Verdict on Honda Civic Type R GT
If emissions and consumption aren’t at the top of your buying list for your next business car – but owning one of the hottest hatches is, then the Civic should be given serious consideration along with the Ford Focus RS.
The new Civic Type R is an impressive drive, supercar fast and more practical than you might think.
This fastest Civic is worthy of the Type R badge and is likely to be as sought-after as the other performance fast Hondas.
- P11D Value/BIK: £32,140/ 34%
- 5-door hatch
- 315bhp/400Nm 2.0 litre, 4cyl turbo petrol/six-speed manual
- Economy (comb)/CO2: 36.7mpg / 176g/km
- Performance: 5.7sec/169mph
What is it?
It doesn’t seem like five minutes since the last Honda Civic Type R called the FK2 was launched, as it was only two-years ago, but here’s the new Honda Civic Type R GT.
However, despite the short amount of time the last Civic Type R was available, Honda are promising improvements across the board with this latest model. The newest version of the fastest Civic gets off to a good start as it has already claimed the fastest lap for a front-wheel drive production car at the Nurburgring, with a time of 7 minutes 43.8 seconds.
On sale now, Business Car Manager was lucky enough to get a go in the hottest hatch to see what it’s like.
- The 2.0-litre turbo VTEC engine, which boasts an almost supercar-rivalling 315bhp, which is down on the current Ford Focus RS, but the Honda is faster with a top speed of 169mph, although 0-60 acceleration is slower at 7 seconds.
- It doesn’t sound as good as the Focus either, but those triple rear pipes which are supposed to cut down resonance, still give a raspy tone.
- However considering the performance, we think it’s impressive that the Honda Civic Type R is still capable of 36.7mpg on the Combined Cycle and has CO2 emissions of 176g/km. Although, the consumption and emissions will not be key purchase decisions for hyper hatch buyers.
- How the Civic Type R drives is going to be vital to any buying decision and this hyper hatch doesn’t disappoint. Around town, apart from the stiffer ride with more road noise from the 20-inch alloys, it feels exactly the same as a standard Civic hatch. However, if you’ve got some sections of unrestricted autobahn, like we did at the launch, you get a proper feel for the speed available on tap from this Honda. There’s a little bit of lag until you get past 2,500 revs and then the engine spins round to the redline quickly and after a couple of gears you’re doing seriously big speeds. The great news is that all 400Nm of torque is available in any gear from 2,500revs, so mid-range acceleration is strong in every gear.
- Once on the go, you then notice the variable ratio power steering that feels overlight at the start, then as speed builds it weights up and is more precise. Then there’s the slick-shifting, short-throw six-speed manual gearbox with its tactile circular metal gear knob and the standard Brembo brakes that have plenty of feel, with virtually no fade.
- This is a hardcore hot hatch, but in a nod to more comfort and refinement that the last Type R lacked, there are now three drive modes. Sport which it starts in, Comfort, or the hardest core R+ mode. Good news is, that even in Sport mode it’s still comfortable, Comfort as it suggests softens all the settings and is best used around town, or on a motorway. Most hardcore is the R+ mode, where the ride is at its hardest and probably best-suited to the track. It also makes the throttle and clever auto-blip sharper. The auto-blip works on all modes and rev matches downshifts and can make you feel like a hero, people thinking you’ve mastered heel and toe changes!
- Then there’s the handling; the last Civic Type R impressed by the sheer amount of power it was able to put through its front wheels and this car is more of the same. There’s virtually no bodyroll and there’s plenty of grip from the specially developed Continental tyres. Plus, threat levels of feedback from the steering, considering the power, this is a very well sorted hot hatch.
- The last Civic Type R was no shrinking violet on the outside and the new car is more of the same. No beauty, but you’ve got to admit it has purpose and all the new aerodynamic add-ons, such as that less than subtle wing, are there for a reason – to create downforce! At the front, there’s the unique airdam, with its brake ducts and aerodynamic flick-up on the corners. At the side, there’s a set of 20-inch alloy wheels, wider wheel arches and side sills with more aerodynamic kick-ups. Move to the back and on top of the unmissable rear spoiler, there are also vortex generators on the top of the roof and a unique rear airdam with triple rear exhausts.
- Inside, the Type R retains the low driving position of the latest standard Civic, which is improved by new and more supportive Type R bucket seats. The instruments are easy to read and the switchgear logically placed, although the central touchscreen is a bit hit and miss in operation. There is also more than adequate rear space and a practical boot.
- Honda believe that 75% of Civic Type R buyers will go for the £32,995 range-topping GT that we have here. Specification is comprehensive and includes a Blind Spot Information system including Cross Traffic Monitor, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, Honda CONNECT with Garmin Navigation, wireless charging pad, 11-speaker audio system and LED front fog lights.
- The latest Civic Type R might be in practical five-door form, but we wish the interior felt a bit more special. The dashboard and interior design are modern, but the quality of the plastics and switchgear don’t feel in line with the almost £33,000 list price.
- With the Honda Civic Type R’s 176g/km CO2 emissions and 34% charge, it is definitely going to be a business car bought with the heart not the head.