When the Honda Civic Type R made its American debut back in 2016, there were many enthusiasts that were eager to get their hands on the $36,000 hot hatch. However, there were also many other consumers that were wondering who would ever pay that much for Honda Civic. Four years later, the Civic Type R remains one of the most popular and highly coveted models in the Honda lineup and sales are going strong despite its higher price point. But is the 2020 Honda Civic Type R really worth the money?
The Honda Civic Type R started out as a great all-around performer
When the Honda Civic Type R made its introduction, it shocked the car enthusiast world with its aggressive styling, potent engine, and athletic prowess. It was the first Civic Type R to ever make its way to the U.S. shores and despite its front-wheel-drive layout, it proved to be quicker than other higher-power, rear-drive cars from the past. In fact, it made its first major impact by smashing the front-wheel-drive lap record at the Nürburgring by logging the fastest time of 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds.
It proved to be a strong performer on the track, but the Civic Type R also performs just as well as a street-driven car. It’s based on the tenth-generation Civic hatchback layout so it has four doors and a practical hatchback shape, making it very capable for everyday use. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is able to propel the car to 60 mph in about 5.7 seconds and down the quarter-mile in about 14 seconds, but of course, straight-line performance isn’t what this car is about. Honda made the car an all-around performer by tuning the Civic Type R’s suspension to be adjusted to different modes; “comfort mode” is for regular street driving and “plus R” mode is for track-oriented driving.
Honda made the Civic Type R better for 2020
Over the years, the Civic Type R underwent some very minimal changes, including being offered in new colors along with the addition of an actual volume knob, but for the 2020 model year, Honda showed that it’s been listening to the Honda faithful. The Civic Type R was updated with new suspension and cooling modifications, as well as some slight aero and aesthetic tweaks, but most of all, it now comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of the driver-assist features just like the rest of the Civics in the lineup. This is actually a pretty big step considering the car is almost a dedicated track car and adaptive cruise control might seem like overkill, however, it’s 2020, and normal cruise control in a modern car just doesn’t cut it.
On the outside, the Civic Type R’s grille is now 13 percent bigger for better cooling efficiency as there were previous issues of the early models having overheating issues on the track. And although the Civic Type R’s adaptive suspension performed well, Honda decided to make it even better by programming the computer to read the suspension adjustments 10 times faster, along with stiffening up some of the ball joints and bushings for better responsiveness. The brakes were upgraded and via two-piece rotors for weight savings and there are better brake pads, as well.
But is it all worth it?
The Civic Type R might seem expensive, but considering the amount of research and development that Honda has spent in making it an excellent track performer that can do double duty as a practical daily driver, we would say that it’s worth every penny. That’s not to say that it’s worth any kind of dealer mark-up on the price, but it’s definitely worth $37,000 because there is no other car on the market that can present such an excellent value of being a comfortable street car while packing a such a huge performance punch. That is, as long as you don’t mind driving a car with a big spoiler and flared fenders.