2020 Honda Civic Type-R

2020 MODEL
$36,995
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2020 Honda Civic Type-R Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 10, 2020
Bhavik Sreenath's image

Bhavik Sreenath

Automotive Journalist

The spec that sums up JDM culture better than anything and makes other brands bow down, it is the Legendary Civic Type-R from the shores of Japan and for the 2020 model year, it raises the bar even higher.

This front-wheel-drive icon was conceived in 1997 and was cooked by the JDM nuts back in Japan who realized the potential behind the B16B engine and decided to tweak it and put it in the lightest car they had at their disposal and voila, the perfect hot hatch was born. Fast forward to over two decades, add a couple of hundred pounds and slap a turbo to the mix and you get the new 2020 Type-R Civic. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Manic Power

Sublime Handling

Practicality and Performance combo

Cons

Firm ride quality

Over the top looks

What's New?

Updated Suspension setup & new color pallet


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$36995

bodystyle

4dr Hatchback

passenger capacity

4

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

306 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

295 lbs.-ft. @ 2500 rpm

transmission

6-Speed Manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

brake rotors (f/r)

13.8/13.8

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

179.4 in.

width

73.9 in.

height

56.5 in.

curb weight

3117 lbs.

capacity

passenger volume

97 cu ft.

cargo volume

46.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

13.7 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

142 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/28/25 mpg

highway range

347.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Review video
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Interior video

Styles

2020 Honda Civic Type-R in Crystal Black Pearl color 2020 Honda Civic Type-R in Lunar Silver Metallic color
Crystal Black Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Engine And Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

9.0

Interior

6.9

Exterior

7.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

8.5

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Honda Civic Type-R Base

Base

power
306 hp @ 6500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
25 combined

$36,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $36,995 MSRP (22/25/28) 306 hp @ 6500 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (recommended)
6-Speed Manual front wheel drive 4

Expert Review

8.0

Overall Rating


The new Civic Type-R might be bigger, heavier and loaded with a lot more tech than the type 1 that started it all but it still continues to build upon the same philosophy that put the Fun in FWD and with a starting price of $34,775, the Type-R comes at a price that is far more justifiable than its arch-rivals such as the WRX STI from Subaru and the VW group's Golf R.

The over the top looks might be a little too much for some at first, but the more time you spend with the new Type-R, the more you’ll be able to justify its looks as it fits the car’s personality like a glove. It is a truly visceral beast if it looked any different, it would lose its essence. Everything about this car is loud, not just metaphorically but quiet literally pronounced. From the feedback of the tarmac you drive on, to the noise of your surroundings, even the engine noise isn’t pretty in any way, it’s screaming in anger ready to obliterate its competition and that’s what makes it so special and puts the joy in driving a Type-R. The only updates received by the Type-R for the 2020 model year include minor suspension updates and some new and opping color options. 

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Rear View

8.0/10
Features

 

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

9.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.9/10
Interior

 

7.0/10
Exterior

 

9.0/10
Safety

 

8.5/10
Competition

 
 

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Features

8.0/10

The Honda Civic Type R is offered as a single variant with all of the options ticked. The Type-R also brings serious components like a Limited Slip Diff for the front axil, adaptive dampers, and a 4-piston Brembo braking system over the standard Civic all in for a base price of $34,775.

Model

Civic Type-R

MSRP

$36,995

Key Features

Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with rev-match control

 

Lightweight single-mass flywheel

 

Helical limited-slip differential

 

Adaptive damper system

 

Brembo 4-piston front brake calipers

 

13.8-inch ventilated & cross-drilled front brake discs

 

20-inch alloy wheels

We recommend:

Since the Type-R Civic is offered in just a single trim with all of the features from a top of the line civic, it makes the decision making the process a lot simpler.

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Engine and Performance

7.0/10

The Civic Type-R is powered by a 2-liter Turbo four-banger, that puts out a massive 306 horsepower delivered all in at a screaming 6600 rpm and thanks to its trick turbo it manages to deliver all of its 295 lb-ft of torque from as low as 2500 rpm.

