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dasherdiablo1

Original Poster:

1,657 posts

108 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I am now in the market for a hot hatch type car that I can go out in with my wife and 6week old daughter. So on Monday I went to try out a couple at my local dealer- one in black and one in red. On arrival the black car looked lovely, really Q car and very subtle. Opening the door revealed the usual black and red interior which is very welcoming and always looks better in the flesh than in the photos- somehow less plasticky.

My first issue is that I just couldn't get comfortable- the seat doesn't go down far enough and the back is very difficult to adjust so that it is 'just right' in fact because of the lever system it just didn't ever click in a comfortable place; it would be so much better with a wheel adjuster to get the seat back in the best place. Okay I am going to stick with the seats; why oh why did Honda make a seat that when you open it to get into the back seat it returns to a standard position and not the position it was last in- stupid design when you've had to spend so long trying to get comfortable in the first place!

The gearbox and clutch set up are so harsh- the clutch length felt way too short and not easy to feather in the power on a smooth way. Steering felt odd-light then heavy then light but not in a way you'd expect torque steer to behave.

Everyone goes on about the engine noise in these and that is one of the main lures for me to try it. However I think it felt lazy and strained. The lack of torque was highly evident and it felt like when I was a kid and I used to rag my mums old Micra to get every last ounce out of the 1200cc's that was on offer. It felt tinny and lacking in oompfh.

Disappointing as I had high hopes!

Pixelpeep

3,153 posts

29 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
dasherdiablo1 said:
Everyone goes on about the engine noise in these and that is one of the main lures for me to try it. However I think it felt lazy and strained. The lack of torque was highly evident and it felt like when I was a kid and I used to rag my mums old Micra to get every last ounce out of the 1200cc's that was on offer. It felt tinny and lacking in oompfh.
It does become tiresome having to work it all the time, which is a shame because when you are in the right situation its a hoot to drive and will leave you with a massive smile.



I had an EP3 type-R and found it lacked general all round goodness. it was epic in some respects, but ride, tram lining, lack of torque become a pain when commuting etc. Other thing i didnt like was the speed/RPM on motorways...80mph was 4000rpm, 100 was 5000rpm etc.. which i assume means it isn't very economical on long runs

apparently the FN2 was even worse for ride, never actually drove one though. it is an experience owning one, but wouldnt recommend as an everyday car

stargazer30

574 posts

53 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
OP you sound like your a boost junkie vs a rev hungry chase the redline person. You may want to try a something with a turbo instead of the CTR.

dasherdiablo1

Original Poster:

1,657 posts

108 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
stargazer30 said:
OP you sound like your a boost junkie vs a rev hungry chase the redline person. You may want to try a something with a turbo instead of the CTR.
Not really a fan of turbo engines- much prefer big NA engines TBH. Unfortunately there aren't many 6 or 8 cylinder engined cars that you an get a rear facing baby seat in the back of!

Red 4

2,485 posts

74 months

[news] 
Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I owned an FN2 Civic Type R a few years ago. I found the seats to be the best thing about it ! (apart from the default position after gaining access to the rear as you say).

The engine really does need to be revved hard and the induction noise is great.

The gearbox is good too, one of the most precise FWD 'boxes I have driven.

On the downside there is absolutely no compliance in the suspension. It is awful. Hit a pot hole and your head may fall off. I've driven much better handling cars than a CTR and the suspension set up is inexcusable.

Rear visiblity is non-existant and it feels like a big car, unlike the previous model.

Looks fugly from some angles, looks good from others.

Paint is rubbish and chips/ suffers road rash too easily. Doors can rust at the top, under the seal in the corner. There have been issues with clutches.

I think Honda were taking the piss a bit giving the car a "Type R" badge, it's more of a "Type S" really,

I didn't keep mine long, I couldn't gel with it.

Try a Focus ST (I've had one of those too and preferred it) or a Renaultsport Megane.


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Pixelpeep

3,153 posts

29 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Red 4 said:
I think Honda were taking the piss a bit giving the car a "Type R" badge, it's more of a "Type S" really,
I had an 11 plate FN2 1.8 Type-S GT as a company car and loved it.. rear visibility wasn't great but performance for a non performer was pretty good i thought..

every day on the way home from work i kept seeing this MX5 and every day we would be in some kind of battle - i remember we where evenly matched.. neither could gain or lose. dead heat. that also was an 11 plate.

The Type-S had a much nicer suspension set up too.. it seemed easier to put power down and keep your boot in along the B roads than my EP3 type-R...

