Thinking of crafty ways to report cars pays my bills, so frequency does a automobile leave me struggling to find difference to report it—yet that’s a conditions we found myself in after pushing a new 2017 Honda Civic Type R. we staid for three: “Holy s—. Wow.”
There’s not any one thing that creates a Civic Type R so special, though rather it’s Honda’s holistic proceed to building what’s not usually arguably a biggest prohibited induce a universe has ever seen though also a best front-wheel-drive sports automobile ever.
I know we sound crazy, generally to anyone who’s driven a Civic Si in a past decade or so. On paper, a Civic Type R’s competition—the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R—would all seem to blow a Honda out of a water, usually by a trait of all 3 charity adult performance-enhancing all-wheel drive. And nonetheless a Civic Type R works—and so impossibly good during that.
The sorcery starts in a English city of Swindon, on a really same prolongation line that produces run-of-the-mill Civic hatchbacks for worldwide consumption. The bottom Civic hatchback body, already significantly stiffer than a previous-generation Civic Type R, gets glue joints in a few pivotal areas to boost torsional stiffness. As a Type R creates a approach down a prolongation line, a British workforce buzzes around it, wise it with a dual-axis strut cessation adult front, a multilink section in back, and singular electronically tractable dampers during all 4 corners. Under a hood goes a hot-rodded chronicle of a new Honda Accord’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, creation a class-competitive 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s corresponding to a Springfield rifle-slick six-speed primer and a involuntary limited-slip front diff. The package is dull out by racing buckets inside, a revised behind dais omission a core chair in preference of formfitting outboard seats and a core console, and organic styling add-ons that could’ve usually come from a nation that combined Gundam and Initial D.
With a Vbox and exam rigging bending up, we lined a Championship White Civic Type R adult for a initial launch. Thanks to a limited-slip diff expelling torque expostulate and a miss of turbo lag, a 306-hp Type R accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. That’s reduction than a second slower than a 350-hp all-wheel-drive Focus RS’ 4.5-second time though some-more tellingly quicker than both a 305-hp 2018 WRX STI we recently tested and a six-speed manual-equipped 2016-model-year 292-hp Golf R, both of that advantage from grippy all-wheel-drive launches and need 5.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. The Civic Type R maintains second place by a entertain mile, too. It’s 14.0-second run during 102.5 mph trails a Focus RS’ 13.3-second run during 103.3 mph, though a Civic still usually beats out a WRX STI (14.1 seconds during 98.5 mph) and a Golf R (14.1 seconds during 102.7 mph). In braking tests, a Civic Type R manages to tie a Focus RS’ 104 feet stop from 60 mph, violence a WRX STI’s and Golf R’s 109 feet stop. The altogether trend continues on a figure eight; a some-more comprehensive Focus RS (24.0 seconds during 0.81 g average) manages to usually kick out a Civic Type R’s 24.7 second during 0.78 g performance, while a WRX STI and Golf R tumble behind, during 25.1 seconds during 0.75 g and 25.4 seconds during 0.77 g, respectively.
Even some-more critical than how a Civic Type R drives during a lane is how it drives on a street. More mostly than not, high-power prohibited hatchbacks are raid with compromise—peaky engines, punishing rides, and bad fuel economy are a order of a day. Not a Type R. The Civic Type R is an comprehensive sweetheart, no matter what we chuck during it. On a good behind road, it’s a pointing instrument; around city or on a highway it is an easy-going cruiser. The Honda turns in on a knife’s edge, interesting bumps and bruises from a highway but upsetting a motorist or framework no matter what expostulate mode you’re in. Steering is frail and quick, and stifle response is linear. The Civic Type R’s engine is a small monster, with tons of power, small lag, and a sky-high 7,000-rpm redline, corroborated adult by a Ryan Gosling-slick six-speed gearbox surfaced by a brushed aluminum knob. “This is a many considerable new Honda I’ve driven given a strange NSX,” pronounced general business arch Angus MacKenzie. “The Type R delivers definitely conspicuous opening and handling, nonetheless it’s impressively polished to drive. It’s a best-front expostulate framework in a world. Period.”
Although a Civic Type R drives phenomenally no matter what’s thrown during it, what’s arguably some-more considerable is how bearable it is on a day-to-day basis. The Type R is gentle and still on a highway, doesn’t kick adult we on severe cement around town, and it still retains a Honda Civic hatchback’s heading versatility. Up front, a motorist and newcomer get to lay in what are arguably a best racing seats ever fit into a travel car. “The seats are among a best competition buckets I’ve ever sat in—holding monsters that don’t cocktail we in a wealth when we get in or out,” pronounced editor-in-chief Ed Loh. The backseat retains a huge, adult-friendly dimensions, despite during a responsibility of a core seat. The Type R’s case is huge, too, maintaining a customary Civic hatch’s inventive load cover, that retracts into a mountain on a right side of a load area, definition we can dump a behind seats prosaic but carrying to worry about where to store a load cover.
Also important is a Honda Civic Type R’s fuel economy and plaque cost compared to a Golf R, Focus RS, and WRX STI. On a former front, a Civic Type R’s 22/28/25 mpg city/highway/combined EPA rating is among a best in a segment. It tops a Ford Focus RS’ 19/25/22 mpg and a WRX STI’s 17/22/19 rating while scarcely relating a VW Golf R, that is rated during 22/31/25 mpg with a primer and 23/30/25 mpg with a discretionary six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Where a Civic Type R many simply beats Volkswagen, Ford, and Subaru is in plaque price. Although a cheaper chronicle is reportedly coming, a Civic Type R now comes in one spec, a loaded, no-options-available Touring trim, that stickers for $34,775 in a limited-run 2017 indication and $34,990 for a 2018 Civic Type R. The subsequent cheapest aspirant is a Subaru WRX STI during $36,955; a Golf R and Focus RS cost extremely more. The Golf R starts during $40,195, and Focus RS prices start during $41,995.
Although difference competence have eventually unsuccessful me, a Honda Civic Type R doesn’t need ‘em. This is a automobile that speaks for itself, and one that’ll be a opening benchmark for both front-drive cars and prohibited hatchbacks for years to come.