Here’s what you can expect from the 2024 Honda Civic Type R

Dale JohnsonThe Honda Civic has been one of the best-selling cars in Canada for decades, thanks to a well-earned reputation for practicality and value.

When the Civic first hit the market for the 1973 model year, the timing was perfect. The Civic was small, inexpensive and cheap to operate – exactly what a lot of people wanted when the gas crisis hit in 1974. Many car buyers became hooked on Hondas; while some moved up to the larger Accord and later SUVs, many stayed with the Civic as it grew and evolved as a practical, reliable, compact family sedan.

The Civic was the best-selling vehicle in Canada from 1998 to 2008. But as consumer preferences shifted away from sedans and coupes to trucks and SUVs, the Ford F-150 pickup took over the top spot as the best-selling vehicle in Canada in 2009. However, the Civic remained the top-selling car in Canada for an amazing run of 24 consecutive years from 1998 to 2021. (The Toyota Corolla moved into the top spot in 2022 and held onto the lead in 2023.)

There’s a high-performance variant of the Civic called the Type R. Honda first used the Type R designation in 1997, although it didn’t come to the North American market until 2017.

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The 2024 Honda Civic Type R is all about high performance.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre, 16-valve, direct injection, DOHC, VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 315 horsepower – well up from the 158-hp engine in the base Civic – and 310 lb-ft of torque. It uses premium fuel at the rate of 10.8 litres per 100 km in the city and 8.3  litres per 100 km on the highway.

The Honda Civic Type R is available only as a front-wheel drive. It sits on a wheelbase of 2735 mm (107.6 in), and the overall length is 4595.55 mm (180.9 in).

Competitors to the 2024 Honda Civic Type R include the Hyundai Elantra N, the Subaru WRX, Toyota GR Corolla and VW Golf R.

My test vehicle was white outside with a black interior. Red accents set it apart from lesser Civics. The front bucket seats are red (Honda calls it red “suede-effect fabric”), and there’s a six-way manual adjustment on the driver’s seat and a four-way manual adjustment on the passenger’s seat. There’s also red trim on the armrests and red stitching on the door panels, and the shifter handle for the six-speed manual transmission is red leather. And there are “Type R” logos on the floor mats, seat backs, dashboard, front grill, and rear decklid. Not surprisingly, the “R” in the logo is red.

The driver position is outstanding. It’s not just the ultra-comfortable and supportive front bucket seats; the position is perfect for one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the shift lever. It’s all very well thought out.

There’s lots of space up front, and rear passenger space in this four-door car is acceptable – and obviously much better than similar sporty cars that come with just two doors. Here’s a performance car with room for passengers in the back, too.

The convenience and entertainment features are all very good, including a BOSE premium sound system with 12 speakers and a nine-inch touchscreen display.

The throttle response is excellent, and the standard transmission and responsive steering help to make the Type R a joy to drive.

The seats make for a comfortable ride, although the ride can sometimes be a little choppy. Some people might prefer a smoother and quieter ride, but that’s not what the Type R is all about.

The suggested retail price is $50,050, and with freight, PDI and options, the price tag on my test vehicle was $56,871.50 before taxes.

While that may seem like a lot of money for a Honda Civic , the Type R is unlike any other Civic and is a rare combination of high performance and practicality.

Dale Johnson is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in TV, radio, print and online. While the manufacturer provided Dale with a vehicle to test drive, the content of this review was not reviewed or accepted by the manufacturer.

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