• Welcome to CivicXI.com everyone!

    If you're joining us from CivicX.com, then you may already have an account here!

    As long as you were registered on CivicX.com as of May 24, 2020 or earlier, then you can simply login here with the same username and password!

Couple months in now with my FL5, with an ITS vs CTR ADS module comparison.

VLJ

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2024
Threads
5
Messages
97
Reaction score
87
Location
Northern California
Vehicle(s)
2024 Civic Type R Boost Blue Pearl
I've had the ITS module installed for a decent while now, which hasn't been easy. Normally with these types of comparisons I swap back and forth quickly and frequently, to get as many immediate back-and-forth impressions as possible. This time, however, I wanted to try living with the ITS for a decent while, to give it a real-world fair shake. One month with the CTR, one month with the ITS, learning their behaviors over all their settings.

Another reason I didn't want to do multiple back-and-forth quick switches is I soon realized I had gone into this thing with a strong bias of wanting the CTR module to win. Straight-up shallow ego. I wanted to prefer the pure, racier version to the supposedly more streetable, less edgy, "compromised" version.

'I want an affordable FWD GT3, not a super-civilized Acura Integra....'

On the other hand, the entire reason I bought the ITS module was to reduce the bounciness of the stock FL5 in real-world conditions, since the CTR's bounciness was sapping my confidence and slowing me down on many of my favorite roads, negating the whole "FWD GT3" ideal.

Well, now I think I have my answers.

First off, I still lean toward the emotional principles that drove the design of the CTR's damping. I can't help but continue to buy into that "racy" ideal. No matter how much I enjoy the car in its new form, I can't help but want to talk myself into manning up and letting the CTR be a CTR. 'It's character, not a flaw. It's pure, fun character. Celebrate it. Don't try to fix it. Let it be what it is.'

Then there's the flipside. I just helped move a girl into my place, which necessitated using my "FWD GT3" as a freaking CR-V. Honestly, it's absolutely astounding how much crap you can load into an FL5. I'd swapped a new Camry Hybrid and a new MX-5 to buy this Type R with a bit of $$ coming back my way after the exchange, and now I'm convinced I made the right call. I wanted a versatile, do-everything daily that would also scratch my itch for a pure sports car, and this thing has to be the best possible one-car solution on the market. Driving my girl around during the move, I had the suspension set to ITS Comfort mode, because she prefers luxury, not hard-edged sportiness, and damn but did this car virtually disappear beneath us. No complaints whatsoever from her about the ride quality or noise levels, and she drives a brand-new Acura MDX.

During one of our drives she mentioned that she didn't understand why I want or need a sports car since it seemed to her that I drive perfectly normally, so what's the point?

I tried to explain to her that no, running errands around town like we're doing now is not all I do in this car, and if you want to see what the other side is like, cool, come join me when I take her up into the mountains, which I just did again yesterday, and that run yesterday is what prompted this review.

Hate to say it, but my FL5 was damn near perfect yesterday, ripping aorund in the mountains. I've discovered that as before with the CTR, in which I used Comfort mode on our bumpier racy roads, Sport mode with the ITS module is my pick of the liter, which essentially approximates Comfort mode with the CTR...only with the ITS that equivalent level of stiffness and body control does not result in equivalent bounciness. The car is more planted and settled now, allowing me to stay on the gas and/or get on the gas sooner and harder than I did with the CTR.

I found it fairly enlightening. By the end of yesterday's run, I finally "got" my FL5. I felt the quality, and the precision. I understood the hype. The thing is an absolute weapon on a canyon road.

It's also fun as hell. I wasn't expecting that. All the reviews say it's so deadly serious, with none of the playfulness of its lesser competition, but I wasn't getting that yesterday. No, I was thinking, 'This is effing amazing. I could never attack this hard in my Miata, and it's obvious there is still so much left on the table with this thing. I'm nowhere near its limits.'

Then I drove home and took my girl out to do a big Costco run in the FL5.

I mean, wtf. How do you beat that?

