Which Hot Hatch To Go For

Which Hot Hatch To Go For

Hot hatches are as popular today as they ever have been. Their main appeal is offering sports car performance within a daily driver body style, at an accessible price point. One of the original hot hatchbacks was the 1976 Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Fitted with a 1.6 liter, 111-hp engine, the car could go from 0-60 mph in 9 seconds, and on to a 113-mph top speed. The Volkswagen Golf R, sold alongside the modern day Golf GTI, is Volkswagen’s hottest hatch to date.

Honda’s first “R” model came in the form of the 1992 Honda NSX Type R. A 3.0-litre naturally aspirated V6 produced 280hp. The first Civic Type R was released in 1997 and was a JDM only car. Powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine producing 186 hp, the car could go from 0-60 mph in just under 7 seconds. The current 10th Generation Honda Civic is significantly more powerful. Let’s explore the differences between the modern day Volkswagen Golf R and Honda Civic Type R.

9 Near Equal Performance

Naturally, both of these hatches offer strong performance. ​​​The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R is the fastest version of the Golf ever to be produced. ​​​​Powered by a 320-hp engine, the R can go from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, with a limited top speed of 155 mph. Option the “Performance Pack,” and this raises to 168 mph.

The Civic Type R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder VTEC engine producing up to 320 hp. It will reach 60 mph in 5.15 seconds and go on to break 169 mph.

Related: 10 Things To Know Before Buying The 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

8 Practicality Factors

With both cars being hatchbacks, they offer decent levels of practicality. The Golf R has a cargo area capacity of 380 liters, this can be increased to 1,237 liters. A number of useful storage cubbies can also be found throughout the cabin.

The Type R can swallow 420 liters of cargo. Fold the rear seats, and this increases to a generous 1,580 liters, great for a flatpack furniture shopping trip. Carrying oversized items is easier than you might anticipate, the car features a roller blind cargo cover instead of a traditional parcel shelf.

Related: Why You Should Buy A 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI

7 Differing Prices

The Golf R has a starting retail price of $44,640. This positions it towards the top end of the hot hatch market. The car comes in one specification, with the only choices to be made about the transmission, and between three color options.

In contrast, the Type R is a fair bit cheaper, with a $38,910 list price. A higher specification “Limited Edition” is available for just over $45,000.

6 Vastly Different Looks

When it comes to looks, the two cars are a different proposition. The Golf R is fairly understated, only those who know will appreciate this is a high performance model. It is something of a sleeper. Only larger wheels, a rear spoiler, and a few “R” badges give the game away.

In contrast, the Type R is far more aggressive and overtly sporty looking. The car features a distinctive high mounted rear wing, red accents on the front splitter and side skirts, and a large rear diffuser. The parts are not just for show, Honda’s engineers have incorporated them to improve the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.

5 Daily Driver Potential

Both cars are great daily driver propositions. The cars they are based on are both very popular mainstream models, that serve many people as daily drivers.

While offering sports car like performance, they remain complete packages. They are almost as practical as their base model counterparts, offering passenger and cargo space, decent fuel economy and a compact body form.

4 Modern Infotainment And Features

Both cars have excellent infotainment offerings. The Golf R’s system is focussed around an 8-inch centrally mounted touchscreen. There is a voice command system, and Apple CarPlay can be used wirelessly.

As standard, the Type R comes fitted out with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto both feature, and the car has inbuilt navigation on the higher trim. Overall, the Golf’s system is slightly more polished and easier to navigate.

3 Fuel Economy

Given the ongoing rise in the cost of fuel, efficiency is becoming an ever-increasing concern. Thankfully, both cars perform well in this regard, but the Golf R does just surpass the Type R.

The Golf R has been rated by the EPA as achieving 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. These figures are for the DSG automatic. Select the manual instead, and the figures fall to 20 mpg and 28 mpg respectively. The manual only Type R achieves 22 mpg in the city, and 28 mpg on the highway.

Related: Here Are The Most Fuel-Efficient Hot Hatches Of 2022

2 Interior Styling

The Golf R’s interior is well constructed, and a sporty style has been translated to the inside. The car features a nicely trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel, and a 30 color ambient lighting system sets the mood. Offering further personalization, the car is fitted with a configurable 10.2 inch digital instrument gauge cluster.

Just like the exterior styling, the Type R arguably looks significantly sportier than the Golf. Red accents feature heavily throughout the cabin, and the racing style seats make you feel like you are in a track focussed car.

1 Conclusion

Both of these cars are great options for anybody looking to combine sports car performance with the practicality of a daily driver. In summary, the Golf R is best suited for a buyer looking for a more discreet look and feel. The car has been well put together, and offers the best fuel efficiency of either car. While the car’s top speeds are pretty matched, the Golf R is marginally faster to 60 mph.

The Type R’s biggest strength is its sportier styling. It is also the more practical of the two, capable of carrying more cargo. The Type R is a particularly attractive proposition, given its significantly cheaper list price. It is hard to crown an overall winner, and buyers would likely be satisfied with either option. The choice really comes down to the lifestyle and desires of the perspective owner.


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