Test Drive by Graham Breeze
There’s a real argument to say that the Honda Civic Type R 2.0 litre GT is the hottest hatch on the market right now.
On a recent test drive it soon became clear why the Type R has a worldwide cult following as it carries Honda’s most extreme and high performing engine in the 22 year history of the red “H” badge.
Let’s forget about CO2 emissions and miles per gallon, this car is all about speed. It’s simply exhilarating and for me the most exciting car to drive in the hot-hatch sector - and probably the closest to super-car performance you’ll get at the price.
So let’s talk speed. This Honda has a reported top speed of 168mph and while the challenging road networks of Mid Wales were no place to put that claim to the test I was left in very little doubt that those bosses at Honda are telling the truth.
For the enthusiast there can be no better sound than the roar of the 310ps engine racing from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds with the front end never threatening to lose grip. I just couldn’t get the smile off my face.
The Type R boast a new four point adaptive damper system which means continuous independent control of each wheel, producing outstanding road holding – essential for a car producing so much glorious power.
The Honda just cries out to be pushed to the limit and is perfectly matched to Honda’s renowned six speed manual gearbox to produce the sweetest sounding engine note you could ever hope for.
With so much power on offer the suits at Honda needed to be sure they would attract the right market, so they made the Type R instantly recognisable - a car that simply stands out in any crowd.
They did it with a massive tail wing which generates downforce and helps keep you on the road at high speed, huge wheel arches housing gorgeous 19 inch alloys and aggressive aerodynamic styling. People don’t just hear you coming they see you too.
There’s a downside to all that though. Rear vision is a real issue because of the huge tail wing and you can only seat two rear seat passengers who will soon be complaining about headroom. The boot space is surprising though, just enough for to pass the golf clubs test.
The Type R GT on test would cost you £32,825 but as you would expect you get a lot for your money – not just speed.
There are automatic headlights and washers, remote power windows, parking sensors, dual zone climate control, electric door mirrors, and driver assistance safety packages.
There’s also a six speaker infotainment system through a 7inch touchscreen containing an internet radio and app integration enabling internet browsing, Bluetooth and a rear parking camera. There’s also rear privacy glass and a tinted tailgate window.
To keep you safe Honda has included all-round airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, stability assist, hill-start assist and city-brake active system.
You also get, blind spot information, cross traffic monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, high beam support system and a traffic sign recognition system.
Just for the record Honda claims combined fuel figures of 38.7mpg - though you wouldn’t really be driving this car properly if you managed that and CO2 emissions of 170g/km. Few buying a Type R GT will be interested in those figures though.