So, my conclusion is that putting ego and hype and idealism aside, yes, the ITS module makes for a better FL5 in the real world, at least for most situations. If I were regularly driving billiard table-smooth roads and race tracks, sure, I'd stick to the CTR module. Otherwise, however, at least for my circumstances, the ITS not only makes for a slightly more comfortable ride, but also a faster one.

And isn't that the point? Isn't that why we bought a Type R?

I think I will stick with the ITS for a decent while longer now. I'm sure I'll eventually try swapping back at some point, just to sample that rawness again and confirm the difference, but I suspect that I will land on the ITS as my final answer.

Other notes...

When I first got this car, the amount of buzzing and rattling in the cabin was so bad that it had me questioning my decsion to buy this thing. I was seriously considering taking advantage of its killer resale value to get out of it, especially since I only paid msrp for it, with zero dealer add-ons. I did my research, learning how people attempt to quell the rattles and buzzes in the dash, the seatbelts, the infotainment screen, etc., and was prepared to give those solutions a shot before unloading the car.

A funny thing happened along the way, however. After a short while, the buzzing completely stopped. All of it. Everywhere. It's all simply gone. I no longer feel like I'm driving around in a very expensive shitbox. Now I feel like I'm driving around in a Japanese Rolex—a base model Rolex, to be sure, but a Rolex nonetheless.

I no longer fear the embarrassment of my Acura-owning girl noticing and commenting on how cheap and rattly my car feels. Nope. Instead, she said simply, "This is nice. It seems like a normal car. These seats are pretty comfy. The red in here is pretty. I like it." Then she hit me with the bit about not understanding why I need a sports car if it's just going to drive like any normal sedan.

That's a win, to me. A big win.

Swear to god, though, I want to take her up for a mountain rip and scare the panties right off of her. She freaked out when we took basic sweepers at 60 mph in the Miata, due to the way the Miata makes every speed seem way faster than you're actually going, but I still think the CTR would scare the living bejeezus out of her once unleashed in its natural environment.

She kind of deserves it now, too, having unintentionally insulted the Type R the way she did.

Or maybe she complimented it, and I'm just being an idiot. Whatever.

Otherwise, so far only one thing has gone wrong with this car, other than all the initial buzzing and rattling. The other night I noticed that the red LED ambient light strip in the passenger door wasn't working. I took it to the dealer, who fixed it no problem, explaining that the electronic clip inside the door hadn't been fully clipped together.

Anything I would change about this car, after having gotten to know it better now?

I'd give it at least five hundred more available rpm, if not a thousand more. As part of my testing all the modes, I've been going back and forth with the fake sound. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I want it off. My brother loves it, and won't let me turn it off. Well, during yesterday's solo run, I shut it off, and something immediately changed about the driving experience. Suddenly I was running into the soft rev limiter in second and third, coming out of every corner. I guess that fake sound was giving me cues that it was getting to be time to shift up. Minus that reminder, I discovered that I was running through the yellow--->orange--->red shift lights before I even knew I was up that high.

Yes, give me another thousand rpm, please. Better yet, make it two thousand more, like a GT3.

Along those same lines, okay, yes, I'd like a bit more engine and exhaust sound. I'm not willing to modify the car to get it, though, so I'll continue to tell myself that stock is its own virtue. Leave well enough alone, and all that.

I wish it had heated seats and a heated steering wheel, and lumbar control. I wish it had the Miata's adaptive headlights.

The AC is nowhere near as cold or powerful as it was in the Camry and Miata. I have to turn it up much more in this car, and still it's not as cold.

That's it. Nothing else on my wish list.

Things I like about this car?

The looks. Christ, do I love how this thing looks, from every angle. That's rare for me. Usually there is an angle or two that I find kind of meh on any car, but this car is 360-degrees gorgeous and sexy. That Boost Blue Pearl with the red accents is so damn good. I don't care if it's too Boy Racer for some people. I love it to death. Love the black wheels. Love the big wing. Love the open mesh grill. I want to stop and turn back and admire this car every time I walk away from it. Approaching it is always a special little thrill.

Man, do I love how it looks. I like it so much better than the ITS.

