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Performance value went a long way towards explaining the success of the 2001 Civic Type R. But back then, Honda was content with a lesser place in the hot hatch pecking order than it seems to be now.

That may be why it thinks it can justify asking a hefty premium over the likes of the Ford Focus ST, Seat Leon Cupra 280 and Renault Mégane Trophy for this car.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
A starting price just a fiver shy of £30,000 puts the Civic worryingly close to the four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R

A starting price just a fiver shy of £30,000 puts the Civic worryingly close to the four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R, a very accomplished machine whose residuals – according to our market experts – set a standard the Honda can’t really approach.

Suffice it to say that Honda has some work to do before those market commentators are willing to accept that this car can justify and sustain its positioning.

Cost of insurance won’t come as particularly good news for private buyers, either. The aforementioned Golf ranks four groups lower on that front, while the Seat is lighter on the pocket, too. But standard spec is quite generous, with entry-level cars getting 19in wheels, adaptive dampers, a multimedia system with a 7.0in screen, cruise control, LED headlights and a parking camera.

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We'd avoid the GT spec and keep the outlay sensible; our sources say residual values will be better on the cheaper cars. We'd also jazz up the interior with the optional carbonfibre pack (£495), which slightly lifts the cabin ambience with real carbon bits to the air vents, centre console and glove box.

Our True MPG testers recorded an average of 31.8mpg from the car – a pretty typical 18% down on the official NEDC claim but a close match for our results on a current BMW M135i and Focus ST. 

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