2022 Honda Civic Type R vs 2023 Honda Civic Type R: Is Less More?

Long have we waited. Honda finally gave us our first official look at the 2023 Honda Civic Type R. Unfortunately, it’s not much of a look thanks to the typical camo livery we see on test cars. However, there’s still some styling cues to look at that’ll help give us an idea of just how much of the 2022 Honda Civic Type R’s controversial styling remains.

At first glance, it isn’t much. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you to decide. Regardless, we’re just happy to have a look at the latest iteration of Honda’s world-beating hot hatch.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R promises a more low-key vibe

The camo liveried 2023 Honda Civic Type R shot from the front 3/4 at the Nurburgring
The 2023 Honda Civic Type R tones things down visually | Honda

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Obviously, the first thing you’ll notice is the camo livery. That’s there to hide as much of the body lines as possible. Unfortunately for Honda, it doesn’t work very well when the sun is on the side of the car. We can already see that the sides of the car are free from the strakes and gills of the last model. However, some subtle side skirts do remain.

The wheels have also been toned down a hair by removing the red line that ran around the circumference of the last model’s. However, the biggest change here is the grille. The last model’s gaping maw is gone, replaced with a front designed to mimic the 2022 Civic more closely. That said, I do see some air intakes hiding beneath that camo under the headlights.

Is the 2022 Honda Civic Type R worth buying?

A black 2022 Honda Civic Type R shot at a motor show in Paris
The 2022 Honda Civic Type R was a lot to look at | Eric Piermont via Getty Images

With all those changes, plus the promise of a manual transmission for the 2023 Honda Civic Type R, it’s almost hard to justify buying a used one right now. Used 2022 Honda Civic Type R models are basically impossible to depreciate, but the new 2023 Honda Civic Type R carries with it the promise of the unknown. Frankly, given how well the last model has done, it’s hard to imagine the new one won’t be better.

Surely we can expect quicker 0-60 times, better power figures, and the interior brought over from the 2022 Honda Civic. Those certainly aren’t bad things, to say the least. But now that we have the Type R name here in America, it’s hard to imagine the shine hasn’t worn off for some. You want what you can’t have, I suppose.

The new Type R has a lot to live up to

The rear 3/4 of the 2023 Honda Civic Type R at the Nurburgring
Honda kept a few things for the new Type R, including the big wing and triple exhaust pipes | Honda

Obviously, it’ll be almost impossible for the new model to live up to the hype of the previous generation Honda Civic Type R. It’s widely regarded as the best FWD car on the market today, per MotorTrend, and for good reason. Sure, Honda can improve on that, and I have no doubt they will, but I’m not sure if they can recapture the “specialness” of the old one. We’ll have to wait and see.

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