Just in case anyone is interested 🙂
Just over a month now since I sold my beloved ISF and bought an FK8 Civic Type R so thought I would post a quick things I like, dislike, miss, regret and so on....
Historically, I have been a massive Honda fan which started when I was a kid in the 80's... Senna in a McLaren Honda, the dirt bikes on Streethawk (and Streethawk ofc) and then sat in a Honda NSX in 1989 as a 10 year old at the motor show with my Grandad which sealed the deal...
At 21 I bought a 1998 DC2 Integra Type R which started my Honda ownership journey... I replaced the Integra with an S2000 at 25 which went well but didn't handle anywhere near as well as the Integra. The S2000 was replaced by a DC5 Integra Type R which was ace but I sold it to raise funds to move house and swapped it for cash my way plus my friends 1998 DC2 Integra Type R which reaffirmed what a great car the DC2 was (I was too young and not a good enough driver to appreciate my 1st one).
Eventually, I went for something different, a Nissan 350Z. I loved the looks and the noise but it wasn't fast enough. It handled well but always felt like it needed another 50 - 100bhp to make it the car it should have been.
A baby due meant the time for a bigger car... Queue the BMW 335i M Sport. Great car when it worked. Unfortunately this "Approved Used BMW" spent 11 weeks over the course of 12 months at BMW having turbos, injectors, fuel pumps, waste gates & lambda sensors replaced. Suffice to say, I am weary of BMW's.
Went to replace the BMW with... shock horror... an FK2 Honda Civic Type R... Took the Mrs to see it and she wasn't happy... "You can't spend 33k on a Honda" was the response... queue my friend mentioning the Lexus ISF which I hadn't thought about and found one for 22k (I think it was) which the wife said was "much more reasonable" until she found out it was a 5L V8 but deal was done and it was on drive so 1 nil to me.
4 and a bit years and some 50k miles later, I longed for an FK8 Type R (possibly to do with Honda winning in F1 again) and one turned up at the dealer I purchased some of my previous Type R's from. A quick phone call and a socially distanced viewing at my house led to me placing deposit on an FK8 subject to test drive (I had driven one on an extended test drive before lock down so just had to make sure it drove and stopped).
Put my ISF up for sale on here and Facebook for a fairly low price which took into account the TLC she needed. A pleasant chap from the Facebook Lexus group was in contact with me from the start and when I mentioned when it was due to go sooner rather than later, he drove down down about 260 miles the following day (in a pimp old school LS400 I might add) and bought my ISF for £200 more than Honda offered me in part-ex which I didn't mind as genuinely wanted it to go to an Lexus fan (he has an SC430 as well).
So... Cutting a long story short...
Few I like about the FK8
1 - Looks - I know they are subjective but I really like the look of it and always find myself looking at it when it's near
2 - Reaction - Good or bad, it turns heads.
3 - Handling - For a car that is the same size as the ISF (I think it's 5 cm shorter but wider than the ISF) it's a lot lighter and changes direction superbly. The diff is a masterpiece and I know it's a bit of a cliche but it feels more like a 4wd car than a Fwd car with the amount of grip it manages along with how it gets the power down. The adaptive dampers are great as well, comfort for when the wife and kids are in. Sport day to day. R for a track day
4 - Braking - The ISF brakes are great... the FK8 brakes are another level. I have also got the floating discs from the 2020 model to go on it before the annual Ring trip next month
5 - Tech - It's got all the gadgets being a GT. The head unit gets some bad press but using Android Auto it is fine - Spotify and Waze on main screen plus Google Assist works a treat 🙂
6 - Performance - Once moving.... it pulls and pulls and pulls. Not as quick off the line as the ISF but once moving, it is very rapid
7- Seats - They are great and the driving position is perfect. One thing I didn't like in the ISF were the seats. They weren't racy enough for me compared to an M3, RS4 or C63 that it was competing with.
8 - Running Costs - Tax is £150 a year compared with £580 or so, Insurance for me is £200 a year (ISF was 290) and obvious one is MPG (25+ around town and 40+ on motorway)
9 - The rear seats fold down so managed to blag it as being practical with the wife
10 - Best until last... The Gearbox... It's obviously a manual but it is a joy to use.
Things I dislike about the FK8
1 - Noise (or lack of). The turbo spool and dump valve noise is quite cool but nothing compared to a V8. Exhaust note is non existent which is disappointing as there are plenty of cool sounding 4 pots out there (i30N, RS Megane, Golf TCR and so on). Exhaust on the shopping list.
2 - Niggles - Luckily under manufacturers warranty but she is going back in soon due to a few faults (all rain related). The auto wipers don't work, when it rains heavily the collision warning sensors can go off and I noticed condensation in one of the side lights by the front. 1st 2 issues are common faults. She was probably built the day they announced Swindon closing
3 - Interior (seats aside) - Not as plush as the Lexus in terms of materials and feels a bit more fragile than my ISF did. Also not sure I am a fan of the digital dash yet compared to some good old dials . Only one cup holder as well.... I am starting to sound old 🙂
4 - Wheels - 20 inch wheels look cool, but you have to avoid potholes like the plague for risk of cracking a rim. May have to invest in some smaller wheels in future
5 - Engine - It looks like a lawnmower (as in the actual engine). Did I mention lack of noise? It sounds like one as well
1 - Probably let the ISF go for too little money bearing in mind the price they are on AT but still got a fair amount more than WBAC
2 - I wasn't as bowled over on day 1 with the Civic as I was with the ISF but that was probably due to relief from getting away from the BMW. This was cleared up at Thruxton though where the Civic came into it's own 🙂
3 - The RCF - My buddy with an ISF keeps sending me links to RCF's which are now in budget.... I can't return yet surely 😉
Anyhow... it has been an absolute pleasure owning an ISF. I would buy another one in a heartbeat. In fact, a late one is on my list along with the RCF and GSF as things to replace the Type R with 😉