2019 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2018 Audi RS 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic Type R deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic Type R’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The RS 3’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic Type R has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Civic Type R and the RS 3 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.

Warranty

Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Civic Type R 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the RS 3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the RS 3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic Type R’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 23rd in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

In a Car and Driver race course test, the Honda Civic Type R was clocked 1.7 seconds faster than the Audi RS 3 (183.9 sec. vs. 185.6 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Civic Type R uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The RS 3 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Civic Type R has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Civic Type R stops much shorter than the RS 3:

 

Civic

RS 3

 

80 to 0 MPH

184 feet

204 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

142 feet

157 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

116 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Civic Type R has larger tires than the RS 3 (245/30R20 vs. 235/35R19).

The Civic Type R’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RS 3’s standard 35 series tires. The Civic Type R’s tires are lower profile than the RS 3’s optional 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Type R has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 19-inch wheels are available on the RS 3.

Suspension and Handling

The Civic Type R’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The RS 3 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Civic Type R’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the RS 3 (106.3 inches vs. 103.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Type R is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the RS 3.

The Civic Type R handles at 1.02 G’s, while the RS 3 pulls only .96 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

Chassis

The Honda Civic Type R may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Audi RS 3.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Civic Type R is quieter than the RS 3 (85 vs. 88 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Civic Type R a Large car, while the RS 3 is rated a Subcompact.

The Civic Type R has 11 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RS 3 (97 vs. 86).

The Civic Type R has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the RS 3.

Cargo Capacity

The Civic Type R has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the RS 3 (25.7 vs. 10 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Civic Type R has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RS 3 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

Smart Entry standard on the Civic Type R allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi RS 3’s Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Civic Type R has a standard rear wiper. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Recommendations

The Civic Type R was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The RS 3 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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