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2018 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R LONG-TERM ARRIVAL: THE BEST HOT HATCH IN DECADES.

We fell in "enthusiast" love with the Civic Type R in the first moments we drove it in Montreal last year. During it's first test, features editor Christian Seabaugh, who is never at a loss for words, said, "Thinking of clever ways to describe cars pays my bills, so rarely does a car leave me struggling to find words to describe it—yet that's the situation I found myself in after driving the Honda Civic Type R. I settled for three: 'Holy s---. Wow. '" A short time later, the Civic Type R earned Finalist status in our rigorous and comprehensive 2018 Car of the Year contest where our international bureau chief, Angus MacKenzie, wrote, "This is the most impressive new Honda I've driven since the original NSX." Riding that impressive endorsement, we then pitted the Type R against its closest performance analogues: special edition versions of both the Ford Focus RS and Subaru WRX STI Type RA plus a VW Golf R. Again, the Civic Type R shined brightly, and handily—and unanimously—won that comparison test. With all of those exuberant endorsements, clearly we had to have our own Type R—for a year. Would living with the all-conquering Civic from Swindon, England, where it is built, tarnish its legitimate performance credentials?

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