2019 Volkswagen Golf R vs. 2019 Honda Civic Type R

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Golf R has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Golf R has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, 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 Golf R has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically apply 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Golf R has standard Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Golf R 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 Golf R’s 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 Golf R’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 Golf R and the Civic Type R 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Golf R the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Civic Type R has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Golf R comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Civic Type R’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Golf R’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Civic Type R’s (10 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Golf R’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Civic Type R’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Volkswagen Golf R is faster than the Honda Civic Type R (manual transmissions tested):

 

Golf R

Civic Type R

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

2.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

5.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.8 sec

12.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105 MPH

104 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Golf R gets better fuel mileage than the Civic Type R:

 

 

 

MPG

Golf R

 

 

 

 

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

Civic

 

 

 

 

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Golf R Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

Transmission

The Golf R offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

The Golf R offers an optional 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

The Golf R’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.

Suspension and Handling

The Golf R’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.5% to 40.5%) than the Civic Type R’s (61.8% to 38.2%). This gives the Golf R more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Golf R’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Civic Type R’s (35.8 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The Golf R is 11 inches shorter than the Civic Type R, making the Golf R easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

 

Golf R

Civic Type R

At idle

42 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

79 dB

85 dB

70 MPH Cruising

71 dB

75 dB

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

The Golf R has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Civic Type R with its rear seat folded (52.7 vs. 46.2 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Golf R 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.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Golf R and the Civic Type R have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Golf R 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 Golf R’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 Golf R’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Golf R to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Golf R 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 standard on the Golf R detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Golf R has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Golf R and the Civic Type R offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Golf R 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 Golf R has a standard 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.

Recommendations

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Civic Type R has never been chosen.

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

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