New Renault Megane RS vs Honda Civic Type R vs Volkswagen Golf R

What's the best hot hatch on sale today? To find out we're pitting the new Renault Megane RS against our reigning champion, the Honda Civic Type R, and Volkswagen's freshly tweaked Golf R...

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What Car? team
6 Jul 2017 15:20 | Last updated: 12 Jul 2018 12:19

Our verdict

The Golf R has many strengths, but the majority them aren’t the sort that make a great hot hatch. Yes, it’s devastatingly fast in a straight line, but it’s outclassed through the corners and is very expensive – particularly if you’re buying on PCP finance. If it’s the classy interior, decent practicality and VW badge that appeal, the Golf GTI offers those things for a lot less cash.

The fight for the win is tighter affair and the Civic and Megane are undoubtedly two of the finest hot hatches you can buy. The Civic will cost you more to buy and own, but we reckon it’s worth the premium. It’s a wonderfully well-engineered machine that’s both astonishing capable and great fun. The fact it’s so easy to live with only adds to its appeal.

The Megane isn’t the best all-rounder, but the way it changes direction embarrasses even the Civic, and the fact it’s so much cheaper than its rivals means it still deserves a five-star rating.

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1st – Honda Civic Type R

New Renault Megane RS vs Honda Civic Type R vs Volkswagen Golf R

For Staggering high-speed cornering ability; brilliant gearshift; driving position; easily the most practical

Against Terrible infotainment system; road noise

Recommended options None

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Honda Civic Type R review

Find a great Honda Civic Type R deal


2nd – Renault Megane RS

New Renault Megane RS vs Honda Civic Type R vs Volkswagen Golf R

For Incredible agility; sweet-sounding engine; cheap in this company

Against So-so performance; firm ride; you’ll want to add a few options

Recommended options 19in alloys (£950); metallic paint (from £550); Safety Pack Premium £400)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Renault Megane RS review

Find a great Renault Megane RS deal


3rd – Volkswagen Golf R

New Renault Megane RS vs Honda Civic Type R vs Volkswagen Golf R

For Devastatingly fast; reasonably quiet and comfy by hot hatch standards; classiest interior

Against Shown up through the bends; most expensive to buy and own; smallest boot

Recommended options Metallic paint (£575)

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen Golf R review

Find a great Volkswagen Golf R deal


Also consider:


Specifications: Honda Civic Type R 2.0 VTEC Turbo

Engine size 4cyl, 1996cc, turbo petrol

List price £31,525

Target Price £31,300

Power 316bhp @ 6500rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 2500-4500rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 5.4sec

Top speed 169mph

Gov't fuel economy 35.1mpg

CO2 emissions 176g/km


Specifications: Renault Megane RS 1.8 280 Cup

Engine size 4cyl, 1798cc, turbo petrol

List price £28,995

Target Price £28,995

Power 276bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 287Ib ft @ 2400rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 5.9sec

Top speed 158mph

Gov't fuel economy 39.8mpg

CO2 emissions 161g/km


Specifications: Volkswagen Golf R 2.0 TSI 300 DSG

Engine size 4cyl, 1984cc, turbo petrol

List price £34,910

Target Price £31,873

Power 296bhp @ tbc

Torque tbc

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 4.5sec

Top speed 155mph

Gov't fuel economy tbc

CO2 emissions tbc

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