The Honda Civic Type R brings it.  Bold, beautiful, race-inspired styling inside and out. And the Type R delivers performance every bit to match its aggressive good looks. 

Honda even managed to pack all that into a vehicle that can still be used as a daily driver! On top of all that, the 2018 Honda Civic Type R is an incredible value.

iDriveSoCal’s, Bernadette Sanicola (who we learned can’t drive a stick shift!), took a special test drive with Rock Honda’s David Latif – hear the details in this iDSC Podcast. 

And, BTW, the special test drive was due to the fact that David had to drive Bernadette because she can’t drive stick!  Hahaha – did we mention that Bernadette can’t drive stick shift?!!?!

Our Pit Reporter for world-class races like the American Le Mans, NASCAR and others can’t drive a manual transmission.  Oh… that’s good stuff!

***Transcription***

Recorded May 10, 2018, at Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA

2018 Honda Type R

Bernadette Sanicola: Well, I love the exterior. I think it’s sexy. Having the air intakes on the side and the air breathers inside. You can definitely feel the difference when you go into corners.

The interior, the seats were amazing. They are the true bucket race seats, and the bolsters on the side just have you. So I loved the digital displays too. Inside the Type R, I think it’s cool because you can customize them. It gives you like an F1 feel

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. I’m Tom Smith and with me today for a little unusual vehicle review is Bernie Sports, Bernadette Sanicola.

Black 2018 Honda Civic Type R Passenger-side Front-view

Tom Smith: Bernadette, thank you so much for joining us. This is our outing number three.

Bernadette Sanicola: Right, right. It is, I’m glad to be here and stepped it up a little for you.

Tom Smith: Alright, yeah, and we’re gonna hear all about it. And I say Bernie Sports because if you want to follow Bernadette on … Instagram is your primary social platform, right?

“…it’s so hot, there’s so few of them, it’s such tremendous value that if you’re a buyer… you don’t get to test drive.”

Bernadette Sanicola: All of them.

Tom Smith: It’s @BernieSports, you can tell I’m really big on social media. @BernieSports.com, no that’s not how you do it.

Bernadette Sanicola: Just @, yeah.

Tom Smith: I get it. So @BernieSports you can follow her, she’s all over social media. That being said, Bernadette went out to the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California to see our good friends at Rock Honda, connected with the general manager out there, our good friend David Latif, and the assignment was to drive a crossover.

Bernadette Sanicola: Oops.

Civic Type R – High Demand & Limited Supply

Tom Smith: But jokingly on the side, Bernadette knew that I drove a Civic Si, which is the enthusiast’s version of the Civic, but then in the Civic family they have, as of this year, the new bad bad bad to the bone boy. The Honda Civic Type R.

Bernadette Sanicola: Mm-hmm.

Tom Smith: So Bernadette kind of threw down a little bit of a challenge somehow. I don’t know in passing, she’s like, “I’m gonna get David to let me drive the Type R.” I’m like, “yeah, right. That’s gonna happen.”

‘Cause the thing is with that car is that it’s so hot there’s so few of them, it’s such tremendous value that if you’re a buyer for the vehicle you don’t get to test drive.

Interior 2018 Honda Civic Type R iDSC's Bernadette Sanicola & Rock Honda's David Latif

Bernadette Sanicola: Right.

Tom Smith: But, Bernadette, somehow worked her magic and got David to… well, I’ll let you tell the story.

Bernadette Sanicola: Well, I mean, it’s not like I took it for half a day, it was on the showroom floor, but I think Tom, I wore the right shoes.

Tom Smith: Wore the right shoes.

“…the car was incredible. The speed was amazing. The look of the car was very cool.”

Bernadette Sanicola: So my red stilettos matched the black and red interior and exterior of the Civic Type R that was on the showroom. So I told David that, I just said, “Hey this car works with me, let’s just take this one.” I didn’t think he was going to do it. He’s like, “I thought you were driving…” I’m like, “No, no, Tom said I could… supposed to…

Tom Smith: Yeah. Put it on Tom. It’s Tom… yeah, Tom said.

Bernadette Sanicola: Tom challenged me. Tom challenged me David, and I you know what…

Type R Stick Shift

Tom Smith: And in the back of my… David’s mind he’s like, “I’m gonna kill Tom.” He’s like, “Who’s he saying that he can drive what? No. That’s not how it works.”

