Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R: Know the difference

Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R: Know the difference

Honda has got the folks here a tad confused. When you say the Honda Civic, the radical looking sedan comes to mind. However, there is also the Type R Civic available. It is said that people initially thought it to be the cosmetic variant of the regular Civic. Its when they go to the showrooms or search the web that they realise that these two are different. Not only in the looks but also in the body style and intent. The Honda Civic Type R screams sportiness even by its looks. So to clear this confusion once and for all, we have compiled and clearly outlined the differences between the sedan and hatchback Honda Civic here.

Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R - Front


Civics have always looked good and the ones you see here are no exceptions. Neither of them look like each other here. The Civic Type R is the evil cousin of the Civic sedan and it has air inlets even near the fog lamp enclosures. Every attempt has been made to distinguish the racier cousin from the sober one. The air intakes too are wider in the Civic Type R. There is also the bigger 19-inch alloys that look straight out of a Japanese tuner’s factory. The rear is an amalgamation of vents as well as a massive spoiler wing. The LED tail lights, as well as the quad exhausts, take the centre

The Honda Civic sedan in the meanwhile isn’t far behind when it comes to arresting looks. LED headlights and more of the LED shenanigans everywhere. However, in front of the Type R, this one looks a bit demure.

Civic sedan, believe it or not, is designed in the US while the Type R was done in, no prizes for guessing, Japan. In fact, its design was overseen by the chief engineer involved with the Type R project, Hideki Kakinuma.


The cabin is made of mostly black upholstery as Honda wanted to retain the sportiness of the Civic irrespective of the iteration. So, pick whichever Civic and you will be treated to a high-end cabin that also consists of a digital readout for speeds, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, powered driver’s seat, rear A/C vents, and a power tailgate. The Type-R boasts all this but has a red tinge to everything on the dashboard. Even the meter console has one and it looks pretty cool irrespective of the exterior colour chosen.

Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R - Interior

There are also driving modes exclusive to the Type R. These include Comfort, Sport and +R. These not only change the engine characteristics but also help weigh up the steering, dim or increase throttle sensitivity, alter the suspension damping and more. What more can one ask for? The standard paddle shifters in the Civic though aren’t available in the Type R as it exclusively comes with a manual gearbox.

Engine and transmission

The biggest change and one that isn’t visible from outside is the engine. The Honda Civic comes with two engine options. Both are petrol for our market but there are diesel options available globally as well. So back to the petrol motors. One is a 1.8-litre unit that has the legendary VTEC and is naturally aspirated. This engine makes 141 PS of power and 170 Nm of torque. One can specify the Civic with only a CVT in the Philippines. Elsewhere a delectable 6-speed manual is also offered. The other engine is a smaller 1.5-litre unit that also brings in turbocharging as well as VTEC assistance. This mixture leads to a build-up of 173 PS of power and 220 Nm of torque. This engine has a sub-10 second 0-100 kmph timing whereas the more economy-oriented 1.8 will do the same run in around 12 seconds. Both get fuel-saving techniques in the form of an Eco coaching as well as an Eco button.

Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R - Engine

The Civic Type R in the meanwhile has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that churns out 310 PS of power and 400 Nm of torque. Power of this Civic may be down by 10 PS than that sold elsewhere with Honda citing lower fuel quality in our country. The Honda Civic Type R currently holds the record at the Nurburgring for the fastest lap time by a front wheel drive car - 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds. The 6-speed manual gearbox sends all power to the front wheels through a helical limited slip differential. The 0-100 kmph is done in a racecar-like 5.7 seconds, while the top-speed is equally heady at 300 kmph. To assist the driver during aggressive downshifts, Honda has made sure that the throttle will blip automatically to get the engine back to the meat of the torque curve. This ensures prompt response and no loss in torque while upshifting or downshifting.

Ride and handling

The standard Civic sedan is set up on the softer side but not overly so. The MacPherson strut with stabilizer in the front and independent multi-link at the rear are nicely damped but favour handling more than ride quality. That being said, our roads have less of these ruts and potholes, so handling obviously takes a precedence here. The electronic power steering is also nicely tuned for feedback. Ride quality doesn’t suffer immensely but one does know the occasional rut that they have to cross in this car.

Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R - Rear

For the Type R, Honda has given the enthusiasts a proper handling machine which has no pretence of mixing comfort with it. The new Civic Type R boasts a 16kg lighter frame than before, more torsional rigidity and bending stiffness. A wider track, stiffer springs than the Civic and positive caster make this one beast of a cornering monster. Camber reduction steps in to help with the overall agility and stability of the car. Honda’s Agile Handling Assist ensures that the brakes are applied lightly while cornering to help maintain the intended line.


This is where one knows where they are putting their money. The Honda Civic Type R prices are yet to be announced, however, we expect it to be a whole lot expensive than the standard Civic sedan which starts at Php 1,138,000.

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