Honda Civic Type R

The latest Honda Civic has been a wonderful return to form for Honda, who made its bones on smartly designed, efficient and fun-to-drive small cars. Honda’s new Civic Type R takes the latest generation models intrinsic goodness, adds some crazy anime-inspired boy-racer bodywork, and seriously upgrades the powertrain and suspension to match. The CTR, as it’s known among enthusiasts, is a very different sort of Civic, a high-performance hatchback designed to take on the Ford Focus RS, Volkswagen Golf R and Subaru’s venerable WRX STI.

Unlike those cars, however, the Civic Type R is actually still front-wheel drive. With 306 horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbo four, not being AWD sounds like a recipe for torque steer, but Honda’s suspension and driveline engineers have proven to be quite clever. This is one of the finest-handling and most entertaining front-wheel drive cars ever made. Starting at $34,100 before options and delivery, the 2018 Honda Civic Type R isn’t cheap, but it is electrifying.

Editors' Review

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Feb 2018

I don't walk into every car review with big expectations, but for the 2018 Honda Civic Type R, it was inevitable.

For years I have been part of the vocal minority, screaming to the unresponsive heavens in the hopes that Honda would one day bring its highest-performing Civic to the US. And then it arrived, and it proved to be good.

Just about every report from the Type R's debut painted it as a competent front-wheel-drive performance car when it came to track or otherwise spirited driving, but I wanted to go deeper. I was hopeful that the Civic Type R would succeed as a daily driver, too -- not necessarily a given, because some performance cars are just too rough for everyday use, especially on Michigan's pockmarked roads.

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The Good The Civic Type R has the cargo space and on-road comfort to function very well as a daily driver, but it's still boatloads of fun.

The Bad It looks like teenagers designed it, and the infotainment system has aged like a wine with a bad cork.

The Bottom Line If you can handle the looks, the Civic Type R will always leave you smiling, no matter the destination.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 7.5
  • Media 7.5

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