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

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 vs Volkswagen Golf GTI rears

Our verdict

Being a quiet, comfortable, economical cruiser, the Volkswagen Golf GTI can be sensible, and when the mood strikes, its competent grip and gusty engine give it an entertaining driving experience. It's a Jack of all trades and is consistently impressive. 

But then you hop behind the wheel of the Honda Civic Type R. At all times, it's even sharper, more exciting and engaging to drive. This side of a McLaren or Porsche, few cars feel as beautifully honed as the Type R. Its steering, gearbox and brakes all work in harmony and are as joyous to use on the M25 as they are around Silverstone.

The Type R gets the bread and butter of what makes hot hatches great so right, hence it wins this twin test. 

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1st – Honda Civic Type R

2020 Honda Civic Type R side

For More exciting power delivery; incredible poise; snickety gearbox; bigger boot
Against More road noise; pricier; heavier fuel consumption

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2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI side

For Quiet, comfortable cruiser; impressively frugal; gutsier at low revs; loads of grip
Against Rubbery gearbox; less consistent brakes; disappointing infotainment system

What Car? says 4 stars out of 5

Read our full used Volkswagen Golf review >> 

Find a used Volkswagen Golf GTI for sale >>


Specification: Honda Civic Type R 2.0 VTEC Turbo GT

Engine 2.0-litre petrol
Power 316bhp 
Torque 295lb ft 
0-60mph 5.8sec
Top speed 169mph
Official economy 33.2mpg
CO2 emissions 193g/km


Specification: Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 TSI 245

Engine 2.0-litre petrol 
Power 242bhp 
Torque 273lb ft 
0-60mph 6.2sec
Top speed 155mph
Official economy 38.0mpg
CO2 emissions 169g/km


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