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Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

Throwing away the Honda Civic’s underside or using a wind tunnel to reshape its body is very much in Honda’s nature; overhauling the cabin is not.

Consequently, Honda’s overly fussy dashboard, fiddly switchgear and fascination with questionable plastic trim finishes remains, necessitating only minor alterations for the Type R.

The Civic's electric windows wind into the door with a commercial vehicle clunk. Not a fatal flaw, but the noise is deafening compared with the classier VW Golf R

The meat of this is the replacement of the conventional front seats with high-backed, suede-effect sporty alternatives. So sporty, in fact, that the thigh support will have you getting in and out of the car as though it were a stand-alone bath.

Honda claims a 30mm lower hip point for the Type R, but only by taking into account the seat’s lower-density foam and a 10mm lowering of the floor; the mounting remains the same.

We’d have preferred to be able to drop deeper still into the Type R, but the Civic’s fuel tank lives beneath the front seats and represents an immovable hardpoint that prevents them from going any lower.

In the back, Honda has ditched the middle seat and tip-up ‘Magic Seats’ to save weight, although the bench still folds 60/40 to reveal a pleasingly flat boot, whose maximum volume remains the same. So does almost everything else; only the steering wheel and gearknob change.

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The latter is the carried-over ball of machined aluminium familiar from previous Type Rs; the former has had its spokes slimmed for a better grip. Otherwise, there are a few new features on Honda’s latest infotainment system and a button marked ‘+R’ on the dash – both of which we discuss elsewhere.

Being the range-topping model for the Civic range the Type R is certainly well-equipped. Besides the aggressive bodykit, huge rear spoiler, wide wheelarchs and Type R decals, the hot Civic also gets Honda's Active City Braking technology, adaptive dampers, cruise control and hill start assist. Inside there is Honda's 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with multimedia connectivity, Garmin sat nav and DAB radio chucked in, while there is also a rear view camera and climate control also included.

The Type R GT models get added luxuries such as dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, auto wipers and lights, and fully electric windows.