2019 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2018 Audi S4

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 S4’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Civic Type R and the S4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 S4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S4 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.

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 S4 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 S4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Civic Type R offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S4 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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 S4’s standard 40 series tires. The Civic Type R’s tires are lower profile than the S4’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Type R has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S4. The S4’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

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 S4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Type R is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the S4.

Chassis

The Honda Civic Type R may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 pounds less than the Audi S4.

The Civic Type R is 7.4 inches shorter than the S4, making the Civic Type R easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Civic Type R has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The S4 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Civic Type R a Large car, while the S4 is rated a Compact.

The Civic Type R has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S4 (97 vs. 92).

The Civic Type R has .4 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the S4.

Cargo Capacity

The Civic Type R has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the S4 (25.7 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the Civic Type R the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the S4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Civic Type R has a standard rear wiper. The S4 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Recommendations

The Civic Type R was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The S4 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Civic Type R was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The S4 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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