These are two very different takes on the hot hatch format, but the BMW M140i is both more fun on the limit and easier to live with the rest of the time. It’s that breadth of ability that wins it this test.
The Honda Civic Type R is still a fine car, mind. Super-grippy handling, quick steering and a satisfying short-throw gearshift make it great fun on the right road. It’s just a little too pricey given its shortcomings elsewhere.
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1st – BMW M140i 5dr auto
For Sports car performance; playful handling; supple ride
Against Overly light steering; higher CO2 emissions
Verdict Outrageously fast and fun, yet uncompromised in everday use
2nd – Honda Civic Type R
For Grippy handling; decent steering; good driving position
Against Pricier to buy and run; so-so interior quality; harder to live with
Verdict Impressively capable on road and track, but not as rounded as the BMW
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