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This 2004 Honda Civic Type R is a remarkable example of a renowned hot hatch, presented in superb condition and with very low mileage. Under the bonnet is the high-revving 2.0-litre inline-four VTEC engine, which generates 197bhp at 7,400rpm, and drives the front wheels via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. The odometer shows just 12,696 miles from new.

Based on the seventh-generation Civic, the EP3 was the first Type R to be officially offered for sale by Honda in the UK, and was assembled at its Swindon facility. This example is a later version of the EP3, which benefits from numerous improvements introduced in 2003. It was first registered on 26 May 2004, and its log book records two previous keepers. It is now being offered for sale by its current owner, who has enjoyed some 300 miles behind the wheel during their ownership.

The car’s bodywork presents very well, with flush shut lines and tight panel gaps, and absolutely no signs of accident damage. The car is also HPI clear. The Satin Silver paint is in excellent condition, with only some minor superficial scratches on the roof, presenting with a smooth and even finish. This Civic Type R still rides on its original 17-inch alloy wheels, which are in great shape having previously been refurbished in a slightly darker paint hue.

Inside, signature Type R black and red fabric upholstery covers the front sport seats and door card inlays, and is all in very smart condition, with little sign of any wear. The rear seats have a slightly more reserved colour scheme, but are in equally good order. All of the interior plastics also present well, with the common high-wear areas still looking superb thanks to the low mileage. The cabin remains entirely original and unmodified, right down to the factory-fitted radio and CD player, and the seller notes that all of the buttons, switches and other electrical items work as they should.

Its last scheduled maintenance was carried out in February 2020 at 12,502 miles by Wimbledon Park Honda, which the seller states was a major service. Prior to this, the last record of a maintenance visit was August 2009 at 5,454 miles by Chiswick Honda. Within the last year, new brake pads have also been fitted.

While the service history is not annual, the MOT history provides an outstanding record of the mileage from new. This Civic Type R’s last annual MOT test was on 1 February 2020 at 12,502 miles, where it received a first-time pass with no advisories whatsoever. Its wheels have recently been fitted with a fresh set of budget tyres.

Accompanying the car are its original handbook, service history documents, locking wheel nut, spare wheel and jack kit, as well as its past MOT certificates – which are also fully documented online – and the radio code card.

Writing about the Civic Type R at its launch, Autocar magazine heaped praise upon the VTEC engine, calling it “one of the most exhilarating and satisfying drivetrains of any car currently on sale, irrespective of price,” adding, “With due allowance for size and power, its 197bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder VTEC engine is right up there with the power units of the Ferrari 360M, Porsche 911 GT3 and BMW M3 CSL”.

This Honda Civic Type R is a very impressive example of a celebrated Japanese hot hatch, boasting one of the most rewarding engine and gearbox pairings ever fitted to an ‘everyman’ performance car. To find an EP3 with such low mileage and in such good condition is becoming increasingly difficult, especially one that has remained free from questionable powertrain or interior modifications. Original and unmodified, this Civic Type R would make a great addition to any collection of modern classics – though of course it deserves to be taken out and enjoyed as often as possible.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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