As the latest hot hatchbacks go, the new, £30,995 Honda Civic Type R represents decent value for money. But for the same £2000 that it costs to upgrade the Type R to GT spec, you could buy an entire used hot hatch.
That’s a whole car for the same amount of money as sat-nav, a dimming rear-view mirror and a handful of other trinkets will cost. And far from today’s ever-converging contenders, our rogues’ gallery of 10 fast yet practical used cars, each available for two grand or less, includes a mish-mash of engine capacities, configurations and aspiration, with diehard-sating manual gearboxes and hydraulic steering aplenty.
For all its 316bhp, the latest Civic Type R is less than a second quicker to 62mph than this EP3 – the first Swindon-built Type R and the one that established the model in the UK as an affordable, reliable, practical and yet thoroughly unhinged hatch.
The EP3’s 0-62mph metric of 6.6sec (for the facelifted version) doesn’t convey the addictively bipolar power delivery of the 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine’s cam-switching mechanism and the pace it delivers when pinned between 5000rpm and the hilariously lofty 8500rpm redline. You don’t get that with the current or previous Type Rs, both of which trade instead on forced induction.
The EP3’s 144lb ft may be chickenfeed in the context of 2017’s turbocharging (you get about the same from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder Civic these days) but, if anything, its outrageous top-end responsiveness and induction howl seem even more startling now, and that tight, dash-mounted, six-speed manual shifter marshals the engine splendidly.