2024 Honda Civic Type R review

Estimated read time 11 min read

You already know the Honda Civic Type R is really, really good.

It’s comfortable enough to daily drive, with a spacious and usable interior, and will demolish a back road better than anything this side of a Porsche 911.

On the track it’s incredibly capable, with a chassis that flatter amateurs and allows experienced drivers to really take it by the scruff of the neck.

Why are we bothering with another review? Well, if you’re more on the amateur side of the equation mentioned above, Honda says the Type R has some technology baked in designed to make you faster and more confident on the track – technology we haven’t yet tapped.

Naturally, the only way to put it to the test was using the west circuit at The Bend in South Australia.

Our ratings for this review are shared with our on-road review, published earlier this year.

How does the Honda Civic fare vs its competitors?

View a detailed breakdown of the Honda Civic against similarly sized vehicles.

Honda Civic cutout image

Honda

Civic

How much does the Honda Civic cost?

2024 Honda Civic pricing:

  • 2024 Honda Civic VTi-LX: $47,200
  • 2024 Honda Civic e:HEV LX: $55,000
  • 2024 Honda Civic Type R: $72,600

All prices are drive-away.

The Honda Civic lines up against a number of well-known hatches in Australia. To so how it stacks up, build your own side-by-side comparison using our tool.

What is the Honda Civic Type R like on the inside?

Although it’s a hatchback designed to be driven daily, all the major touch points in the Civic Type R feel purposeful.

The seats are bespoke Honda units trimmed in red cloth, while the steering wheel is just the right size, and features sweat-wicking Alcantara around its rim. Then there’s the teardrop-shaped gear knob, which is made of ice-cold metal and fits perfectly in the palm of your hand.

The seats in particular are excellent, offering a huge amount of support and bolstering without any of the faux-racy firmness you get in some rival track-oriented cars. They drop down nice and low in the cabin, and there’s plenty of adjustment allowing drivers of all shapes and sizes to get comfortable.

If you are tall like me there’s plenty of headroom with a helmet fitted, and the pedals are nicely placed for drivers with big feet. It’s an accomodating cabin, which makes it easier to start going fast on track sooner.

We’ve already talked through the infotainment system in detail here, but we haven’t yet had a play around with the LogR 2.0 application.

It comes preloaded with big name tracks, including The Bend, and offers automatic lap timing, feedback on your throttle, brake, steering, gear position… pretty much anything you’ve seen a trace for in an F1 broadcast.

It’s not something you spend any time looking at while you’re actually driving, but it’s easy enough to set up and the amount of data on show in the app is pretty damn impressive.

The image above shows my fastest lap of the West Circuit overlaid with a slightly slower rival journalist (some were faster, but I won’t show you those) for some insight into the level of detail you’re able to explore.

It even offers very polite, very Japanese feedback about your driving – such as “You can increase rear tyre usage by accelerating and turning more aggressively”.

While we’re talking technology, the digital dashboard in the Type R is brilliant on track. There’s no rubbish, just a big rev counter and gear indicator, complete with LED shift lights like a proper racing dashboard.

When you’re barrelling down the back straight at The Bend at over 200km/h, being able to focus on the track and have key information easily in your peripheral is crucial.

As for the boring, practical stuff? Well, there’s plenty of storage space for snacks and drinks for the drive home from the track up front, while the rear seats have enough space for tall teenagers and adults to get comfortable.

You don’t get a central rear seat, nor do you get rear air vents. The centre seat isn’t a huge loss, although it does take away some practicality, but the lack of air vents may make it harder to get the Type R across the line as a practical family hatch.

With 410L of boot behind the second row of seats, and up to 1212L with the rear seats folded (to the roof), the Type R bests the e:HEV hybrid by 1L and 35L in each respective measurement.

There is no spare wheel under the boot floor, with all Civic models in Australia featuring a tyre repair kit.

What’s under the bonnet?

Engine 2.0L four-cylinder turbo
Power 235kW (6500rpm)
Torque 420Nm (2600-4000rpm)
Transmission Six-speed manual
Driven Wheels Front-wheel drive
Weight 1429kg (kerb)
Fuel economy (claimed) 8.9L/100km
Fuel economy (as tested) N/A
Fuel tank 47L
Octane rating 95 RON

In fine Honda tradition, the engine in the Type R is a careful evolution of the one that came before it. It’s still turbocharged, but the vanes in the turbo itself have been modified to remove inertia. It’s capable of drawing in more air, and also packs a more efficient active exhaust system.

With a broader grille opening, larger radiator, and new large-diameter fan, Honda says the engine cools more efficiently than before, “ensuring sustained, optimal performance during extreme driving”.

The six-speed manual transmission features a lighter flywheel than before, and the rev-match system works faster. Honda says the “high-rigidity lever and optimised shift gate pattern” offer a “reassured and hyper-precise gear change”.

The company claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 5.4 seconds, while top speed is 275km/h.

How does the Honda Civic Type R drive?

There’s very little left to be said about the Type R, but we’ll give it a crack.

It’s staggeringly good, managing to blend approachability with a level of capability not present in most cars around the same price point.

