2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2019 Honda Civic Type R

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The M2 Competition has standard City Collision Mitigation, 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 M2 Competition’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The M2 Competition’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M2 Competition and the Civic Type R have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW M2 Competition weighs 483 to 538 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.

Warranty

The M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Type R’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M2 Competition for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Civic Type R.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M2 Competition has a standard 900-amp battery. The Civic Type R’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the M2 Competition is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the M2 Competition’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Civic Type R’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 7 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 99 more horsepower (405 vs. 306) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 295) than the Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the M2 (automatic) is faster than the Civic Type R:

M2

Civic Type R

Zero to 60 MPH

4.0 sec

4.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

11.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

107 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M2 Competition’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 M2 Competition has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Type R (13.7 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The M2 Competition offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

The M2 Competition 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

For better stopping power the M2 Competition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic Type R:

M2 Competition

Civic Type R

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

12 inches

The M2 Competition’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.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the M2 Competition has larger rear tires than the Civic Type R (265/35R19 vs. 245/30R20).

Suspension and Handling

The M2 Competition has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Civic Type R’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The M2 Competition’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.1% to 51.9%) than the Civic Type R’s (61.8% to 38.2%). This gives the M2 Competition more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the M2 Competition’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Civic Type R’s (38.4 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

The M2 Competition is 3.2 inches shorter than the Civic Type R, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M2 Competition offers cargo security. The Civic Type R’s hatchback body style and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the M2 Competition. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The M2 Competition 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.

The engine in the M2 Competition is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Civic Type R. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the M2 Competition, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a memory system.

The M2 Competition’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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M2 Competition 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 avoid possible obstacles, the M2 Competition has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M2 Competition also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the M2 Competition is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Civic Type R’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The M2 Competition 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.

On extremely cold winter days, the M2 Competition’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the M2 Competition and the Civic Type R offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the M2 Competition 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 quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW M2 Competition offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Civic Type R hasn’t been picked since 2018.

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

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