2021 Honda Civic Type R

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starting MSRP

2021 Honda Civic Type R
2021 Honda Civic Type R

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • Turbo engine performance, especially in Type R
  • Handling
  • Lots of useful storage spaces
  • Gas mileage
  • Materials quality

The bad:

  • Base engine drone while accelerating
  • Middle rear-seat comfort
  • Muted exhaust sound (Type R)
  • Type R only seats four
  • Touchscreen multimedia system usability

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2021 Honda Civic Type R trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • New Limited Edition for Type R
  • Sedan and hatchback body styles
  • Honda Sensing active safety features standard
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto available

2021 Honda Civic Type R review: Our expert's take

By Aaron Bragman

There’s an all-new Honda Civic for the 2022 model year, a significant refresh to a perennial favorite among compact car buyers, but a new fire-breathing, high-performance Type R model has yet to be unveiled as of this writing. We’re pretty sure one will be coming (the old Type R is too popular not to get a new version), but before Honda sends the old Civic Type R out to pasture, they felt it was necessary to give it one last hurrah — and a shot at reclaiming its lap record title at Germany’s famed Nurburgring racetrack, which it lost to the Renault Megane R.S. 280. 

Related: 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition, on Track for U.S. Arrival, Sets Record on Track

What was the plan? Dump anything that’s not needed to go faster, lightening the car and helping it gain a little more speed. A concerted effort to lighten the Type R’s load resulted in a 50-pound weight reduction, thanks in large part to new, lightweight forged-aluminum-alloy BBS wheels that save 18 pounds of unsprung weight. The front brakes are lighter by 2.5 pounds per side thanks to lightweight floating brake rotors introduced for the 2020 model year, so those don’t count in the 50-pound figure. But another 28 pounds was taken out through the removal of sound deadening materials in the roof, the rear hatch panel, front fenders and dashboard, and the elimination of the rear cargo cover, rear vent ducts and rear wiper mechanism. Even the tires, Michelin Cup 2 rubber, are a pound lighter each.

Does 50 pounds make a big difference in lap times on a track? Possibly, but it might just give the car a slight edge when tenths or hundredths of a second count. Does it do anything for you out on the street? No, it really doesn’t; especially when driver weight varies so much, passengers are involved, luggage might be in the boot, air temperature might vary, or any number of other myriad variables come into play. So the real reason to buy a Civic Type R Limited Edition isn’t for much in the way of a performance boost, but instead for its rarity and exclusivity — only 600 will be brought to the U.S., and given that there are just over 1,000 Honda dealerships here, not every dealer will get one.

A Little Bit Lighter

Honda loaned me one of these rare beasts for a three-day stint this past summer, and while I sadly didn’t have any track time to try the “CTR” (as its fans call it) in its intended road circuit environment, I did have ample opportunity to take it down some of my favorite local driving roads, around town and out on the highway. And the conclusion I came away with was simple: It’s still one of the most entertaining, raucous, unhinged beasts you can buy. The changes Honda has made to this Limited Edition basically do two things: It has slightly better steering feel and feedback thanks to its lower unsprung weight and sticky tires, and it’s a bit louder inside than other versions of the CTR due to less sound insulation. 

First, the performance bit: The Limited Edition is just as brilliant to drive as any other version of the CTR. It’s quick, but not uncontrollably so like an over-powered rear-wheel-drive V-8 muscle car. There’s considerable turbo lag, but that only encourages you to learn to better manage the 306-horsepower, boosted 2.0-liter four-cylinder’s revs. The six-speed manual transmission remains one of the best I’ve ever rowed through, with super-precise, snick-snick action that encourages you to shift often just for the joy of feeling the mechanical action in your hand. It’s easy to drive the CTR quickly, and its adaptive suspension (which has been retuned a bit to take advantage of the lightweight wheels and grippier tires) only makes that task more of a hoot. Its balance is exceptional, as is the feedback and communication that the tires and steering wheel give to the driver on twisty roads. The Brembo brakes are firm, fade-free and confidence inspiring if you realize you’re about to enter a corner a little too hot. They quickly make you realize that no, you weren’t actually going too quickly into that corner, as the brakes can haul you down with impressive force. Three different drive modes are also available to help tune the car’s responses, and it’s notable that the default is “Sport” mode (Comfort and +R are the other two).

The car is just as fantastic as previous Type Rs, but I’ll be damned if I can discern any significant difference from the way it works versus a non-Limited Edition version. On the track, its improvements would perhaps allow a few extra tenths (it did end up beating that Megane R.S. 280 by 1.5 seconds … on the Suzuka Circuit in Japan), but in the real world, they don’t add up to much seat-of-the-pants difference. It’s just not that different from a standard Civic Type R in how it works on the street. 

A Little Bit Louder

Inside the Type R LE, things aren’t any different from the regular Type R. Same crazy color scheme, same super-supportive, heavily bolstered sport seats. The loud combination of the Limited Edition-exclusive Phoenix Yellow paint and bright red interior appointments should be a warning to you about how loud the car itself is going to be — which is to say, slightly louder than normal. The lesser sound insulation is only noticeable in highway driving over rough concrete surfaces, and it’s honestly not as bad as it could be. One expects a certain level of in-your-face brashness in a car like this, and the CTR LE delivers on that visual promise. The one oddity — I’d expected the exhaust to be louder, snortier than it is. It’s a surprisingly muted hot hatch, when it comes to how it sounds.

All that said, it’s also obvious that it’s time for a new Civic Type R. The dash gauge layout looks old, the multimedia system, too, and the overall appearance of the interior is behind the times with regards to other, more modern compacts like the stunning, new Hyundai Elantra N or even the Audi S3, with which the Civic Type R Limited Edition competes on price, as the price for this Limited Edition is a bit more dear than a typical Type R: It gets a $6,100 price bump to start at $45,010, including destination fee. You don’t get a considerable amount of extra kit for that (truth be told, given everything that’s been taken out, you get less car for extra money, when you think about it), but between the exclusive lightweight wheels (not available at the Honda parts counter), new tires, suspension retune, unique yellow paint with black exterior accents and exclusive street cred of owning 1 of just a 600 run, I can see why people would pay it.

After what feels like a seemingly endless diet of anonymous, underpowered SUVs passing through my driveway over the past couple of years, the appearance of a Civic Type R feels like bingeing on your favorite comfort food. It’s the last of a dying breed in the U.S. — a high-performance, front-wheel-drive hot hatch meant to satisfy driving enthusiasts. We’re seeing the last gasp of both the performance hatch and internal-combustion engine this decade, with traditional sporty cars like this unlikely to survive the decade, but I’m going to enjoy this one for as long as Honda builds it.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron Bragman

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Interior design 4.8
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 5.0

Most recent consumer reviews


2021 Honda Type R

One of the well-constructed cars I owned. I owned seven Honda/ Acura cars never one disappointment. The six speeds can run up to 7k RPM. This is a small rocket when needed in R-Mode. Comfort mode is great when it comes to mpg gas.


1 of 600

It's my 3rd Type R and last.IS such a great platform that I had to own each upgrade. Is a well-balanced car. It spacious enough to be a daily, fun enough to take it to the track, reliable enough to put miles on without worry.


Most Reliable Car I've Owned

This car has met all my needs, it's just the right size, seats are comfortable and its loaded with technology. The Honda Civic Type R was by far the best value for my money.

See all 5 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Honda True Certified+
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 12 months or 12,000 miles from their original in-service date.
Basic warranty terms
4 years/48,000 if vehicle purchased within warranty period 1 year 12,000 miles if vehicle purchased after warranty period expired
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
182-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

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