How hot is too hot?
When you fire up the Type R the 2.0-litre turbocharged VTEC engine defaults to Sport mode. For many people used to the huge range of cars for which Sport is the ultimate mode, this might seem a bit all-in. But itâ€™s a sign of what the hottest of hot hatches offers that in the Type R it is simply the middle choice.
Should you feel up to it, there is the screaming, full-attack +R mode. You might not want to dial that in when taking the family shopping or picking up your grandparents.
The Sport stage does a lot. It firms up steering and active dampers while sharpening the throttle response, among the more obvious changes. The ride quality is still very acceptable and, in our eyes, this is the best compromise for what passes for normal driving in this car.
You can indeed switch to Comfort, but that lightens the steering to a degree that seems a bit artificial and wayward. Maybe thatâ€™s the thing for a really long journey where you just want to get the miles in, but if youâ€™re a motorway warrior this probably isnâ€™t the car for you.
Apart from anything else, patrol cars are not exactly going to miss the splitter, skirts, slats and extravagant rear wing. Theyâ€™re going to get target lock on you. Honda insists that all that swoopy bodywork is essential to managing the airflow and generating enough downforce to allow this car to be front-wheel drive. Theyâ€™re probably right.
With our optional pearlescent black paint (a Â£575 decision) it does make the car look a little more discreet, but thatâ€™s a relative term. In the hideous weather of late, itâ€™s also shown up all the snow, slush, salt and yuck that have been covering our roads. Weâ€™re hoping for sunshine so we wonâ€™t have to keep cleaning it quite so often. Weâ€™ll let you know if that welcome condition arises.