Honda kept the US market waiting for the Civic Type R, but having blessed American drivers with the hot-hatch their Euro counterparts have been enjoying, it can’t quite leave it alone. For the 2020 model year the 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 is the same, as is the 6-speed manual. That’s no bad thing: Honda’s stick-shift is worth all the superlatives lobbed its way, and more.
The front wheels handle all 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, with a newly-tweaked adaptive damping system that polls the road 10x more frequently than before. It makes for a surprisingly compliant ride, regardless of whether you’re in the Comfort, Sport, or R+ drive modes. Also new for 2020 are upgraded front brakes and better engine cooling.
Inside, it’s familiar Civic fare, namely cleanly designed and well constructed, even if the 7-inch infotainment system feels a little tired. You won’t mind, though, because at under $38k out the door the 2020 Civic Type R is a bonafide bargain for keen drivers.