This is an odd review to write, since I have spent so much time in my chipped diesel Civic all I wanted to do is dive in and write about the differences between the 3 door R and the oily 5 door. At the press day, I noticed that others there (in particular old model CTR enthusiasts) were being wooed by the whole new-Civic thing. So I feel it will be a good idea to take you right round the car, bearing in mind this is from 15,000 miles of ownership and not a quick walk round a static display car (you could also read otherreviews of the standard car). Then we'll climb in and take it round the block...
How can any one person comment about style? To some the Civic is a bit quirky, to others it is the funkiest looking car on the road. To me, for what it's worth, I love the purposeful front. The bonnet and windscreen are extremely raked giving it a very modern look, and the front arches and wing are reminiscent of the S2000, adding to the sporty feel. You have to stand beside the car and examine it, but the whole area where the headlight cluster flows into the front wing is just exquisite. From the side, the raked theme continues and both the three and five door cars continue to look like a coupé. But, as the TR7 has shown us in the past, all good wedges must come to an end. The rear from the side is fine, the way the hip crease blends up into the rear light cluster is clever, and even the slightly gawky ratio between the small rear window and the large rear wing is quite acceptable. Move round to the rear and look at it straight on, and you're faced with a mess. Triangles and creases everywhere, and if I think of all the fantastic looking cars I've owned and dreamt about (numerous Porsches, 350Z and even the Fiat 500) I don't recall a collection of triangles being the styling feature that set them apart from the crowd. Still, I rarely go round there to have a look, so who cares?
It's interesting to see that Honda have only fitted one Type R badge on the car, giving a more mature feel than the outgoing model. Is this Honda's attempt at drawing in those who do not own a baseball cap? I can already feel it working...
The new Civic is a beautifully designed and brilliantly clever engineering job. When you first open the boot, you'll be astonished at how cavernous it is. Lean down, and you'll find the large hidden compartment on the boot floor. Assuming there is no spare wheel fitted (just the standard foam that's tucked into a side pocket - best used in conjunction with a valid AA card) then you can lower this floor and the boot grows yet further. Stand to the side of the car and you'll notice that the vertical profile of the hatch allows even more space for your B&Q trip. Now go into the car and drop the "trick" seats. The rear seat base drops down to the floor so the seat backs fold flat, and you are now Red Van Man. We have had many discussions here about exactly how many fridge freezers you can get into the back of the Civic, and whilst this may seem dull in a Type R review, it has to be important in the real world. You are buying a hatchback, and you are therefore looking for a compromise car. If you didn't need a hatchback, you'd be in an Elise. So given that you are in a hatchback, you might as well get one that is particularly good at being one. Look into the boot of a Golf, and you'll wonder how VW made it so small. If you really care how this has been achieved, Honda have moved the fuel tank to under the front seats and have fitted torsion beam rear suspension (which is slightly technically inferior), but more of that later. Enjoy the boot - it is a big bonus in the real world.
It's worth noting that the 3 door Civic doesn't have the full "magic" seats of the 5 door (hence me downgrading them to "trick") - the seat base doesn't lift up and lock allowing the carriage of a push bike, plasma telly or something similar.
The back seat passengers are also going to have an easy time with this car. There is lots of space, both for long legged girls, or the occasional giant you may wish to transport. For take off and landing, loose articles and handbags can be stored under your seat. The Type R has lovely red and black alcantara, though because the rear seats have been given a token amount of sporty shape, it is strictly two people only allowed in the back.
Now pop the front seat back and have a look into the front. Honda have fitted two proper racing style bucket seats, and you are going to need these! The supports are quite significant; they are a perfect fit for me (so that's nice and tight) and I'm 13.5 stone, 5' 11". Those on the larger side might just find things being squidged around a little. The seats have exactly the same adjustments and controls as the standard Civic, so getting in involves the same procedure. Lower the seat to the lowest position, which is almost low enough (and indeed a bit higher in the R compared to standard), move the seat-back and reach so your arms and legs are comfortable, then adjust the steering wheel to the only position available. This is not governed by comfort, but by the top of the wheel rim bisecting the tacho and the speedo. Too high and you don't know how fast you are going, too low and you won't get a good view of 8,000 rpm. You'll be spending a while looking at the rev counter in this car, so it's worth getting right.
