Honda Civic Type R

GT

Honda Civic Type R, front
Honda Civic Type R, front
Honda Civic Type R, front
Honda Civic Type R, front
Honda Civic Type R, rear
Honda Civic Type R, rear
Honda Civic Type R, rear
Honda Civic Type R, rear
Honda Civic Type R, interior

HONDA is best known for its sensible family cars - and then there is the rebel Civic Type R.

In my experience, every family has a rebel in its ranks, the wacky wayward one who may be a boisterous brother, an unconforming uncle, a shout-out-loud sister or audacious aunty.

The Honda Civic Type R comprises just two versions separated by £2,000 trim additions which raise it to the GT model's £33,525.

For the extra money over the standard car you get LED foglamps, navigation and upgraded audio system, wireless charging, dual zone climate control, blind spot and cross traffic monitors, parking sensors both ends, and red trim highlights.

Take your pick and take your seat if it's a memorable experience you want behind the wheel of the Honda Civic Type R GT.

Derived from the BTCC winning Civics and with a performance pedigree which created the mid-engined NSX coupe, the Civic Type R GT is a very in your face fast car.

Key to it all is the highly refined, sophisticated and purposeful powertrain. Honda's 2.0 VTEC turbo petrol engine pushes out a whopping 400Nm of torque for truly punchy passing and acceleration and the maximum nudges 170mph, so it's ideal for a bit of track day fun at weekends after the daily commute is over.

You don't have to endure the +R suspension setting for the track all the time, you can soften it to Sport mode on motorways, or ease into Comfort over the cobbles which today pass for many secondary roads.

As you push down on the moderately weighted short travel clutch and select first gear you become aware of how precise is the gearchange. It's rifle-bolt precision continues through the other five ratios as well.

If the enjoyment comes to an end you have set of big brakes inside the 20-inch wheels to drag you to a stop, either very quickly or more comfortably, but you will be impressed.

The very low profile Continental 245/ 30 ZR 20 tyres do a great job of feeding back to the driver's hands as they firmly grip the road despite only being front wheel drive.

Even so, the ride quality when in the Sport or +R modes is still good. It's hard but not uncomfortably so most of the time, unlike a lot of other hot-hatches.

There is generally a neutral feel to the handling but push hard on a damp surface and it does start to head wide but quickly comes back when you ease off the throttle. Over bumpy surfaces it does jump about a bit but all in a very controllable manner.

The bootspace is good but not exceptional and inside the oddments spaces are plentiful and well placed with a large glovebox.

Infront of the driver, the secondary controls are immediately to hand and fingers, the instruments very large and clear with a central information panel to select different readouts. The centrally mounted facia info-tainment display is not very big and can look cluttered, and we found it a bit slow to change settings.

Heating and ventilation filled the cabin and kept it comfortable but again it was slow to respond to changes.

Getting in and out was very easy for rear seat occupants but a bit more demanding of those infront but the shape of the cushions and their backrests was enveloping, supporting and very comfortable. I wish only that there was longer seat travel for a taller driver or passenger.

When you are correctly seated and the mirrors set up the vision to front is very good but it's restricted towards the back and over the shoulder so the reversing camera and parking sensors are very useful additions in the GT spec..

Wipers front and back do a good job in the wet while the very bright and far reaching headlights are up to their high speed potential.

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is surprisingly muted until you flatten the right foot and the triple-pipe exhaust is filled with a wonderful purposeful sound.

Mechanical noises are all very low except for that delightful click from the gearlever as you move through the gate, and wind noise is also untroubling. The road rumbles are modest except for the occasional deep pothole.

FAST FACTS

Honda Civic Type R GT

Price: £33,525

Mechanical:320ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:169mph

0-62mph:5.8 seconds

Combined MPG:31

Insurance Group:40

C02 emissions:176g/km

Bik rating:37%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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