The shifter and tranny are as advertized. Yes, I still miss the mechanical feel and vibrations of the Miata's shifter, but there's something to be said for that Rolex-like precision of the FL5's shifter. I'm even coming to appreciate its utter stillness at idle, compared to the Miata's constant shake. I love them both now.

I really appreciate the quality of the automatic rev matching. As a result of my destroyed foot, heel-toe shifting is a bit of a bitch for me now, and the FL5's assistance there goes a long way toward making me not miss being able to do that anymore. It works great, and I still get to feel like a hero when slamming downshifts. So good.

The utility of this car is off the charts. Huge, roomy back seat. Cavernous cargo space. Rear seats fold down in two seconds. Cargo cover design is brilliant. Plenty of comfort up front. NVH is nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, especially with PS4-S tires. It honestly isn't a problem at all. What a welcome surpise.

I quite enjoy the changeability of this car. Sometimes I want the fake noise, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I want the comfiest ride, sometimes I want Full Send. Sometimes I want the yellow needles and nothing else in the gauges display, sometimes I want the +R screen. Navigation, or one of those cool LogR graphics? The car has a wonderful chameleon-like ability to be anything I want it to be at any given moment, all stock. It never gets old.

Fantastic brakes. That's it. Just fantastic brakes.

I'm quite grateful that Honda recommends 91 octane for this motor, as opposed to Acura tuning the Type S iterant for 93 octane, which we here in California and many other states do not get. That fact played a large role in why I ultimately chose the FL5 over the Type S, or even a GR86, which also carries the 93-octane recommendation. Reduced power, lower fuel mileage, and potential knocking and pinging as a result of running lower-than-recommended octane is not my idea of a satisfying feeling.

Love the specialness of the car. My Miatas frequently received positive comments, especially when I had the Soul Red Crystal model. This blue FL5, though, woo, do people seem to love it. Most anywhere I go, someone is going to stop and stare, and often compliment it.

It's a small thing, or perhaps it's not so small, but maybe the one thing I've learned that I appreciate the most about this car is the seating position, along with the quality of the seat. I always wanted the Miata's seat to go lower, and for the wheel to be a bit smaller. The FL5 is ergonomic perfection. Everything is exactly where it should be, from both arm rests, to the shifter, to the location of the gauges within the open spaces of the just-right steering wheel. Even the pedal placement is ideal. Outward visibility is excellent, with those small A-pillars and all those wide expanses of glass. Great view out the back, too. The wing doesn't get in the way, and the rear hatch glass is huge. Helping things even more is the fact that all three mirrors remain crystal clear at any rpm, and those side mirrors are ginormous.

Now that the buzzes and rattles are gone, this car truly feels like a flagship Honda. Perhaps even peak Honda. It really is a jewel.
Sponsored

 
Last edited:

Titanium997.2

New Member
First Name
Ray
Joined
Jun 9, 2024
Threads
0
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Sydney, Australia
Vehicle(s)
FL5 Civic Type R. 911 Carrera S, LandCruiser 300
An excellent detailed write up. Thank you. I'm 10 months in and have ordered the ITS module (backordered). Currently, with stock ADS, I basically always have it in individual mode (comfort dampers and everything else sport or R+). Occasionally I use Sport and R+. Sport is ok on smooth stuff but for me R+ is too stiff and there is the bounce resulting in loss of adhesion on bumpy exits. Really looking forward to elimination of this.
Other than that, this thing is brilliant.
 

optronix

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2023
Threads
2
Messages
279
Reaction score
395
Location
Mid-Atlantic
Vehicle(s)
2024 Integra Type S, 2023 Macan GTS
Wow. I thought I typed a lot. I guess I should thank you for letting me feel less self-conscious.

I'm glad you like your car, and clearly like it more after your latest modification. But man, you really have to get past this "FWD GT3" thing. There is no such thing. If anything, the best you could ever hope for is a FWD base Carrera?

You're already there; I think you just have one last step to make, mentally and emotionally, with setting your expectations appropriately.

"Comparison is the thief of joy".
 

rob495

Senior Member
First Name
Rob
Joined
Feb 6, 2023
Threads
7
Messages
122
Reaction score
166
Location
CT
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, 2012 Ariel Atom
Great review. I installed my ADS about a month ago and my impressions are pretty much the same as yours. It's more comfortable and has better performance in the real world. However, the car is less fun. Win win situation though, worse case I'll just swap the FL5 ADS back in.
 

