Archive for January 2, 2021

A Week with a Civic Type R

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on January 2, 2021 by tysonhugie

It’s that time again! Happy New Year. Here’s my 2020 mileage summary. Miles are down 29% from 2019, and in fact have fallen consistently every year since I started creating charts like this in 2016. Womp!

Last week, I got my hands on a pretty sweet performance car. But I pulled up to the Circle K gas station near my house and immediately had a bit of “wing envy.” I didn’t even realize that could be a thing. But the lime green 1969 Dodge Daytona clearly had my Civic Type R beat in terms of size.

The Daytona’s owner was a good sport about letting me take a photo of his car, but he didn’t seem to care much about my Honda.

I just finished up a week with one of Honda’s most well-engineered creations: A 2020 Civic Type R. Launched in 2017 and based on the 10th-generation Civic, the Type R is the holy grail for performance enthusiasts. Its 306-hp turbo charged 4-cylinder is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Suede sport seats with supportive bolsters make sure you’re planted firmly when you go to take that first corner. And given all the confidence the car inspires, you’ll likely take the corner quickly.

The list of “track credentials” on the Type R is lengthy, and the car is engineered be driven in performance situations. Suspension equipment includes MacPherson struts up front, a rear multi-link setup, adaptive damper syste, electric power steering, and Brembo brake calipers up front. I was hard pressed to contain the excitement as I rowed through the cars – it’s a car that absolutely nails the Fun Factor.

Here are a few things I loved about the car, which had 5,000 journalist miles on it.

  • Exclusivity – this isn’t a Civic for everyone. In fact, some dealers take on a hefty market adjustment.
  • Power delivery – it doesn’t matter which gear you’re in, the turbo seems to engage readily and eagerly.
  • Suspension – it’s so tightly wound, it teetered on my the ditch leading into my driveway. Yet, in Comfort mode, it still manages to be compliant around-town.
  • Seats – the best in the business.
  • Steering (and steering wheel) – that Alcantara material makes for great gripping.
  • Cargo utility – this is a hatchback, after all. A very quick one at that.

And a few things that were sorta hit-or-miss for me:

  • Sound – it “looks” like a screamer, but even in Sport and “R” mode, the exhaust note from that tri-tip system was surprisingly subdued.
  • MSRP – whether or not these are going for $38k or even more, it seems that puts this car more in line with well-equipped Acura models or other sports car alternatives.
  • Passenger utility – the rear middle seat is not a seat, but rather a console with two cup holders.

The styling of the car is either a love-it-or-hate-it thing. I could go either way on it. It’s eye-catching and got me plenty of attention throughout the week. All the aero treatment on the car is indeed functional in some sense, so it’s not just for looks.

I was thrilled to get to spend a Championship White Christmas with this pocket-rocket. Enjoy my 14-minute video and let me know what you think. Happy New Year to all!

Lastly, congrats to my new friend Ramsin who purchased my 1999 Integra GS-R. The car is now home in California.