Models

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf R

Audi S3

MSRP

$36,995

$36,595

$31,795 $40,395 $44,500

Engine

2.0 turbocharged  Inline-4 2.5L Boxer-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-5
Drivetrain FWD AWD FWD N/A AWD

Transmission

6-speed manual

6-speed manual 6-speed manual/ 6-speed DCT 7-speed DSG  7-speed S-tronic

Power

306hp@6,500rpm

310hp@6,000rpm

228hp@4,700rpm

288hp@5,400rpm

292hp@5,400rpm

Torque 295lb-ft@2,500rpm 290lb-ft@4,000rpm 258lb-ft@1,500rpm N/A 280lb-ft@1,900rpm

Where the other cars in this class are literal go-karts with telepathic handling and predictable power delivery, getting to grips with the Type-R civic feels like trying to tame a bloodhound chasing a cat. It is all over the place and driving it hard requires all of your concentration, it is a physically demanding task but boy is it rewarding to push it hard.

Pushing it hard is scary for sure but it isn’t as daunting as one might expect. People shy away from driving manual transmissions these days because they expect them too complicated and what not but in reality the Civic’s stick shifter is nice and light which makes it a breeze around town and for the fast bits or those track days you always have the option of switching on auto rev-matching and auto blip feature which makes spirited driving easy even for novices who are new to manual transmissions. Honda has also managed to shorten the throw of the gear shifter with the 2020 update which makes shifting through the gears faster and this should translate to higher speeds during corner entry and exits.

How fast is the Civic Type-R?

The Civic goes above the speed limit quicker than one can anticipate. With a 5.4 second 0 to 60 mph time it is up there with Sports cars of the day and even Supercars of the 60s for that matter.

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback 0-60 MPH In Just 5.4 sec

The Turbo might be bigger than most people’s faces but it manages to put all that power down without much drama.

Models

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf R

Audi S3

0-60 MPH 

5.4 sec

5.7 sec

6.0 sec

4.6 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

14.1 sec

14.5 sec

13.4 sec

13.3 sec

Top Speed 169 MPH 160 MPH 155 MPH 139 MPH 155 MPH

Engine

2.0 inline-4 turbocharged 2.5L Boxer-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged inline-4 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-5

What about the braking performance of the Honda Civic Type R?

The breaking like a lot of other dynamic details is the Type-R’s forte. With a pair of four caliper Brembo disks and rotors upfront, the Type-R sheds speed as fast as it gains it. The Brembos too received updated two-piece brake rotors and brake pads which should fade and improve the 

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Rear View

Models

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf R

Audi S3

Brake Rotors Front 

13.8"

13"

13.4"

13.4"

13.4"

Brake Rotors Rear 

12"

12.2"

12.2"

12.2"

12.2"

Curb Weight 

3117 lbs

3391 lbs

3062 lbs

3300 lbs

3462 lbs

70-0 MPH

142 ft

*156 ft

174 ft

159 ft

153 ft

* Used for 2019 model for reference

Type-R breaking, especially at high speed. The low profile tires that come from the factory are also reassuring at high speeds and they don’t lose traction in most conditions, couple this to the cars Traction Management unit which only allows some slip in the manic “R” mode, the Type-R is confidence-inspiring when it comes to shedding speed on demand. 

What about its driving dynamics?

For an FWD the Civic Type-R is both all over the place but it puts its power down like no other FWD on the road right now. This bipolar statement can be justified in two parts, the first being the fact that the way it delivers that 306 bhp at a screaming 6,500 rpm is absolutely mental, you will have to wrestle with the steering to try and keep it pointing straight but the second part explains why it is such an effective FWD which is all down to the magic of the LSD that helps you charge right out of fast corners without the slightest hint of understeer. It handles so well that it holds its ground better than many RWD sports cars and that’s some serious praise considering its humble beginnings as a compact sedan.

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front View

The front suspension in the current-gen Type-R was already complicated, to begin with, but for the 2020 model year, they decided to step it up a notch. 

The “not so soft” character doesn’t always work in favor of the Type-R as the stiff suspension makes the cabin judder and shake over potholes, but the suspension aside, it is pretty easy to live with around town, so for those with small families, an occasional school run or running errands in and around the neighborhood can be dealt with ease.

