Hi all, I had the pleasure of getting my accord serviced on Saturday and had around 1.5 hours to kill in the dealership. Having owned the previous Type-R, I was very pleased to see that they had the new one, in red in the showroom. Having witnessed the very drawn out build up of this model release, I was expecting greatness, however from the press photos I have to say I was a little lukewarm, it just seemed a little mismatched. A £30k hatchback that looks to appeal to a youth market, now to me, it looks like a very niche market. The looks appeal to a 22 year old, but not many of them will be able to afford, insure or run the thing, so maybe they are trying to attract the 30 somethings? Well that's me and I would be a little embarrassed to drive it looking like it does, if I wanted a hot hatch I would be looking at Audi's S3 or RS3. But I would quickly work out that if I want a performance car for £30k, it wouldn't be a hatch and I'd be tempted by a second hand rs3, rs4, M3, C63 or if I wanted Jap reliability, id look at an ISF and £10k in the bank for the extra fuel! Like I say, I believe the product/price ratio is a little mismatched, to me the marketers looked to have created a car that has no real market appeal for any real sizable market area. That said, there is always a niche ready to buy anything, but is that niche large enough? OK, enough of my preconception. down to the in-the-flesh experience. Initially, from the front, the car is a stunner, especially in the red, its sharp and purposeful. Go round the sides and the black wheels look aftermarket to me (like the black wheels that come with the c63) and the gold calipers are a bit naff. Also noticeable is the plastic fake vent behind the front wheels, this looks a bit stuck on and is obviously non-functional. The rear is dominated by 4 round exhaust pipes and that huge spoiler, its at this point where all possibility of me wanting to own one have gone. It just looks like a toy, no subtlety in the design execution at all. If I saw one without knowing of its release, I would assume its a 1.4 converted "Max Power" effort by a college kid living with his parents. Or maybe I'm just getting too old LOL. But then I say to myself, well, its a fast car and fast cars should look racy, and it does, on the whole. I step inside... I say step, more like climb! I love a bolstered seat, but these are taking the p!55! I've never sat in a car with such firm, narrow and vertical base bolsters! I'm not a small man, but I fitted in my old Type-R perfectly and the seats were comfortable and supportive (relatively comfortable as the Accord is in another league). These are just bad seats and whilst they will keep you in place on a track day, climbing over the sides will become tiring and very annoying after a short while owning it. They are also very red - I don't wear a suit to work, but if I did, I can't imagine how awkward I would look driving this! The rest of the interior is fairly standard, there was a metal plate with a unique number (like all Rs) and a red stripe to tell you where the center of the wheel is... But the rest is normal Civic stuff and this left me wanting more, my previous R's interior was exciting, different and a real feature of the car, sadly the new car is just a little too normal. I can't comment on the drive, but after seeing it on track at the Goodwood festival of speed this year I can say, its not a nice sound when pushing on, gone is the v-tec howl - a sad thing. I'm sure the thing is Honda through and through and the way it goes will undoubtedly impress, I'm just hoping that the hardcore drivers out there will be rewarded with a decent driving machine to ensure it has a hold on at least one market, after all that's what "R" is all about to a lot of the followers. I suppose this review is based on my very initial thoughts and I appreciate some cars grow on you as you own them, (like my old Fabia Vrs diesel did) But I can't help but feel a bit naff'd off that Honda doesn't produce a car that really appeals to me, they are all compromises. So, here is my Xmas wish to Honda UK: Seats 5 in comfort Has a decent engine note looks sporty but classy Has enough room for a baby and all the stuff needed 0-60 in around 5 seconds Saloon or Estate Essentially an Audi S4 equivalent but made by the best engineers in the business, how hard can it be Honda? Its really sad that the only performance car that Honda do is the new Type-R. Honda are ingrained with racing heritage, its a real shame that they don't offer more than one "racing inspired" road car. Thanks for reading, I expect there will be a few counter-reviews from people who really like it and that's great, each to their own.