Driven COTY: Lotto Winner's Choice - Honda Civic Type R
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The Honda Civic Type R
Few new models this year created the buzz surrounding the arrival of the Honda Civic Type R, the sports sedan available here new for the first time.
The Type R earned its chops through eight model generations and New Zealand fans, up until now, either had to drool from afar or import the car themselves.
But Honda New Zealand this winter started selling the FK8-generation Civic Type R, in all of its aggressive glory.
It enters a busy segment of the market, up against similar sporty hatches such as the Ford Focus RS, the Volkswagen Golf R and the Subaru WRX STI.
Early next year the hot hatch segment will become even more competitive with the introduction of the Hyundai i30 N Series.
But in the meantime the Type R continues to win over New Zealand enthusiasts, boosting Honda's resurgence in the marketplace.
The muscular body styling and aerodynamic modifications distinguish the Type R from its Civic siblings; on the road it has a spectacular stance. The aggressive bumper is accentuated with a winged carbon-fibre splitter and red accent line, while slatted ducts add width to the bumper and diamond-mesh inserts fill the sculpted air intakes.
The Type is powered by a 2-litre K-Series engine, producing 228kW and 400Nm of torque.
Inside, the Type R has comfortable sports seats and all the trimmings motorists love. While some critics say the Type R is too track-oriented to be a comfortable everyday road car, others say it is the most capable Type R ever, and great value at $59,900 plus ORCs.
Either way the Type R provides another option for those looking for an aggressive-looking, sporty street car that handles superbly whether being driven not-so-sedately on the road or outright aggressively on the track.
Read our full Honda Civic Type R road test.
Choices for New Zealand buyers have never been greater and the market has never been so competitive – and you don't need a big budget any more to get a great, safe, brand new vehicle.
This made it a tough choice to narrow down the finalists and caused hours of robust debate among the Driven Car of the Year judges.
This year Driven decided to reflect our readers' interests in our Car of the Year categories more. For the first time we have:
- Little Beauties (covering light/compact cars, and small SUVS)
- Family Chariots (medium/large cars, medium/large SUVs),
- Only For the Rich (premium cars, luxury SUVs)
- Lotto Winner's Choice (performance vehicles);
- Tradies' Delight (utes/vans) – winner: Renault Master range
- Green Power (hybrids and EVs)
- Motorbike of the Year – winner: BMW G 310 R