2017 Honda Civic Reviews
Cars.com Expert Reviews
Fun on the track yet livable on the street, the 2017 Honda Civic Type R amplifies the things we like about the regular Civic without adding any major drawbacks.
Versus the competition
With entertaining performance and useful versatility, the front-wheel-drive Civic Type R holds its own against a field of all-wheel-drive competitors — all at a lower starting price.
For years, sports compact enthusiasts in the U.S. have longed for the Civic Type R, a high-powered version of Honda's compact car that's been sold in various forms overseas for years. That wait is over; the 2017 Civic Type R is on sale now.
Offered exclusively as a four-door hatchback, the Civic Type R is available only in a well-equipped Touring trim level with a price of $34,775, including an $875 destination charge. It has many of the same features as other Civic Tourings, like navigation and a premium stereo, along with performance-oriented features, like an adaptive suspension and Brembo-brand brakes. Notably absent is the Honda Sensing active safety system.
Exterior and Styling
With its raked liftgate, the Civic's hatchback body style resembles the Civic sedan, which has a sleek rear roofline. From there, however, the Type R goes its own way with aggressive-looking exterior styling that goes way beyond what even the Civic Si offers. The design serves both to distinguish the Type R and to provide functional benefits.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has partial test results for the Civic Type R: top, five-star ratings in both side impact crash performance and rollover resistance.
A backup camera with dynamic guidelines is standard, but advanced safety features — like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist — offered on other Civics are not available on the Type R. There's an argument to be made that the high-powered Type R is most deserving of the latest safety technology, but a Honda spokesperson said the Type R's focus on performance dictated that certain features, Honda Sensing included, wouldn't be offered.
Value in Its Class
If the Type R's nearly $35,000 list price seems like a lot, it's worth considering that when buying the ultimate anything — be it a home theater system or a tailored suit — paying top dollar is part of the deal. You can see this at work among the Type R's competitors, all of which are based on mainstream compact cars yet cost at least $1,700 more than a Type R.
Some might knock the Type R's front-wheel-drive setup, but I didn't find it any less enjoyable to drive because of it. From its performance to its utility, the Type R does a lot right, and its few missteps aren't deal-breakers. The ultimate Civic it is.