So we got a 2010 Honda Civic Type-R

So we got a 2010 Honda Civic Type-R

There are only a few tested cars that we’ve ever marked as major events in the history of this feeble website. There was the Nissan GT-R. There was the Bentley Continental GT. And this weekend, there was the Honda Civic Type-R, a car as overrated as this website, and yet so legendary. We indulge in making fun of Honda fanboys all the time, but this is one car that almost turned us into Honda fanboys.

Supercars are overpriced paperweights, but the Type-R is within reach of anyone who would want one, and properly drive one. We are among the first people to test it in the GCC, so we even created two events around it, one a DriveArabia MyRide members gathering and the other an elaborate video shoot on desert roads.

The latest British-built hatchback may not be the best ever car to wear the Type-R badge, but it certainly has the best street appeal simply due to its extremely unique exterior styling. A VW Golf GTI looks like a muffin in comparison.

Stylistic touches include spaceship door handles, triangular exhaust cutouts, full-length tail-light strip and 18-inch wheels.

But the real looker comes in the form of the two-piece rear glass bisected by a rear spoiler, clearly inspired by the original 1980s Civic CR-X. No rear wiper though.

The dashboard is as weird as the exterior. Almost every living person in this country has been in the current Civic sedan at one time or another, and the interior in the hatchback is similar, yet different. The two-tier gauges are certainly there, as annoying as ever, but there is also an extra screen towards the right, for stereo and a/c readouts. There is another screen in the middle of the big central tachometer. And being a 6-speed manual with a rev-happy engine, there is a row of little lights, next to the digital speedo, that acts as a countdown to tell the driver when to shift.

Ten years ago, Honda was possibly the first carmaker to add a starter button in a production car. That car was the S2000, with a crude system that involved putting in the key, turning it, and then pressing the red button to start. Starter buttons have evolved since then, with full keyless systems in cars as pathetic as the Ford Focus. And yet, the Type-R has the same old system as the S2000. Additionally, the dash and door trim is firmer than in the Japanese-built Civic sedan, which is to say, not a good thing. But the red cloth and floor-mat bits are cool, as are the aluminium pedals and door sills.

As if the car isn’t quirky enough, the passenger controls for the dual-zone a/c are on the right-side door armrest, although the driver’s one is still on the dash centre console.

Standard are some of the raciest seats ever in a road car. The side-bolsters are so high that it is a chore to climb out of them, but these chairs will make any racer-wannabe jealous. They are manually adjustable every which way, just like the steering wheel.

Rear legroom is very limited, but adults can just about fit, with adequate headroom. The accommodations back there are nicely trimmed with cloth along the sides. Access is somewhat manageable due to the tall height of the car, although the seat does not go back to its original seat-back position, ridiculously enough.

Luggage space is decent, and about as much as can be expected from a hatchback. A useful cargo net can hold down small items. There is a space-saver spare underneath.

The Honda Civic Type-R has a coolness factor that is hard to ignore. Random people were walking around it and others were taking camera-phone pictures of it. During our road test, the car did not match our performance expectations at all, but we still loved the car. It will never win any races, but it is just so much damn fun to drive that we could picture ourselves buying one of these sometime in the far future. More in the upcoming full review.

What do you think?



  1. What to say PPL also took the picture of ugly Patrol when seen on the streets, here there is not much awareness of the cars as compared to other countries what we see here we think is the ultimate but basically its the garbage com min here

  2. What’s the price range?

  3. is there any four door civic hatch available?

  4. full keyless systems in cars as pathetic as the Ford Focus. hahaha

  5. i went to the showroom today, the price is 110000 AED, the car is too great. i might buy one now. the interior is far away bigger than Peugeot 207RC that i was considering to buy last year. the rear seats of the type R is useful unlike the peuget.
    mash can you tell us about the acceleration time now?

  6. MHC, this story does not explain your driving experience. How was it? Can it stand up to the legendary VW GTI or is that still the leader of the hot hatch pack?

    I know in Europe, most magazines place the GTI in front but is that still applicable for us here in the GCC?

  7. Talking about car pics taken. Last friday I saw 2 kids clicking my FJ’s pics. Me all proud of it, asked the kids nice car huh? they said hummm “NO GOT A NEW CELL AND WERE TESTING THEIR CAMERA”. Me all pissed now told them to “Just get the hell away from my truck” !!!

  8. Without a turbo, the performence will be pethetic, and this is the case here, the VW GTI offers turbo charged engine and there is no space to compare the two cars. Who would pay 110k to buy a car that has the same engine of regular civic? dont forget, insurance companies here deal with all 2 doors cars as coup and sport cars and the rate will be high even if it was 2 doors hyundai accent, so in this case, you dont get what you paid for.


