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Torque News discovers the practical side of Honda Civic Type-R

Granted, that “hot hatch” you’ve dreamed of owning since childhood is most likely a tough sell when it comes to justifying the purchase to a significant other. Surprisingly, Honda’s high performance Civic Type-R comes to market with a “practical” side.

I first experienced Civic Type-R behind the wheel on a closed loop performance driving circuit in the Pacific Northwest. On that day I was more concerned with fitting my rather large helmeted head into the snug confines of what would prove to be a very comfortable, civilized, driving environment. No worries, Type-R’s hatchback configuration is roomy enough, encroaches on the midsize car segment, and, with helmet off, affords plenty of headroom for even the tallest driver.

The world’s fastest production front-wheel-drive car, while track ready straight out of the showroom, is classified by Honda as a touring car, and that it is! But is Type-R civilized enough for everyday family, and grocery hauling dutty? How does Type-R perform as a daily driver?

At its core, Civic Type-R is a factory modified 10th generation Civic Hatchback

What that means for buyers is that Honda’s hottest performance hatchback comes to market with meaningful, family ready, everyday use practicality, and hopefully, mechanical dependability -- so far so good.

Despite sporting the hottest 2.0L direct injected, turbocharged VTEC in Honda’s performance lineup, thanks to relatively low compression, Civic Type-R can run on regular unleaded gasoline. And while not the most fuel efficient Honda in the lineup, I’ve witnessed 28+ MPG on the highway. That’s practical enough.

Civic Type-R’s manual 6 speed is user friendly

We know that few young drivers in the U.S. prefer a manual transmission over the ease of operation afforded through an automatic or CVT gearbox. Regardless, after a few minutes of practice, most drivers find Honda’s latest and greatest 6MT very forgiving. In practical application, due to Civic Type-R’s impressive always-on torque, shifting in the city is minimal. That’s practical enough.

Type-R is 2nd row child seat anchor equipped

Yes, the first time I viewed a Civic Type-R on the street was while attending the press rollout of Fit Sport. Sure enough, I followed Honda’s Chris Martin out to the parking lot with a couple of HPD engineers to view Type-R on the street. There she sat in her Pearl White Metallic on red and black ballistic fabric covered racing buckets glory. In row two sat a child's seat. That’s practical.

I hauled some construction tools in the back of Type-R down to the Redwoods

I’m that guy that likes the practicality of a hatchback. Civic Type-R has plenty of hauling platform behind the 60/40 split fold down second row. For my latest Civic Type-R video run, I decided to demonstrate the practicality of Honda’s hottest performance hatchback. So, I loaded tarps, paint buckets, a small compressor, and a paint brush or two, into the back of Civic Type-R. Actually, Type-R rides just a bit softer under load. Believe me, the added load didn’t reduce my overall cruising speed in Type-R -- I found that sweet spot at 78 MPH or so -- still averaging well over 28 MPG while driving in the rain and snow. That’s practical!

Civic Type-R packaging falls short of standard Honda SENSING driver assist

As with Acura NSX, Honda takes a purest approach to their ultimate Civic sport sled. However, buyers will find a very comprehensive list of comfort, user friendly convenience, and personal electronic connectivity features, including hands-free phone pairing, a multi-view backup cam, and stability assist with traction control.

After my 1,000 miles behind the wheel of Civic Type-R, I reflected on how comfortable Honda’s race track ready hatch is on the long-drive. With multiple drive modes, and active dampening, Type-R’s bolstered seat, while relatively aggressive, proves to be fatigue free, something I didn’t anticipate. Find Civic Type-R price and specifications here.

Honda Civic Type-R’s practicality short list

  1. Arguably the most comfortable drivers seat in the hot hatch segment
  2. Quiet cabin
  3. Active damping, firm yet reasonable drive and ride dynamic
  4. Reasonable fuel efficiency
  5. Runs on regular unleaded gasoline
  6. Real-life 2nd row seating
  7. Hatchback utility
  8. Ease of personal electronic connectivity
  9. Child Seat compliant, 5 door cabin access
  10. Roomy interior

To our Civic Type-R owning friends: How’s your Civic Type-R ownership experience going? Please comment below, and share this article to your favorite social media. Thanks for following Torque News.

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