A Week with a Civic Type R

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.

15 Responses to “A Week with a Civic Type R”

  1. Enjoyed the video tour and the write-up! I’ve yet to drive a Civic Type R, although it’s on my list of things to do! I’ll be interested to see how well the car holds up over time. Maybe someone can buy one and drive it to 500,000 miles to see? (Hint, hint)

  2. Very nice video of the Civic, Tyson. It has been ages since I’ve owned a front-wheel drive car and about the same since I’ve driven one. But question: with all those ponies driving the front wheels, was there any kind of torque-steer? Again, i am dating myself – I am sure that is something that a car costing $38k handles pretty well – just wanted to ask…

    And finally that winged wonder!! The Daytona, in Sublime Lime no less… Just wow! I recall seeing one of those out in the wild when I visited Palm Springs last time.

    • Haha, there was no missing that lime green Daytona at the gas station! I did a U-turn just to go back and get a better look. I did not detect an unruly amount of torque steer with the Civic R, believe it or not. I think they must have engineered it to overcome that. But agree $38k is tough to swallow for a Civic!

  3. Can’t understand why Acura hasn’t done something with the drivetrain from the CTR!? Even if they offered it in the RDX and called it a Type-S or better yet how about a more sophisticated looking new Integra Type-R? But seems like a waste not to do something with it…

    BTW each time you post your mileage numbers it makes me think of this old VW commercial.

    Still funny… Happy New Year!

  4. Looks like a fun car! If I were 20 years younger, it might be one I’d try to acquire myself. 🙂

  5. Vanlingomungo Says:

    Where’s the update or info on the new Legend acquisition?

  6. Nice new Legend coupe. I love black with tan interior combo.

  7. sixspeedmiata Says:

    Bro, with the proliferation of automatics in your garage, I would say your next acquisition should be an AARP card.

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