2019 Honda Civic Type R vs 2019 Volkswagen Golf R: Hottest hatches comparison


For lovers of the hot hatch segment, choosing between the 2019 Honda Civic Type R and 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is a tough call. See Naijacarnews' expert comparison of the hottest hatches.

1. The story of Civic & Golf so far

The new 2019 Honda Civic Type R and 2019 Volkswagen Golf R have arrived the hot hatch market, and it is no big surpris that these two, made it into the market top list of  ‘most talked about’ hatchback cars. Honda Civic has traditionally claimed that top spot as one of the most popular vehicles in the segment, but how good is the latest Volkswagen Golf R? Is it worthy enough to be compared to the latest Honda Civic?


Both the 2019 Honda Civic Type R and the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R are popular hot hatches

These two vehicles have had their fair share of competition with other cars, but this year; they are facing off with each other, due to their notable similarities. This apart, they are both in contenion as two of the best purchased cars around the world.

1.1. About the Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic begun production in 1997, and has transformed from a 3-door hatchback to a 4 and 5- door hatchback. Being the fifth-generation presently, the Civic Type R is the topmost performance model of the Honda Civic production line.


2019 Honda Civic Type R comes from a long line of one of the most sold hatchbacks in the world

1.2. About the Volkswagen Golf R

For Volkswagen Golf R, its production was purposefully dropped to welcome the new production of the Volkswagen Golf MK8 in 2020. Thus, this makes it part of the family of the Golf MK8, which started production in 2012. It could be stimulating to know that the creation of this very car was whispered in 2015 by Heinz-Jacob Neuse, who was then the former head of the Volkswagen Head of brand development.


2019 Volkswagen Golf R is one of the most rugged and dependable hatches out there

2. 2019 Honda Civic Type R vs 2019 Volkswagen Golf R style

2.1. Exterior style comparison 

A look at the exterior structure of these hatchbacks can quickly differentiate their looks. While the Volkswagen Golf R has the standard hatchback design with slight departures, the Honda Civic Type R hatchback design is quite surprisingly peculiar. A glance at it would give it away as a pseudo-sedan; this is one flaw many users who are interested in showing off their hatchback vehicles complain of.

Apart from this non-conformity with traditional hatchback lines, the 2019 Civic Type R comes with an improved, yet appealing exterior rare design; more like a ‘show off’ structure which hardly goes unnoticed.


2019 Honda Civic Type R and the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R back views: Style mixes with dependability

2.2. Interior style comparison 

If you dislike the color red, then the 2019 Civic Type R may not be for you. Honda went overboard by coating the interior of this car in red. Noticeable parts like the seats, seatbelts, the instrument cluster, and even the stitches in the door panel are in a crimson hue.  For some enthusiasts, it’s beautiful, while others may look at it as too flashy.

Another miss for the 2019 Type R is the lack of mobile hotspot, and the visibly cheap plastics, which are used for the interior structure. If you are into classic, standout looks, the inside of this car may not be to your tastes.  Looking past this, the entire look of the vehicle looks modest with the plus of a well equipped infotainment system.


Both Honda Type R and Volks Golf R cockpits show attention to detail, but the Civic's red theme may be too much for some

On the other hand, the 2019 Golf R's cabin looks more classic and calm. The car's luxury can be seen in its steering wheel, which has well-trimmed black leather and shifter. There are modern digital gauges with a well-loaded impressive infotainment system to match it. The interface is clean, and the controls are simple and uncluttered.

Despite these advantages, few things which may cause a few frowns at the 2019 Golf R are the touchscreen, which is reported as being slow to respond, as well as issues of lack of mobile hotspot. 


Could the Volkswagen Golf R slow responding instrument cluster cost it the edge in this race?

2.3. Seating comparison

The 2019 Golf R seating capacity is five passengers while that of the 2019 Civic Type R is for four passengers. When comparing the convenience, and how comfortable the seats are, the Civic Type R beats the Volkswagen Golf R in this.

Even though both cars come with heated and adjustable seats, tall drivers and passengers in the Honda Civic Type R will feel more comfortable in it than in the Golf R.


Boasting of 4-5 passengers capacity, the Volks sure has the winning hand in seating here

2.4. Cargo space comparison

The Honda Civic Type R cargo space measures 26 cubic feet while the Volkswagen Golf R measures 23 cubic feet. Thus, the Honda Civic Type R is also a winner when it comes to cargo space, as it can swallow approximately six ‘moderate big enough’ boxes.


The Civic has the edge in cargo capacity with its 26 cu-ft against 23 cu-ft of the Golf R

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3. 2019 Honda Civic Type R vs 2019 Volkswagen Golf R tech specs

While the 2019 Honda Civic Type R chose more performance over driver assistance features, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R has a suite which offers improved driver assist technology. This includes lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise, and a few more.

Both cars come with a six-speed manual transmission and a 2.0 liter turbocharging of the inline-four engine. The power of the 2019 Honda Civic Type R comes at a mid-range 306 hp, at 6500 rpm of 289 lb-ft at 1800 rpm, while that of the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R is about 288 hp, at 5400 rpm of a 280 lb-ft at 1800 rpm.

On the road, the Golf R runs 21mpg on the city while maintaining 29 mpg on the highway. For the Civic Type R, the city mpg it is about 22, while on the highway, it is about 28 mpg.


These engines are so close, the minor variations don't matter in any practical sense

4. 2019 Honda Civic Type R vs 2019 Volkswagen Golf R Price comparison

The base prices of the two vehicles show a remarkable closeness. Take a look at the figures below:

 Model 2019 Volkswagen Golf R  2019 Honda Civic Type R





*MSRP: Manufacturer's suggested retail price, excluding delivery fees, import tax or custom clearing cost.

It can be seen then that in the price department, the Honda Civic has a slight advantage in price. Although not so wide a gap, this also may affect acceptance by buyers.

5. 2019 Honda Civic Type R vs 2019 Volkswagen Golf R Pros and Cons

Let's examine quick the pluses and minuses of these cars if any:

 Category 2019 Honda Civic Type R  2019 Volkswagen Golf R 
  • Affordable price
  • Comfortable seating
  • Good performance
  • Good cargo space
  • Classic interior structure and material
  • On-point Exterior design
  • Equipped driver assist
  • Cheap interior material and too colorful
  • Hideous hatchback design
  • Less driver assist
  • Very pricey for a hatchback
  • Constricted seating
  • Fair performance
  • Slow touchscreen response

Honda Civic Type R vs VW Golf R | Top Gear: Drag Races

6. Verdict

So, the final question is, which of these two top hot hatches do you go for? It's a really close call however. So close in fact, that we see two distinct hatchack lovers going for each vehicle. The laid back type for the 2019 Honda Civic Type R, and the adventurous, younger crowd opting for the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R. What do you think? 

>>> Naijacarnews buying and seling tips section gives you best car advice when you need it

Joshua-Philip Okeafor


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