This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Honda Civic Type-R (15-17) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Honda's VTEC engine has been developed to give a little more low-down power, but it still does its best work the closer you get to the red line. Get it above 6,000 revs and the VTEC cuts in, giving you an exhilarating boost of power. The six-speed gearbox is well matched to the 2.0-litre engine, with quick, well spaced gearchanges and a clutch with minimal travel.

Honda engineers have earned their salary here. The Type-R handles sublimely, with tight cornering and ultra-sharp steering (which could, however, offer more feedback). Type-R copes well with town driving and is just the car for mid-distance motorway jaunts. Drivers used to wimpier hatches may be find Type-R's ride too harsh. It can cope with small bumps, but everything else is amplified into the cabin - but this is the pay-off for an outstanding drive.