MooMoo

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Threads
7
Messages
82
Reaction score
30
Location
NY
Vehicle(s)
FL5 Type R
the only GT3 thing about this car is that it has a wing and even that its kind of a sad wing compared to a gt3. Still fantastic car and sometimes I forget that its fwd, its awesome.

I kind of want to get this ITS module since I am always on comfort and would love to just hit +R on the track to have a little bit more stiffness than comfort but not the current +R. I may do this but it does seem like its back ordered everywhere? I searched yesterday and seemed available some places?

oh yeah great detailed review, its appreciated. Do you have any experience with this at the track?
 


FL5alive

Member
First Name
Neal
Joined
Apr 22, 2024
Threads
0
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Location
Richmond, VA
Vehicle(s)
2024 Honda Civic Type R
Yeah I would swap mine again 100x. If I am going to do a track day I can swap the CTR one back in. Simple as that.
 

FL5alive

Member
First Name
Neal
Joined
Apr 22, 2024
Threads
0
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Location
Richmond, VA
Vehicle(s)
2024 Honda Civic Type R
An excellent detailed write up. Thank you. I'm 10 months in and have ordered the ITS module (backordered). Currently, with stock ADS, I basically always have it in individual mode (comfort dampers and everything else sport or R+). Occasionally I use Sport and R+. Sport is ok on smooth stuff but for me R+ is too stiff and there is the bounce resulting in loss of adhesion on bumpy exits. Really looking forward to elimination of this.
Other than that, this thing is brilliant.
crazy I ordered mine like two weeks ago and got it in 3 days.
 

optronix

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2023
Threads
2
Messages
279
Reaction score
395
Location
Mid-Atlantic
Vehicle(s)
2024 Integra Type S, 2023 Macan GTS
Do you have any experience with this at the track?
I suppose I could weigh in, seeing as how I have an ITS ADS module.

The ITS on Sport or Sport+ mode is perfectly equipped for the track. I left mine in Sport+ (plus pedal dance, but that doesn't impact the dampers), and it was a sublime experience. For reference, I've driven a 991.2 Carrera 4S on the same track I had the ITS on (Dominion Raceway in Richmond, VA), and I know it may sound ridiculous but it was just as fun. I'm sure the lap times would be substantially off but my humble, bone stock Integra didn't just adequately hold up through 3 full 20 minute sessions, it was an absolute delight. Barely a hint of understeer, brakes were solid all day, stock PS4S tires only started getting greasy towards the end of the 3rd session. There were some decently quick cars out there (GT500, boosted Miata, LSx-powered RX7), and I was in the Novice group but I didn't get passed once all day. I wasn't pushing 10/10ths but wasn't taking it too easy either. It was an absolute blast- and did I mention it was bone stock? Brakes, fluid, tires, everything.

One thing I most definitely did not wish I had more of was bounciness.
 

russ240

Member
First Name
Russ
Joined
Jan 4, 2024
Threads
0
Messages
9
Reaction score
13
Location
Oklahoma City
Vehicle(s)
2019 Miata Club, 1995 911 C2, 2024 Civic Type R
I I just spent three days running with some of my buddies through New Mexico and Colorado. Among our group were two GT3s, one GT4, two boxster spiders (one of which has been breathed on by Deman), and a 992 with the boost turned up.

Personally I would say that FWD GT3 is a pretty apt description.

I will also tell you that after seeing how my car performed, two of the GT car drivers are now thinking about buying Hondas as well.
11th Gen Honda Civic Couple months in now with my FL5, with an ITS vs CTR ADS module comparison. IMG_3421
 
Last edited:


MooMoo

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Threads
7
Messages
82
Reaction score
30
Location
NY
Vehicle(s)
FL5 Type R
I I just spent three days running with some of my buddies through New Mexico and Colorado. Among our group were two GT3s, one GT4, two boxster spiders (one of which has been breathed on by Deman), and a 992 with the boost turned up.