As you look round the cabin you will notice that time has lept forward by about a decade. Jumping back into any VW, BMW or Audi after owning a new Civic will really bring home how bland and slab sided their dull and dated interiors look. The continuous curves on the chunky door inners blend into a concave wrap-around dash that almost envelops you, and you will see how owners make references to spaceships and UFOs. Complex curves are everywhere, and the dash is split into upper and lower sections. The glove box is huge, but remember that this can be almost halved if you opt for the excellent optional Alpine satnav system. The upper dash includes everything Honda have decided you need to be able to see at a glance whilst driving. The large and clear satnav screen, the radio and aircon LCD display, the shift light, a large digital speedo and finally a rather pointless VTEC light (that comes on at 5,500 rpm or so). In practice it all works very well - digital speedos have never been a favourite of mine, but this one has a sensible update speed - too fast can be distracting, too slow can leave you short of useful info.
In the lower area, you'll find most of the controls and extra indicators and displays. The radio is pretty good, despite using one of those notoriously poor aerials built in to the rear windscreen. A very small number of standard cars have had radios that barely work at all, and Honda have yet to fix this. This problem features on our buying checklist. The sound quality of the unit is thankfully pretty good, with the exception of weak bass. It seems that the Civic front door enclosures are nothing near the optimum shape of a bass speaker cabinet. Quality of the front speakers can easily and cheaply be improved by swapping the speakers with Infinity 6510CS's, and bass can be sorted by using a small add-on Alpine subwoofer. Most owners who have had the Honda dealer-fit upgrades (Bassworks) have reported that these are very poor, and should be avoided. A particular and continued disappointment is that there is no way to connect your mp3 player in the standard car. By the time the Type R is on sale, there should be an optional, but expensive adapter available. Come on Honda, this is cake icing that customers need - you recognise this by making it a standard item for the grandparents in their Jazz.
The optional satnav in the Civic is well worth considering, even if you come from the Tomtom portable school of thought (as I did). The system itself is an Alpine one, and it uses Navteq maps. The guidance it gives is fast and accurate, as well as having full postcode search, coverage of all of Europe, and a vast POI database (although some categories of POIs are only valid for some European countries). Of course it does all the clever stuff - it mutes the radio when it talks to you (you choose which speakers to mute), it listens to you when you talk to it, and it will re-route you if the TMC network tells it of a hold up or accident on your route ahead. The only drawback is that you can't add your own POIs (so no speed camera database), but this is easily fixed by a £100 Talex detector that you can hide away. The real bonus is one of convenience and neatness, the system is always there, always on and can't be stolen.
The dual zone climate control system also works very well, with some rather neat touches. The passenger can change their temperature using a button on the armrest on their door (should you wish to not use the voice control). The system uses the usual sensors (a sun sensor on the dash and an air temperature sensor by the steering wheel), although some users have reported that a few hours into a journey, the interior temperature can drop significantly, requiring a bit of adjustment. Also, the rear demister comes on automatically, though we haven't worked out what is triggering it yet. It's quite possible that the R doesn't have these traits - time will tell.
Looking out of the rear of the Civic, there's not much of a view (apart from the reflection of the VTEC sticker). On the move you can see most of the car following you, but it's bisected by the rear spoiler. Curiously at night, this has an unexpected positive side effect; the spoiler is at exactly headlight level so it dramatically reduces glare. The car is just like a saloon in so much as there's no rear wiper, but as promised by Honda the water is just blown off. The only time it can be an issue is if you have to reverse having left the car in the rain - so a quick wipe or a bit of guesswork may be in order. Trying to reverse the car anyway is a bit of a guessing game since the rear windows are so high that the bonnet of the car behind you can be completely obscured. Optional dealer fitted parking sensors or the excellent colour camera that displays in the satnav screen are a must. Luckily Honda have seen sense in fitting very effective wing mirrors; these give a good wide view as well as an enhanced vertical view, so you can easily see the kerb when parking when the mirror is in its standard position. Great design.
The main instrument display is one of the major highlights of the car. The rev counter is the central feature, with a raised section in the middle for the trip computer display. In the R the colour scheme has turned from a very cool VW-like blue into a slightly racy red. Red on black is a tricky colour scheme to see clearly, but in use it didn't distract me, and despite my initial thoughts, there was only a minimal deflection on my chavometer. Likewise the ebony black mirror finish of the main panel (that scratched so easily) has gone, and in has come much more practical matt grey two tone plastic. The trip computer is as fully featured as you could hope for, with multiple trip meters, average consumption, instant consumption, speed warnings, miles to go, seatbelt indicators and so on. Nothing has been missed out - even the option to switch features like the shift lights on and off, and to set whether or not words appear with warnings. A minor complaint is that it likes to ding at you, so you find you will never leave the keys in the ignition and you will try to put the seatbelt on before you put the key in, which is less than ideal.
