2020 Honda Civic Type R new car reviews

Looking at the 2020 Honda Civic Type R, you might not notice what has been improved over previous model years, besides the addition of the Boost Blue colorway and the subtle tweaks to the car's exterior.

However, there have been a few upgrades underneath Honda's halo performance model, namely to the suspension, brakes and engine cooling systems.

Noted to have been updated for "more responsive and sharper handling," the software that controls the Civic's adaptive dampers are said to be able to evaluate road condition "10 times faster." As well, bushings on all four corners have been upgraded with stiffer versions that are said to improve turn-in characteristics.

Where previous models used a single-piece rotor for the front brakes, the 2020 Type R now uses two-piece rotors doubled with a more fade-resistant pad material that is meant to give the brake pedal a more immediate feel.

As far as cooling, the 2020 Civic Type R has a redesigned grille with a larger opening that is meant to better feed air to an improved radiator core. This update is reported to decrease coolant temperatures by 18°F in testing under "high-demand situations" like track use.

Honda is also introducing a Type R-exclusive data logging app called "Honda LogR" that offers three functions to the driver: a Performance Monitor, a Log Mode and Auto Score Mode. What do these do, and how dot hey work? We'll let the release explain:

Performance Monitor
When connected to the app-equipped smartphone, the Type R’s 7-inch center screen displays a Performance Monitor, which allows the driver to see vehicle functions in real time, including coolant and oil temperatures, oil and atmospheric pressures, engine intake air temperature, and gear position.

Drivers can also choose between a “G-Meter” view that indicates acceleration, braking, and cornering G-forces on a “bowl” graph, or a “3D” view that provides a bird’s-eye visual of the car’s pitch, roll and yaw, similar to what one might see in a high-end racing video game. Additionally, the Display Audio screen shows the current drive mode (Comfort, Sport or +R).

Log Mode
Log Mode is designed to help drivers achieve the best possible lap times on the track. The program uses GPS to monitor and map the vehicle’s location and the car’s internal sensors to gather data on acceleration, braking, cornering Gs, and other parameters. The app encourages smooth, controlled driving through the use of a color-coded trace of each lap, with green, yellow, and red colors indicating progression. The goal is to encourage smooth use of the clutch, shifter, steering, brakes and accelerator, keeping the car in balance, and thus improving overall driving skills, not just the skills required for a particular track. Users can save their lap times to compare their improvement over time.

Auto Score
The Auto Score function operates whenever the Honda LogR app is in use, monitoring the driver’s behavior over time by tracking inputs for acceleration, deceleration, and steering (cornering and straight driving), and generating a score for each. It also generates a combination score of those four parameters. The score is generated against the same pro-driver baseline that is built into the app and used in the Log Mode function. Similar to the Log Mode, Auto Score also keeps a historical record that ties in with the GPS function to show driving improvement over time.

Also, Honda has added its Honda Sensing safety suite to the Type R as standard, adding active and passive safety like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

Are all these upgrades noticeable when you are behind the wheel? Watch our view review below:


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Comments
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nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/27/21 10:41 a.m.

Controversial opinion:

Generation after generation of Si / Type R, I’m surprised at the incredible engineering that Honda devotes to ugly econoboxes.



P.S.--The front suspension in this gen Type R is a work of art.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/27/21 11:05 a.m.

In reply to nderwater :

I'm amazed that a new performace Civic is as big as/larger than my 15 year old midsize Volvo panzer device.  While also having much, much smaller brakes despite similar power.

 

Also, on that note, Honda has some amazing AWD systems, why are they not putting it in their premiere Civic?  If they want a hot hatch they should stick to the Fit/Jazz, the Civic is way waaaaay too big to be considered a hot hatch anymore.  As large and expensive as it is, it really belongs in as different category that carries different expectations.

 

Even with COVID price hikes, for the price of a new Type R, you can buy a slightly used RS3, or save acres of money and buy an '18 Focus RS.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/27/21 11:09 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I think the size is a problem every car has compared to the earlier version of itself ... except Miata. 

Also on the AWD, I am glad it does not have it. I doubt it would make it much better for someone like me that does not live where it snows. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/27/21 11:12 a.m.

In reply to Slippery (Forum Supporter) :

After 4 years, I still have vivid memories of doing 2 wheel burnouts while trying to accelerate at 60mph in the rain, in a car with half the power as a CTR.  I'm happy for those memories because it makes me appreciate having all wheel drive now, every day when I can crush the carpet with the acclerator no matter the weather, and be all "HAHAHA I AM GOD HERE".  Which is what privilege I have paid into, and continue to pay into with horrible sub-30MPG economy.

 

I'll never consider two wheel drive for any daily driver vehicle unless it has like 100hp or so.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/27/21 11:22 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I doubt you guys get worse rainfall than we get here in south Florida. I never had a problem with the proper tires. Plus unless you are at a racetrack, there is no need to mash the gas pedal while its raining that bad. 

Plus my Celica All-Trac with a Greddy T67 kit would spin the tires in the wet all day laugh

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/27/21 11:53 a.m.

