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Why Top Gear likes Civic Type-R for 2017 Car of the Year

Top Gear Magazine is to Great Britain, what Car&Driver, Road and Track is to U.S. car enthusiasts -- the pinnacle in car porne. Civic Type-R just earned Top Gear’s highest accolade against all comers, here's why.


While argument ensues among brand purist, rear drive axle, and all-wheel-drive performance proponents, from humble beginnings comes a Swindon U.K. built Civic hatchback, sporting enough track proven performance to merit the Type-R designation -- the first Civic to do so in the history of Honda’s cornerstone. Top Gear Magazine, just named 2017 Civic Type-R thier car of the year; so it would seam, in reading today’s headline and watching the latest short video presented by Honda Europe on You Tube.

The cool thing here for me, and the relative handful of journalist who've experienced Civic Type-R on the street and racecourse, the Civic Type-R sold in Europe and Japan, is the same Civic Type-R world car shaking up the performance hatchback scene here in North America. Yet Civic Type-R is much more than a factory ready club racer. Like most Honda products, Civic Type-R is multiple purpose capable, long road trip worthy, seat comfortable, and surprisingly fuel efficient.

Top Gear calls 2017 Civic Type-R addictive: In a recent 1,000 mile turnaround on the road to the California Redwoods behind the wheel of Civic Type-R, I discovered a surprisingly accommodating, well connected drive and ride experience. Honda refers to Civic Type-R in its ‘one-trim fits all’ approach to marketing as a Touring Car. In it’s 5 door hatchback essence, that it is, and much more.

From my week behind the wheel of Civic Type-R I walked away with the realization that although Civic Type-R may not be the perfect car for all comers, it’s the perfect performance hatchback for me. In fact, my jaw still aches from smiling. As equipped, and at the price presented, Civic Type-R, like most Honda offerings, is a measurable purchase and long-term ownership value. Civic Type-R while club-car track ready is far from utilitarian in interior finish, comfort, and standard features.

2018 Civic Type-R U.S. MSRP: $34,100 base price, no options

While you won’t find advanced accident avoidance, tech-aided assistive drive technology on board, a premium sound system, hands free connectivity, 20 inch alloy wheels, racing treads, and very fade free Brembo equipped disc brakes, ABS, EBS, equipped, adaptable dampening, multiple drive-mode, 6 MT, limited slip transaxle, with a 306 horsepower. Fuel injected, turbocharged, rev-happy engine does come standard. The race ready component list is long, the build sheet is short, and the price point reasonable. Honda can’t built too many Civic Type-R’s, consumer demand remains feverishly high, world wide. What's changed for 2018?

What makes Civic Type-R worthy of Top Gear’s highest accolade?

Take a look at Honda Europe’s latest Civic Type-R video.