    I was in Ford showroom and I saw the new taurus, it is an amazing car in and out and I will really appreciate if you test drive it and give us your review.

  9. Author

    @Sting: “LOL”
    @abdulrahman: acceleration time is “LOL”
    @Samer: Ford didn’t invite me to Taurus press drive for some “LOL” reason
    @Shakur: Never driven the GTI. Screw VW, “LOL”

  10. What the hell is this?

    A test drive? Where exactly is the test drive part?

    Who wants to know about headroom, legroom, rear passengers and the boot?!?

    Waste of time…

  11. drivearabia is overly glorifying this car…this car could never be compared to GTI…becuz gti is entirely in a different league…true competitor for GTI is mazda 3 mazdaspeed, lancer ralliart and impreza wrx….it might be performing good but surely its not at all value for money car….

  12. hey Mash why dont try a test drive of genesis coupe…i would love to know ur opinion about genesis coupe…i am planning to get it in 2nd half of this yr…

  13. Author

    Added a new sentence at end of story to avoid confusion.

  14. I miss the old Civic… stupid Type-Retard

    ^^^This is how a Civic should look like

  16. That’s disgusting ForDe.

    What a Sharjah special…

  17. Fahrer it is the drivearabia way to preview a car before a review. Dont be noobish. Also if no one cared about legroom and boot everyone would be driving roadsters not stupid hatchbacks and 4x4s.

  18. Thanks, I realised that when Mashfique added the last sentence.

  19. Honda quality is far better than the VW, in terms of durability, reliability, running costs….and with a much better resale value. And by the way, Honda is a leader in the VTEC engines and generating a 200HP from 2.0L engine without a turbo, is by itself an achievement.

    Great job from Honda…

  20. @Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury: You are very wrong to say ‘screw VW’ you really have no idea what you are talking about. The VW lies on top of the hatchback sports cars, and the Type R is not close in comparison to performance, and the turbocharged engine does a world of a difference to the Gti and makes it truly worth it, but you really have no idea because oh i forgot you really haven’t driven it and have passed comments of things you dont know of, make this a minus one reader from your website 🙂
    Gti = Everyday economical driving, and when needed all the fury you need in the small hatchback. Maintenance a little more than the Japanese but life is also double for its parts, so its worth every penny you pay for it.

  21. @ Sting 316
    LOL! Well if its of any consolation buddy, i think the fj is a neat 4×4.

  22. although, initially, the side profile seems a bit plain to me, the overall design is simply outstanding and drowns out that plainness. And those seats’ stiching, bolsters and material are out of this world [for a car in this class].
    the open space between the steering wheel and tachometer is the only feature of the design that really bothers me. something more could have been done there.
    Otherwise, mind-blowing design overall.

  23. Author

    The only people I diss more than Honda fanboys are VW fanboys…

  24. Irfan said
    “Maintenance a little more than the Japanese but life is also double for its parts, so its worth every penny you pay for it.”

    hahahaha….Sure….My friend owns two VWs and he got so fed up of the maintainence that he bought a Camry as a daily drive…

  25. @Fahrer: You just haven’t got style 😛

  26. @Mashfique: It would have been better if it weren’t for the weight and the rear torsion bar… and ofcourse how it makes your wallet go on a diet.

    Alright, it certainly does stand out amongst other cars on the road with its design; but it just isn’t cut out for the track.

    Just my opinion… for the price, I’d rather go for something else that is more value for money.

  27. I used to have this Civic Type R in London and always won against the Golf GTi (I did test drive the GTi but found it very boring!). The engine is far better than the GTi and when the VTEC kicks in at 5,500rpm all the way to 8,500rpm it’s truly awesome. Great car and would buy one again over the GTi. Only downside to the Type R is rear split screen (can’t see if police are following you) and the lack of independent rear suspension but won’t notice unless on track, other than that it’s definatly a car worth buying. Seats are super comfy and supportive, the cockpit makes you feel like your in a fighter plane! Smile factor 10/10.

  28. i really like this form, it’s nice to see them import this model rather than the jap one.

  29. What ever Type R fan boys say its Pathetic and Boring comparing Type R to GTI nuts or what GTI are in a different league no in the sluggish Vtec zone…

  30. @ Shimmy
    The Japanese version of the Type R is more potent!

