2019 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2019 Audi S3 Sedan

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 S3 Sedan’s 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 S3 Sedan 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 S3 Sedan 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 S3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S3 Sedan 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

The Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 18 more horsepower (306 vs. 288) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 280) than the S3 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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 S3 Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Civic Type R’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S3 Sedan:

 

Civic Type R

S3 Sedan

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.4 inches

The Civic Type R stops much shorter than the S3 Sedan:

 

Civic Type R

S3 Sedan

 

80 to 0 MPH

184 feet

206 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

142 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Civic Type R has larger tires than the S3 Sedan (245/30R20 vs. 225/40R18). The Civic Type R’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S3 Sedan (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 S3 Sedan’s standard 40 series tires. The Civic Type R’s tires are lower profile than the S3 Sedan’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 S3 Sedan. The S3 Sedan’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 S3 Sedan 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 S3 Sedan (106.3 inches vs. 103.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Type R is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than on the S3 Sedan.

The Civic Type R handles at 1.02 G’s, while the S3 Sedan pulls only .92 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

The Civic Type R executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S3 Sedan (24.3 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 25.2 seconds @ .81 average G’s).

Chassis

The Honda Civic Type R may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Audi S3 Sedan.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Civic Type R a Large car, while the S3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Civic Type R has 11 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S3 Sedan (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 S3 Sedan.

Servicing Ease

The Civic Type R has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The S3 Sedan 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 S3 Sedan’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 S3 Sedan doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Recommendations

The Civic Type R was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The S3 Sedan 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 S3 Sedan has never been an “All Star.”

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

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