Any car can go out on a racetrack. Automotive journalism is famous for subjecting pickup trucks and minivans to the same performance testing that they’d conduct on a sports car. But few cars are optimized for the track — they can do it, sure, but they’re happier on a normal street. At the same time, when a car is designed for racetrack superiority, it often suffers from a bumpy, noisy ride and a cramped cabin when you just need to pick up some groceries, get to work, or even drive to and from the track.
The 2020 Honda Civic Type R, meanwhile, excels in both environments. It retains most of the comfort and practicality of a standard Honda Civic hatchback, but it dials in monster performance — 306 horsepower and a sport suspension. And this year brings further suspension upgrades, richer interior materials, more driver-assistance features, and slight styling tweaks. Is that worth the $36,995 price of admission? Let’s discuss the newly updated Civic Type R’s pros and cons to find out.