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Old 11-02-2018, 07:02 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2019 Honda Civic Type R

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Quote:
2019 Honda Civic Type R Arrives With New Color, More Standard Kit


The Civic Hatchback also gets minor improvements. After refreshing the Civic Coupe and Sedan earlier this year, Honda is now launching the Civic Type R and Civic Hatcback with improvements for the 2019 model year. Both models will go on sale beginning November 3rd with MSRP starting at $21,450 for the hatch and $35,700 for the hardcore hot hatch.

The new model year brings interior enhancements for both cars, including an updated Display Audio system that now features physical buttons and a volume knob for more intuitive control, and improved Bluetooth connectivity and voice control function. The buttons on the steering wheel have been upgraded for simplified operation, while the electric parking brake has a new light indicator for when it’s engaged. Other upgrades include larger cupholders and physical buttons for fan speed on cars equipped with a dual-zone automatic climate control.

The Civic upgraded at both sides of the pond:

The Civic Type R carries on with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing the same 306 horsepower (228 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters). It is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with automatic rev matching. As standard comes the adjustable suspension with three modes, while new is the Sonic Gray Pearl exterior color. The EPA fuel consumption numbers remain unchanged at 22/28/25 for city/highway/combined.

As for the Civic Hatchback, for 2019 the model will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L with Navigation, and Sport Touring trims, with the latter carrying a starting price of $28,750. As standard, all models come fitted with the Honda Sensing suite of assistance and safety systems, which includes forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and other systems. Power still comes from a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine with 174 hp (130 kW) for the LX, EX and EX-L Navi trims, and 180 hp (134 kW) for the Sport and Sport Touring models.

More pricing details are available in the press release section below.

Source: Honda
Honda’s most powerful production car, Civic Type R, showcases its performance and sporty appearance with new Sonic Gray Pearl color

Fun-to-drive 2019 Civic Hatchback brings comfort, versatility and premium features, including standard Honda Sensing®

Civic Type R and Hatchback benefit from numerous interior upgrades, including an updated Display Audio system with physical volume knob

Civic on track to be the #1 retail-selling car in America for the third straight year
The 2019 Civic Type R and Civic Hatchback return with upgraded interior features, standard Honda Sensing® on Civic Hatchback, and Sonic Gray Pearl available on Civic Type R for the first time in the U.S. The changes build on the edgy styling, fun-to-drive nature, versatility and premium features that made Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R instant hits last year after joining the award-winning 10th-generation Civic lineup.

The 2019 Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R go on-sale at Honda dealerships beginning Saturday, November 3 with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP1) starting at $21,450 for Hatchback, and $35,700 for Type R (excluding $895 destination and handling).

Both models benefit from multiple interior updates designed to provide drivers with a more comfortable and efficient in-vehicle experience. Enhancements to technology and connectivity include an updated Display Audio system that now features physical buttons and a volume knob for more intuitive control, improved voice recognition and Bluetooth® connectivity, a USB sub-cord and, similar to previous models, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration standard on EX trims and above. In addition, steering wheel controls have been upgraded for simplified operation, the electronic parking brake has an indicator light for when it's engaged, the center console sports larger cupholders, and there are physical buttons for fan speed on models with dual-zone climate control.

Civic Hatchback
At 20 percent of all Civic sales, Civic Hatchback is a key player in the Civic lineup, which continues as the top-selling retail car in America this year2 -- a position it has held in each of the past two years. Civic Hatchback Sport, with its combination of eye-catching good looks and a dynamic driving feel, was named a 2017 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, a list dominated by sports cars and luxury marques. Civic Hatchback Sport, along with Civic Type R and Civic Si, also earned a coveted spot on the Car and Driver 10 Best list for 2018. Perhaps best of all, Civic Hatchback's lively demeanor doesn't detract from excellent EPA fuel economy ratings of 31/40/34 mpg3 (city/highway/combined) for the LX, EX & EX-L Navi trims with continuously variable transmission (CVT).

For 2019, Civic Hatchback again will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L with Navigation, and Sport Touring trims. It's powered by a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbo in-line 4-cylinder with peak output of 174 horsepower4 in LX, EX and EX-L Navi trims. Civic Hatchback Sport and Sport Touring trims bump peak power to 180 horsepower4.

