The Honda Civic Type R has been one of the most popular and fabled cars to appear on the market in the past few years. Its reputation preceded its long-awaited arrival and since its inception, the Civic Type R has received rave reviews from consumers and critics alike. With its aggressive presence and potent powertrain, it’s no secret that the car is as quick as it looks, but is the 2020 Honda Civic Type R really that fast?
The Honda Civic Type R is slow when you want it to be
The Honda Civic Type R is a special car, but beneath the aggressive bumpers and side skirts – not to mention the massive wing – it’s still just a Civic. We spent some time behind the wheel of the Civic Type R and so far, we are impressed by its power and handling characteristics, but even more impressed with just how smooth the car feels in normal driving situations. We’re willing to bet that if you were sitting in the back seat with a blindfold on, you would hard-pressed to realize what trim level of Civic you were sitting in.
When driven normally (read: Comfort mode), the Civic Type R is just as sedate as a Civic EX, aside from the elevated road noise level – due to the 19-inch tires — and a slightly louder exhaust. Otherwise, the shift action feels smooth as butter, the clutch pedal feel has good pressure and feedback, and the car is easy to drive, even if you’re new to driving stick. However, when you open it up, it’s a different beast altogether.
“+R mode” is where it’s at
Uncorking the power potential of the Civic Type R is as easy as flipping the switch on the center console as there are three different drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and +R. The system automatically puts itself into Sport mode when you start the car, so if you want a smoother ride, then you can flip the switch to comfort. But when you put it into +R mode, that’s where the driving experience gets kicked up a notch. In that mode, the dampers firm up, the steering gets tighter, and the throttle is more responsive due to more aggressive fuel mapping.
Motor Trend was able to get the Civic Type R to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, but in reality, it feels faster than that. Of course, it’s hard to tell when you’re watching the road in front of you and everything in the environment goes zipping by in a few seconds as you quickly row through the gears. It’s quick, nonetheless, and its turbocharged power curve is smooth and linear without so much as a hint of turbo lag.
But is it fast?
Motor1 stated that the Honda Civic Type R’s top speed is 169 mph, however, we’ll have to take their word for it since we don’t have a test track to run the car on and there’s no way we would try it out on a normal road. However, we can at least attest to the car’s overall sprightliness and while it might not be BMW M3 fast, the Civic Type R will at least get your blood going when you bury your foot on the accelerator.