type R. It was a great experience.
But when the going gets toughâ¦the Type R got going and fairly attacked the snaking roads just as vigorously as it had the German ones the first time I drove it abroad.
We pushed through the clouds in Comfort mode the exhaust popping and growling as I changed up and down through the six speed manual gearbox which is mated to the 2.0-litre VTEC turbocharged engine.
It is the same engine you find in the normal Type R - the poor man's supercar - but the GT adds in features like blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, cross traffic monitor, an upgraded sound system and a red trim on the exterior.
Otherwise you still get the whole swathe of features and systems found on the Type R like two-tone red and black sports seats and red seat belts, agile handling assist, Brembo discs and calipers, 20in alloys, a limited slip differential, privacy glass and Honda's SENSING advanced safety system.
And of course they both sport the lovely big spoiler on the rear because this car does 0-62 in 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 169mph.
If the journey up through the clouds was delightful, flawless, mesmerising then the road back down should be even better, I thought.
I put the car into Sport mode (it also comes with a +R setting), the instrument binnacle went red and the car lifted its skirts ready to rock - but never roll. Not in this car.
We roared back down the hill, the Type R twisting in unison with the road, gripping it and powering through bends. It was exhilarating and fun. But that's what this car is all about - the pleasure of dynamic driving where all your senses get involved for sheer enjoyment.
Even puttering back to base along the narrow winding roads of Stirlingshire put a smile on my face as I listened to the orchestra of the engine.
What is truly amazing about this car, though, is the price. You get all that performance and finish for just Â£33,525 or Â£34,050 if you want the Championship White paint job - which looks great against the red trim.
Honda Civic Type R
Max Speed: 5.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 33
Insurance Group: 176g/km
C02 emissions: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles
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