Spending a week with Honda’s hottest hot hatch

At its heart, the Honda Civic Type R is still a Civic hatchback. That’s the key. It still offers 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded, and will comfortably hold two adults when not. The Civic Type R’s only downfall compared to its more pedestrian brother is its missing second-row middle seat. Everything else (size wise) remains unchanged through the Type R-ification.

What’s that mean? The 306-horsepower hot hatch makes a good daily driver. There’s room for a trip to IKEA, car seats fit just fine, and all the niceties like dual-zone climate controls abound. But there is more to being a good daily driver than just having room for people and their stuff. Factors like ride quality, sound levels, seat comfort, and fuel economy are also at play. Keep reading for the details on how these factors, well… factor into the Civic Type R’s daily livability.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

A Hot Hatch for Everyday Hooning

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver Exterior
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The Civic Type R is a lightweight, sharply tuned, track monster, but its precision handling doesn’t impede its ability at being a good "car."

The Civic Type R is a lightweight, sharply tuned, track monster, but its precision handling doesn’t impede its ability at being a good “car.” The Type R comes with adaptive dampers at all four corners. These change the ride characteristics in correlation with the three drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and +R. The names are obvious as to their intention, and the Type R defaults into the middle ground of Sport mode upon startup. This is a hot hatch, after all, and Honda figures its owners will expect a spirited drive setting each time they hop in.

Toggling down a switch near the gear shifter moves the car into Comfort mode. This not only slightly softens the suspension but also loosens up the steering effort and decreases the throttle’s twitchiness. It’s akin to waking up early without coffee; it’s there and willing, but without the edginess of that caffeine rush.

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver Drivetrain
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The EPA estimates it will average 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined

It’s here in Comfort model that the Type R feels most livable. The throttle takes more effort to spur high revs from the 2.0-liter turbo-four, which when combined with smooth shifts on the notchy yet buttery six-speed manual’s short-throw shifter and light clutch pedal, provide a calming atmosphere. The shifter and clutch combo are very forgiving and free of jerkiness or driveline lash. The rev matching system makes downshifting child’s play, especially thanks to the 2.0-liter’s willingness to rev, even in Comfort mode.

The Type R is surprisingly frugal with its premium fuel, too. The EPA estimates it will average 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. It might not be a Toyota Prius, but the Type R does pretty well at not hurting its owners at the pump.

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver Interior
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The front seats are somewhat challenging to slide into, a bit tight once in, and somewhat hard to pull yourself out of

Of course, the Type R is no limousine. Even in its softest settings, the ride can be punishing and the tire noise can be intrusive on rough pavement. Much of that is due to the ultra-skinny 245/30R20 tires. Thirty-series tires are basically rubber bands seen on Cadillac Escalades in late 2000s rap videos. There is so little sidewall that every pebble translates into vibrations and kicks into the cabin. For those used to a firmer ride, it’s a very forgivable attribute. For those (like my pregnant wife) who would rather ride in a Cadillac, the Type R can be draining. My wife also bemoaned the Type R’s heavily bolstered front seats. They are somewhat challenging to slide into, a bit tight once in, and somewhat hard to pull yourself out of. Younger buyers who fancy skinny jeans shouldn’t mind at all.

Final Thoughts

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver Exterior
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The 2017 Honda Civic Type R isn’t the quickest hot-hatch to 60 mph, the fastest on an open road, or the most advanced in terms of whiz-bang drivetrain components, but what it lacks in raw power or AWD grip, it more than makes up in lightness, refinement, interior space, and Honda’s reputation for reliability. Minus a few quirks, the Type R makes for a fantastic daily driver. A calm, somewhat mature Civic Hatchback lurks somewhere under that outlandish aero package and that makes for a great pairing with its weekend track star credentials. Best of all, the Type R costs a few thousand less than the competition, barring any dealership markups, of course. It starts at $34,775.

References

Honda Civic Type R – Driven

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

Honda Civic Type R

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

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Hatchback.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

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

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