Car Talk - Non S2000 General Motoring and Non S2000 Car Talk

FK2 CTR impressions after a few months

 
Old 04-29-2018, 03:12 PM
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Default FK2 CTR impressions after a few months

Picked up a '16 FK2 CTR in Jan with only 1500 miles.

I tested one in 2015 and thought it'd make a decent daily. I chose a black car, a pain to keep clean especially with dirt traps everywhere in the form of tacky-looking grilles, but my choice was on the basis of the low mileage; I've fallen foul before on buying a year old but with enough miles for the clutch to be poor and had to tolerate it for the next 70k miles. I disregarded the FK8 as there'll be plenty of opportunity to pick one of those up later, and at least the FK2 is rarer. I have looked over the FK8 in the flesh, and it looks much better from the side, it's mainly the front and rear views that are mildly offensive.

After a few months, I've made the following conclusions that I thought might be useful to others considering the same:

The Good:
  • Great gearshift (still doesn't beat the S2000's though) and getting better with mileage
  • Very entertaining on-limit chassis dynamics, and this is probably what surprised me most about the car. I think the reported understeer issues can be drove around very easily, you have to drive it aggressively and use the steering thoughtfully. I've also heard the suspension geometry is easy to tweak on this car, which I may look into later if I get it on track. You can really chuck this thing around with some confidence, the problem is finding somewhere to do that because ultimately this car does live in the high-speed bends.
  • Huge boot
  • Great seats, very comfortable. It lacks lumbar support which I prefer as I'd rather my back support itself, but others may not like this. I've never experienced seats that recline to almost horizontal as these do, that will come in handy if you need to grab a short sleep such as when driving abroad
  • Great steering wheel, though red leather accents can easily be stained if not careful
  • The engine has some good characteristics, sometimes sounds good, and has some nice dump-valve sounds, especially in +R-mode
  • High-speed cornering ability is incredible, the diff is very helpful here and you can feel it working here
  • Despite being low-slung, has good ground clearance and tolerant of speed bumps etc.
  • Fairly low running costs, only if you use a feather-light throttle, however
  • Pedals identical (I think?) to the S2000, I still have both and haven't noticed a difference...
  • Braking is very good, the fronts produce a lot of dust if you use them heavily but I haven't had any of the noise problems others have reported
  • It's very fast when the opportunity arises. It's faster than my previous Exige S in many situations. I had a safe play from a distance with a Focus RS and I'm confident the FK2 is marginally quicker. I think on tight, tricky, technical road/track the S2000 and good driver may possibly leave it, get above 80mph though and the FK2 will leave it obviously. My S2000 (suspension, chassis) modified though, so maybe not a fair comparison.
  • The +R mode damping isn't too harsh IF you're used to driving a lowered S2000
The Bad:
  • Snow performance woeful, even taking into account the tyres. I couldn't crawl up roads that BMWs could when snow unexpectedly came down in Feb
  • Front end grip disappointing, it can spin the wheels in the first three gears even in the dry. This might change when I get some AD08R's on it. However, my previous DD, Mazda 3 with marginally more torque than this, no LSD and slimmer, lower-grip tyres could pull from stop better than the FK2 can on the Conti SC6's...
  • Throttle response (specifically the over-damping of the throttle using Proportional and Integrative control functions) in normal mode is rubbish. In +R mode it's perfect, however. I can feel very sleepy in normal mode (the softer damping takes its toll too), whereas putting it in +R mode gets you alert again.
  • Infotainment menus non-intuitive​
  • Wheels invite marks/scuffs which is easy to do given the visibility
  • Some of the exterior trim looks tacky and not so high quality, plus you'd need a lot of patience if you were cleaning it regularly yourself
  • Oil dipstick is hopelessly impossible to read, I might remove the plastic on a spare one and use that instead
  • Not as involving to drive as the S2000 is, it's slightly disconnected but is still an experience in its own right. It is still uniquely Honda.
  • It's very reliable and hasn't given a single problem since the day I picked it up, numerous short trips and a trip to France
  • Engine >sometimes< sounds like an angry vacuum cleaner, though admittedly it sounds better from outside than in

Overall, I think if Honda hadn't worried too much about the marketing implications of the 'ring record, they could have produced a more well-rounded car. I'd gladly have taken a larger NA engine with less power. It should have looked like the concept too, though it's obvious how savings were made by tacking on the plastic wheel arches in lieu of dedicated body panels. I know some people sold their S2000's to move into an FK2, which I would never do, asset appreciation or not. I thought I could love FWD again, but apparently I can't. I did consider a GT86/BRZ instead of this but concluded I needed four proper seats and a good-sized boot, and prefer just to overtake people rather than have them decide whether they're going to let me overtake. I also thought it would be better in inclement weather. It does fulfil the daily quite well then, but I still can't wait to drive the S2000.
Stevo071077 is offline  
Old 04-30-2018, 02:56 AM
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That's a very good review. I test dove the FK2 in 2016 and the FK8 in 2018 and I actually preferred the drive in the FK2. The FK8 seemed to have gone very soft compared and even though you sit lower in the FK8, the FK2 is the one i liked the most.

I agree with you on the styling, I prefer the front and back of the FK2 over the FK8 but not a fan of the rear quarter of the FK2 from the side.

Did you consider the Hyundai i30N before you bought the Civic because if you thought you couldn't love a front wheel drive like you said, i think the 130N may change that impression. The feeling i got from driving it was similar to the feeling I get from driving my Integra type r. The experience felt like what you would expect a modern version of an Integra to feel like. Just so much fun and connection with the car!

​​​​​
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience!

No, didn't look at the Hyundai, it never came up in my search as a rival, the closest thing I did consider was a fast Renault but dismissed it on hit-and-miss reliability. I'm a bit Honda biased as I need the reliability that you can normally take for granted.

Sounds worth looking at the Hyundai though and it's not an unattractive car. Might see if I can bag a test drive. My only worry would be the depreciation but if it's a good car, didn't the Hyundai coupe hold its value reasonably well?

Originally Posted by Koolkat969 View Post
That's a very good review. I test dove the FK2 in 2016 and the FK8 in 2018 and I actually preferred the drive in the FK2. The FK8 seemed to have gone very soft compared and even though you sit lower in the FK8, the FK2 is the one i liked the most.

I agree with you on the styling, I prefer the front and back of the FK2 over the FK8 but not a fan of the rear quarter of the FK2 from the side.

Did you consider the Hyundai i30N before you bought the Civic because if you thought you couldn't love a front wheel drive like you said, i think the 130N may change that impression. The feeling i got from driving it was similar to the feeling I get from driving my Integra type r. The experience felt like what you would expect a modern version of an Integra to feel like. Just so much fun and connection with the car!
​​​​​
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:11 PM
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Update on the FK2 since I've had more miles and new tyres all-round:
  • Michelin PS4S tyres have transformed the grip in both wet and dry. The original Conti's, despite being 'developed specifically for the FK2' are not fit for purpose.
  • Capable of easily-controllable lift-off oversteer, on-limit handling amazing.
  • Built like a tank. I had someone hit my front quarter in VW Polo (leaving the scene of the accident afterwards, incidentally), no damage to the FK2 bar some paint deposited onto the alloy wheel and a little on the body kit that will clay-bar out.
  • Not at all involving until you get into 8/10's of it's envelope. It's a hooning car really and therefore feels wasted on the daily duty.
Stevo071077 is offline  
 
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