The control stalks all have a lovely solid feel to them and the car features automatic headlights and automatic wipers, with adjustable sensitivity. I use both, the only adjustment that's needed is turning up the wiper sensitivity at night. The HID (xenon) lights on the standard car are great - a good powerful spread of light with an accurate cut-off. Honda have decided though that these will only be available on European cars, and not UK cars. Shame.
The steering wheel is a work of art in this car. It looks futuristic, it feels solid and grippy, and it is plastered in illuminated buttons and switches. For many, the wheel was actually one of the features of the Civic that sold the car to them.
Once again the marketing people won an argument, and a start button is fitted. This proves to be a minor chore in real life (not marketing world) since you have to turn the key and then move your hand to stab the button. Still, it looks cool and once again doesn't quite cause the chavometer to register, despite the pretentiousness.
As you set off, you'll probably not notice that the pedals, seat and wheel all line up accurately - this simply translates to sitting in a good comfortable position, with all the controls in the exact places that you expect them. The weighting of the controls is ideal, the clutch is light and the throttle easily controllable. Driving normally, the car feels like a beautifully made, crisp handling family hatchback.
Oddly, the standard five door Civic is more GTi than GL. In order to overcome the shortfalls of the torsion beam rear suspension, the setup is fairly firm with very little roll. The electric steering has a noticeably quick ratio, and offers plenty of feedback. Turn in is quick and accurate and there's a vast amount of grip available - probably 20 mph more than most drivers realise. Jump out of that and into the R, and the first impression is that little has changed. The ride is a touch firmer, giving the steering a little bit more feel. Around bumpy corners though, the shell feels stiffer, and there is less lateral wobble when loaded up, almost as if rubber bushes have been replaced with nylon. Is this the extra stiffness of the three door shell? Just a little bit more precision, and it's ideal. Having driven many Mk5 Golfs, the one area where the Golf is consistently a tiny bit better than the Civic is the steering. You accurately make your way round a bend in the Civic, yet you can scythe your way round in a Golf without giving the job the slightest thought. I have to compare the Type R to the GTi by memory (and this could be flawed - it would be nice to drive the two back to back), but I'd give the R 90% and the GTi 92%.
The ultimate grip of the car is impressive too. We were only given the chance to drive on unfamiliar public roads, so there was no real opportunity to find any limits. Only the "pros" were allowed to drive up the hill at Goodwood, but in a totally unscientific and rather useless way, I can report that the car cornered with astonishing ability.
In pottering mode, the steering was as stable and easy as the standard car. None of the refinement has been lost, so the R should also be able to cruise for hours on end in a relaxed fashion. And this is complemented by the nature of the engine. But every manufacturer of a modern hot hatch now has to have a trick up it's sleeve. Gone are the days of just shoving a warmly tuned injected lump into your regular hatchback and slapping on a couple of badges. The market has moved on, and more is required. VW have a pretty regular turbo engine, but we should watch out for the TSi in the wings. Ford have a turbo and an extra cylinder, so a similar approach. Honda have always gone down a different path, and the R is their latest and finest example of the 8,000 rpm screamer complete with balancer shaft and variable valve timing. And here's one of the two areas that really separates these hot hatches.
When you set off in the R, you are in a normal car. The engine feels like a regular small six cylinder engine. Six? Simply because the balancer shaft rids the car of any four cylinder nasties, leaving a silky smooth vibration-free sensation. The clutch is light and easy, and the gearchange is slick and precise (but disappointingly not as slick as the diesel car). At this point the car feels like it has a moderate amount of go. So you floor the throttle, and what do you get? A moderate amount of go. How the world has changed though over the last 5 years. We are all now so accustomed to turbocharged GTis and really very powerful turbodiesels that we expect the car to wait for a fraction of a second and then leap forward with an unnatural wallop of torque. But this is not going to happen in the R, and this will be its Achilles heel to some, and its USP to others. And before people pick up on this and describe the car as gutless, it's not gutless, it's just fairly excitement free in the mid to low revs region. There's quite enough for normal driving, and that is very important. You have to recalibrate yourself back to this car, having calibrated yourself to turbocharged cars a few years ago.
