PUNCH AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY

Honda re­vises and re­fines the sporty Civic to han­dle fun runs and fam­ily chores AT A GLANCE

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING - PAUL & ALI GOVER

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 fron­twheel 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: PAUL:

Dad, this car is a bit show-off.

You’re right. It looks like one of your eight-year-old mates did the wings and things.

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.

It’s got a bunch of ri­vals, from the Ford Focus RS to Subaru STI. They’re fairly ba­sic cars with an in­jec­tion of go-faster gear.

So there are peo­ple who want some­thing like this. And it def­i­nitely stands out in a crowd.

ALI: PAUL: ALI: THE BAG­GAGE PAUL:

Hid­den in­side all that speedy silli­ness is a re­ally prac­ti­cal lit­tle five-door hatch. That’s some­thing that’s easy to for­get.

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.

It also has the qual­ity and com­fort of the lat­est Civic. That was com­pletely lost in ear­lier Type Rs.

ALI: PAUL: THE COM­MUTE PAUL:

I still don’t like the in­fo­tain­ment set-up. It al­ways seems to be work­ing against me.

For $55,000 I ex­pect to get sat­nav, so that’s a neg­a­tive for me. It should feel a bit spe­cial in­side, not just re­ly­ing on the body­work.

I think the bright-red seats make a state­ment. And they give good sup­port in cor­ners.

I like the seat belts, which feel lux­u­ri­ous, but the bucket seats are no good for me. They’re un­com­fort­able for driv­ing more than an hour, with no sup­port for my back. I think the seats are fun.

It’s good to just trun­dle around, not as un­com­fort­able as I had feared.

ALI: PAUL: ALI: ELI: PAUL: THE SHOP­PING ALI:

It zips around the streets well and it’s easy to park. Even the turn­ing cir­cle is pretty good. 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.

I mostly left it in Sport. It can be a bit dozy in Com­fort.

Me too. The turbo en­gine has good re­sponse. I don’t like the heavy steer­ing in the Sport+ setting. I strug­gled with the gearshift. The gates felt very close to­gether and it was hard to pick be­tween first and third some­times.

I know what you mean but I like the six-speed and the way the en­gine blips it­self when you shift down in Sport+. It’s more re­spon­sive than the Focus RS in the con­trols and I like the space in­side, com­pared to the Ford.

PAUL: ALI: PAUL: ALI: PAUL: SUN­DAY RUN ALI:

There is lots of road noise, thanks to the low-pro­file tyres. And there is no spare at all, which wor­ries me.

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.

ALI:

You can drive it slowly if you want. That’s some­thing I like.

But Type R buy­ers are likely to be Type A per­son­al­i­ties who want to go for a thrash. It is re­ally quick. It set the fastest front-wheel drive lap time around the Nur­bur­gring.

Does that re­ally mat­ter?

It’s good for brag­ging rights. And that’s im­por­tant for Type R buy­ers, who might also be think­ing about a Subaru STI.

You still don’t have to go fast. I like that.

Yes, the sus­pen­sion has real com­pli­ance in­stead of the harsh­ness of a lot of per­for­mance cars.

PAUL: ALI: PAUL:

ALI: PAUL: 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 but this one is back to its best.

The boot is huge, which is great, and I also like get­ting 6.3L/100km on a trip.

I think it’s com­fort­able and my friends like it. They think it’s wicked.

ALI: ELI:

8.8L/100km (can do bet­ter)

ALI:

Our friends, Hasina and Alex, would love it. They used to have a Lancer Evo so this would be ideal for driv­ing and also as a fam­ily car. It’s def­i­nitely got the fun fac­tor while stay­ing prac­ti­cal.

PAUL:

HONDA CIVIC TYPE R None (very poor)

TICK OR NO TICK ALI:

I know some peo­ple who would love it but it’s a no for me per­son­ally.

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.

PAUL:

414L-764L (no drama)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.