I remember saying at the time.. type-R engine in THAT type-S and it would have been a perfect all round car.

davidcharles

341 posts

81 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Most type r's take a few drives to get used to them to be honest. The way the engine works and the quick gearbox aren't easy to get used to in a test drive. I had an ep3 and loved it, have an FN2 now and love that as well. Horses for courses.

davey68

826 posts

124 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
I owned an FN2, late model with xenons, LSD etc. I'd echo Red4's sentiments completely. Some good points like engine noise in vtec and gearshift. However I didn't gel with it either and sold it after 6 months. Drive by wire throttle felt horrid, interior was a bit rattly, rear vis wasn't good. Worst of all was the ride, it was shockingly bad. I have an S2000 now and it is ton's better, and thats a sports car! I owned 2 EP3's and look back on them fondly. The FN2....not so much.

otolith

26,486 posts

91 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
I had an EP3 and loved it, apart from the numb steering it was exactly what I wanted out of a hot hatch. I wasn't after an exec saloon in hatchback form, though, which is the other school of thought on what a hot hatch should be.

havoc

21,234 posts

122 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
dasherdiablo1 said:
Not really a fan of turbo engines- much prefer big NA engines TBH. Unfortunately there aren't many 6 or 8 cylinder engined cars that you an get a rear facing baby seat in the back of!
3-series
Monaro
...probably a couple more sloshing around without spending big bucks.

otolith

26,486 posts

91 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Pixelpeep said:
The Type-S had a much nicer suspension set up too.. it seemed easier to put power down and keep your boot in along the B roads than my EP3 type-R...
Probably because it didn't have any!

Mastodon2

9,588 posts

52 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
Pixelpeep said:
The Type-S had a much nicer suspension set up too.. it seemed easier to put power down and keep your boot in along the B roads than my EP3 type-R...
Probably because it didn't have any!
Ain't that the truth.

OP, you sound like a you like the easy diesel power delivery, the illusion of power through torque on tap, perhaps you'd find a turbocharged sofa like a Focus ST or Audi S3 more to your liking? The Civic Type R are raw, old school hot hatches and they need a bit of effort to give you the real fireworks. The kind of car that you need to take by the scruff of the neck to get the best from, and that doesn't suit everyone. If you are handy with a gearbox though, 200bhp is more than enough to slice through traffic and overtaking is a piece of piss too, just remember that the engine really needs to be above the 5K mark to really do it's thing.

dasherdiablo1

Original Poster:

1,657 posts

108 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Mastodon2 said:
otolith said:
Pixelpeep said:
The Type-S had a much nicer suspension set up too.. it seemed easier to put power down and keep your boot in along the B roads than my EP3 type-R...
Probably because it didn't have any!
Ain't that the truth.

OP, you sound like a you like the easy diesel power delivery, the illusion of power through torque on tap, perhaps you'd find a turbocharged sofa like a Focus ST or Audi S3 more to your liking? The Civic Type R are raw, old school hot hatches and they need a bit of effort to give you the real fireworks. The kind of car that you need to take by the scruff of the neck to get the best from, and that doesn't suit everyone. If you are handy with a gearbox though, 200bhp is more than enough to slice through traffic and overtaking is a piece of piss too, just remember that the engine really needs to be above the 5K mark to really do it's thing.
Why the condescending tone? Have you seen the cars I've had - admittedly nothing like a Veyron or Murcielago but it is fairly obviously that I like cars that are a bit differerent.

The point you are missing is that I want the car to carry my young daughter around and still be able to go out on my own and have fun. The Type R is not fun - it's lame, tiring and very dull. I didn't want to be rude because I am in a Honda forum but it's probably in the top 5 of worst cars I've driven. since the test drive I've done a bit more research and found a number of reviews by respected drivers/journalists that echo my opinion. Have you seen the Jenson Button review? He was there to advertise the car and even he looked like he wished he was somewhere else.

It's not sharp or precise - it's numb, gutless and way too heavy.

This is of course my personal opinion but I like cars with unstressed power- something that can get you out of trouble without needing to rev the nuts off it. It also needs to be smooth delivery so that I can apply the power without the risk of snapping my little girls neck every time.

Mastodon2

9,588 posts

52 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
dasherdiablo1 said:
This is of course my personal opinion but I like cars with unstressed power- something that can get you out of trouble without needing to rev the nuts off it. It also needs to be smooth delivery so that I can apply the power without the risk of snapping my little girls neck every time.
So why would you go for a car with a relatively small displacement, high output NA engine? You wern't going to get Jag V8 style seamless torquey delivery. I've never found the need to "get out of trouble" in my EP3 but with the right gear it's more than capable of a good burst of speed - it's all about that gearbox, as opposed to mashing the pedal into the carpet and letting the turbo do the work.

As I said before, I think the Focus ST would be a good shout, it's fairly smooth so little danger to your daughter's neck, and you don't need to change gear or rev it much since it gives everything it's got fairly low down in the rev range. Diesels are also good for the "do not want to rev" thing, if that's what you go for.

P1H

311 posts

35 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
I think there are fair criticisms that can be made of the FN2 and unfair ones. For the record my experience of the FN2 is only a 30 minute test drive and in the end I opted for an EP3. This is of course all in my opinion.