Bernadette Sanicola: After two hybrids and the whole thing I was like you know what, I gotta spice it up a little bit. This is, so… I got back in my comfort zone, and he pulled it off the showroom floor.

Interior Driving picture of Rock Honda's David Latif & iDSC's Bernadette Sanicola

I promised him a normal test drive. In which, I let him do the driving, because Honda Type Rs only come in a manual gearbox, and I  wasn’t about to, you know mess up an engine.

Tom Smith: Okay, so I gotta give Bernadette a little bit of…

Bernadette Sanicola: Ugh here, I know.

Tom Smith: Yeah, a little bit. A little bit, because… she’s a pit reporter for American Le Mans and whatever NASCAR…

Bernadette Sanicola: Right.

Tom Smith: -and she’s done all this racing reporting, and always talks about driving cars hard and driving them fast, and looking through turns.

Bernadette Sanicola: I can do it.

“…the way the car’s set up with the air breathers, the way it’s set up with the wheels. It truly is a more efficient car than it was in the past.”

Tom Smith: “Tom can you drive? Can you really drive?” And then come to find out-

Bernadette Sanicola: I can do it. Just not well.

Tom Smith: …that she can’t drive stick!

Bernadette Sanicola: I can too, I just can’t do it well enough to push the car to where I wanted it to be.  I can drive stick, I just not as well as I wanted to, so David drove…

Tom Smith: But let’s just pick it up from there. We’ll just pick it up from Bernadette can’t drive stick!

So David Latif the General Manager for Rock Honda, and our good friend, drove the car for the test drive. Let’s pick it up from there.

Honda Civic Type R Value

Bernadette Sanicola: Okay, which anybody knows, that if you really want to see what a car’s made of, you get the guy that knows the dealership the best, that has all the privileges in the world to drive it as hard into that corner as I wanted it to be, so…

Tom Smith: Okay. Okay.

Bernadette Sanicola: I picked the guy that could show off the car. And you know women out there who are listening…

Tom Smith: I think this is some convenient positioning.

Bernadette Sanicola: …probably know that if you have the right matching shoes and outfit for the car, he might drive it a little faster a little harder. So you know it’s a guy… people want to show off their stuff. And the car was incredible. The speed was amazing. The look of the car was very cool.

Tom Smith: It’s a beautiful car. We were talking, actually, Clinton and I did a podcast recently. He did the Civic Sedan.

And when he did that one we were realizing, man the Civic really has this whole huge robust family, and the Type R, at the top of the [Civic] sports totem pole there, the car is gorgeous. The value of the car is insane. What you get…

Black 2018 Honda Civic Type R Wheels & Calipers

Bernadette Sanicola: It’s incredible.

Tom Smith: …is ridiculous.

Bernadette Sanicola: I really kept telling them, “you should just I mean I can’t believe you can pay that and get that car.” I mean $34,000 is just… for that type of race sports car, I mean it’s … the details that went into it.

Tom Smith: Right.

Civic Type R Versatility 

Bernadette Sanicola: So a lot of people are going to judge this one with the idea of the enthusiasts want it to be the same because it was such a cool car. But it’s not only just as good, but I think they’d be impressed with saying it’s better.

The reconfigurations they’ve done, the idea of the way the car’s set up with the air breathers, the way it’s set up with the wheels. It truly is a more efficient car than it was in the past.

Tom Smith: Mm-hmm.

“It’s got enough intake and air coming through it that it can be aggressive when it wants to and be just cruising other times.”

Bernadette Sanicola: So you actually can drive this thing daily.

Tom Smith: And, that’s something I asked you off mic. Is it too much to be a daily driver? But your answer to that is…

Bernadette Sanicola: No, absolutely not.

Tom Smith: Is that because it has multiple modes? Does it have like normal mode and then race mode? What are the modes?

Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah. It’s like any type of performance car, it’s got your basic comfort driving mode. It has your Sport mode, which is called the plus R mode, which is where it can get a more aggressive… it gets the suspension firmer, and exhaust a little louder.

Tom Smith: Right.