In reply to Slippery (Forum Supporter) :

We have hills and stuff here smiley  One of my favorite onramps is an uphill righthander that, if it is slippery, you need to be traveling at as good rate of speed to avoid falling to the INside.  It's part of my morning commute.  On a good day with no traffic, I'll be doing 90 by the merge.  With my front drive S40 on new Sport Comp2s, I'd be traction-limited to 65mph.

 

Part of my daily commute involves a 1/4 mile stretch of road with a 300' elevation increase.  With a stopsign partway up, and poor sightlines to the cross traffic that has right of way.  My little 3600lb tank sees 15psi boost every day because of that one intersection, at a minimum, rain or shine, snow or clear.  My sunroof shade slides halfway back from the acceleration,  most mornings smiley

 

AWD is GOOD.  Worth the weight compromise.

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
2/27/21 2:05 p.m.

The Civic SI should look the way that the Civic Sport hatch looks w/no spoiler.

Also, Honda made a huge mistake killing the Fit in the States but that is another discussion for another day.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Reader
2/27/21 2:26 p.m.

I <3 data!

It looks like the debrief uses AEM's interface (and maybe their sensors too?), but how does that compare to the OE Honda Log Mode stuff?

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/21 9:54 p.m.
dxman92 said:

Also, Honda made a huge mistake killing the Fit in the States but that is another discussion for another day.

It didn't make financial sense to federalize the new one.. plain and simple...

 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
2/28/21 7:28 p.m.

I still want a Type R; but, here we are 4 years after their release and dealers are still charging 5-10k mark-ups on them. I hate that manufacturers do nothing about this. Any kind of cool car get stuck with this Supra, TRX, CTR, Corvette, etc. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/28/21 7:40 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

I still want a Type R; but, here we are 4 years after their release and dealers are still charging 5-10k mark-ups on them. I hate that manufacturers do nothing about this. Any kind of cool car get stuck with this Supra, TRX, CTR, Corvette, etc. 

MSRP is Manufacturer's SUGGESTED retail price.. means they can advertise discounts.. or mark up if demand is outstripping supply.

blame manufacturers for not making more if the market constantly supports retail markups.

if you really want a Type R there are dealers in the midwest selling for MSRP. I have spoken to a acquaintances from national autocross and there's a specific solid dealer in Wisconsin a few of them bought from and there's one in ohio as well.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
2/28/21 8:17 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to nderwater :

I'm amazed that a new performace Civic is as big as/larger than my 15 year old midsize Volvo panzer device.  While also having much, much smaller brakes despite similar power.

I have a 2016 Civic LX (base). There is a 1998-ish Ram longbed that parks next to me sometimes at work. If the Ram wasn't a longbed the vehicles would be the same length. Yet my Civic weighs 2800lbs. I think that's how they get away with the little brakes and tires.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/1/21 11:59 a.m.

My take on the Type R, and I know I have shared this before (so sorry for the repeat). It's fast, yes--like, really fast and capable.

The kicker for me is that the car is still so civil at the same time. 

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
3/1/21 6:42 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

But, it's still butt ugly...........

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
3/1/21 7:29 p.m.

I like the blue but... I think the Focus RS wore it better.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
3/1/21 7:55 p.m.

I actually like the way it looks pretty well (or I probably wouldn't have bought a base model) but that wing is too much for me. Also if you go down to 18s and buy the right tires it becomes a much better car without losing grip. Looks better too with the 18s if you ask me. Car and Driver did it.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
3/1/21 10:14 p.m.

2020???

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
3/2/21 8:22 a.m.

In reply to racerfink :

I wondered that too.

I saw one on the highway yesterday. It was that lame-ass gray that looks like some kid painted his beater with epoxy garage floor paint. All I could think of was the phrase, like rubbing salt in a wound.

It was bad. Real bad.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
3/2/21 12:46 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
DirtyBird222 said:

I still want a Type R; but, here we are 4 years after their release and dealers are still charging 5-10k mark-ups on them. I hate that manufacturers do nothing about this. Any kind of cool car get stuck with this Supra, TRX, CTR, Corvette, etc. 

MSRP is Manufacturer's SUGGESTED retail price.. means they can advertise discounts.. or mark up if demand is outstripping supply.

blame manufacturers for not making more if the market constantly supports retail markups.

if you really want a Type R there are dealers in the midwest selling for MSRP. I have spoken to a acquaintances from national autocross and there's a specific solid dealer in Wisconsin a few of them bought from and there's one in ohio as well.

Oh I didn't know that's what the S stood for in that LOL

You're entirely correct; but, you can't tell me you agree with this E36 M3ty tactic that every dealer has started to do with any car that has an ounce of excitement in it. 

That's awesome that there are dealers in the Midwest doing that; but, that means I have to first go to the Midwest and why would anyone do that? That means I have to hedge my bets on taking days off work to fly, hopefully purchase the car at the suggested retail price, and drive the car back. Also did I mention that means I have to fly to the Midwest for something other than a layover? 