Personally I would say that FWD GT3 is a pretty apt description.

I will also tell you that after seeing how my car performed, two of the GT car drivers are now thinking about buying Hondas as well.
IMG_3421.jpeg

Genuinely curious as I never driven a gt3, what is so gt3 about it? Driving dynamics? Sound? speed?
Because even though I have never driven one I don't think any of those things really compare. They are both great cars though but I just don't see any comparisons
 

Clark_Kent

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2022
Threads
6
Messages
1,309
Reaction score
1,911
Location
Smallville, KS
Vehicle(s)
FL5 Civic Type R
Wow. I thought I typed a lot. I guess I should thank you for letting me feel less self-conscious.

I'm glad you like your car, and clearly like it more after your latest modification. But man, you really have to get past this "FWD GT3" thing. There is no such thing. If anything, the best you could ever hope for is a FWD base Carrera?

You're already there; I think you just have one last step to make, mentally and emotionally, with setting your expectations appropriately.

"Comparison is the thief of joy".
Genuinely curious as I never driven a gt3, what is so gt3 about it? Driving dynamics? Sound? speed?
Because even though I have never driven one I don't think any of those things really compare. They are both great cars though but I just don't see any comparisons
This FWD GT3 stuff is nonsense. The moniker keeps being bandied about, but there's no equivalency. And it's not even close if I'm being honest. It's cheeky journalist/YouTube/influencer talk that folks have decided to run with. The FL5 is very good in its own right and we should just leave it there.

@MooMoo If you haven't driven a modern GT car (991, 992, 718) on track, I suggest seeking out that opportunity. You will quickly see the FL5 is not a Porsche in disguise or Porsche like and that's ok.
 

MooMoo

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2024
Threads
7
Messages
82
Reaction score
30
Location
NY
Vehicle(s)
FL5 Type R
This FWD GT3 stuff is nonsense. The moniker keeps being bandied about, but there's no equivalency. And it's not even close if I'm being honest. It's cheeky journalist/YouTube/influencer talk that folks have decided to run with. The FL5 is very good in its own right and we should just leave it there.

@MooMoo If you haven't driven a modern GT car (991, 992, 718) on track, I suggest seeking out that opportunity. You will quickly see the FL5 is not a Porsche in disguise or Porsche like and that's ok.
I really need to drive one and specially on track where those cars belong.

I agree with you 100%, the FL5 is an FL5 and that is enough, its great and in some ways even better than the p car (none is performance of course but the trunk space is amazing, the back seats are great and the seats are awesome too).

I wonder if GT3 owners tell people on the forums that their car is a RWD Type R FL5 lol
 

russ240

Member
First Name
Russ
Joined
Jan 4, 2024
Threads
0
Messages
9
Reaction score
13
Location
Oklahoma City
Vehicle(s)
2019 Miata Club, 1995 911 C2, 2024 Civic Type R
I don't consume much media so I have no idea what any journalists or social personalities are saying, I was responding to the original poster's comparison. And while I am a long time Porsche owner, my proclivities tend to cars of the air cooled era so I don't have any experience piloting any of the modern supercars. What I do have experience with is chasing the big boys around a race track (not yet in my Civic, but in lots of other underdog cars) and now on some of the best roads in CO. (I cannot recommend the stretch of hwy 141 from Gateway to Naturita more highly, the best 30 minutes of street driving I have had in a LONG time).

Other than extremely high limits that are hard to even approach on the street, what the Porsche GT cars and the FL5 share are track ready handling and brakes in a street friendly package. And while I prefer a naturally aspirated car myself, at altitude the power gap between the Porsche GT cars and the CTR closes enough that they only start to get away when the speeds get well in the triple digits. FWD GT3? Yes I beliieve it's an apt moniker.

Oh and I forgot to mention, with regards to the original post, I too am VERY happy with the ITS ADS I installed just before this trip. Huge improvement to the car. I made the 141 run mostly in sport, because even with the ITS unit in there, the damping was still too stiff in +R for anything but the smoothest sections. The ITS module is both a comfort and a performance upgrade in my opinion.
Sponsored

 
 




Top