Black 2018 Honda Civic Type R Passenger-side Profile

Bernadette Sanicola: But overall, I mean just in your comfort driving mode, the car, the way it sits, it’s a little higher a little wider, but it’s not low to the ground to where you need to worry about driving this thing every day.

Tom Smith: Mm-hmm.

Bernadette Sanicola: And it’s lightweight. It’s got enough intake and air coming through it that it can be aggressive when it wants to and be just cruising other times.

Tom Smith: Mm-hmm.

Honda Civic Type R Performance Technology

Bernadette Sanicola: That was the most impressive part. When we rolled off of the dealership I was just like, “This car is fine.” You don’t have to worry about driveways. It’s not too low.

The splitters in the front are all functional, so the car… when you take a corner it’s not so much using all that power and torque. It’s a front wheel drive car.

Tom Smith: Mm-hmm.

Bernadette Sanicola: Which is insane.

Tom Smith: Mm-hmm.

Bernadette Sanicola: Which also makes it more efficient.

“…it gives you like an F1 feel, so kind of tells you went to shift if you want it to.”

Tom Smith: Right.

Bernadette Sanicola: So it’s not using just straight up torque and horsepower, it’s kind of smart and different.

It’s got that VTEC which is an exhaust system that filters more air through the car, allows the car to breath more. It’s more air in and out, so it’s impressive.

Bernadette Sanicola: It has three exhaust pipes that have enough air going in and out I think it’s just… it breathes nicely.

Tom Smith: The car is also so hot. It is an extraordinarily affordable car. It’s ridiculously priced for what you get. But with that in mind, these cars are so hot.

There’s so few of them. When I say hot I mean it’s in such high demand… and Honda’s only making so many of them that there is…  So they’re typically going for more than sticker because they’re in such high demand. But even at more than sticker, this car is an insane value for what it is.

Bernadette Sanicola: Yeah.

Tom Smith: And just hats off to Honda for really bringing it, I think.

Bernadette Sanicola: It’s incredible, I think everybody-

Tom Smith: Okay, so we have sung the car praises. The outsides gorgeous, the inside’s very sporty…

And It’s Still Practical!

Bernadette Sanicola: And spacious, you could fit the stroller in the back, the trunk. Plenty of cargo space Tom.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Bernadette Sanicola: No, but it actually is a very big, and the seats fold down. Which is nice.

It’s only a four-seater, but the seats fold down and there’s lots of space. I mean it’s your hatchback, but they didn’t compromise really anywhere which was kind of cool to see.

2018 Honda Civic Type R Top-3
1. Exterior – true performance functionality.
2. Interior – race-inspired design.
3. Technology – adjustable display.

Tom Smith: So it’s super functional as well. And then the technology and innovation in the car, anything that we missed on that?

Bernadette Sanicola:  It’s got 360 horsepower Tom and it’s 295 lb-ft of torque.

Tom Smith: Okay, so I know it’s gonna be hard, but what are your top three things on this?

Bernadette Sanicola: Top three things.

Tom Smith: Top three things.

Bernadette Sanicola: Well, I love the exterior. I think it’s sexy.

Having everything functional, having the air intakes on the side and the air breathers inside which literally you can definitely feel the difference when you go into corners.

I think the interior, the seats were amazing. Honestly, you don’t get thrown around. They are the true bucket race seats, and the bolsters on the side just have you, so you never get tossed all over the place and…

Tom Smith: That’s a good feeling isn’t it?

Bernadette Sanicola: It’s lovely.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Bernadette Sanicola: So I loved the digital displays too. I think you can… inside the Type R, I think it’s cool ’cause you can customize them where you can see like your throttle position or your boost levels.

That was really neat, so it gives you like an F1 feel, so kind of tells you went to shift if you want it to.

Type R Love at First Drive

Tom Smith: Yep.

Bernadette Sanicola: And other than that… I loved it. I thought it kept it traditional but sleek and sexy, and it was a blast.

Tom Smith: Bernadette Sanicola thank you so much for joining us for another vehicle review.

Black 2018 Honda Civic Type R Passenger-side Rear-view

That was the 2018 Honda Civic Type R from our good friends at Rock Honda. Bernadette connected with the general manager our buddy David Latif out there, so thank you guys as always.

Bernadette Sanicola: Thank you.

Tom Smith: And until next time for iDriveSoCal I’m Tom Smith, thank you for listening.