Honda Civic Type R (FD2): Spotted

Nothing best illustrates the changing performance car landscape like the demise of the fast saloon. Nowadays the notion of something quick and affordable with four doors sounds about as silly as the track humbling crossover would have seemed only a handful of years ago.

Oh sure, you can still get M3s, C63s and the like, and hopefully still will for a while yet. But below that, where the WRC homologation specials and the hotted-up repmobiles once resided, what is there now? Giulia Veloce? S3 saloon? And not much more besides, it seems. Can't grumble too much - manufactures must make what people want to buy, and they don't want to buy saloons - it just seems incredible that the market turned as fast as it did.

Imagine a car like the FD2 Civic Type R being launched now. While import only anyway back in the late 2000s, its niche appeal would surely only be smaller now in a world so soft it doesn't even want three-door hatchbacks. Or would it? See the original logic behind not launching the saloon Type R in the UK was that it was deemed too hardcore for our tastes. The Megane R26.R that was launched a year later arguably backs that up (because Renault didn't sell out the UK allocation), but then 2008 wasn't exactly the year to be launching stripped out track specials - particularly not those based on Renault Meganes.

Fast forward a decade and hardcore limited editions are seemingly all the rage, even if that's as much for collectible value as driver appeal. Still, gets manufacturers making them, doesn't it? As driving on the road becomes ever more frustrating, so something ruthlessly focused on track satisfaction - with just enough civility on the public highway - becomes more appealing.

Therefore while the screaming Civic would hardly prove attractive to the masses in 2018, there's an argument to say its stock amongst the committed is higher than ever. Like so much of this era, it represents a point where 20th century ideas - in this car, super sharp fast Hondas - reached their 21st century summit, with the most power, engagement and driver reward. Then, thanks to various legislative measure, the cars were extinct, never to appear again. This sort of car, with an engine that makes peak power at 8,000rpm, only uses a (presumably fabulous) manual gearbox, and rides in what most would call an 'abrupt' fashion, just wouldn't work in today's market of Swiss army knife hot hatches. But that was the joy of cars not so long ago, wasn't it? The remits were far less broad, so cars could excel in certain areas, rather than offering broad brush strokes of passable talent that can pervade today.

This particular Civic saloon stands out through being the Type R colour (Championship White), boasting a reasonable mileage (68,000) and appearing standard to the untrained eye. The last service was in May, the car is fully undersealed and the MOT still has a good few months remaining. Cars cheaper than this £13k example are available, though inevitably with higher mileage. And while overnighting parts from Japan might sound cool, the reality is probably less enjoyable.

Tell most people that you've spent £13,000 on an 11 year-old Honda Civic and they'll probably walk in the opposite direction, but it says much of the FD2's reputation and rarity that they've clung doggedly to their value. Comparison with a contemporary UK Type R is tempting, of course, though really the Civic deserves pitching against the rally-bred four doors it shares a bodystyle with, such is its unrelentingly focused nature. This Evo 8, for example, is for sale at £14k; recently imported and with only "a few choice modifications", it's a worthy alternative. As is this Impreza Spec C, bought from the original importers and no doubt an absolute riot.

However for those wanting something a bit different, a car even rarer than the various Evos and Imprezas and with a status as one of the best Type Rs ever, there's really only one thing for it. Get in before we start looking at finance...


Engine: 1,998cc, 4-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 225@8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 159@6,100rpm
CO2: n/a
MPG: 31.7
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 68,000
Price new: £22,995 (import)
Yours for: £13,420

See the original advert here.


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Comments (82) Join the discussion on the forum

  • DBRacingGod 18 Sep 2018


  • NorthernSky 18 Sep 2018

    These are fantastically rare over here. Would happily have one when I find the need to have a 4 seat car! This one doesn't seem too heavily modified as well. Many have hondata/coilovers/exhausts put on etc.

  • SidewaysSi 18 Sep 2018

    I do keep looking at these as a family car but the values are quite strong.

    Not sure they are as good to drive as a Meg and a few more quid would get a C63 wagon.

  • moglieboy1 18 Sep 2018

    The FD2's really are sensational cars. So focused, so honed and just so much fun.

    They really do push the envelope in terms of what a front wheel drive car can and should be able to do.

    In an age of electric wizardry and drivers aids the FD2 with its hydraulic steering, Helical limited slip differential and naturally aspirated 2.0 litre I-vtec engine (238bhp at 8700 RPM) is just a revelation. A return to the old school, where cars arent sanitised by electronic bubble wrap to help you drive and in doing so removing the feel and the sense of involvement.

    Forget the R26R, MK1/MK2 Focus RS, Clio Trophy, DC2/DC5, the FD2 is in my opinion far and away the best FWD car ever made and one which would embarrass cars costing 3 times as much (talking from experience as I've owned all of the cars aforementioned)

    If you've never driven one get a test drive, find a tight series of corners, floor the FD2 and marvel at the grip, feedback, composure and ultimately speed this car will offer up!

    It's also worth noting that it's utterly bullet proof and entirely depreciation proof (if anything values have been creeping up recently as examples become harder and more expensive to acquire in Japan).

    Don't put off, get an FD2. They're absolutely awesome.

    This looks a cracking example. 31,000 miles and basically standard...

    Edited by moglieboy1 on Tuesday 18th September 08:52

    Edited by moglieboy1 on Tuesday 18th September 08:56

  • Berkut666 18 Sep 2018

    I dont get why the article talks about the demise of the performance saloon. Is the new Civic Type R not a 4 door?

    An old area manager of mine traded his 911 for one of these many moons ago. I had an Evo 8 at the time but I dearly loved his type R. It was such a different experience to the Evo, and had the rare factor in its favor.

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