2020 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta ST

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

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 Fiesta ST’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic Type R has standard Collision Mitigation Braking System, 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 Fiesta ST doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Honda Civic Type R has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Civic Type 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 Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Civic Type R and the Fiesta ST have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Civic Type R’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fiesta ST’s camshafts. If the Fiesta ST’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 4 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

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The Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 109 more horsepower (306 vs. 197) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 202) than the Fiesta ST’s 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Civic Type R is faster than the Ford Fiesta ST (manual transmissions tested):

Civic Type R

Fiesta ST

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.5 sec

17.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

93 MPH

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Civic Type R has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The Civic Type R’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer launch control.

The Honda Civic Type R has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Civic Type R

Fiesta ST

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

10.95 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

9.96 inches

The Civic Type R stops much shorter than the Fiesta ST:

Civic Type R

Fiesta ST

70 to 0 MPH

142 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

121 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Civic Type R has larger tires than the Fiesta ST (245/30R20 vs. 205/40R17).

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 Fiesta ST’s standard 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Type R has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Fiesta ST.

The Honda Civic Type R’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Fiesta ST only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Honda Civic Type R has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Fiesta ST has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Civic Type R has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Civic Type R flat and controlled during cornering. The Fiesta ST’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Civic Type R has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Fiesta ST’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Civic Type R’s wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the Fiesta ST (106.3 inches vs. 98 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Type R is 5.3 inches wider in the front and 5.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Fiesta ST.

The Civic Type R handles at 1.04 G’s, while the Fiesta ST pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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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 Fiesta ST uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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

The Civic Type R has 11.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Fiesta ST (97 vs. 85.1).

The Civic Type R has .2 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 4.2 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 4.7 inches more rear legroom and 6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta ST.

Cargo Capacity

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The Civic Type R has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Fiesta ST with its rear seat up (25.7 vs. 10.1 cubic feet). The Civic Type R has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Fiesta ST with its rear seat folded (46.2 vs. 25.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Type R easier. The Civic Type R’s trunk lift-over height is 27 inches, while the Fiesta ST’s liftover is 28.3 inches.

Servicing Ease

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A Smart Maintenance is standard on the Civic Type R to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush and transmission fluid replacement based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Ford doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Fiesta ST.

Ergonomics

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The Civic Type R’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Fiesta ST has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Civic Type R’s front power windows 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 Fiesta ST’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Fiesta ST can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Civic Type R’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fiesta ST’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Civic Type R has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Civic Type R has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Fiesta ST only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Civic Type R has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Civic Type R detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Civic Type R has standard extendable sun visors. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Civic Type R’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford charges extra for heated mirrors on the Fiesta ST.

The Civic Type R Sedan has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Civic Type R’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fiesta ST doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Civic Type 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 Fiesta ST doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

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The Civic Type R will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Civic Type R will retain 54.81% of its original price after five years, while the Fiesta ST only retains 48.78%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

The Civic Type R was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Fiesta ST hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Civic Type R was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Fiesta ST hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Honda Civic outsold the Ford Fiesta by over five to one during 2019.

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

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