Although both reviews we've read (links are at the bottom of the post) say that the new vehicle has made marginal improvements over its forbears, both Car and AutoCar seem to be less than impressed.
Power output has been increased by exactly one pony, but even with the revised VTEC engagement point and smoothed-out power band, the added heft took the thrill out of a previously thrilling vehicle. Additionally, the steering input was much more responsive when compared to the outgoing model, yet Honda decided to nix the Civic's independent rear suspension in favor of a torsion beam rear-end. One step forward, one step back.
Traditionally, Honda's R-badged offerings were made for a select group of enthusiasts, willing to sacrifice some amenities (A/C, sound deadening material, etc.) for a potent driving experience. Unfortunately, that ethos seems to be lost on this newest Type-R and, for the first time, we're wary of the future of Honda's performance division.