Call Sign: “Beetle”, “Panther”
Having landed my first job out of university it was only a few months before I upgraded from my Ford Fiesta to a car which I’d wanted to own since 16 years of age – a 3 door, black metallic paint, air conditioned, 2005 (55 plate) edition, Honda Civic 2.0 i-VTEC Type-R (yes, that required the full description to be stated)…
I shopped around for a long time to find a good version of the Type-R. I wanted a 3 door, air conditoning and also wanted the 55 plate 2005 EP3 model to ensure I got the red carpets and other features as it was the last model built before Honda upgraded the look and feel of the car to the FN2:
In the end I went all the way to the small town of Peebles in Scotland to get the car as nearly every version down in the South of England was either accident damaged or looked to be knackered! These cars were designed for speed but clearly some drivers had done nothing but hit the red line on them making them pretty worn out.
Living with the Type-R
The performance of this car was incredible handling extremely well in both a straight line and around corners. Throwing the car into bends, it stuck hard onto the road without any body roll due to the stiffened suspension.
With its 197 BHP it achieved exceptional accelleration (0-60 in 6.4s) along with a top speed of 146 mph possible if placed on a track. All of that without a turbo, really paying tribute to the advanced engineering by the team at Honda with the widely praised VTEC engine. From 6000 rpm the engine would really come to life with no question of how much power Honda had packed under the bonnet. In my Civic the peak power was achieved at around 7800 rpm which incidentally coincided with seeing the petrol needle falling into the red.
All of this performance aside however, the car cost me a fortune. I only had her for just over a year but during that time she absolutely drained my bank balance including:
- 3 performance tyres at a cost of £120 per piece
- c.25 mpg / 30 mile commute costing £250 per month in petrol
- Near top insurance band costing me £800+ per year
- Road tax band K costing £280 per year
Although the cost wasn’t unexpected, it was way too much money for me to keep up with as someone still in their first job out of university. There’s certainly a big difference between owning a car you really want and then not having much money left over to actually live your life!
What car came next?
As my priorities changed, I looked to buy a house with my girlfriend and needed some cash for the deposit. Needless to say, very reluctantly, the Civic had to go, part exchanged for a wad of house deposit cash and the cheapest, semi-decent car I could get my hands on, a Seat Leon.
Read about my experience of owning my third car, a Seat Leon 1.6 Sport here.