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

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

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/clio/201841/all-electric-renault-zoe-rs-to-replace-clio-rs
Renault Clio

All-electric Renault Zoe RS to replace Clio RS?

Renault bosses reveal that a hot variant of the all-electric Zoe could be on the way to replace the Clio RS
11 Oct 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-taycan/201843/porsche-taycan-4s-revealed-with-563bhp
Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan 4S revealed with 563bhp

The mid-range Porsche Taycan 4S expands the brand’s all-electric saloon line-up
14 Oct 2019
Visit/porsche/cayman-gt4/201845/porsche-unveils-limited-run-718-cayman-gt4-sports-cup-edition
Porsche Cayman GT4 coupe

Porsche unveils limited-run 718 Cayman GT4 Sports Cup Edition

Special marks the 15th anniversary of ‘Porsche Sports Cup Germany’ race series
14 Oct 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019