Civic Type R is the Top Pick of Five U.K. Market Hot Hatches
Civic Type R takes the win in five-way, best-of-three U.K. hot-hatch battle, nearly sweeps the competition.
The new Civic Type R is not only the perfect track day killer, but, with a flick of a switch, it’s as comfortable as any other Civic around. Add in the utility of a hatchback, and it may just be one of the best daily drivers in the world.
It certainly is tops in the United Kingdom, where the Type R originates from Honda’s factory in Swindon, England. Mat Watson of U.K.-based car-shopping site (and YouTube channel) Car Wow recently took the hot hatch for a battle against the Hyundai i30N, SEAT Leon Cupra R, Renault Megane RS, and Peugeot 308 GTi. The results shouldn’t surprise you.
The first heat pits Watson (in the Megane) against the Civic Type R and the other hatches in a drag race to the finish line. Although his French hatch got off the line well enough, the Type R quickly charges to the head of the pack, besting the Spanish-German Cupra R by a whisker. The next race, a roll race from 50 mph, sees the Cupra R beat the Type R by a nose. But the Type R literally pulls out all the stops in the third and final challenge, braking from 70 mph to zero in an emergency stop with the best shortest distance.
Immediately, Watson is impressed by the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter, 306-horsepower turbo-four, and its place “near or at the very top of the hot hatch segment” in the U.K. market. He’s also happy with the fact that while it and the previous Type R were both “great on the track,” the new Type R has wonderful road manners due to its sharp steering, excellent front diff, smooth gearbox, and the ability to shift from demon to angel with a flick of a button. That R button is no joke.
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The only drawbacks for Watson regarding the Civic Type R were its high price, its “rubbish” infotainment system, and its hardcore appearance. In the end, though, Watson places the Type R at the top of the hot hatch heap. For him, “it is the best all-around, front-wheel drive hot hatch.” We couldn’t agree more.