Car of the Week: Honda Type R

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The Honda Civic is far from being just another Japanese hatchback.  What’s more, there’s a performance hot hatch version available: the Type R. Honda claim that the Type R balances serious performance with everyday refinement, and it’s hard to disagree. The Type R’s design goes well beyond its radical styling, distancing itself from its perhaps staid and unexciting, although dependable, image. To see just how successful they have been, we’ve made the 2007 Type R our ‘Car of the Week’.

The Type R is proof that Honda are serious about attracting younger owners. Some, however, believe that Honda went too far and created a car that was too harsh and unforgiving. In order to broaden the appeal of the Type R, Honda softened the suspension settings, balancing performance and comfort.

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The result is a car that is quick, but also comfortable.  It also copes well as well with long motorway journeys as it does with trips around town. With a high revving engine and good stability complete with decent steering feedback, there’s certainly a lot of fun to be had with the Type R.

The car’s exterior is undoubtedly a departure from traditional Honda styling. But the Type R isn’t all about looks, there’s plenty of substance too. The suspension is very well balanced, while an impressive engine allows it to show its true performance colours as well as being a sensible family car…

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If you’re looking for a small, sensible family car, then the Type R is great. The centre console allows for plenty of oddment space, plus there’s a reasonably sized glove box and door bins. For larger journeys, there’s a big boot with a clever hidden compartment where you’d normally find a spare wheel.

As you’d expect from Honda, no expense has been spared with the Type R’s safety provision. Twin front and side airbags come as standard, as do anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and brake assist.

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From the driver’s perspective, the Type R offers good legroom and a comfortable driving position in the sports seat.. Digital instruments dominate the dashboard, with the speed display neatly within the driver’s eyeline. The starter button appears as a bit of a gimmick, but the handbrake and gear lever are easy to operate.

Overall, the cabin is pretty spacious for passengers as well as the driver.  At speed, little of the road or engine noise reach the cabin, making the ride comfortable and quiet.

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With wide opening doors, it is also simple to get in and out of the Type R, and access to the rear seats is also good. Although, as you’d imagine it is far easier to get in than out.

For a young driver, the cost of insurance is going to be prohibitive as it is a Group 34 car while the three-door design might be a little difficult if you have a large family.  But that said, the Type-R really is a great hot hatchback that has helped revolutionised Honda’s image.

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This particular model is in immaculate condition and it comes complete with sports seats and five service stamps. As well as boasting an impressive 200 bhp and a six-speed gearbox, this Type R also has MP3 connectivity, an on board computer and anti-lock brakes. If you’re interested then take a look at the full listing here, or if you’re still unsure then read some detailed customer reviews.

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