For the 2019 model year, Civic Hatchback includes Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment on all trims. Honda Sensing® includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow.

2019 Civic Hatchback Pricing and EPA Fuel Economy Ratings

TRIM
TRANSMISSION
MSRP1
MSRP including $895 Destination Charges
EPA Fuel Economy Ratings
(city / highway/ combined3)
LX
CVT
$21,450
$22,345
31/40/34
Sport
6MT
$22,250
$23,145
29/38/33
Sport
CVT
$23,050
$23,945
30/36/32
EX
CVT
$23,750
$24,645
31/40/34
EX-L Navi
CVT
$26,250
$27,145
31/40/34
Sport Touring
CVT
$28,750
$29,645
30/36/32
Civic Type R
Civic Type R stormed onto the U.S. market last year, with an exclusive 2.0-liter 306-horsepower direct-injected VTEC® Turbo 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission with automatic rev matching. With an adjustable suspension that includes Comfort, Sport and +R modes, Civic Type R is suitable as a civil and practical daily driver, with 22/28/25 city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy ratings, or an aggressive track star that has shattered records at some of Europe's most celebrated racing circuits, including the famed Nürburgring.

Civic Type R has won numerous accolades since its introduction, including being named a 2018 AUTOMOBILE All-Star, and a 2018 Editor's Choice by Car and Driver. On the racing front, Civic Type R TCR dominated the Pirelli World Challenge series by way of 11 podium finishes over the 12-race season en route to the championship.

In addition to the interior updates, the 2019 Civic Type R adds Sonic Gray Pearl to its palette of exterior color choices that also includes Championship White, a color exclusive to Civic Type R.

2019 Civic Type R Pricing and EPA Fuel Economy Ratings

TRIM
MSRP5
MSRP including $895 Destination Charges
EPA Fuel Economy Ratings
(city / highway/ combined6)
Civic Type R
$35,700
$36,595
22/28/25
The 2019 Civic Hatchback and Civic Type R for the U.S. market are both manufactured exclusively by Honda's Swindon, UK plant. The 2.0T engine for Civic Type R is produced in Honda's largest automobile engine plant, in Anna, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:08 AM   #2
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:05 AM   #3
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Battleship grey put on yet another car model.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:08 AM   #4
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So much for those facelift spyshots.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:19 PM   #5
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Not to sound like scrappy, but I yearn for a simpler time.


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Old 11-02-2018, 12:53 PM   #6
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That car really got me into cars. And by got me, I mean wasting hard earned money on them. Curse you CTR of Simpler Times.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
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Not to sound like scrappy, but I yearn for a simpler time.


Amen. The performance and engineering in the CTR is incredible, but its the ugliest car I've ever seen.
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:07 PM   #8
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Amen. The performance and engineering in the CTR is incredible, but its the ugliest car I've ever seen.
Yup,


Glad you caught the meaning. Love the tech, hate the styling.
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
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[/IMG]

That car really got me into cars. And by got me, I mean wasting hard earned money on them. Curse you CTR of Simpler Times.
Lubbed my 92 si hatch. Put 160k on it. Did the 4 banger Honduhs for so many years. Until 2008 actually.
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
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I like the changes they made. Very small, but welcome.

Hopefully with another year or production, some of these Honda dealers will stop trying to pile on ridiculous markups. It's gotten better, but some dealers, especially in SoCal are still smoking that ish
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:41 PM   #11
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Should’ve added yellow.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:20 PM   #12
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Should’ve added yellow.
Yes!

And where's the base model Type R?
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:19 PM   #13
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Wow, base MSRP going from $20,150 to $21,450 is a pretty big jump.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:55 PM   #14
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Battleship grey put on yet another car model.
It looks far better on the Type R than ISM or DGM on the WRX/STI.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:18 PM   #15
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Wow, base MSRP going from $20,150 to $21,450 is a pretty big jump.
It's cause they made all that safety stuff standard.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:23 PM   #16
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Wow, base MSRP going from $20,150 to $21,450 is a pretty big jump.
CVT and Honda Sensing are standard on base for 2019.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:59 AM   #17
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Ah ok, 2018 w/ both of those things is actually $21,950 so that's nice.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:03 AM   #18
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Default Top 10 Best Hot Hatches AutoCar No WRX

These are our favourite hot hatches currently on sale. But who will claim the top spot?




