2020 Honda Civic Type R: Still the Wild Child of the Family

Competes with: Volkswagen Golf R, Hyundai Veloster N, Subaru WRX STI

Looks like: The Honda Civic hatchback after a trip to the SEMA Show

Powertrain: A 306-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: First quarter

Honda has spent the last two years rolling out light updates to most versions of its popular Civic line, but the Type R has been left out — until now. Making its U.S. debut today at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R gets a light refresh that includes performance upgrades and more standard safety features.

Related: 2019-2020 Honda Civic: Everything You Need to Know


Exterior styling changes are minor. The 2020 Civic Type R has a larger front grille opening for better engine cooling, and there are new strakes above the foglights. A new exclusive color, Boost Blue, is also available.


Changes to the cabin are similarly minor. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara simulated suede and the shifter has shorter throws and a new shift knob. There’s also a new Active Sound Control system that’s tied to the car’s three drive modes.

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Under the Hood

On the performance front, the 2020 Civic Type R gets new two-piece brake rotors and brake pads designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking. Other updates include revised shocks, stiffer rear bushings and updates to the front suspension designed to improve steering feel.

The 2020 Civic Type R’s powertrain carries over: The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is good for 306 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, and a limited-slip differential is included.


In safety, the news for 2020 is big. The Type R is finally getting the Honda Sensing safety system standard, bringing it in line with the rest of the Civic lineup. The suite of safety and driver-assistance features includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-centering steering at higher speeds and adaptive cruise control.

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