2019 Audi RS 3 vs. 2019 Honda Civic Type R

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The RS 3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Honda Civic Type R has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The RS 3 offers optional Audi Pre Sense Front, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Civic Type R doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The RS 3 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The RS 3 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The RS 3’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

To help make backing safer, the RS 3’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RS 3 and the Civic Type R have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Audi RS 3 weighs 476 pounds more than the Honda Civic Type R. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.


The RS 3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic Type R’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The RS 3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Type R’s (12 vs. 5 years).


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 8 places higher in reliability than Honda.


The RS 3’s 2.5 turbo 5 cyl. produces 88 more horsepower (394 vs. 306) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 295) than the Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The RS 3 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Type R (14.5 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


The RS 3 has a standard automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

The RS 3 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RS 3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic Type R:

RS 3

Civic Type R

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

12 inches

The RS 3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Civic Type R are solid, not vented.

The RS 3 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RS 3’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Civic Type R (255/30R19 vs. 245/30R20).

Suspension and Handling

The RS 3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.2% to 41.8%) than the Civic Type R’s (61.8% to 38.2%). This gives the RS 3 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the RS 3’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the Civic Type R’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.5 feet).


The RS 3 is 3.1 inches shorter than the Civic Type R, making the RS 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the RS 3 is quieter than the Civic Type R:

RS 3

Civic Type R

At idle

42 dB

43 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

75 dB

Passenger Space

The RS 3 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Civic Type R can only carry 4.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the RS 3. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The RS 3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Civic Type R uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.


The power windows standard on both the RS 3 and the Civic Type R have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RS 3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Civic Type R prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The RS 3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Civic Type R’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The RS 3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Civic Type R’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RS 3 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the RS 3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The RS 3 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic Type R offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the RS 3 and the Civic Type R offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the RS 3 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RS 3 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi RS 3 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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