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usability, no other type of performance car does it better than the not-so-humble, full-sized hot hatchback.

The idea of taking a regular family hatchback and turning it into a performance car is now time-honoured and has become hugely popular with buyers, especially in the UK.

Volkswagen assumed ownership of the concept with the Mk1 Golf GTI of 1976, although students of the segment will tell you that the hot hatchback niche was founded earlier by either Simca or Autobianchi. Whoever went there first, most manufacturers now have one of these fundamentally enjoyable cars in their line-up.

From mega-power German luxo-hatches to newcomers from Hyundai, the segment has never offered so much choice. Creating some semblance of order, here are our top 10 picks.

1. Honda Civic Type R

The best hot front-driver of the moment isn’t such a financial stretch when you consider the price of some of the other cars in this list. The Honda Civic Type R is a seriously involving effort from Honda. It gives you grip when you need it, handling adjustability when you go looking for it, plenty of control feedback, a spectacular turbocharged engine and outstanding practicality, too.

That combination yields sensational driver appeal that invites you to exploit everything this car has to offer as often as you can get away with.

A less aggressive-looking track-biased car with a greater focus on cabin quality than hardcore dynamism might have been a bigger seller, but it wouldn’t have been half as compelling to drive. Nor would it be the most exciting hot hatch that can currently be bought.

2. Volkswagen Golf R

Upping the pace and excitement quotient of the Golf GTI while delivering daily usability alien to any other fast hatchback on the market is what the Golf R excels at. This is a car that blends the classy sophistication and roundedness that you’d expect of a Volkswagen with first-order rawness, handling dynamism and sheer driver appeal – and four-wheel drive stability gets chucked in for good measure.

The car lacks the aural drama of the old R32’s V6, and its ride is greatly improved by the optional addition of adaptive dampers. But get the specification right and you’ll find this is one hot hatchback that you can drive every day, for any journey, without it wearing you down or tiring you out. That’s a rare trick indeed for any hot hatchback – and it makes the Golf R a uniquely talented car.
[/img]https://www.autocar.co.uk/sites/autocar.co.uk/files/styles/body-image/public/02-03-volkswagen-golf-r-0291.jpg?itok=_7SFq-f7[/img]


3. Renault Sport Mégane RS 280

The fourth-generation Mégane RS isn’t a hot hatch for pretenders; with Cup chassis specced, this is a hard-riding, sharp-edged B-road weapon that demands some serious commitment if you’re to get the best out of it.

Four-wheel steering virtually shortens its wheelbase through tighter bends and makes for super-incisive handling, while hydraulic bumpstops ensure the suspension can take any punishment you’re prepared to dish out. Meanwhile the car’s 1.8-litre four-pot provides plentiful performance - though not as much as a Civic Type R .

Ergonomics aren’t that great, neither’s the cabin in general, and neither is the shift quality of the manual 'box (though it’s preferable to the clumsy paddleshift auto).

But on the right road, in the right conditions, there’s a lot to like here. And if you’re confident enough to plough your own furrow, ignore the wider market’s preference for the firmer cup version of the car, and order a sport-spec car instead (with its softer suspension much better-suited to everyday use and fast road driving), you’ll get a Megane RS that’s within touching distance of the finest-handling examples of its breed.



4. Hyundai i30 N

[img]https://www.autocar.co.uk/sites/autocar.co.uk/files/styles/body-image/public/hyundai-i30n-cornering_0.jpg?itok=wMsRuTkw[/img[

Ascendant Korean car-maker Hyundai clearly wasn’t interesting in half-measures with its first N-branded performance model, the i30 N. This was the car it hired former BMW M Division engineering supremo Albert Biermann to help make, and then poured huge R&D resources behind.

