Today’s hot hatchback buyers may well have a more complex palette than they did when the first official Honda Type R models were emerging onto the UK market two decades ago, but many of them are still likely to respond to simple bang-for-your-buck value – and so they’ll likely respond to this car.
Its 316bhp is just about the most horsepower you can buy for the entry-level Type R’s £31,550.
And although a Ford Focus RS seems to offer quite a lot more grunt for little more outlay, our road test numbers suggest that the Honda is the faster-accelerating of the two beyond 60mph, once the Ford’s traction advantage has played out.
The Honda has a strong residual value forecast, too, our sources suggesting that it should fare better than a Golf R on that front.
Honda’s own retail offers on the car make it possible to acquire one, on personal contract purchase, for little over £300 a month over three years, after an £8000 trade-in or cash deposit. Standard equipment includes 20in alloy wheels, adaptive dampers, LED headlights and a reversing camera, but you have to opt for the GT-spec car if you want a factory-fit satnav, which seems a little mean.