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Honda Civic Type R (FL5) review – interior and tech

It’s perfect. Driving position, tactility, material quality, design. Honda got it so right.

Evo rating
Price
from £46,995
  • Astonishing capability, engagement and quality – it’s the GT4 RS of hot hatchbacks
  • Finds its limits when the roads get rough

If we were to write a handbook of how to design and package the perfect hot hatchback interior, it would read something like this. The Civic Type R combines an almost perfect driving position with a simple, easy-to-use interior that’s of high quality, distinctive and visually interesting.

The key touch points we’ve already gone over, but they’re worth mentioning again as they’re so important. Step into the cabin and shut the door behind you, the FK8’s tinny clang is replaced by a reassuring thud. The seat is mounted low, and while it is very soft, it’s also brilliantly supportive and wrapped in about the grippiest material we’ve ever tested in a modern car. Once you’re sitting comfortably, even the Type R’s immense lateral adhesion won’t wrench you from your perfect driving position.

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The steering wheel is next; it’s small without feeling toy-like, and the rim is thin, with the bare minimum of padding and only the slightest of indentations at the three- and nine-o’clock. It’s also perfectly round – a novelty in 2023 – and finds a good balance of useful controls on the steering wheel without being excessively busy.

Behind sits a high-resolution driver display that by default will show two round dials with red background hues and yellow needles. This is a direct reference to the NSX Type R and one we can definitely get behind. Within each of the round graphics is customisable space for any relevant information, but with a bit of fiddling you can remove these altogether. Comfort mode has a similar layout but ditches the red hues, and +R will swap these for a bar chart rev counter and much bigger speed display. Regardless of chosen mode, there is a separate set of rev-dependant LED lights that sit above.

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The dash and centre console are simple, clean and well built, with no faux carbonfibre in sight. Instead the trim materials are either a textured aluminium or yet more Alcantara. The infotainment screen is perhaps a little small by modern standards, and isn’t the most sophisticated, but the screen is a good resolution and phone mirroring apps work seamlessly.

Within the embedded system is a Nissan GT-R-like RLog system that will display real-time dynamic and technical performance information. Most of this information can be brought up on the driver’s display, so it can feel a little defunct, but does serve its purpose to particular owners.

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