Immediately it breeds confidence at The Bend. On the first few exploratory laps it feels rock solid under braking, and it’s immediately easy to trust the automatic rev matching system to execute the perfect heel-toe as you flick the little metal shifter from fifth, through fourth, and back to third for turn one.

Honda does a manual transmission better than most; the shifter in the Type R is slick, satisfying, and precise at full noise. It’s immediately intuitive, with no risk of missed shifts or snagged gates when you’re going flat out, and would never get boring at low speed either.

Throw in steering that just feels right, with excellent weighting and response off-centre, and the learning curve here is remarkably flat.

It’s easy to build speed lap-by-lap, braking later and revelling in how stable the car feels on the way from 210km/h down to 80km/h, and how solid the front axle is when you throw it into the tight right-hand turn one, and how early you can get on the power without washing wide.

As its rivals have moved to all-wheel drive, Honda has stuck staunchly by front-wheel drive – backed by ever cleverer differential and driver assist technology to make putting the power down easier.

Mat the throttle out of slow corners and there’s no torque steer, bury the throttle in more open corners and you can feel the differential locking up.

Rather than washing wide when you have the front end loaded up, it just tracks truly and inspires so much confidence on the fast left-hand sweeper in the first half of lapping The Bend.

It’s more than just a one-trick pony, though. If you push too hard and back off the throttle it’ll tuck the nose in, bully it by lifting sharply and the rear end comes into play in a way that makes the car feel incredibly adjustable through the technical back section of The Bend West Circuit.

In a very Porsche-ish touch, the stability control doesn’t immediately cut in when the car starts moving around. It gives you a surprising amount of leeway before calling time, allowing you to dial in a fair bit of opposite lock.

It makes it easier to push right up to the edge of what the front end will do, knowing you’re able to lift off and bring things back into line without fear.

From the driver’s seat, it’s almost impossible not to be swept up by it all – and with Honda’s lap timing software running, everyone in our six-strong group of drivers starts shaving huge chunks of time off their initial laps.

I cut close to eight seconds from my first efforts; and in each of the final three sessions managed to cut around a second from my previous best.

Partly that’s down to confidence, partly it’s down to being competitive with my car-sharing partner, and partly it’s down to looking at the data on the LogR app alongside other people’s laps to work out where we’re all losing time.

With more experience on track, there’s heaps more time to be found.

Beyond that, the cars held up to the abuse impressively. The temperature gauge never got into the top half of its range, the tyres weren’t overheating, and the brakes never went soft after a succession of out lap, into four hot laps, into a cooldown sessions. That’s pretty impressive out of the box.

What do you get?

Civic VTi-LX highlights:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic LED headlights with auto-levelling
  • Automatic high-beam
  • 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 12-speaker Bose sound system
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter
  • Leatherette upholstery with red-accented suede
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Four-way power passenger seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Rain-sensing wipers with integrated washer nozzle
  • Power retractable exterior mirrors
  • Auto up/down power windows (front)
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Paddle shifters
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rear air vents
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment

Civic e:HEV LX adds:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Power lumbar support for front seats
  • Leather-appointed upholstery
  • Individual drive mode
  • 5-year Honda Connect subscription
  • Auto up/down power windows (front and rear)

Civic Type R adds:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Adaptive dampers
  • Brembo four-piston front brake calipers
  • 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster
  • LogR data logger
  • 8-speaker sound system
  • Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel
  • Front sports seats
  • Suede-styled upholstery
  • Alloy gear shift knob
  • Red seatbelts
  • Auto up/down power windows (front and rear)

It also loses heating and power adjustment for the front seats, rear air vents, and, naturally, paddle shifters.

Is the Honda Civic Type R safe?

The Honda Civic has yet to be assessed by ANCAP, but its Euro NCAP counterpart awarded hybrid models five stars.

The Civic received an adult occupant protection rating of 89 per cent, a child occupant protection rating of 87 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection rating of 82 per cent, and a safety assist rating of 83 per cent.

Standard safety equipment on all models includes:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane centring assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Front, front-side, front knee and full-length curtain airbags
  • Reversing camera

The e:HEV LX and Type R gain traffic sign recognition, an intelligent speed limiter and front and rear parking sensors, while the e:HEV LX uniquely has rear side and front centre airbags.

How much does the Honda Civic Type R cost to run?

The Honda Civic is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Honda also offers five years of capped-price servicing, with intervals of 12 months or 10,000km. Each service is capped at $199.

CarExpert’s Take on the Honda Civic Type R

Honda’s hot hatch is best car I’ve driven on track this year – and I’ve driven the BMW M3 and McLaren Artura on the same circuit.

It’s approachable, but that friendly first impression hides a chassis with enough talent to grow with you. Throw in the fact it’s eminently usable on the road, with a comfortable and practical interior, and there are very few cars with such a broad set of skills on sale in 2023.

As for the technology? There’s lots of fun to be had with the LogR app if you plan to use your Type R like god intended and putting it through its paces on track.

It’s seriously good fun digging through your traces, pretending you’re a Formula 1 driver trying to eke out a better qualifying lap, and adds another dimension to owing a Type R.

You could even map the school run and analyse your lines through the carpark… but you shouldn’t.

Click the images for the full gallery

BUY: Honda Civic
MORE: Everything Honda Civic

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