And, although there are one or two caveats to admit, it didn’t go to all that trouble in vain. The i30 N has surprising hardcore temperament and a real sense of performance purpose, neither of which you expect from a car-maker with so little previous experience in the segment. There’s a really old-school flavour to the weight in its controls, and about the gravelly boost in its power delivery and the increasing firmness in its damping.

If anything, Hyundai went too far with the hardcore tuning of this car – as the i30 N’s firmest and most aggressive suspension, steering and drivetrain modes are too uncompromising, and make it a hard car to read. But at its best – in modest trim level, and set up for pragmatic ease-of-operation rather than out-and-out grip level – it’s an involving, balanced, genuinely appealing driver’s car.



5. Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic+

We’re currently between model generations of the walloping Mercedes-AMG A45 mega hatch – but that doesn’t mean there’s no fast A-Class in Mercedes showrooms. The A35 4Matic+ is Affalterbach’s slightly cheaper and more accessible lure for anyone looking for pace, everyday usability, driver appeal and premium brand cache from their hot hatchback.

Using a detuned version of the A45’s turbocharged 2.0-litre motor that produces just over 300-horsepower, and channelling its power to the road via a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox and both axles, the A35 doesn’t drive like a subordinate performance derivative. It’s seriously fast, surprisingly firm-riding and quite aggressive-feeling for a car intended to be used every day. And yet it also has plenty of on-road handling precision and poise, and a chassis and drivetrain that always combine to find excellent grip and traction, even in slippery conditions.

Add to that the established technoglare appeal of the A-Class’ gadget-laden cabin and Mercedes’ brand allure and you’ve got a package that’s sure to find plenty of showroom success – even if it wouldn’t quite be the car we’d recommend for the ultimate in hot hatchback thrills or for any-weather, any-occasion usability.



6. Seat Leon Cupra

Seat’s Cupra-branded hot Leon range has been through plenty of change of the last couple of years, having climaxed with the limited-series, now-defunct Cupra R.

Now you can choose between a front-wheel drive chassis and 286bhp of power in the shorter five-door hatchback version, or four-wheel drive and 296bhp of the stuff in the more practical ‘ST’ estate. Neither version is any slouch, though – and unlike the VW Golf R to which it’s otherwise quite closely related, the front-driven version of the Seat uses an electronically locking front diff.

The Leon’s handling is crisp, agile and grippy, though not quite as communicative, balanced or biddable as some in the class. The engine’s a strong suit for the car, revving hard right to the redline and sounding hard-edged.

Added to all that is a pretty convincing bang-for-buck argument for this car, with the five-door version available from under £30,000, and smart, sharp-edged styling that isn’t too chavvy. It makes for plenty to like – though perhaps not quite the incisive driver reward needed to top this chart overall.



7. Audi RS3 Sportback

Production of Audi Sport’s superheated A3, the RS3 Sportback, is on an emissions-related hiatus at the moment, with an updated WLTP-emissions compliant version returning later in 2019 before the A3 itself is replaced.

The price of Audi’s most junior RS model is likely to be just as colossal when it comes back, mind you, as it was before it left the scene – but what the money gets you is a simply incredible 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine and dual-clutch gearbox. It’s a combination that allowed the 395bhp RS3 to hit 60mph in just 3.9sec during Autocar testing, and dispatch 100mph in less than 10 seconds. That’s double-take stuff for a hatchback and puts the model well into proper sports car territory on acceleration.

If there’s a caveat, it’s a familiar one – the quattro four-wheel-drive system still doesn't contribute much to handling appeal. That said, cross-country pace is utterly mighty and handling is ever-secure. Fitting the optional adaptive dampers is a must if you want a daily-use ride.



8. Volkswagen Golf GTI

The most iconic hot hatch of them all is not as powerful or hardcore as some – far from it – but it remains desirable, superb on the road and great to own.

Breadth of ability and versatility are its greatest dynamic strengths. However, even in its GTI Performance guise, this ultra-composed Golf has no answer for the agility or incisiveness of a Megane RS of a Civic Type R. It’s perfect for everyday, real-world use each day of the week, however, and it’s also well capable of blowing off the cobwebs come Sunday morning.

