From £15,760
Less-powerful Honda Civic Type S blends hot hatch looks derived from the Civic Type R with sensible running costs
Autocar
26 November 2008

What is it?

This is a smaller-engined and more affordable version of the funky Honda Civic Type S. It continues Honda’s drive to attract younger buyers.

The entire Honda Civic range is being pepped up and facelifted for 2009. Three-door models – like this Type S – have been made stiffer and tougher-looking, while the five-door has been tuned to offer a softer, more comfortable ride.

Both will appeal to entirely different customers. This 99bhp baby Honda Civic Type S trades shamelessly on the Honda Civic Type R’s hot-hatch kudos.

It even gets the Type R’s grille, interior flourishes and a Type R lookalike body kit.

What’s it like?

With a new 1.4-litre i-VTEC engine under the bonnet, the Honda Civic Type S’s performance is much milder than its racy sibling’s.

Zero to 60mph takes 13 seconds and top speed is just 110mph. But the little i-VTEC motor is smooth enough and spins happily to its 6000rpm peak power point, so working it hard is fun.

All Type S models (the 1.8 petrol and 2.2 diesel are still available) have a 20mm wider rear track and stiffer springs than standard Civics, plus big 17-inch alloys.

This offers more agility on the road, but means that the ride gets crashy over broken surfaces.

The six-speed manual gearbox is a must. Honda has improved its optional i-SHIFT automated manual unit, but the sluggish paddle shifts can’t come close to matching the dual-clutch system you’d find in rivals like the VW Golf or Seat Leon. Save money and do without.

Should I buy one?

The huge advantage of the 1.4-litre Honda Civic Type S is its low running costs. Honda also anticipates a group four insurance rating.

Both these factors will no doubt appeal to young drivers, who will also appreciate the S’s jazzed-up looks. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Just don’t let the badge fool you. The Type S is no performance car.

Will Powell

Honda Civic Type S 1.4 i-VTEC

Price £14,075 0-62mph 13sec Top speed 110mph Economy 47.9mpg CO2 135g/km Kerb weight 1149kg Engine 1339cc, four-cylinder, inline Power 99bhp at 6000rpm Torque 94lb ft at 4800rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual

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Comments
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TommyTitmouse 19 February 2010

Re: Honda Civic Type S 1.4

Can't argue with the sentiment - ran a 2.2 diesel Type S for 3 years and it's a good car. The "interesting interior" soon wears off and you eventually get used to the plastic overkill of the dash (and using the mirrors as the rear visibility is non-existent..)

Coming out of a Golf TDi, I wasn't expecting much but you get a well equipped, well priced, solid run of the mill diesel hatch that is as comfortable at 30 as it is at 80 .

Far more reliable than the VW , although the fuel consumption was considerably worse ( I hear that the norm with honda diesels - low 40's vs. claimed50+). 1.4 should deliver if you don't expect too much in the way of performance..

rabbs92 19 February 2010

Re: Honda Civic Type S 1.4

Why is that how much you paid for one?? no.... I paid 12,750 for my 1.4 I Vtec type S (new shape) , included within that price optional extras and the black met paint. The Type S is a quality car to drive and is considerably more fun. In particular compared to the car I learnt in, Vauxhall Corsa. It has stylish good looks, that after 4 months of owning it haven't made me rethink why i bought it. And the interior is far more modern and better looking than any of its competitors. As a young driver it still has the fun of being able to get it up around 6,000 revs, and looks good in the process, while being fuel efficient, makes it a perfect car for a young driver like myself.

theonlydt 30 November 2008

Re: Honda Civic Type S 1.4

lippy wrote:
. Do you actually drive/own a current Civic??
I owned a 1998 1.4 5 door, have extensively driven a 2003 1.6 se exec and also a 2007 1.8SE. Of these I'd take the 98 car anyday. At least the 2003 car was "honest", with a reasonably well sorted ride. The latest shape really caught my eye and I was really hoping it'd be a great car - but the cost of that body shape has meant they've skimped on the suspension and refinements - ploughing money into "technology" instead. I found the ride almost unbearable. I've driven the Focus (1st and 2nd Gen) extensively as well and always rated the ride, handling and the engineering that went into the car. That ranged right from the 1.6 through to a 2.0 petrol, 1.6 diesel and 2.0 diesel. I for one am NOT a fan of this Civic or the new Accord (£2k more than the last one). Thankfully the new Jazz is a step in the right direction.