Chris Harris Pits New Honda Civic Type R Against Its Acclaimed EP3 Ancestor

The latest Honda Civic Type R is indeed one of the best hot hatches in the market right now, but how does it fare against its much praised EP3 ancestor?

Why the EP3, you might ask? Because that was Honda’s last hot hatch employing a proper independent suspension at the back, allowing the light chassis to be sophisticated enough for its naturally aspirated 200hp VTEC engine. The two generations of Type Rs that followed did a 180-degree turn on that matter as they employed a (cheaper) beam setup.

Moreover, Honda was considered to be the last frontier of naturally aspirated engines until the iconic Civic Type R turned to turbocharging – but that doesn’t mean that it’s lost its mojo.

In fact, and since Honda used a turbo engine in the previous model, we’ve witnessed the Type R rising again as one of the most hardcore hot hatches in the segment.

Does this mean though that the new Civic Type R is a more inspiring drive than its naturally aspirated ancestor? Chris Harris investigates in the video that follows.


  • I had to say kudos to Honda for not giving up on the Type-R. I remember the last gen Type-R is a bit of disappointment and then they strike back with new Type-R. I hope they stay at FWD… remember when DC2 Integra is considered the best FWD in the world? (Until now in fact)

    • LWOAP

      The FK2? Didn’t that thing set the FWD record before the FK8 improved upon it?

      • Yes for a few weeks I think… After that either Megane or Leon took it back… Can’t remember.

        It’s just the contemporary review of FK2 is not that good. It’s fast yes, but the handling is abysmal, and I think at that time people haven’t yet suited with he VTEC Turbo engine.

  • Craig

    What I’d love to see is a FAR more conservative looking version sold as an Acura Integra Type S.

  • Pass the Imodium, Please

    Honda is such an icon and staple around the world. Honda Engineering Department—brilliant. Honda’s Styling Department—roadkill. I’d love to drive this automobile for the experience, but the styling is categorically—visual diarrhea.

  • LJ

    Too bad it’s so hideous looking.

  • Bash

    Cool, but still overdone and over designed.

  • sidewaysspin

    It’s designed for kids, more mature potential customers will stay away.

  • Thomas Welcomer

    This is why we love Chris. Instead of being smitten with the specs, he tells you how he feels.

    Unattractive? Yup. Honda has been beating its cars by an ugly stick for over a decade. It’s rare when a car company combines a great engine with matching looks.

    Many of us wouldn’t care what the numbers are. We WON’T buy UGLY.

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