PUNCH AND PRACTICALITY
TWO CRITICS, ONE CAR
GO-FAST little Hondas have been around since the 1990s, when the first Integra Type R reached Australia.
The originals were raw road rockets, with screaming naturally aspirated engines, scrabbling front-wheel drive and rock-hard suspension, fitted with race-style bucket seats in fire engine red.
The latest Type R is more mature.
There is still punch for a fun run, the seats are much the same but its turbo engine tones things down for cruising and there is much more luxury. THE PICK-UP
ELI: Dad, this car is a bit show-off.
PAUL: You’re right. It looks like one of your eight-year-old mates did the wings and things.
ALI: Come on, it’s not that bad. It might not be my taste, it’s not your typical family car but lots of people seem to like it. THE BAGGAGE
PAUL: Hidden inside all that speedy silliness is a really practical little fivedoor hatch. That’s something that’s easy to forget.
ALI: It gives scope for a young family of thrill-seekers. They can keep the revhead happy and still have the family travel about on the weekend. THE COMMUTE
PAUL: I still don’t like the infotainment set-up.
ALI: For $55,000 I expect to get satnav, so that’s a negative. THE SHOPPING
ALI: It zips around the streets well and it’s easy to park. Even the turning circle is pretty good.
PAUL: I like the three driving modes, from Comfort to Sport+, and you can really feel the difference. It’s not just the engine, also the suspension and even the weight on the steering. SUNDAY RUN
ALI: There is lots of road noise, thanks to the low-profile tyres. And there is no spare at all.
PAUL: The noise also comes from the tread design, which helps with the grip. It has fantastic Brembo brakes, just turns and goes in most corners, and really romps when you get the turbo spinning. THE FAMILY
PAUL: It’s easy to forget that the Type R is also a good family car. Honda missed the mark with the previous-generation Civic.
ALI: The boot is huge, which is great, and I also like getting 6.3L/100km on a trip. TICK OR NO TICK
ALI: I know some who’d love it but it’s not for me.
PAUL: It’s a no for me. I really enjoy driving it, fast and slow, but I could never recommend the cartoon craziness in the body.
The 2017 Honda Civic Type R.