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The Honda Civic Type R is one of the most popular models to come from the Japanese automaker in the past 10 years. Although there have been a few different generations of the high-powered Civic overseas, the U.S. received its first iteration of the model back in 2017. Since then, it has undergone a few changes, so if you’re looking to buy a used Civic Type R, then here is what you need to know.

2017 Honda Civic Type R specs and issues

2017 Honda Civic Type R in championship white driving on a road
2017 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

The Honda Civic Type R first arrived in U.S. dealerships in 2017 and hasn’t changed all too much since. The Civic Type R is based on the 10th-generation Civic Hatchback, but it has a lot of aero enhancements done to it. Admittedly, its looks are polarizing, but every gaudy aftermarket-looking part has its place. The large adjustable wing in the back does well in producing downforce at high speeds as do the front splitter and side skirts.

There’s also a large hood scoop that cools the turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter engine and there are large lightweight 20-inch wheels that connect the car to the ground. Behind those wheels is a set of Brembo four-piston calipers and matching rotors. Most importantly, that turbo engine produces 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is connected solely to a six-speed manual transmission. In Car and Driver’s testing, that setup is good for a 0-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 13.6 seconds.

Now, for the issues with this particular year. As you may know, any car’s first year is going to have some issues, and the fabled Civic Type R was not immune. The 2017 models were known to have overheating issues when driven hard on a racetrack. Of course, not every Civic Type R owner experienced this issue, but for those that like to drive their cars at the limit, this was a big drawback. Other issues included hard shifting into second, third, and fourth gears and issues with the downshift rev-matching.

While these issues weren’t specifically addressed by Honda, the Japanese automaker did make some improvements to the 2020 model to fix them.

The 2020 Civic Type R saw some minor improvements

2020 Honda Civic Type R in Boost Blue driving down a road
2020 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

If you’re shopping for a Civic Type R and want a volume knob, then you’ll want to look for a 2019 model (or newer) as that was the only update for that year. For 2020, though, Honda upgraded the Civic Type R with a few reinforcements and a new “Boost Blue” color. To address the cooling issues, the Civic Type R was given a 13% larger front grille that allows it to run 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler at the track, according to Honda.

Other enhancements to the 2020 model included a suede shift boot, a new counter-weighted shift knob, and a few suspension tweaks. Specifically, the Adaptive Damper System was retuned for quicker damper reactions and some of the bushings were stiffened up by 10 percent for more responsive handling characteristics. Honda beefed up the brakes with larger rotors up front and lighter rotors all around that reduce the car’s unsprung weight by 2.5 pounds.

The 2020 Civic Type R also comes with Active Sound Control which uses its speakers to “enhance the engine sound.” Lastly, Honda also installed a data logging app called “LogR” that tracks the vehicle’s vitals like oil and water temperature. It also includes a lap timer, a G-meter, and it will even tell you how smooth you’re driving based on algorithms developed by Honda’s pro race drivers, reports The Drive.

2021 Civic Type R and beyond

2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition in Phoenix Yellow on a race track
2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Honda

There weren’t any notable changes to the Civic Type R for the 2021 model year save for a price bump to $37,895 (before destination). Otherwise, the main news for this year was the release of the Limited Edition version. This special edition included a set of lighter BBS wheels, recalibrated steering, retuned dampers, and a Phoenix Yellow paint job. This model started at $44,990, however, there were only 600 copies produced, so finding a used one could be tough in the coming years.

As for the 2022 model year, Honda has only released photos of the re-worked Civic Type R in camouflaged form (as of this writing). From the looks of it, its styling is more subdued and its body style is based on the all-new 11th-generation Civic. As for now, we can only imagine what improvements Honda has made to it, but we bet that it doesn’t have any cooling issues.

As for pricing, used Civic Type R models are priced all over the board. A nationwide search on CarGurus reveals that salvaged-title units are selling for around $30,000, while clean models are listed in the high $30,000 to $50,000 range. There are also some Limited Edition models listed for $75,000. But again, that can change in the coming years.

2022 Honda Civic Type R in camo
2022 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

The Honda Civic Type R Is Really Just An Engineer’s Plaything