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Fuel Economy

9.0/10

Expecting things like fuel economy from a proper little performance car like the Civic Type-R is a grave crime. But for those who plan to use the it as their daily drivers, fear not, the frugal Japs have managed to fit an “Earth Dreams” badge right next to the VTEC on the engine cover, which implies that the Type-R is environmentally conscious too and can sip fuel like fine wine if you choose to operate it gently in Eco mode. Those statistics suggest that it should be able to return 22 mpg in town and 28 at motorway speeds which is quite respectable for a vehicle of this caliber. 

Models Honda Civic Type R Subaru WRX STI Volkswagen Golf GTI Volkswagen Golf R Audi S3
MPG (City) 22 17 24 21 22
MPG (Highway) 28 22 32 29 28
MPG (Combined) 25 19 27 24 25
Fuel Capacity  12.4 gallons 15.9 gallons 13.2 gallons 14.5 gallons 14.5 gallons
Range (City/Hwy/Combined)  273/347/310 miles 254/350/302 miles 317/422/356 miles 304/420/348 miles 319/421/362 miles

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.1

N/A

6.5

N/A

N/A

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Interior

6.9/10

The interiors are just as aggressive as the exterior of the Civic Type-R which is all red and topped off with even more red. The instrument cluster which is now a combination of three screens (RIP old school gauges) is also full of red accents. The information, however, is clear and easy to understand with most of the driver-related aids such as drive modes displayed on the main central display.

The steering which also happens to be garnished with red accents is round and comfortable to hold and features conveniently placed audio and infotainment controls.

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front Seats

The front seats exclusive to the Type-R are a pair of sporty buckets that can be adjusted electrically and have carbon fiber finish for that sporty feel. The rear bench is similar to all other Civics and offers a decent amount of headroom but the legroom isn’t great especially if you plan to seat 2 adults in the back.

The amount of standard kit, however, helps in elevating the overall experience inside its cabin which include driver-focused features like the above-mentioned auto rev-matching which is lovely but the settings to enable or disable it buried deep inside the infotainment which can get on your nerves especially if you share the car with someone else and that someone else. Similarly, the steering wheel is wrapped in a faux suede material which seems like a poor attempt to mimic Alcantara. The infotainment itself is pretty straight forward to use and has all of the necessary gimmicks to keep a millennial satisfied such as Apple car play and Android auto and even satellite. The only drawback being the lack of hard buttons for this system. The touch controls are not accurate as they are placed close to each other which will require the driver to take the eyes off the road to see what they are doing. This is just knit-picking, however, considering the steering wheel houses most of the basic controls. 

Models Honda Civic Type R Subaru WRX STI Volkswagen Golf GTI Volkswagen Golf R Audi S3
Seating Capacity 4 5 5 5 5
Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in) 39.3/56.9/42.3 39.8/55.6/43.3 38/56/41.2 38.4/55.9/41.2 36.5/54.8/41.2
Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in) 37.4/55/35.9 37.1/54.2/35.4 38/54/35.6 38.1/53.9/35.6 36.1/53/35.1

The cabin’s overall feel is also driver centric and practical at the same time and small touches such as the racheting arm rest in the center console which can be slided forward or backwards is a nice touch which can only be appreciated in a stick shift vehicle as one wont find their elbow dangling withou support while shifting gears.

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

The 7-inch infotainment is unchanged from the previous year’s model which feature a 10 speaker sound system, built-in navigation and Apple car play and andriod auto connectivity to name a few : 

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Has 7-inch Infotainment Display
  • 10 speaker premium surround sound
  • Built-in navigation
  • Backup camera with sensors
  • 2 USB ports
  • Wireless phone connectivity
  • Integrated roof antenna
  • AM/FM/Satellite-prep with seek-scan
  • Auto Climate control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward collision warning with emrgency baking
  • Lane keep assist with departure warning
  • Steering-wheel mounted audio controls
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Radio data system
  • Lane change Cameras
  • Auto high beam

What about utility?

The Civic Type R is the class leader in this comparison. The hatchback design opens up to reveal a whooping 26 cubic feet of cargo volume at the back, which extends to 46 once you fold down the rear seats which can be folded down in a 60:40 split combination using a super convenient release mechanism which can be accessed from the boot. The low loading lip makes hauling heavy objects in and out of the vehicle a strainless task.