The ride is harsh:
This is a fair criticism. If comfort is an issue an FN2 is not ideal. Few people would contest that as a family car a golf GTI performs better. (If back pain is an issue you are too old to have a hot hatch full stop. wink )

It is too heavy:
This is a fair criticism, we all know weight was added to the FN2 with a small power increase.

It lacks low down torque:
This is monumentally stupid. Of course a naturally aspirated two litre engine is going to need to be revved to reach peak power. You must have known this before you test drove it. If this was something that was unattractive because you like consistent power delivery or like to avoid changing down for peak power why on earth were you test driving it? It is like test driving a diesel and complaining it doesn't rev to 8000rpm.

Jensen Button looks bored driving it:
Impossible! I'd have thought driving a 200bhp hot hatch would have blown his mind after being in one of those gutless F1 cars.....




DukeDickson

3,564 posts

100 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Mastodon2 said:
dasherdiablo1 said:
This is of course my personal opinion but I like cars with unstressed power- something that can get you out of trouble without needing to rev the nuts off it. It also needs to be smooth delivery so that I can apply the power without the risk of snapping my little girls neck every time.
So why would you go for a car with a relatively small displacement, high output NA engine? You wern't going to get Jag V8 style seamless torquey delivery. I've never found the need to "get out of trouble" in my EP3 but with the right gear it's more than capable of a good burst of speed - it's all about that gearbox, as opposed to mashing the pedal into the carpet and letting the turbo do the work.

As I said before, I think the Focus ST would be a good shout, it's fairly smooth so little danger to your daughter's neck, and you don't need to change gear or rev it much since it gives everything it's got fairly low down in the rev range. Diesels are also good for the "do not want to rev" thing, if that's what you go for.
Both right & at the same time both sound wrong/misguided, having pedaled both options over a fair mileage (Honda was EP3, if that makes much difference, no idea on the more recent one, but can't imagine it is that different).
If you really dislike, fair enough, but at the same time, that is often down to lack of desire to change your approach to the whole thing (and sometimes lack of understanding) as much as anything else. Both aren't quite as bad at Y rather than X, as is generally purported, but at the same time, they both have their strengths/selling points.


Having said that, not sure how anyone could see the Honda's gearbox as anything other than particularly wonderful (even moreso at the price), nor how the engine sound doesn't have a certain something - I can still pick up a VTEC at full chat from a distance & it will always fall on the positive side of the fence.


All IMO, of course smile.







Edited by DukeDickson on Saturday 29th September 03:28

havoc

21,234 posts

122 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Duke has the right of it - the EP3 isn't a bad car, but it will need to be worked a lot more than a 3.0+ I-6 BMW, and IMHO they've made the engine TOO linear - it disguises what it's doing too well*. Gearbox however is leagues better than any BM I've driven.





* DC2 and 5 ITRs both have more of a 'step-change' at the VTEC cut-over, which is why I rate those engines higher. S2000 also.

otolith

26,486 posts

91 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
Toyota 2ZZ-GE also has more of a step change, which is one of the reasons I wish my Elise had a K20A instead! At some point I will be getting it remapped to lower and smooth out the changeover point.

That little squiggle in the K20A torque curve at the changeover point has always looked a little contrived to me - I am sure that Honda could have made the changeover seamless.

SCEL1SE

286 posts

77 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
dasherdiablo1 said:
Why the condescending tone? Have you seen the cars I've had - admittedly nothing like a Veyron or Murcielago but it is fairly obviously that I like cars that are a bit differerent.



This is of course my personal opinion but I like cars with unstressed power- something that can get you out of trouble without needing to rev the nuts off it. It also needs to be smooth delivery so that I can apply the power without the risk of snapping my little girls neck every time.
Can I ask why you even test drove the car. You obviously know how Hondas work, it's media wide to all car fans??
Everyone that has a love for cars knows you have to rev the nuts of them. You've obviously just wasted your time, as it was a car that was never going to suit you anyway, as you say above, "something you can get out of trouble without revving the nuts of it"
Type R is actually pretty light, in the hot hatch world. On the flip, FN2 is certainly the worst Type R variant Honda have to date. I wouldn't go as far to say the car is terrible, yeh match it against the EP3, DC2, DC5 it feels nothing like a type R.

As some of the guys have stated, sounds like a turbo is up your street. You say you don't like turbos, and your obviously looking for a light car, as you said the FN2 was to heavy, so your certainly very limited here. NA with substantial power are generally heavy big brutes!

Maybe you wanna look at one of those quick deisel thingys that are on the market, defo sounds more up your street.

havoc

21,234 posts

122 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
That little squiggle in the K20A torque curve at the changeover point has always looked a little contrived to me - I am sure that Honda could have made the changeover seamless.
They could, but they mapped it so deliberately, AIUI, to give the engine more character. I've never found the step-change in either the ITR or S2000 to be enough to upset the balance of the car, it's as much a "second wind" and an aural change.
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