Having performed this self-recalibration, now gun it and see what happens. If you had to change gear at 6,000 rpm, then you'd have an pretty nifty car. But you just keep letting the revs rise all the way to 8,000 rpm and this is where you'll be when you're in loony mode. The power delivery is totally linear with no noticeable VTEC step, and whilst the engine is smooth it develops a beautiful crescendo of a roar as it screams up to the 8,000 rpm limit. Everything stays smooth (but satisfyingly noisy) at these revs, and even the change up makes a great sound on the overrun. It's completely addictive, and easy to do - the shift lights are easy to use and the rev limiter (sorry Honda, but it's easy to hit in first when you're new to the car) is nice and gentle. On a good clear road keeping the revs high, you are doing what only the Honda can, and what Honda have spent a lot of time and effort enabling you to do. Your cooking family hatchback is now transformed into a junior racing car. You will have to use skill and judgement to match the gear ratio, engine revs and speed to the road ahead. I got that "track" feeling and found myself looking for a better line, as I worked the engine and box. On a set of fast sweepers it's just so easy to leave it in third and let the revs smoothly rise and fall between 6,000 an 8,000 rpm as you find your way round the bends, and at no point do any vibrations nor other mechanical nasties encourage you to change up. Double de-clutching and heel-toeing helped keep the revs just where they needed to be when the road became twistier, whilst the ride remained wonderfully smooth. The throttle response is instantaneous (something the turbo boys wouldn't even recognise) and you use this to your advantage to keep the front wheels gripping when cornering hard. I'm sure that as the ST/GTi driver just kept it in one gear and rode the torque curve he'd be smiling, but I'd like to bet that as I hammered it up and down the gears my grin would be significantly wider than his. And this is what counts with a car that is sold to be fun. If they were sold to win races, then the car that is fastest round the track would be the one to buy - no question. But this is not the case, and I had a lot more fun in the R than I did in the GTi.
A high quality version of this video is available here (registered users only): second.mpg
There are some people who may decide they want a new Civic (a good choice having evaluated the competition) and who may notice that a Type R is a similar price to a 2.2 diesel EX or S GT. They may even think that because the Type R is "top of the range", that it was "better" than the diesel. A quick note to anyone thinking this: in 97% of driving (possibly 100% of your driving if you haven't bounced your current car off the rev limiter twice this week) the diesel is miles quicker, and more relaxed, and smoother and more economical than the R. On the motorway in top, the R will accelerate very nicely, but the diesel (especially if chipped) will fly away with just a tickle of the throttle pedal. So if you're not going to really use the R's little party trick, then the diesel will satisfy you day in and day out, and it is much the best car for you. Maybe a chipped 2.2 Type S would be a great compromise - the S handles very similarly to the R too.
To show the difference the massive mid range of a chipped diesel makes, here's a sequence of stills from two third gear roll ons in the two cars. It's not scientific, but it shows the effect. Bear in mind this is a demonstration of mid range power, and is not meant to make out that the diesel is faster!
There are a couple of possible caveats with the Type R's engine though. Firstly the car is drive by wire (DBW) and this means that a computer is in the system somewhere, making adjustments between where your foot is and where the throttle actually is. When I first test drove the diesel, the ECU was keeping the revs artificially high between gear changes, making a comfortable quick shift tricky. But when I got my own new car, there was none of this and it drove beautifully. When I jumped into the R, it did just the same thing, and it made driving initially a little odd. I found myself chatting to the pro about artificial flywheel effect. But 10 minutes later it seemed to have learnt what I wanted, and was allowing the revs to drop faster, but still not quite as fast as I felt would be right. Secondly, the gear change didn't feel as good as the diesel. Drivers of sporty cars will immediately feel at home with the lovely spherical aluminium knob and the short throw action. Both cars have six speed boxes, but the R was a bit notchier. Granted it only had 1,700 miles on it, and I appreciate that the short throw lever will accentuate this, but I suppose I was hoping for a shift quality as good as my car. Despite this, it was easy and fun to change gear accurately (with heel toeing easily achievable with the floor hinged accelerator pedal) and the gear change was certainly no hindrance to your enjoyment of the engine. Someone also needs to press the start button on the Type R number - all the plates on the cars we drove were 00000.
