Honda is warming up its new Civic range with a Type S (for sporting) going on sale before the ultimate Type R (for racing) is launched.
The Civic must be the most stylised of the compact hatchbacks with its distinctive wrap-around band of lights in the front and its tiered rows of instruments inside.
Like it or not, you have to admit that it is one of the coolest bits of design around.
So there was not a lot that Honda could do to make the Type S stand out more than the other models. But they have tried to give the three-door a coupe look, added 17-inch alloy wheels and tightened up the already taut suspension.
The result is a car that really clings to the road and reacts to every bump and camber. The Type S feels very much more alive and responsive to the steering, brakes and the engine.
There are two power plants, a 1.8-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre turbo diesel. Both produce 140PS but deliver it in a VERY different way. The iVetec petrol likes to rev and rev whilst the I-CDTi feels deceptively laid back though it is a tad faster (one third of a second) on acceleration to 62mph.
When it comes to economy, there is a bigger gap.
The petrol engine returns a decent 42mpg on the combined cycle.
The diesel stretches this to 54mpg but what a driver gets in real life depends on his or her driving style.
Both engines come with slick six-speed manual gearboxes. The starter Type S comes with air conditioning, CD player with remote controls, alloy pedals and side curtain airbags.
There is an S GT which adds a panoramic sunroof, cruise control and other goodies for extra cost. Prices for the Civic Type S start at £15,250 for the petrol version.
The diesel version starts at £15,500 ? a serious premium for what is a seriously strong and silent diesel engine. Back | Return to top | Printable Story