I've owned my 8th Generation Type R (FN2) for a little over one year now, and thought I'd revisit to let other would be Used FN2 buyers a bit of insight to my last 13,000 miles.
As a prelude to my purchase, I had recently adopted a dog-Type-R (an ex-racing greyhound from Ireland), resulting in my car at the time feeling fairly cramped when going on long trips. A few trips to Cornwall in my Fiat Grande Punto Sporting had me in a miniature young life crisis; I felt I was starting to pick up the things in life which force a compromise and I didn't want to reach the big three-oh having not owned a truly sporty car.
As an avid car 'window shopper' I started looking around and having wanted a CR-X as a teenager it wasn't long before I started constantly browsing Pistonheads, Honda approved used and autotrader for something sporty but also large enough to fit dog-type-r, my other half, and a decent amount of luggage.
After a few weeks of no luck I found what appeared to be a reasonable deal at a Honda Dealer 200 miles away. I phoned up, tried m best to contain my excitement, and ended up purchasing a Milano Red Type R GT. The car was totally standard, except for a Parrot 3100, and my first trip through Oxfordshire back to Bristol was totally uneventful. And so started my year of ownership!
At first the car felt very constricting; I'm tall and the even with the seat fully lowered I felt like I was going to crack my head off the roof. I soon got used to it though, and don't think anything of it anymore. The seats felt very enveloping compared to my previous 'sporting' seats. I love the shoulder bracing and Alcantara, though I'm less keen on letting anyone in the back through the drivers door as it resets the upright adjustment.
The stereo is poor, to say the least - Tinny with a muffled midrange, and no amount of adjustment of that head unit seems to make it sound acceptable to me. After two months of ownership I'd had enough and swapped out the SPeakers for a Set of Infinity Components and added an Infinity Basslink subwoofer to my boot. Whilst I was at it I added a fair amount of Dynomat. As I did it all in one job I can't truly say which made the biggest difference, but If I turn the subwoofer off It appears to be lacking. I'd say that the Sub was the most worthwhile addition, despite others naming the Front components as the ones to change first. As an aside, don't buy the Basslink - I thought it would be an easy fit to behind the single seat on the left hand side of the boot, but I ended up making a 'ramp' to hold it an angle. I may yet build a dedicated enclosure and build a different Sub as I'm still not happy with the set-up in terms of how much Boot space I've used and how tidy the install looks.
How does it feel to drive?
I've been unfortunate enough to drive a number of hire cars over the last year for work, and none of them come close to the feel of the Type R; perhaps if they were GTi's or VXR's or the like then things would be different, but the Type R Gear Change and Steering are just right for me.
Gear changes are sublime, short and snappy. Dropping a couple of cogs is a smooth, swift motion. Blipping the throttle on down changes and heel and toe braking are skills which I've learned over the last year:- It's not that I'm a boy racer - I find clutch control a bit more tricky than on other cars and since trying these techniques my gear changes have become smooth and silky, like Icecream
No more involuntary head banging during downshifts! The full-foot Go-pedal certainly helps when heel-toe changing.
Handling wise, the car sits flat on the road and has massive amounts of grip compared to all the other cars I've driven. It's rare to find a road where it's safe to explore the car's limits and as such, I couldn't realistically ask for much more.
It is true that the ride is very firm; bumps in the road let you know that your spine is still contained inside your body and not particularly pleased with you choice of automobile. It's not terrible though - I've driven a number of 300mile plus trips in the car and never gotten out aching.
Last of all.... Hooning. The car is a RIOT to drive quickly. I've not driven anything as involving or fun, and one year on I still love it. The noise of the engine, the handling of the car through a good, twisty B road, the Steering feel and engine response are all great. I do have two problems with the car though -
1.) Overtaking really does require dropping a gear or two if you're not trying to make progress prior to overtaking. It's fair to say that overtaking at legal speeds is best in 2nd or Third Gear depending on your speed and If you're cruising along in 5h then It can be a bit of a pain to drop at least two gears and hoon past the other driver, making all that noise. I await my ASBO.
2.) VTEC doesn't come in until way too late. In second gear, there's no angry wasps in the engine until around 40mph, and in 3rd it's more like 55mph. Basically, VTEC is only really possible on National Speed limit roads.
None yet! The car has a few rattles, though they may have been induced by fitting the stereo, so I can't complain. I'll happily put up with them for some banging tunes and the most fun Drive I've had in a hatch back.
Should I buy one?