Home Classic Cars Review: 2023 Honda Civic Type R

Review: 2023 Honda Civic Type R

Review: 2023 Honda Civic Type R


With the advent of the 11th-generation Civic, Honda has produced a less boy racer version of the Civic Type R for 2023. However, don’t let the more adult duds fool you — with more power and rigidity, it is the most powerful Civic ever produced. Impressive credentials include 315 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four and setting the front-wheel drive production car record at Nürburgring. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to use, with one of the better rev-match systems available on any new car. Pricing starts at $43,795, and hopefully your local dealer is not asking for a “market adjustment.”


With the exterior of the Honda Civic Type R based on the eleventh generation Honda, it comes with new reserved styling and additional aerodynamic components. This car is finished in Championship White, a color that harkens back to Honda’s 1965 RA272 Formula One Grand Prix car. Up front, we have a vented aluminum hood for radiator heat extraction, a massive intercooler, functional brake ducts, fancy garnishes for downforce, along with red Honda badges and honeycomb patterns. The body has been tastefully widened and features 19-inch black alloy wheels, an inch smaller than the previous generation, which results in a larger contact patch for improved mechanical grip. Behind the new wheels are 13.8-inch front Brembo disc brakes connected to adaptive dampers with lightweight aluminum suspension components. In the back are the most obvious Type R components: the wing, the triple exhaust with active valves, rear diffuser, and more special badging.   

Image provided by Honda


The interior feels like an 11th-generation Honda Civic, but that’s necessarily a bad thing. Sure, some of the materials might seem on the cheaper side for a $44,000 car, but I personally like the styling cues and functionality, because the Type R updates the things that matter, along with the addition of a serialized VIN plate on the passenger side. The first thing your eyes go to are the heavily bolstered red suede-effect sport seats which are some of the best in the game for holding you in place, at the cost of ingress and egress. The front seats are accompanied by red carpets and in the back there are cupholders in the middle, reducing total seat capacity to four. The seats are also split folding, so if you don’t need all four seats, you can fold them down for space. The manual shift knob is finished in aluminum, another throwback touch, accompanied by sport pedals to match the engagement with looks. The technology features a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster which changes in +R mode to feature more critical car information like a gigantic tachometer, and provides better tools for the Honda LogR data logger to improve your lap times. The center features a 9-inch color media touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that run through a BOSE 12-speaker premium audio system. Climate control is dual zone, so you and your passenger can run comfortably at the track day with some of the most entertaining vents on the market.

Image provided by Honda


Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0 liter inline-four, known as the K20C1. The engine is shared with the previous generation Type-R, but power has been improved to 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque thanks to a redesigned turbocharger, increased air intake flow rate, and high flow exhaust system with active valves. This makes the Civic Type R one of the most powerful per-liter cars in its class at 157.8 horsepower per liter. The Type R is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission with faster rev-matching along with a limited slip differential which sends power to the front wheels. The FL5 weighs 3,188 pounds and manages 0-60 in 5 seconds, which could be improved with an automatic transmission. However enthusiasts know that acceleration is not everything as the track records show. The top speed is rated at 169 miles per hour, which is more than enough for any road in the United States and should be plenty on track.  

Image provided by Honda


Driving the Honda Civic Type R is incredible. It’s a fast package out of the box, perfect for carving back roads or track days. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to use with one of the better rev-match systems available on any new car. The steering feels smooth and visibility is good with highly bolstered seats to hold you in place. Honda isn’t messing around with the sport modes and offers everything you need in just four drive mode. You can adjust engine response, steering assist, suspension damping, rev-match speed, engine sound, and gauge cluster from the display. The Normal Mode was perfect for my style of daily driving, but it is not a bad idea to use comfort which softens things up a bit when driving long distances or traversing city potholes and bumps. On the performance spectrum we have Sport Mode which turns the dial up a notch but it is still usable on the street, just expect it to knock down your fuel economy. The real party trick is the Type+R Mode which pushes everything to the max and changes the gauges so you have the most critical information right in front of you. I do not recommend this mode for street use unless you like spine compression. It is, however, phenomenal in the right conditions with what feels like endless grip and zero lateral body roll. This is a powerful front-wheel drive car, and while these are known to torque steer, Honda did their best to engineer that out. Under hard acceleration it can feel prone to torque steer and wheel hop which isn’t something you generally experience when racing or canyon carving, but aside from that it’s a fun drive.   

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This is a fantastic car I think is justified at its $44,000 price point, however with ADM (additional dealer markup) around $10,000 or more, even for used cars, is a hard pill to swallow. That being said, if you want this exact car, it is available, just don’t expect to get all of your money back when you decide to sell it. 



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