When you want to check out how your potential new car is going to perform, it helps to see what the experts thought. Of course, there’s a bit of a problem with the average test-drive set-up – you can’t really learn how a vehicle is to own when you’re only going to drive it for a couple of hours. All those little niggles or positive surprises that come with the first few months of ownership are totally lost.

The team over at Autocar seem to be aware of this fact. Why else would they treat the Honda Civic Type R to a long-term review? We’ve been keeping up with their findings, so here are all the pros and cons you need to hear about.

Firstly, Autocar critics praised the Honda Civic Type R’s interior. The two-tier storage area found in the centre console hits the spot, and the wireless charging mat available in higher-spec trims proved immensely popular. Even if you don’t get wireless charging, topping up your smartphone battery is easy thanks to the lower cubby’s USB port, and there’s a convenient pass-through to eliminate the need for trailing wires.

Everything from the shape of the front bumper to the skirts are designed to accent the Honda Civic’s already ultra-modern styling while improving performance, and performance certainly seems to be a standout attraction. As the Autocar critic themselves admitted: “I don’t spend a lot of time pondering aerodynamic minutiae when I’m driving the Type R – there’s too much fun to be had.”

Sport mode was particularly relished – it firms up your active dampers, adds a little extra weight to your power steering, and noticeably sharpens throttle response. Comfort mode was called “unpleasantly artificial”, but we’d expect Type R shoppers to be more focused on Sport mode.

As for day-to-day driving, the Civic Type R seems to have scored surprisingly high marks. It isn’t often you find a smaller performance-focused vehicle able to function as your everyday A-to-B machine, but the Honda walks that line with ease. There’s plenty of room for you and your passengers to spread out and relax, plus up to 420 litres of boot space. Need a whole lot more? It’s as easy as folding down the Type R’s handy 60/40 split rear seat.