Advice

Honda Type R – used performance bargains

High revs, light weight, great handling? That's the Type R recipe, and it's available for very little money these days

Honda’s Type R badge could not have had more appropriate beginnings.

First applied to the back of the Honda NSX sports car in 1992, that car set the tone for every Type R that followed: An aggressive program of weight removal, a blistering high-revving engine and a chassis ideally suited to high performance use.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Times have changed and the latest Honda Civic Type R, with its turbocharged engine and relatively civilised cabin, seems far removed from those early cars – hugely capable, but less uncompromising.

Yet it’s not impossible to get a hint of what that first NSX-R offered, as the used market is littered with relatively affordable Type Rs that still offer that original formula – all the while offering Honda’s virtuous reliability.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Honda Integra Type R (DC2)

It makes sense to start with possibly the best-loved Type R of all: the DC2-generation Integra. Not only are owners smitten with the high-revving coupes, but evo is too – back in issue 095, we declared it the best-handling front-wheel drive car of all time, indeed concluding it is ‘one of the truly great drivers’ cars of any kind’.

While some brilliant front-drivers have come and gone since, it’s hard not to suspect the DC2 would fight hard for that same crown today: It saw off the 2005 Renaultsport Clio Trophy in that test, still a Clio handling zenith.

Amazingly, given the handling on offer and the addictive buzz of that VTEC-equipped 1.8-litre engine (good for 187bhp in UK spec), they’re still remarkably affordable. Prices for the very best are edging ever upward but it’s still possible to find examples in the £4k-£5k range. It’s hard to imagine a better-handling car for similar money.

Find Honda Integras for sale on Classic and Performance Car

Honda Civic Type R (EP3)

If the Integra brought the concept of Type R to the UK, it was the EP3-generation Civic that popularised it.

It is a car of contrasts: The aggressive Type R body addenda and large alloy wheels contrast with the upright body shape, often dubbed ‘breadvan’ styling by fans and detractors alike. The ultra-tactile gearshift contrasts with its MPV-like positioning on the dashboard. And the screaming 2-litre engine contrasts with its general ease-of-use – it’s still a Honda Civic, after all.

Advertisement - Article continues below

And they’re fabulous value right now. If you accept that virtually all Type Rs will have been driven hard, it’s possible to find early EP3s for less than £2000, while the very best won’t be much more than £8000. And as our full buying guide suggests, they’re not problematic cars to run, with most problems – such as worn synchros – down to careless use. If the seller is giving off the wrong signals, walk away.

Find Honda Civics for sale on Classic and Performance Car

Honda Civic Type R (FN2)

The second generation of Civic Type R imported into the UK (and the third generation of Civic Type R overall) never quite attained the praise heaped on its predecessor, but as time passes and the recipe of a naturally-aspirated engine becomes more rare, the appeal of the FN2 Civic Type R increases.

Launched in early 2007, it’s undoubtedly a more visually-striking car than the EP3, and despite piling on a few extra kilos it’s equally fast, thanks to some small engine tweaks – one of which lowered the VTEC engagement point slightly, so you can enjoy the switch in cam profiles even more often.

It’s almost as much of a bargain as the EP3, with prices now starting from around £4000 for those early 2007 cars. You’ll pay more if you want a late, ultra hardcore Mugen variant – the ones we’ve found are around £14,000 – but it’s hard to ignore the value of those cheaper cars. Problems – you can read a full buying guide here – are much the same as the previous car.

Find Honda Civics for sale on Classic and Performance Car

Advertisement - Article continues below

> Click here for page 2

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/17660/the-best-four-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best four-cylinder engines ever

We've gathered a selection of our very favourite four-pots ever produced
27 May 2020
Visit/bmw/4-series/201608/2020-bmw-4-series-revealed-new-coupe-range-topped-by-369bhp-m440i
BMW 4 Series

2020 BMW 4-series revealed – new coupe range topped by 369bhp M440i

The new 4-series Coupe is bigger, faster and sportier, but that’s not what people are talking about
2 Jun 2020
Visit/chevrolet/202690/c8-chevrolet-corvette-uk-prices-and-specifications-revealedchevrolets-new-mid
Chevrolet

C8 Chevrolet Corvette UK prices and specifications revealed

Chevrolet’s new mid-engined C8 Corvette is an American supercar for less
3 Jun 2020
Visit/used-cars/20402/cheap-fast-cars-2020-the-best-budget-performance-cars-on-the-market
used cars

Cheap fast cars 2020 – the best budget performance cars on the market

The cheap fast car is a wonderful thing, if you buy right and do your research. These are our favourites from £1000 to £10,000
4 Jun 2020