Honda Civic Type R – Carbon Accessories Review – Quick Spin
Isaac Bober gets behind the wheel of the carbon-fibre accessorised Honda Civic Type R to see whether the $22,000 worth of accessories make a difference.
What is it? Honda Civic Type R fitted with everything from the recently announced accessory pack which includes, 20-inch White forged alloys, carbon-fibre wing spoiler, carbon-fibre rear diffuser garnish, carbon-fibre mirror cap garnishes, carbon-fibre interior trim, carbon-fibre door sill garnishes.
20-inch White Forged Alloy Wheels
$13,999 per set of four
Carbon-Fibre Wing Spoiler
Carbon-Fibre Rear Diffuser Garnish
Carbon-Fibre Mirror Cap Garnishes
Carbon-Fibre Interior Trim Garnishes
Carbon-Fibre Door Sill Garnishes
Why are we testing it? Because Honda claims the accessory range which has been “carefully selected” to enhance the Type R experience. We wanted to put that claim to the test. More than that, though, the wheels are a nod to the original Integra Type R and its white alloys. Interestingly, or perhaps not, this was the first press car I ever tested, so…
What’s it like on the outside?
Even before the accessory pack is fitted, the Civic Type R is hardly what you’d call a shrinking violet in the looks department. But, if I’m honest, the carbon-fibre accessories on the outside of the vehicle pale into insignificance next to those 20-inch white, forged alloy wheels. And, if it was my money I wouldn’t bother with all the carbon-fibre fripperies because while they’re expensive to fit initially, if they’re damaged they’ll be just as expensive to replace (you can’t repair carbon-fibre).
The wheels, however, look great although at $14k I’m not entirely sure anyone beyond a Premier League footballer could justify the price. And, while I’ve driven plenty of vehicles with whopping and expensive alloy wheels, I’ve never been so nervous about kerbing a wheel rim as I was while driving and parking the Type R.
So, to conclude, the carbon-fibre bits I could easily live without. And while I love the look of the wheels, and they do make the Civic Type R look better, I think the price would mean they remain on the shelf. And there’s nothing wrong with the standard wheels.
What’s it like on the inside?
Well, beyond the door sill and a little bit of carbon-fibre on the door cards and dashboard the interior is identical to the regular Civic Type R. And that means you get fantastically grippy front seats that can literally be a pain in the plums to get out of… That said, the seats are broader than those in the original Integra Type R you see in the picture at the top of the page.
The rest of the interior is purposeful and practical. All the controls are easy to read and use although it doesn’t feel as premium inside as, say, the Renault Megane RS. And the infotainment system which gets Apple CarPlay and Andorid Auto isn’t overly awesome, feeling a generation behind systems in similar vehicles.
The backseat isn’t as big as the garden-variety Civic thanks to the rigid backs of the front seats which rob a little legroom. The boot is a decent size at 420-plus litres and the back seats can be folded down easily. The rear cargo blind is a side, retractor type which means it doesn’t get in the way when loading bulky items.
There’s no spare wheel just a can of goo.
What’s it like to drive?
Maybe driven back to back on a race track you might notice a poofteenth of a difference between the wheel types, just because these forged jobbies are lighter. But then again, you probably wouldn’t. So, in the end, no matter what Honda says, the accessories pack is just for looks.
But what can’t be denied is the fact the Civic Type R is still a ripper of a hot hatch. The engine is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 228kW at 6500rpm and 400Nm of torque from 2500 to 4500rpm. So, don’t go expecting some sort of traditional manic, lightswitch-esque VTEC motor where there’s nothing, nothing and then everything.
The Civic Type R has more than enough grunt down low to make slipping around town effortless and easy. To say it’s flexible might sound a little dull but it shouldn’t, I mean it as a compliment. I wrote this after the first time I drove the Civic Type R and a re-acquaintance with the thing hasn’t changed my thoughts:
“don’t expect to be body-slammed into the seat when you floor the thing at, say, 2500rpm, rather, the Type R will begin to accumulate speed with a growl from the exhaust and, before you know it, you’ll be bumping into the horizon. And that’s what I meant when I said this isn’t a manic old-school Type R engine where you hang around waiting for it to get jiggy… this thing offers muscular and deceptive in-gear acceleration”.
The manual transmission was one of the highlights of the Integra Type R and while the Civic Type R’s transmission is good it’s not as good as the ‘box in that Integra. Indeed, this time around I noted some hesitation in the shift from second to third-gear is rushed.
The ride is perfect for this type of vehicle and its natural home is a racetrack and so the rubbish roads you’ll drive along on the way to the track can leave you feeling a little jiggled. The steering is sharp and weighty but could do with more feel and there’s immense grip and should you skip a wheel off a mid-corner bump the Type R won’t panic, the other wheel will be gripping the road like a vice and continue to fling you down the road.
So, what do we think?
Well, if you haven’t gathered it already, I think the accessories are a waste of money. But that doesn’t stop me loving the Civic Type R. It’s a hot hatch that doesn’t require you to wrestle the thing on a ragged edge between grip and slip. Drivers of all levels will get something from the Civic Type R.