2020 Honda Civic Type R's increases tech, comfort and price

Mechanical upgrades, interior updates and a host of driver-assistance technology make the Type R more appealing than ever for just $695 more than before.

Boost Blue for the win.
Steven Pham/Roadshow

Honda's hot little Civic Type R rolls into 2020 with a number of small but meaningful changes, all with the goal of making this performance hatch better to drive and easier to live with. And thankfully, these upgrades won't affect the Type R's bottom line too much.

The 2020 Civic Type R now costs $37,950, including $955 for destination, Honda announced Wednesday. That's a $695 increase over the 2019 Type R, which actually isn't all that much when you consider how many new features the hot hatch adds for 2020.

For starters, the Type R finally benefits from the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance tech, just like the rest of the 2020 Civic family. That means adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights are standard across the board.

Perhaps more importantly to Type R buyers, a number of performance improvements are part of the 2020 update. A larger grille opening improves engine cooling, and the adaptive damping system gets a software upgrade that allows it to react 10 times faster than before. New bushings are found at all four corners and the front suspension gets lower-friction ball joints, which Honda says will improve steering feel. Finally, the Type R gets two-piece front brake rotors with new pads, which should not only improve braking performance, but reduce unsprung weight by about five pounds.

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Aside from the improved cooling, the Type R's powertrain carries over unchanged for 2020. That's fine with us -- we love the 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 engine, and its 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque are plenty for this compact hatch. As before, a six-speed manual is the only transmission available.

The 2020 Civic Type R also benefits from Honda's new LogR performance data recorder. In addition to recording lap times, this tech can monitor your braking, acceleration and steering information. We've got a full breakdown of the LogR tech's functionality in a separate story.

Lastly, the Civic Type R gets a few small interior updates, including an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a new shifter, which is not only redesigned into a teardrop shape, but is weighted now for better action. Honda also incorporates Active Sound Control for 2020, which "is tuned to enhance engine sound in a natural way," according to a statement, though we worry this 'enhancer' will just end up just producing a bunch of obviously fake noise. The Type R also gets the slightly updated multimedia system found in other 2020 Civics, which uses the same tech as before, but has a physical volume knob once again.

The 2020 Type R made its North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month, wearing its striking new shade of Boost Blue paint. Look for the updated Civic Type R to start rolling into Honda dealers beginning Feb. 28.

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Originally published Feb. 20.