Long-Term Review: 2017 Honda Civic Type R

Please welcome guest contributor Rebecca Turrell, a bonafide car/bike girl, holder of a Creative Writing degree, and close friend. She’ll be giving us periodic updates on her Honda Civic Type R.—Bark


“Is that a real Type R?!”

“How fast have you gotten that thing up to?”

“How much over sticker did you pay?”

“Why do you have Brembos on a Civic?”

These are just a few of the questions I’ve been asked regularly in the short month that I’ve owned a 2017 Civic Type R. So what is it like to own one of these things?

Let’s start at the beginning. To become a Type R owner is not a necessarily an easy process. First, there’s all of the excitement and anxiety that’s whirring around the fact that 2017 might be the only run. Added to that are the rumors that each dealership is only going to get one, maybe two Type Rs—total. Then there’s the fact that you have to swallow your pride and be prepared to spend over $34k. On a Civic. A fucking Honda Civic.

As a girl that has owned a GS-R, four Accords, two Civic SIs, and five Honda Motorcycles, it was a no-brainer that I was going to have to scheme my way into buying a Type R. But what would it take to get me there? Some luck, creativity, gonads, and years of fiscal responsibility followed by a crescendo of great irresponsibility.

Phase One: reaching out to my Honda contacts to get as much information as I could on availability, pricing, would there be more than one per dealer, and would I even like the car (honestly, that was a very small factor). It’s common knowledge that $10k over asking price has become standard dealer practice on the Type R. As someone from the car business, it took some meditation and an abacus to come to terms with spending sticker or more. In my dreams, I was hoping I’d be able to buy a Championship White one for invoice.

Phase Two: preparing to spend as much as $5k over sticker for white, blue, or gray. Through one of my contacts in Florida I left a deposit, and the next one in any of those colors was mine.

Phase Three: a huge curveball. I was laid off without warning from a job and a company that I loved, and I sadly gave up hope of being able to afford one. I cancelled my deposit, and I had to tell my good friend that the deal was off the table. Fortunately that phase was very brief and I was rehired weeks later. I’m starting to realize that my journey was kind of like the stages of grief (denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance).

Final Phase: as luck would have it, a dealership that I used to work with got a white CTR in stock. We worked out a fair price over the phone/email, and they were willing to hold it for me until I could come pick it up from a state away. As a result, I am now the proud curator of one of the douchiest car collections possible. Fight me.

Now if you’ve followed the forums, Facebook groups, and car blogs, or maybe Bozi Tatarevic’s posts, there’s a list of common issues owners are finding: squeaky brakes at low speed, interior dash rattles, intermittent gear grinding, downshift lockout, etc. In 800 miles I have experienced all of these, minus the transmission issues. Additionally there’s been some Apple CarPlay quirkiness. I’ll point out at this time that although I’ve only spent a month with this beautiful machine, I had the pleasure of doing the SCCA Southland Targa in one with Bark earlier this year.

Let’s get my gripes out of the way, shall we? I hate the infotainment system. I’m fairly old school when it comes to amenities in a car, which is probably why I own a 2008 Z4M and 2015 Toyota Tacoma, both cars with technology very outdated for their time (seriously, the Tacoma doesn’t even have an auto up driver’s side window). However, I like a seek button, a tune knob, a volume knob, and an easy to find off button for the radio for when I’m pulling up to the drive through window at Dunkin Donuts. I don’t like blindingly smudging my way across the screen trying to get the volume down quickly, or change the climate settings.

Second gripe is that while I LOVE the aggressive seat bolsters, they’re also so high that I have to squish the outside one to get in and out of the car. I’ve been working on different techniques so I don’t end up wearing this out prematurely. Anyone who has ridden in the car with me knows that I’m incredibly bitchy about people sliding off the seats.

Final gripe is that it doesn’t have a spare tire. However, Honda does make a spare tire kit that you can purchase, but it adds a pitch to the floor of the trunk and doesn’t quite sit flush.

But none of these issues have anything to do with the ownership experience of the Type R. This is a car that you can take to the track right out of the box, and comfortably commute to work in. You can fit two car seats in the back plus all of your groceries, and get home from the market in record time. Several people have almost hit me trying to race me, or trying to take pictures on the highway. One day I took the car to a dealership where they had Bentley, Porsche, Maserati, BMW, Audi, etc, and I found the techs had come out front to take pictures and ask me questions.

The Type R draws in fans ranging from young kids, to those of us who grew up with the original Fast and the Furious (and Paul Walker’s dreamy curly locks #rememberthebuster). I was too young to able to buy the last Type R that came to the US, and this car is really the fulfillment of a dream from my younger days. I imagine it’s the same for many of us who have taken the plunge. If you’re like me, your bank account grew up but who you are stayed the same. Which is probably why there are people out there willing to pay $10-20k over sticker price.

If you decide to buy a Type R be prepared to be the center of attention anywhere you go, to field questions from enthusiasts, and to be photographed. It really makes you feel like a celebrity, but trust me the car is the pop star, not you.

I look forward to sharing more experiences and insights about this whip with you as I learn more about it. One thing’s for sure—I’m gonna be faster than Bark at Targa in 2018. Count on it.

8 Replies to “Long-Term Review: 2017 Honda Civic Type R”

  1. Ryan

    Great feature! I was first on the list at my dealer when the Type R was announced but then it came out that the backseat was only 2 seats, and that was a deal breaker, so I got a Focus RS instead.

    I love reading about every day reviews from real people.


  2. -Nate

    A good review from an Enthusiast .

    Muffler lifts are very nice for the DIY’er, easy to find new never used or gently used from failed Auto repair shops if you hunt a bit .

    I liked them because I used to do lots on RWD clutch work, not any good at all if you want to do wheel / brake work .



  3. Charlie

    I think the car would look great without the wing/vortex generators. Poking around online, a few people have tried it, and all the fanboys shriek at the loss of downforce. According to a C&D photo album, the wing only makes 66lbs of downforce at 120mph, so I doubt it’s removal would affect the car much. Good article, looking forward to future installments.

    • yamahog

      No kidding, imagine if you could get one that looked like a low trim Honda Civic. Very few people actually would, but you can bet every single one of those people would get away with much more.


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