The bottom line is the current dealership model is hot garbage. The PS5 and new Xbox are both hot commodities no? 99% of retailers offered the ones they had available at the MSRP despite knowing that they could have easily marked those products up due to demand. People aren't blitzing Honda dealers to purchase the CTR. 

My buddy invited me to go with him for his Open Track session at the FIRM on Sunday. He just bought a 2021 CTR in red and wanted to see what it would do. His best lap was a 1:21.9 and the only thing we did to the car was lower the air pressure in the tires. I have never been in a FWD car with that much grip. It was fantastic. He has a whole host of upgrades that are coming but it was super impressive box stock.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/2/21 4:30 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

But, it's still butt ugly...........

Don't forget that the latest Civic Si works well on track, too, in stock form. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/2/21 5:15 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

Oh I didn't know that's what the S stood for in that LOL

You're entirely correct; but, you can't tell me you agree with this E36 M3ty tactic that every dealer has started to do with any car that has an ounce of excitement in it. 

I don't fully agree with it, but until people stop paying the markups, it's not going anywhere.. and it mostly happens on products I'll never be able to afford anyway. While it does annoy me, the $3k markup on the CTR is market driven and they haven't depreciated worth a damn and so i'd still buy a new one with a bit of markup over a used one. My main beef with dealers is still hidden fees and accessories that add no value. Accessories that add no value are hard to sell successfully and it was what forced me to finally say "berkeley this E36 M3" on selling cars and move to selling service where I could at least be honest with people and have a bit more paycheck stability in my life..

 

That's awesome that there are dealers in the Midwest doing that; but, that means I have to first go to the Midwest and why would anyone do that? That means I have to hedge my bets on taking days off work to fly, hopefully purchase the car at the suggested retail price, and drive the car back. Also did I mention that means I have to fly to the Midwest for something other than a layover? 

The bottom line is the current dealership model is hot garbage. The PS5 and new Xbox are both hot commodities no? 99% of retailers offered the ones they had available at the MSRP despite knowing that they could have easily marked those products up due to demand. People aren't blitzing Honda dealers to purchase the CTR. 

I don't agree the current dealership model is hot garbage, I believe the MFR have allowed E36 M3ty dealerships to exist and created a bad environment. I believe the dealer model itself is good and if we were all willing to pay MSRP and dealers could make solid profit on the front end, we'd have to fight less about the shady E36 M3 on the back end where the dealers have to make money today. that's where standard retail works differently, and the auto MFR don't fight it because they still move the units and they get their set amount of money per unit.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
3/2/21 7:00 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

But, it's still butt ugly...........

It looks like a butt but it looks like one of the nicer butts to look at.

 

They're growing on me.  There are a few of them around town, and one of my customers brings one in for maintenance.  The demographic is interesting: all but one I've seen have a seriously grey haired old dude driving.  The outlier was a guy and his wife extracting a small child from a booster seat at the supermarket.

 

That really gave me a warm feeling inside.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
3/3/21 11:11 a.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
DirtyBird222 said:

Oh I didn't know that's what the S stood for in that LOL

You're entirely correct; but, you can't tell me you agree with this E36 M3ty tactic that every dealer has started to do with any car that has an ounce of excitement in it. 

I don't fully agree with it, but until people stop paying the markups, it's not going anywhere.. and it mostly happens on products I'll never be able to afford anyway. While it does annoy me, the $3k markup on the CTR is market driven and they haven't depreciated worth a damn and so i'd still buy a new one with a bit of markup over a used one. My main beef with dealers is still hidden fees and accessories that add no value. Accessories that add no value are hard to sell successfully and it was what forced me to finally say "berkeley this E36 M3" on selling cars and move to selling service where I could at least be honest with people and have a bit more paycheck stability in my life..

 

That's awesome that there are dealers in the Midwest doing that; but, that means I have to first go to the Midwest and why would anyone do that? That means I have to hedge my bets on taking days off work to fly, hopefully purchase the car at the suggested retail price, and drive the car back. Also did I mention that means I have to fly to the Midwest for something other than a layover? 

The bottom line is the current dealership model is hot garbage. The PS5 and new Xbox are both hot commodities no? 99% of retailers offered the ones they had available at the MSRP despite knowing that they could have easily marked those products up due to demand. People aren't blitzing Honda dealers to purchase the CTR. 

I don't agree the current dealership model is hot garbage, I believe the MFR have allowed E36 M3ty dealerships to exist and created a bad environment. I believe the dealer model itself is good and if we were all willing to pay MSRP and dealers could make solid profit on the front end, we'd have to fight less about the shady E36 M3 on the back end where the dealers have to make money today. that's where standard retail works differently, and the auto MFR don't fight it because they still move the units and they get their set amount of money per unit.

If everyone didn't insist on getting a "deal" the dealerships wouldn't have to lie to everyone to make them feel like they got a deal. Sure, we'll take off $5000 on a $20,000 car then give you a crap rate (since most people don't follow interest rates) and stick you with a bunch of overpriced laser underplating and wax to make you feel like you won. All that adds a year onto to the loan.

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