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Used test: Honda Civic Type R vs Volkswagen Golf GTI costs

Two of the most iconic names in hot hatch history go head-to-head in used form, but should you buy a Honda Civic Type R or a Volkswagen Golf GTI?...

Honda Civic Type R 2021 interior steering wheel

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

At the time of writing, it's around £4000 cheaper to put a 2020 VW Golf GTI on your driveway than the equivalent Honda Civic Type R – you're looking at £28,000 for the former, and £32,000 for the latter. Both were priced at around £34,000 when new, so while the GTI has become the more affordable car to buy, the Type R has held more of its value.

In terms of running costs, the GTI proved to be impressively frugal on our mixed True MPG test route, averaging an impressive 36.8mpg, compared with 32.9mpg for the Type R. The Type R is also likely to cost fractionally more to service and insure.

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI steering wheel

As for safety, both the standard Civic and Golf received a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. They performed impressively well at protecting adult occupants in the event of a frontal or side impact, although the Golf was superior at protecting children sitting in the rear. Both cars get automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keeping assistance as standard.


From safety over to luxuries, both cars get a few notable creature comforts and driving aids as standard from new, including adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, and front and rear parking sensors.

Honda Civic Euro NCAP crash test

While the Type R and the GTI were absent from the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, their standard counterparts were present. The Honda Civic managed a rather poor 22nd place finish out of 24 cars in the family car class, while the Volkswagen Golf ranked 20th. Honda as a brand placed 14th out of 30 manufacturers featured, while Volkswagen came 20th. 

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