I'm not sure how good the outright performance of this car actually is. No doubt Autocar will do some lovely detailed acceleration tests and show that the mid range is slower than the competition, but this is irrelevant because mid range performance is not the R's party trick. At times the car felt very like my 2.5 litre Boxster (I'm sure the two cars actually have very similar outright performance), where I wanted 40 bhp more, or the car to be 150 kg lighter. It's interesting to note that the Honda people were talking up the cars improved smoothness and driveability over the outgoing CTR, but failed to dwell on the fact that it's the same power but 60 Kg heavier (the GT adds another 25 Kg again). With just these numbers to hand, the car will be fractionally (but probably not noticeably) slower than the outgoing CTR, and this will surely be a disappointment for owners of the existing CTR who would love to have a better, faster car to upgrade to rather than just a better car. I suppose that once again we're back to compromise (this is a hot hatchback after all, the total compromise car) and Honda didn't want to fail where for example the Impreza fails, with the poor fuel consumption of a more powerful engine.
Finally I suppose I'd better say something about the brakes. Over the 30 miles I did on the road, I didn't notice them once. They provided as much effort as I asked for, and the weighting was perfect. So no issues there. Some poor engineering team has spent many man-years on the brakes and it's a shame that the best accolade they can expect to receive is when the driver didn't notice them.
Very careful road driving gave 30 mpg - and spirited driving mixed with normal driving returned 28 mpg. I'm going to guess that doddering around chewing up motorway miles somewhere near the speed limit will return that 28 mpg (the combined is 30, and it's typical to get a bit less than that), and that the lead footed will see that plummeting down to the low twenties. Will the consumption be equal to your age?
So far as buying is concerned, the R is a bit of a bargain. Considering the amount of kit you get, it is significantly less expensive than the competition. Personally, I'd do what I did with the diesel Civic, and go for fully loaded. I'm sure you've done your own detailed comparison on specs and total costs, so I'll not go into it here.
I have owned a total of five Golfs and just one Honda, so I hope I'm not accused of bias towards the Honda. I tried hard to buy both the latest GTi and the GT TDi, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. The old fashioned look and feel of the exterior, the rough engine in the diesel and slightly dull engine in the GTi (to me it felt quite torquey and quite powerful, but didn't have enough of either) and the dull, drab and dubiously assembled interior. But the Golf, despite all those shortfalls, still handled with just a little bit more precision. In my case I kept going back and forth testing Golf and Civic on the same road, until I satisfied myself that the difference was not worth worrying about, and that all the other features I was looking for were indeed better in the Civic.
So what kind of car did you really want (but sadly had to have a hatch)? An expensive looking Audi, that is actually a bit dated, has little or no kit and is not quite as much fun as you expected when thrashed? Buy the Golf. A Lotus Elise, with modern manufacturing technology and by far the most fun when you're really giving it some beans? Buy the R. But be aware - if you can't be bothered (or don't know how) to put the effort into driving the car, and just want to stab the throttle and be faster than the other guy, then don't bother with the R. Once you're in your GTi though, watch out. Because the guy in the R is probably an enthusiast, will know how to drive, and will leave you wondering "what he did to that car to make it so quick". Of course, if Honda had fitted this car with a 240 bhp screamer, then many more "regular" drivers would have chosen the R over the GTi in the first place, but as it is the R will remain the niche (and pleasantly rare) product.
I love my fast cars, but I think I'd go for the R because it is so good to live with. All the practical qualities that actually count for 99% of the time are just so much better than the Golf. It's always the case - if a car is rubbish for day to day use, it has to go. And I'm keeping my Civic. I'd have a dark colour to make it appear a bit more "mature". And when I did come home the wiggly way, the responsive and addictive nature of the engine will return just a bit more than I put in.
The Type R sits on its own. All the competing hot hatches are quite competent at being hatches. But the Civic sits above them in this role, for all the reasons I've discussed. That's one area of separation from the other cars. It also sits apart in the hotness stakes with all the other cars following the same rather lazy formula, for the lazy driver, of a blunt turbocharged engine. The Type R however has a razor sharp racing engine, and only keen drivers need apply. If the idea of having to change gear to get the power doesn't thrill you, then you are better off in something else. So now we have two areas of separation.
So it's sold - to the old fart (40) who grew up on 205 GTis, went through the Porsche/M3 stage (so knows about well made and well designed cars), and who now still can't give up having a slightly mental car even though it's also the family hatchback runaround. A diesel Type S would give great handling with a vast amount of silky smooth and usable mid range power, but it's not a mini racing car - so although it may be suitable for most keen drivers, it just won't give the ultimate satisfaction that the R can deliver to an old fashioned petrol head. If I were buying now (I'm stuck in my Civ for the time being) I'd be weighing up the Diesel S and the R, but I don't think I could resist the R despite the obvious logic of the S.
