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Used test: Honda Civic Type R vs Hyundai i30N verdict

These two hot hatches are desirable, thrilling to drive and temptingly affordable when used, but which one is best?...

New Hyundai i30N vs Honda Civic Type R

Our Verdict

The Hyundai i30N is arguably the underdog in this used test. It lacks power and overall performance compared with the Honda Civic Type R and it's not quite as razor sharp. That said, it's still a lot of fun to drive, with playful driving dynamics and refined handling. Plus, it's hard not to giggle whenever the exhaust lets off some rally-car-esque crackles and pops.

We were ultimately drawn to the Civic Type R, though. It's an absolute delight to drive and utterly thrilling to pilot through a set of winding bends. The i30N gets a lot right, but it doesn't quite come together in such a masterful fashion. The Civic Type R is much quicker and more fun, not to mention more spacious and comfortable. 

So, the i30N may be cheaper and a properly good hot hatch but we'd happily pay the premium and get the Type R. As we said at the beginning, the biggest smile wins. 

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1st – Honda Civic Type R

New Hyundai i30N vs Honda Civic Type R

For Mind-blowing cornering speed; sweeter control weights; in-gear pace; more practical
Against Less well equipped; much pricier to buy; poor infotainment system

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Read our full used Honda Civic Type R buying guide >>

Buy a used Honda Civic Type R with What Car? >>

2nd – Hyundai i30N

New Hyundai i30N vs Honda Civic Type R

For Responsive engine; much cheaper to buy; more equipment
Against Steering feel could be better; real-world fuel economy not as good; not quite as much fun to drive

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our full used Hyundai i30N buying guide >>

Buy a used Hyundai i30N with What Car? >>

Specifications: Honda Civic Type R

Engine 2.0-litre petrol
Power 316bhp
Torque 295lb ft
0-60mph 5.6sec
Top speed 169mph
Fuel economy 36.7mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 176g/km

Specifications: Hyundai i30N

Engine 2.0-litre petrol
Power 271bhp
Torque 260lb ft
0-60mph 5.9sec
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 39.8mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 163g/km