Published on January 9th, 2024 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda Civic Type R FL5 Sugar Free Malaysian Test Drive
Can this Type R FL5 remain at the top of its segment?
The Honda Civic Type R is a highly anticipated arrival in the performance segment, especially after Honda confirmed that it will feature an upgraded 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four with more horsepower and more torque.
Now, when the previous Type R was launched, the FK8, its rivals in Malaysia started with the Volkswagen Golf R which arrived in 2018 at a price of RM296,000, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG 45 which was priced at RM459,888, the limited edition Hyundai i30 N at RM298,000 and not forgetting the Renault Megane RS.
So, you can see that all rival cars have also risen in price and this keeps the used FK8 prices reasonably high.
If you are a ‘Type R’ fan or just a Honda fan, then there is very little we can add right here beyond the numerous awards and many online & print reviews that have already been published on this FL5 Civic Type R.
This FL5 Type R is a collection of small improvements. The platform of this FL5 generation car is similar to the outgoing FK8. The engine has slightly more horsepower and torque. The flywheel is 18 percent lighter and the chassis is 15 percent stiffer. By the numbers, it is marginally better.
The 1996cc turbocharged engine has been tuned up slightly for an output of 315 horsepower. The power and torque curves are nearly identical to the previous Type R up until about 2,600 rpm where it jumps up by 9 horsepower and 20 Nm of torque thanks to a redesigned turbocharger and easier-breathing intake design.
For even greater road-hugging performance and high-quality dynamics, this latest Type R looks wider and sits on new 19-inch wheels.
Ignite the engine and there is only a mild rumble to be heard. Slick the gear into 1st (yes this is a manual driven car) and take off. Yes, take off! As there is a fast constant spool of power that generates right from idle as long as you can hold on to the steering and not miss a gear change as the engine works fast go deliver at every gearchange.
The tachometer on full throttle runs across the range with so much ease it feels like a high revving motorcycle engine. The engine responds with wave of torque returning acceleration power that can be best described as a roller coaster ride.
It is easily controlled as long as you learn to listen to the engine note that informs you as it works hard. A gearshift change indicator sits in the instrument panel to provide you with the best possible fuel consumption, but this is rarely used as you want to keep the shifts at boiling point to enjoy the high torque for your childish needs. Yes, you can easily lose some sensibility when behind the wheel of this or any Type R.
The closest competitor to this latest Type R is the Mercedes AMG, but the real target is the VW Golf R with its best price point. The Yaris GR is small and the BMW M135 is not as fast.
In case you were wondering, the fit and finish in the cabin reminds us that Honda engineers never like to hear customers complain after years of driving this Type R ‘hard’. Yes, this cabin is so well put together that you we can easily see owners (hopefully me some day) having a squeak and rattle free drive even after the warranty has ended and after over a 100,000 kilometers of badly maintained roads in Klang Valley.
The front bucket seats are simply the best in the business with their torso hugging ability whilst being able to provide really good rear end comfort for the driver over long journeys.
Luggage space is more than enough (just like in the family Civic) and gets bigger with the rear seatbacks folded. There is space to send family members to the airport and also when you want to take a driving holiday for more than a week, which means large suitcases will fit in nicely.
All that is left is to check your bank balance and your ability to drive a fast manual car.
Honda Civic Type R FL5 Specifications
Engine: 2.0-litre 16V DOHC VTEC Turbo
Power: 319PS @ 6,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm @ 2,600 – 4,000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Manual
Top Speed: 272km/h
Selling Price: RM399,900