What a marvellous coincidence that the best mid sized family hatchback on the market also has the finest enthusiasts hot hatch engine.
The photos were taken near sunset with an orange sun and a deep blue sky. So the poor camera has had trouble getting the representation of the red exterior and interior correct - might be best to see for yourself at a dealer. The bronze looks about right.
I have no connection with Honda, no incentive to bias in any direction, and do not even receive any advertising revenue from Honda.
Please do not PM me about the car or this review - post any questions on this thread.
Any article on here is protected by UK copyright laws, reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without prior permission from me. Ta!
Superb review pottsy, worth waiting for. Frank yet detailed, and unbiased. I thought the comparison between the type-R and chipped diesel was fascinating, your review proves that rather than enter a BHP war Honda decided to take a different approach and go for a more mature model.
Everyone has an opinion. Here's mine based on the last 2000 miles in a new Type R....
Engine/gearbox: In essence this is largely unchanged from the previous model. The engine still excels at high rpm, although there is now a tell-tale lamp on the dash to let you know when you're in the "zone". When the VTEC is on, this car is incredibly responsive and begs to be driven hard. The engine note is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I challenge you to drive through a tunnel and resist the urge to wind down the windows, a bury the pedal into the dark red carpet. Overall the VTEC switch over is slightly less noticeable than the previous model but it comes in earlier so it is now much easier to keep it above the switch over point. The red line is also higher. As with all new Civics, the engine is also fitted with an oil level sensor. Balancer shafts are now fitted to make the engine smoother and reduce vibration. There is no discernible difference between the mechanical throttle and the drive by wire system on the 2007 car. The 6 gear ratios are close together and the gearbox selection is smooth. 6th is quite short, giving only 20mph per 1000 rpm which means at 80mph, the engine is singing at 4000rpm (but it's happy there).
The exterior appearance of the car is less overt then the previous model, mainly due to the absence of the side decals. I don't find this a problem. The car will be recognised by those who know and for those who don't, no number of decals and aerodynamic add-ons are going to make them turn their head. If you really want attention, just knock it down a cog or two, and play with the throttle. If you like the appearance of the standard car, you will love the Type R, if you're not so enamored by the sleek shape, it is unlikely the Type R will win many points from you for it's looks.
There is no doubt that this car has more grip than most of us will ever need. The ride is firm but less harsh than the outgoing model. On uneven country roads the car is well composed with very little bouncing and pitching. Road noise is not intrusive and the car is OK for long journeys. The steering on the old model was not great, but the system on the new Civic has been redesigned from scratch and addresses all the concerns of the old model. The VSA is not over intrusive and can be switched off if you wish.
Interior features: Most of the interior is similar to the standard Civic, so if you are familiar with this the Type R will be easy to get the hang of. The front seats are great, and as the steering is now adjustable for rake and reach, a good driving position is easy to find. Rear visibility is slightly worse than the standard model but not so much that it causes problems. Some may question the addition of features such as auto-wipers and lamps, sat-nav etc, but you don't have to use them. They work well and make the car more versatile.
Living with it:
There are only 2 rear belts, so don't buy this car if you need to be able to carry 5 on a regular basis. Except for that, the in car storage is excellent and retains all the features of the other models. As there is no spare wheel (accessory space saver available), there is plenty of versatile space in the boot. This is a car which thrives on revs but don't confuse this with "this car needs to be revved hard if you want to get anywhere fast". The Type R has 201ps, delivered through a smooth 6 speed gearbox. In the higher gears it is no slouch, but to enjoy the best from this fantastic engine keep it above 5500 rpm. If you are migrating from a Civic diesel, you may miss the torque and effortless acceleration in top gar at motorway speeds.
Economy: Despite having not made an effort to get the best economy, I am still averaging 29 mpg (over 2000 miles) which is not at all bad. On a motorway run it has been possible to achieve around 35 mpg.
Overall: It would be difficult to compare the old and new Type R as in many respects they are very different. On some days I miss the "kick" from the VTEC but actually the revised mapping is better. Most of us are not lucky enough to be able to afford separate cars for each occasion; and there is no need to. The 2007 Type R Civic is a Jekyll and Hyde car: it's well mannered, sophisticated and refined when needed, but will bring a dirty big grin to your face when driven hard.
I love it.
Last edited by Charlie; 29th January 2007 at 00:36.