After 9 months of ownership, this car is somewhat disappointing. I wanted a reliable, refined performance hatch. And in that sense it delivers. But it certainly delivers little else. Even the novelty of the dash-mounted gear-lever wears off! Honest!
The engine is sweet enough, but truly gutless. I know I'll have fellow Type-R owners shouting "but a Type-R can beat a..." at their PC right now, but let me explain! Until 6,000 rpm the Type-R has little to offer, we all know that. That's no problem, it's to be expected from an efficient Japanese VVTi lump. The problem I have is, where's the warp speed acceleration in the top end of the rev range? Don't get me wrong, there is a surge. But does it really get you to 62mph in 6.4 seconds? This car is so refined in it's power delivery and so bulky in it's construction that you "feel" like you're going nowhere fast. Even when the sensation of speed does arrive, it's time to change gear because you're in danger of bouncing the needle!
The handling is OK. It's not as good as my previous car, a Clio 172, but I had to get rid of that because Renault don't know the meaning of the term reliability!
I think that's the point I'm trying to make. The Honda is a well built, well balanced car. It's just so good at what it does, it's almost no good! I don't know of a manufacturer that produces, in the same price bracket as the Type-R, a car which is super-reliable AND super-fun (i.e. 200bhp). Can't we have both? An Impreza some may say? A fantastic car, but running costs mount up (Subaru recommend servicing every 6 months!). What we need is a genuine, back to basics hot hatch which is affordable, dependable and has that "I wanna drive it!" factor. Comments welcome!