Can sports cars be family cars?

2018 Honda Civic TypeR

If you’re single, then you get to buy a car completely based on your own priorities. If you’ve got a family, then you’ll need to consider how your dream car meets the needs of your family, as well as you. 

The biggest growth area in the Australian car market is SUVs, unsurprising when you need to accommodate children, car seats and additional luggage. This begs the question, if you’d prefer a car with more performance, like Honda’s Civic TypeR, can you fit your family in it? 

Rear-facing car seat

Last weekend the, the sun was out and it was the perfect day for a drive. The rear seats feature ISOfix mounts on both sides which means clipping in the baby seat was a breeze. Given our daughter is 5 months old, she’s still rear facing which does take up more room than front facing, so this was the most severe test available.

Thankfully it fit, with enough leg room for my wife in the passenger’s seat. Being taller, I would have struggled to swap with her, but when together, I often do more of the driving. Worst case, while we only have one child, I could sit in the back with bub.

Happy baby

In the boot, we needed to transport the stroller, ready for when we reached our destination. The TypeR’s boot is spacious for a car this size and we successfully fit our stroller in, along with additional bags, rugs etc. There’s even enough room for shopping should you call by the shops on your way home. 

If we were heading away on a week-long holiday requiring a couple of large suitcases, we may be having a different discussion. For this challenge, you may need to turn to the second car in your garage, which is likely to be an SUV. 

Boot with room to spare

To achieve this space in the boot, Honda have skipped on a spare tyre, in its place you’ll find some tyre repair goo and an air compressor, hopefully something you’ll never need to use. 

If you’re transporting kids when they’re older, the backs of the front buckets are carbon fibre, so you needed worry about those feet kicking the back of the chair and wrecking it. 

So with the family successfully inside, it’s time to talk about the driving experience. While the car wants to be driven hard, you’ll want to tone down your driving while the family’s on-board and turn it up when they’re not. Thankfully the TypeR’s drive modes help out here. 

Each time you get into the car, it starts in Sports mode, when you want the best performance, you put it in +R mode and when you’re playing taxi to the family, then you’ll notch it down to Comfort mode. In this mode, steering, suspension and acceleration are all more relaxed, making it a much more comfortable ride for your precious cargo. 

With the combination of storage and drive modes, the TypeR is capable of being the family transporter and the performance car of your dreams. If you’re struggling to get it past your better half, then suggest they read this post, from someone’s who’s lived with the car and made it work for a daily driver and weekend transporter. 

Another point is fuel efficiency, important to the discussion if you plan on doing lots of kms on top of a daily commute. As you can imagine with a turbocharged 2.0L engine and 6 speed gearbox, the TypeR enables loads of fun with the right foot.

If you’ve got a heavy food, you’ll burn through as much as 11.2L/100km, while on highway driving you can be down as low as 7.0L/100km. Regular combined use will land somewhere in between. At the end of the day, you’re really in control of how much fuel you burn through, so the economics of owning this car are really down to your ability to drive like your grandma.

With a big bold body kit on, driving the Civic TypeR does make you nervous when parking and driving around Australia’s lovely varied landscape. The car does feature multiple sensors to help guide you, but when it comes to ride height, the car is actually a little deceptive.

It looks low, really low and initially I was worried about scraping the lower carbon lip of the Honda on driveways, but after driving it for a while, it’s actually not a problem at all. Even this, the worst of parking stops fits under the front bar. 

So with all things considered, I think the TypeR is viable as a fun daily driver for you, as long as you can get your spouse over the line, it can definitely perform double duty as a comfortable, efficient family transporter in a calm, safe manner when required. 

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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