2023 Honda Civic Type R Overview

What’s new:

  • The old base LX model was taken off the market
  • The high-performance Civic Type R hatchback is back on the market.
  • A new 11th generation Civic from 2022

The Type R is the Civic with the most power. This sporty package combines the usefulness of a hatchback with the great performance of a front-wheel-drive car. The last Civic Type R was the first one to be sold in the United States, and the fact that it was no longer a forbidden fruit helped it become a huge hit. People liked the Type R’s turbocharged performance and how well it handled. The updated 2023 Civic Type R keeps the same formula, but it has a new exterior, a more modern interior, and upgrades that should help it reclaim its crown as the best hot-hatchback.

The new model’s front end has a wider grille and more angled air intakes than the old one. The new Type R also has a bigger radiator and a helpful hood vent (not a hood scoop, as in the last Type R). Fans of the last generation of Type R may remember hearing stories about how the car overheated during autocross and track days. The changes that Honda made to the new car should have fixed that problem, Honda hopes.

The 2023 Type R will be made in Surrey, England, not in Surrey, England, like the two Type Rs that came before it. All of this good stuff costs $43,990, which includes shipping. The Volkswagen Golf R, the Hyundai Elantra N, and the Toyota GR Corolla are its main rivals. With the addition of the new Type R, the battle for the best hot hatch just got more exciting.

They got used to driving in wet and cold weather on the road and at Sonoma Raceway. Even though the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres tried their best, the weather made it impossible for them to keep their grip. If needed, the car’s traction and stability control systems quickly put it back in the right place.

After the track had dried, I did a few more laps, switching between Sport and +R modes to get the most speed, a quicker throttle response, heavier steering, and firmer damping. With its quick throws and smooth changes, the new transmission is a joy to use. Even though rev matching is great, you can turn it off in the car’s settings if you don’t want to use it. On the shift from first to second, I didn’t have any of the annoying gear grinds that the old car could do.

This car’s 315 horsepower seems right for it, and there wasn’t much turbo lag. Everything works perfectly, and there is enough power to satisfy your inner speed demon. At Sonoma Raceway, there are a few straightaways where it is safe to drive at full speed. To put it mildly, it’s not too much.

Brembo callipers with four pistons hold on to ventilated 13.8-inch disc brakes in the front. The ventilated 12-inch discs in the back help the car stop quickly and safely. Even after a few laps, the brakes were still firm, but I could smell them when it was time to switch drivers. This front-wheel-drive hatchback doesn’t have torque steer, and the front limited slip lets drivers put power back on early to get out of corners faster.

Honda offers Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tyres as an option for Civic Type R drivers who want the most grip when turning. We couldn’t test these tires because it was too cold, but we’re looking forward to seeing how much faster our lap times will be with these sticky performance tyres.

The GR Corolla is a little less expensive than the other cars on the market, and we like the all-wheel-drive system better. That doesn’t mean it’s better than the front-wheel-drive system on the Civic Type R; it’s just a matter of personal preference. The Volkswagen Golf R is more fun to drive than the Type R, which seems to have lost some of its zeal in the last generation.

The Type R still has the classic red sport seats, but they are lighter and better made. The driver is kept in place by wider shoulder bolsters and higher side-thigh supports. During my track time, I didn’t slip at all because the bolsters had great grip. The seats, on the other hand, are not so bad that they make a long drive unpleasant. The only thing that’s missing is a way to heat it up. The Type R doesn’t have any hot cross buns.

Even though the Comfort mode makes the suspension softer, don’t expect a smooth ride. Even in this situation, the Type R has a firmer ride than most other cars. Not surprisingly, the Type R is not for people who don’t want to feel every bump in the road.

The main differences between the Type R and the regular Civic are the seats, the new red upholstery, and the teardrop-shaped gear lever. The Type R also has a new cluster of gauges with a traditional speedometer. (The old version only showed a number for speed.) Other manual-transmission Civics don’t have a programmable instrument cluster that shows things like the gear you are in. There is more space behind the back seats than there is in the Toyota GR Corolla (17.8 cubic feet) or Volkswagen Golf R (19.9 cubic feet) (24.5 cubic feet).

The Type R also comes with the updated infotainment system for the 9-inch touchscreen in the most recent Civic. We like it because it is easy to use and has clear menus on the screen. It also has Wi-Fi so that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can connect to your phone. Honda upgraded the 12-speaker Bose sound system in the Civic and put it in the Type R. The Honda LogR data logger has been made better for 2023. It can show different performance metrics, like a g-meter and a stopwatch that can be used to keep track of lap times.

The Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver assistance systems that come standard on the Civic Type R now includes a few new features. Along with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and active lane control, you can now get adaptive cruise control. The most recent Type R also has blind-spot warning, traffic sign recognition, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from the old Type R has been made better for this Civic. It has 310 lb-ft of torque and 315 lb-hp. These numbers show that the new Type R has 9 more horsepower and 15 more lb-ft of torque than the old one.

A standard six-speed manual transmission drives the front wheels. This year’s transmission has a lighter flywheel, a new shift pattern for the gate, and a shift lever that is easier to use. It still has the standard limited-slip differential with a helical design to help drivers get the most traction as they come out of turns. Also, the rev-matching feature is back, which makes you feel like a hero when you blip-shift. As was already said, there is no option for an automatic transmission.

The front suspension still has the same dual-axis front struts as the last Type R. For those who don’t know, Honda’s dual-axis front strut setup is a clever way to make a front strut that tries to mimic the benefits of a double-wishbone setup while fitting into the small space of a front-wheel-drive car. Standard features include adaptive suspension dampers and 19-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres made just for the Type R.

In 2023, the Civic Type R gets a more grown-up look, but it still has a fun engine. The big hatchback makes it useful, and the manual gearbox is great.

2023 Honda Civic Type R Video Review

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