2021 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2022 VW Golf R

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2021 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2022 VW Golf R

Just in case you couldn’t figure this out on your own, the R in both the Civic Type R and the Golf R stands for racing. It could also stand for revvy, rapid, and (surprisingly) refined. Oh, we’ve got two more: recurring rivals. The fiercest fish in the hatchback tank, the Type R and the Golf R can’t be in the same place without a fight breaking out. Things were peaceful in 2020, as Volkswagen took a year off from the Golf R. But as soon as the 2022 eighth-gen Golf showed up, it was on like a nitrous bottle in a Fast & Furious movie. (There, got that out of the way. An F&F reference is legally required in any hot-hatch review.)

A redesigned Civic Type R will come out in 2022, but since we’ve already waited more than a year to get these cars back in the ring, we didn’t want to delay. Last time we set these two at each other, the conclusion was nebulous, with both getting such high points for performance and driving characteristics that choosing between them became all about their divergent exteriors—the Civic’s origami aggression versus the Golf’s more subtle angry-eyed egg. The buying decision basically came down to: How old are you, or how old do you want people to think you are? Coming into the rematch, we expected a similar result. When two competitors are this closely aligned, a few small user-experience details can result in a victory.

In their base forms, the Civic Type R has the edge in value: $37,950 compared with the Golf R’s $44,640. We narrowed that gap considerably by choosing the track-focused Type R Limited Edition, which should be called the Type RR, for racy race, or maybe richy rich since it comes at a $45,010 price. Still, our Volkswagen went higher since it came with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission—the only option available—bringing its price to $45,440.

For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.

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