  31. Hey thanx Asad 🙂

  32. should appreciate Honda for finally bringing this car to the ME market. other manufacturers can follow suit and bring sportier versions of cars like the Ford Focus (RS maybe), Mazda 3 etc. Why don’t they have a 308, 4 door with the 6 spd and 175 hp found on the RC cars… ok I know why, they dont have such a car and it wont sell, but I was looking for such a car some months back… gain not to buy but just to lust and think bout the possibility of owning one…

  33. COME ON !!!! are you kiding me is that the price 110000 AED..?

    thats so appoitment … the price is over that pric i could buy the new maxima with 290 hp ..

    i mean .. thats price for what !!
    its only 200 hp and nothing specail about it exept the shap .. its very coooool ..but nothing else and no TURBOOO .. why i should make it one of my choises and there are many powerfull and cool cars ..
    im really sad about that .. i thought that the new one could be the perfect one in that tybe CIVIC type-R …

  34. @Mash : What fanboy are you then? Can’t not be a fanboy and diss other fanboys. 🙂 VW Golf GTi and R32, FTW! \m/

    Really await Ford and Mazda to notice the influx and bring in their Ford Focus RS and Mazdaspeed 3.

  35. @Yousif
    The VTEC engine doesn’t need a turbo that’s the point of the VTEC. The engine is designed to have high rev’s (hold gears longer which makes cornering faster) and produces 100bhp per litre.

    The Maxima may have more bhp but can it use all of them through a corner, I doubt it can and that’s not even looking at the suspension set up. Type R vs Maxima, the Type R would win.

    Test drive the Type R and you’ll see just how amazing and fun the VTEC engine is.

    I think the Focus ST (competitor to Type R) would be a very good choice out here as it comes in 2 & 4 door versions and uses a Volvo 2.5 litre turbo engine (lots of torque!). Being honest I think it’s a better car than the Type R but the Type R is better looking.

    The Mazda 3 MPS has too much power through the front wheels and doesn’t handle that great.
    Best off going for the Type R or the Focus ST if you want a Hothatch 🙂

  36. Mazdaspeed 3 is considered as the best hot hatch in european n american markets…it has won almost 90% of the comparison tests against cars like GTI, ralliart, WRX and RS…if it gets an allwheel drive it could directly take on evo and sti…its considered as the best handling among the hot hatches and most fun to drive…the real zoom zoom car…instead of paying 110000 for Type R its better to get an MX5…though its not as powerful its surely a fun to drive rear wheel drive roadster….

  37. hey guys anyone knows about Kia Koup in uae market…i have seen a koup in abu dhabi…dunno if its 2.0ltr or 2.4ltr…looks great in red color….

  38. hey this car is looking little ugly

    tell me the maximum speed of this car

  39. I have a type R – this exact version, however it is in black. THe acceleration time is o – 100km in 6.8 seconds for those of you who don’t know thats faster than the golf GTI (new one included whcich goes from o – 100km in 6.9 sec) Oh the shame that Ford ST must feel when the honda civic a normally aspirated engine has the eact acceleration time of 6.8 secs and the ST is turbo charged.

    There are a few downturns of the honda however, that rear spoiler really distorts and makes it hard to reverse or see behind at all. The car likes to heel spin (so i recommend a tyre change, and some racing wheels).

    All in all the real disadvantge is the handling, my brother has an ST and let me tell you the handling on that is almost second to none, but i will state that civic got some real street looks.

    But i’ll be honest if your into racing the new civic is terrible, the engine wasn’t designed like the old civic type r’s in fact the old civic type r is faster round the track than this one.

    Honestly if your going to add more bit’s like me go for the ST and and add a new intercooler, better exhaust and cat back system, exhaust manifold and a gt 30 turbo. Check out – thats where it’s at.

    Buy this car for looks and if your leaving it stock standard, also it make’s a pretty wicked car for sound installers too. Check out dls who did a system in one of these in South Africa.


  40. Looks awesome but i wish it handles the same.. Heard alot about how it doesnt live up to the type R badge..

  41. Mash Bud, I test drove the type R a few days ago and I couldnt fight the temptation of stepping on the gas pedal and furiously shifting gears. Im tired of step-tronic, tiptronic and all other manual simulating transmissions and at the same time I really dont want to look at a butch muscle car so this type R, although not very fast, still put a grin on my face.

    My question is : Would you happen to know if 2012 is the last year of production for the civic Type R or would a facelifted model emerge?

  42. Author

    ^Word is the Type-R will get cancelled after this one ends, at least for a while.

  43. I really hope that Honda revives compact performance like they used to have back in the days because the last exciting thing they ever had was the Civic EP3 and the S2000..

  44. ^^ Well that sucks … Hope they dont kill it.

  45. The most stupidest review ever. You guys only speak about the looks and nothing about the performance? What’s the point? All this crap can even be read of the car’s brochure…

    You guys suck…

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