2020 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Jetta GLI’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Civic Type R and the Jetta GLI 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Civic Type R 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Jetta GLI. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Jetta GLI ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Civic Type R’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Jetta GLI’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 60 percent more Honda dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic Type R’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 15 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 78 more horsepower (306 vs. 228) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 258) than the Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI:

Civic Type R

Jetta GLI

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

The Civic Type R stops much shorter than the Jetta GLI:

Civic Type R

Jetta GLI

70 to 0 MPH

142 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/04/07

For better traction, the Civic Type R has larger tires than the Jetta GLI (245/30R20 vs. 225/45R18).

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 Jetta GLI’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Type R has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Jetta GLI.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Civic Type R is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Jetta GLI.

The Civic Type R handles at 1.04 G’s, while the Jetta GLI pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Civic Type R is 5.8 inches shorter than the Jetta GLI, 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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI is rated a Compact.

The Civic Type R has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Jetta GLI (97 vs. 94.7).

The Civic Type R has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Jetta GLI.

Cargo Capacity

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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 Jetta GLI’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Civic Type R’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Jetta GLI’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Ergonomics

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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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Civic Type R’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Jetta GLI’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 2020/04/07

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

The Honda Civic outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by over three to one during 2019.

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

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