Models Honda Civic Type R Subaru WRX STI Volkswagen Golf GTI Volkswagen Golf R Audi S3
Cargo Capacity  26 cu.ft. 12 cu.ft. 17.4 cu.ft. 22.8 cu.ft. 10 cu.ft.

Creature comforts on offer in the Civic Type-R

Since the Civic is based on one of the best selling vehicles of all times, it manges to retain most of the sedate everyday usability of its less manic versions which are great at being just cars:

  • Proximity key
  • Keyfob trunk/hatch/door release
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated passenger vanity mirror
  • Retained accessory power
  • Auto Dimming inside rearview mirror
  • Automatic Climate control
  • Integrated programmable garage door opener
  • Sport steering wheel with manual tilting, manual telescoping
  • 20:40 rear split seats with manual boot release
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Dashboard
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Dashboard
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Gear shifter
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Gear shifter
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback steering wheel
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback steering wheel
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Dashboard
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Dashboard
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Steering
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Steering

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Exterior

7.0/10

The Civic Type-R is a rolling statement on wheels. Be it a petrol head or not, the Civic Type-R is a guaranteed head-turner with its massive wing, the aggressive body kit that house the three pipe centrally mounted exhaust tips at the back and even the massive vents across the vehicle (though most of them are fake) make the Type-R look like its all buisness.

2020 Honda Civic Type R Front and Rear View

Models

Honda Civic Type R

Subaru WRX STI

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf R

Audi S3

Curb Weight 

3117 lbs

3391 lbs

3062 lbs

3300 lbs

3462 lbs

Length 

179.4"

180.9"

168.0"

168.4"

175.8"

Width 

73.9"

70.7"

70.8"

70.8"

70.7"

Height 

56.5"

58.1"

57.8"

56.5"

54.8"

Ground Clearance

5.1"

4.9"

5.1"

4.8"

N/A

Wheelbase

106.3"

104.3"

103.6"

103.5"

103.6"

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Side View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Side View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Side View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Side View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Front View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Side View
2020 Honda Civic Type-R Hatchback Side View

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Safety

9.0/10

The Civic even in its standard form puts a lot of emphasis on safety and the Type-R is no acception. It has standard safety features like. 

  • VSA Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Competition

8.5/10

 Honda Civic Type R vs Subaru WRX STI

The Subaru WRX STI with its fantastic 2.5L boxer engine has already gained a cult classic status which surpasses the Honda in terms of power and throttle response. The driving dynamics make the Subie a thoroughbred rally car, but there is no escaping the stiffened suspension that it comes with, unlike the Civic Type R, where you can flick a switch, choose comfort mode and cruise along comfortably.

On the practicality front, the Honda has more than twice the volume for luggage than the WRX STI. Additionally, you’d find not just better tech, but also upscale materials in the Type R cabin. So, unless you’re obsessed by Baby Driver, the Type R is the obvious choice here.

2020 Subaru WRX STI

Honda Civic Type R vs Audi S3

The four-ringer from Germany is well-known for making high-tech, high performance luxury sedans which makes a great cruiser, but look out of place on the racetrack. The Audi is rich on the tech end, coming with a 12.3-inch infotainment compared to the 7-inch on the Type R.

From the aesthetics point of view the S3 seems tamed in comparison to the Civic Type R, but it may not be a bad thing, since the extravagant styling on both the exterior and the interior are an acquired taste and nowhere near the word subtle. The cargo bay in the S3 is tiny, with 10 cubic feet on offer, compared to 26 in the Honda.

If over-the-top styling is not your cup of tea and you’d rather have the german excellence, you’d be perfectly content choosing the S3 sedan.

2020 Audi S3

2020 Honda Civic Type-R Final Verdict

The Type-R can be best described as that bad friend who is a lot of fun to hang out with and goes all out when it comes to living life to the fullest but is too brash and uncivilized to get a seat at your family dinner table. The Type-R just like that friend is the expression of raw and unadulterated fun that you can never really get bored of, however, the loud exterior and the stick shift might not be everybody's cup of tea, but if you do learn to accept all of its quirks which are very few, to begin with, the Civic Type-R is beyond perfect and is a mistake worth every penny.