Honda Civic Type R GT 2.0 (Price, as tested, £34,050)

The Northern Echo:


IT'S the latest pulse-racer from Honda and is said to offer the 'most rewarding driving experience' of any hot hatch.

The Northern Echo:


THE Type R GT is so eye-catching one driver slowed down in the fast lane to pull alongside and give me the thumbs up. I took it as a compliment, though it's probably not recommended. My wife, on the other hand, was mortified.

With it's huge rear spoiler and arches so flared they put the 70s to shame, it's no shrinking violet so you need to enjoy being in the spotlight if you are going to drive it.

It's not for show though, well not all of it.

Honda insist the outrageous design is all about delivering on-road performance. They talk about 'vortex generating elements' and balancing 'lift and drag'. It's quite complicated science and way above my understanding - all I know is it puts a bloody big smile on your face every time you get behind the wheel.

Under the skin is a 2.0 litre 315bhp turbo-charged petrol engine that is capable of nought to 62mph in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 169mph.

There's a momentary delay when you punch the accelerator - almost like it's asking you if you are ready - and then kinetics kick in and you're off, body held in check by the most bucket-like of bucket seats.

The manual gearbox is a hoot to navigate through. Listen to the revs build, push the lever, feel it drop in and repeat until you get bored - which you won't.

One important thing to mention is the ride, which some might think would be rock hard. It's actually more pliant than you might think and if kept in 'comfort' mode will ensure you won't get out at journey's end a gibbering wreck.


SIT in the driver's seat and it's easy to believe you are lined up on the grid at Croft. Swallowed deep into the chair and with the steering wheel up high and gearstick within close proximity you feel like Matt Neal in all but ability.

The design of the fascia and dashboard echo the sportiness of the rest of the car, but it's not flash and in your face. It's also well put together which is reassuring given the potential for punishment during its lifetime.

The Northern Echo:


OVER and above the standard Type R you get auto dimming rear view mirror, dual zone climate control, LED front foglights, blind spot information, front and rear parking sensors, red trim on exterior garnishes, cross traffic monitor, keyfob operated mirrors and windows, wireless charging, Honda Connect infotainment system with premium audio plus Garmin Navigation.


The Northern Echo:

SOMEWHAT surprisingly the Type R is a fully serviceable hatchback. You sit low down and it can be a bit difficult to get in and out of, but once in you have plenty of room to stretch out. Two well-sized individuals can be accommodated in the rear and, though headroom is lessened because of the sloping roofline, I don't think many people will have cause to complain.

There are a decent number of cupholders and the like and a serviceable glovebox.

The boot has 420 litres of space with the rear seats up, but you can increase that to 786 litres by lowering them. They fold nicely flat meaning I could get my road bike in without taking the wheel off.


HONDA say it should be possible to get 36.7mpg on the combined cycle. I managed a respectable 34.1mpg. CO2 emissions are 176g/km.


TURNS heads and corners in equal measure


VOLKSWAGEN Golf R, Ford Focus RS, SEAT Leon Cupra