Should you buy a Honda Civic Type-R (EP3)? - Honda Civic Type R reliability and prices

The first UK-sanctioned Civic Type-R is now a used bargain - but is it worth the modest outlay?

Honda has become a byword for reliability and generally the Civic is a sound buy – but there are still things to look for.

You can read about them in detail in our full buying guide, but some things stand out. One is the synchromesh on second gear, which is in the firing line when full-bore starts are attempted.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Hard-driven cars see wear in bushes and ball joints, and it’s always worth checking the alignment as cars like this need to be set up well to work their best.

The looks

On launch, the one-box silhouette and boxy rump were something of an acquired taste. The same could be said these days, but age has mellowed the Civic’s shape and now it looks rather neat and understated.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It’ll never be considered a beautiful car, but it’s a purposeful car whose features demonstrate its intent. There are also practical benefits, such as good visibility, easy cabin access and a decent boot.

The interior itself is similarly characterised by function over form. The front pews are figure-hugging Recaros, albeit mounted quite high, the gearknob is a lovely titanium number mounted MPV-style on the dashboard and you can actually fit people in the rear seats.

The price

Just a few minutes on eBay is enough to find Civic-Rs for under £2000, and at first glance they don’t look too bad – rust hasn’t yet become a big problem and interiors seem to wear well.

However, you’ll want to pay a little more for a car with fewer miles and a full service history, and one that’s avoided the unsubtle attention of modifiers – if the owner seems to have spent more money tinting the windows and fitting a drainpipe exhaust than they have on a decent set of tyres, walk away.

With a budget of £6000 you’ll be able to afford the very best – a low-mileage, 2004-2005 car. Incidentally, this is also the entry point to FN2-generation Civic Type-Rs – the more distinctive but heavier, less frenetic replacement launched in 2007. For many, the earlier car is the better drive.

Find Honda Civic Type-Rs for sale on Classic & Performance Car

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/renault/9499/renault-5-gt-turbo-review-history-prices-and-specs
Renault

Renault 5 GT Turbo – review, history, prices and specs

Not as wild and bonkers as the mid-engined Turbo, the Renault 5 GT Turbo was still a rather fine hot hatch
1 Apr 2020
Visit/saloons/202421/supersaloon-face-off-old-vs-new
Saloons

BMW M5 F90 vs E28 M5, RS6, E500 and Lotus Carlton: supersaloons old vs new

From the first to the very latest, we take a dive into the history of the supersaloon with the 1985 BMW M5 E28 and other classics taking on today's mo…
4 Apr 2020
Visit/bentley/202227/ps15m-bentley-bacalar-revealed-in-six-new-designs
Bentley

£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs

Bentley’s exclusive Mulliner brand is returning to low-volume manufacturing with the striking Bacalar convertible
3 Apr 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019