New Honda Civic Type R vs BMW M140i vs Ford Focus RS

Can the new Honda Civic Type R balance speed with everyday comfort better than its hot hatch rivals?...

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What Car? team
16 August 2016

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

A good driving position is important in any car, but it’s fundamental in anything designed to be driven quickly around corners. The Civic’s is tough to fault: you sit reassuringly low in the car, the seat is both comfortable and wonderfully supportive, and the pedals line up neatly with the steering wheel. If we had one wish, it would be that the brake and accelerator pedals were a little closer together, but it’s far from a major issue.

New Honda Civic Type R vs BMW M140i vs Ford Focus RS

You sit even lower in the M140i. However, the standard ‘sports’ seats are more like the pews you would find in a regular 1 Series hatchback, only with slightly bigger side bolsters; they aren’t really designed for regular hard driving. The pedals are also positioned a bit too far to the right, and you’ll want to add lumbar adjustment (£195) for some much-needed lower back support on longer trips..

New Honda Civic Type R vs BMW M140i vs Ford Focus RS

Hop into the Focus after driving in the others and you’ll wonder if you’ve accidentally got into an SUV. That’s because you sit so high up and there’s no option to drop the seat lower if you’ve opted for the brilliantly supportive Recaro bucket seats (£1145). You quickly get used to the somewhat incongruous driving position, though, and at least it gives a great view of the road ahead, allowing you to hit that apex perfectly every time.