Grip for days, excellent composure and civility, heavenly seats and shifter.
Looking at it or being seen in it, irksome infotainment interface, less-than-thrilling engine note.
We knew the 2017 Type R was good from our first experience on the less-than-perfect roads of Quebec, Canada. Here, though, are the headline facts from this instrumented test: Zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, 1.02 g of lateral grip, and the ability to stop from 70 mph in a Porsche-like 142 feet—in a tweaked, front-wheel-drive commuter car with 61.8 percent of its 3111 pounds resting on the front wheels. So, yeah, extremely solid.
A Domesticated Heathen
What sets this Honda apart from other sport compacts is how it balances speed, body control, and outright cornering prowess with the day-to-day ride comfort that you would never expect given its rubber-band-like 30-series tires. Indeed, those 245/30ZR-20 Continental SportContact 6 performance treads offer seemingly no cushion for the spindly 20-inch aluminum wheels, and they’re pricey at $320 a pop. Yet, despite having significantly stiffer springs, dampers, bushings, and anti-roll bars than even the new Civic Si, the Type R traverses pockmarked pavement better than nearly any other car with this much stick. Even with its driving-mode selector in its full-attack +R setting—which slightly weights up the steering over the lesser Sport and Comfort modes and puts the three-position adaptive dampers in their firmest tune—the ride is fully livable. Combined with a high level of standard amenities and wonderfully comfortable and supportive sport seats (available in red cloth only), there’s little compromise to having a Type R as your sole mode of transport.