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Some Honda Owners Warn These Civic Type R Model Years Aren’t Worth the Hype

An all-new Honda Civic Type R is on the horizon. Thus, some gearheads are hoping to pick up a used Civic Type R at a discounted price. However, you might want to reconsider purchasing this compact sports car after reading what some owners have said about it.

What complaints do these drivers have about this high-octane Civic? And are there any Civic Type R model years worth considering? We’ll weigh this vehicle’s advantages and disadvantages to help you come to an informed decision.

The Honda Civic Type R: High cost, mixed reviews

A blue 2020 Honda Civic Type R parked on display with a mountain range in the background
The 2020 Honda Civic Type R on display | Honda

Owner testimonials suggest that the Civic Type R doesn’t have one fatal flaw. Instead, a combination of factors proves this sporty compact isn’t worth its high cost of ownership.

Thrills don’t come cheap. So those who purchase this hot hatch will pay top dollar. For example, the 2021 Honda Civic Type R has a starting price of $37,895. And according to MotorTrend, dealerships often marked up the car’s price above MSRP since it debuted during the 2017 model year.

However, some buyers said they didn’t get a great return on their investment. The current-gen Type R only earned 3.4 stars out of five on Kelley Blue Book customer reviews. Notably, 43% of reviewers gave the car a one- or two-star rating, putting it among the most disliked Honda models on KBB.

Why do some Honda Civic Type R owners regret buying their car?

A close-up look at the red and gray interior of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R
The 2017 Honda Civic Type R’s interior features sporty red and gray accents | Honda

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Honda’s hot hatch impressed some drivers but left others disappointed. Several owners commented that the Type R failed to differentiate itself from the regular Civic hatchback. Meanwhile, the car’s horsepower and lack of an all-wheel-drive system underwhelmed other auto enthusiasts.

These criticisms are a matter of opinion, and you could see if you agree with them after taking a test drive. However, KBB reviewers also left warnings about the Type R’s hidden problems. Common complaints include transmission issues, below-average reliability, and high maintenance costs.

One 2018 Honda Civic Type R owner summed up their displeasure with the vehicle on KBB, stating, “Like many others, I’ve had issues with transmission grinding, and the struts have already failed on the Chicago streets at under 50,000 miles. The quality of this vehicle is absolutely abysmal, and Honda should be ashamed of this vehicle’s issues. Its trade-in value is garbage because by now, everybody knows these things for what they are … overhyped and unreliable.”

Which Type R model years should you avoid?

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There’s only one generation of the Honda Civic Type R available, spanning the 2017-2021 model years. And none of these vehicles are affordable, regardless of if you buy new or used. According to True Car, a used Type R retails between $31,000-$44,000, depending on condition, mileage, model year, and options.

Additionally, Consumer Reports gave nearly every one of these Honda Civic models a 3/5 reliability rating. Notably, the publication didn’t review the Type R individually, and the 2020 Civic earned a 5/5 reliability score. However, this grade could change over time.
So, it’s best to stay entirely clear of the first-generation Type R if any of its problems concern you. But if you like the idea of this hot hatch, you may want to consider waiting for the release of the next-generation Type R. The all-new 2022 Honda Civic Type R features an updated chassis, longer wheelbase, and a new suspension. And with any luck, Honda will have shored up the car’s transmission issues.