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Honda Civic Type R youthful appeal

Honda gave us the Civic Type R performance hatch late last year – returning to the Civic range after a five year spell. The first turbocharged Type-R with a gutsy 2-litre 228kW engine with 400Nm of torque coupled to a close-ratio six-speed manual gearshift. With a lightweight highly-rigid body and sophisticated three-mode electronic suspension this is the most enjoyable performance hatch I’ve driven for some time. Despite its front wheel drive it delivers exhilarating performance levels with exceptional tyre grip, the gear change and clutch action first class. The three-mode drive selection tailors suspension compliance, steering geometry and throttle response – the changes to the cars character varying from race track mode to comfort mode are most noticeable. At $50,990 this is not a cheap Honda Civic however, a car loaded with character, very edgy sports styling with a pronounced rear spoiler that would not be to everybody’s taste. Having said that my grandchildren loved it which gives some idea of the Type R’s young appeal. The test car in dark grey with black wheels and red highlight drew favourable comment wherever I drove it – I don’t normally do grey but this car looked stunning and with red sports seats and seat belts you have no doubts as to its sports pretensions. Like the standard five-door Civic this is a roomy hatchback and seat comfort is a high point. At 50,990 the price makes this a low volume sports hatch however it’s sophisticated and has a lot of technology for the money and delivers sports motoring in spades. I’m David Berthon

 

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