It might be hot, but it’s still a hatchback

Honda’s new Civic Type R is a beast on the track. Its 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque are more than enough to push this 3,100-pound car toward speeds anyone besides a pro driver should feel comfortable with. My time with at The Ridge Motorsports Park proved that much. Yet, despite the Civic Type R’s race-bred underpinnings, it’s still a Civic hatchback. That means it should be easy to live with, easy to drive slowly, and easy to throw cargo into. So, how’d it do?

Wonderfully. The Civic Type R still offers a pleasant driving experience around down. The light clutch and short-throw shifter are just as enjoyable on the street as on the track. And despite their heavy bolstering, Honda’s front bucket seats are comfortable to get into and easy to get out of. They remain supportive over a long drive, too. The rear seats aren’t touched in the Type R transformation, so they remain spacious for the Civic’s class, yet do lack a center armrest and air vents.

But the value really arrives when it’s time to haul stuff. The Civic boasts a class-leading 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second- row seat. Fold the 60/40-bench flat, and the Civic Hatch has 46.2 cubic feet of room. The hatchback’s rear opening is wide and tall, allowing for ungainly items like furniture and boxes to easily slide in.

When it comes to storing everyday items like drinks and cell phones, the Civic offers tons of options. The center console is ingeniously designed with a deep container under the armrest. It houses three cup holders – two of which are mounted midway down on a slidable track. The third is way down low, perfect for those Trenta-sized Starbucks drinks. A small storage cubby ahead of the shifter is great for phones and knick-knacks. A cable pass-through lets charging cables run into the lower tier area where Honda locates the USB and 12-volt charge ports. Large door pockets add to the usable (and reachable from behind the wheel) storage space.

On the downside, the Civic Type R rides on 245/30ZR-20 performance wheels and tires. While great on smooth pavement, the 30-series sidewalls offer little cushion from potholes and bumps. This leaves the active dampers with all the work of quelling uneven pavement. Road noise is prevalent, too, imitating mostly from the rear of the interior. Long drives on older pavement might spur on a headache from those sensitive to booming noises. I don’t remember noise being an issue in the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback EX-L Navi I previously tested, so it’s likely a trade-off for the added lightness and stickier rubber needed to make the Type R perform. In truth, these negligible complaints won’t turn away those eager customers. The Type R isn’t trying to pass as a Cadillac, after all.

Thankfully, the firm ride is about the only trade-off for upgrading to the Type R over the standard Civic Hatchback – at least in terms of everyday livability. The big wing and aggressive aero bits might make it a target for speeding tickets. Just ask one of the journalists at this press event…

2017 Honda Civic Type R Hotlap


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven

Everyday Life With the 2017 Honda Civic Type R Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

2017 Honda Civic Type R

2017 Honda Civic Type R Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback
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Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

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