The Honda Civic Type R: Top 5 Things to Know Before You Buy This Hot Hatch

  • Honda Civic Type R maintenance will cost more than your average Civic
  • 2017 Type Rs had some cooling issues
  • Driving stick shift in traffic can get old fast

The newest Honda hot hatch gets its fair share of good press. For good reason too. The Type R might be the best used Honda you can buy right now. Speaking of, what if you want to buy one? Like any bargain sports car, there’s some ups and downs you ought to be aware of.

A light blue Honda Civic Type R hot hatch
2021 Civic Type R | Honda

Which Honda Civic Type R model years should you avoid?

A general rule applies to car buying that’s very much in effect here. Generally, it’s best to avoid the first year of any car. OEMs are still working out the kinks. That applies to the 2017 Type R. Honda had some heat issues that needed dealing with, so look for a 2018+ CTR, or be prepared to break out the wrenches and fix the cooling issues yourself.

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You can’t depreciate a Honda Civic Type R

A profile shot of a 2021 Type R in blue
The R comes in a variety of loud colors | Honda

While that’s a downside, there is a huge upside to buying a used Honda CTR. You can not depreciate a Honda Civic Type R. As long as you don’t modify it too heavily, and keep the car well-maintained, you’re going to keep your money in this killer hot hatch, at least for the next several years. Of course, that means you’ll be paying for it up front. Used models in good condition can easily fetch $35,000 or more, especially with the way used car prices are skyrocketing right now.

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Driving a hot hatch with a manual transmission can get old

The interior of the Honda Civic Type R with red seats and a manual transmission
A manual transmission makes the Type R what it is | Honda

Don’t go committing to driving a hot hatch with paper-thin sidewalls and a manual transmission without knowing what you’re getting into. The Honda Civic Type R might be fun at almost any speed, but know that working a clutch in traffic will inevitably get old. As practical as the CTR is, it’s still a very hot hatch at heart.

Used Honda Type R maintenance won’t be cheap

Because this is a used hot hatch, expect to pay equivalent prices. Car and Driver cracked a wheel on their long-term Type R, and it cost them $1,800 for a new one. Other bits and bobs will be cheaper, but this performance-built racer will need more care (and money) than your average used Civic.

You’d better love the way this used Honda hot hatch looks

A yellow CTR Limited Edition shot from the front 3/4 angle
The hottest of Type Rs: the LE | Honda

If a used Honda Civic Type R is going to be your only car, you’d better love the looks. The 2023 Type R will bring a more toned-down look to the hottest Honda, but for now, the fins, planes, dives, and wings of the current Type R are all we’ve got. So, make sure you’re always looking back at it when you park. As the old adage goes, if you’re not, you probably bought the wrong car.

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