If Volkswagen made the Golf GTI a bit more visually assertive and a little more interesting at its limits, then it could give the car the additional joie de vivre it needs to compete in outright terms as a real thriller. As it is, though, few GTI devotees would change this singular successful, long-lived performance icon – and we wouldn’t either.

9. BMW M140i

Endowing a rear-wheel drive hatchback with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine makes for rather a lot of proper old-fashioned fun, and lessens the disappointment that this BMW isn’t quite as sharp-handling as it would needs to be to challenge the most rewarding cars in this class.

The M140i’s rear-drive chassis is nicely balanced but isn't quite the entertainer it should be, and neither does it generate enough grip and poise for the M140i to match the point-to-point pace of the Seat Leon Cupra or four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Golf R.

10. Skoda Octavia vRS 245

A little extra power and a dollop more focus make this big Skoda surprisingly rorty and engaging to drive. Be in no doubt: this is a driver’s car that should be taken seriously. With the optional Dynamic Chassis Control fitted, the estate version finally makes good on the long-running notion that a vRS might just be a no-brainer for anyone whose life has outgrown a conventional hatch.

A lack of all-wheel drive hampers its everyday-use appeal slighty, but this car still manages a good compromise between a plush ride and sharp handling.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:39 AM   #19
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Default Hot hatch face-off: Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR vs main rivals

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Hot hatch face-off: Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR vs main rivals

Hot hatch face-off: Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR vs main rivals
A recent straw poll on Twitter asked which of today’s hot hatch stars would take victory. There were a few chirrups in support of the Volkswagen – the Golf GTI we have here is a last-of-the-line special from an engineering powerhouse and so ought to be rather good – but, a little tediously, almost all predicted a knockout blow from Honda.

Front-driven hot-hatch showdown in Wales today, with the new Golf GTI TCR, RS Megane Trophy and the mighty Civic Type R.

We shouldn’t be surprised. This is the FK8 Civic Type R: the best driver’s Honda since the DC2 Integra darted onto the Japanese domestic market in the mid-1990s, and a car whose behind-the-wheel zing tends to unify the opinion riven by its design. Honda might not have volume enough in Europe to support continued production at the Swindon plant where the Type R is exclusively built, but the 3500 employees who now face an uncertain future can be obscenely proud of the car they’ve manufactured. So far this has been the undisputed class champion, and today is its tilt at immortality.

But not if the box-fresh Golf GTI TCR or a radiant Liquid Yellow Renault Sport Mégane illuminating our Welsh surroundings can help it. These are the latest wares from arguably the most pre-eminent houses in the entire hot hatch business. They’re tweaked and tuned, more expensive than the base model but perceptibly quicker and – we hope – more fun. And why would anyone spend more than £30,000 on what is, after all, merely a front-driven performance derivative of a mass-produced family car, unless it was enormous, irresistibly good fun?

Our Verdict

End-of-the-line seventh-generation Golf GTI is fast, precise and assured on track, but hasn’t got the attitude to usurp the hot hatch class’s most exciting front-drivers



When it comes to hot hatches, history shows the engineers at Renault Sport HQ in Les Ulis normally need a second bite at the cherry to give us their best effort, and when that bite comes with a Trophy badge, it normally blitzes the opposition. In this instance, no time has been wasted in deploying the Mégane RS 300 Trophy – to give its full name – and it’s a typically convincing effort. Power from a quicker-responding 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo engine shared with the Alpine A110 is up 20bhp over the base Mégane RS to 296bhp, with torque rising from 295lb ft to 310lb ft if you go for the dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which we haven’t. The Trophy retains four-wheel steering but gets a new bi-modal exhaust, 19in wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres (track-ready S007s are an option) and Renault Sport’s Cup chassis as standard.

The Volkswagen is bashful by comparison, despite the fact this TCR version wears the most belligerent bodykit ever seen on a production Golf and is, at least in a straight line, the quickest car here to 62mph, if only by a tenth or two. Those initials reference a touring-car class in which pumped-up Golf GTIs trade paint with equally thuggish interpretations of the Audi S3, Peugeot 308 and Hyundai i30 N, to name a few. This road-going farewell to the Mk7.5 GTI isn’t necessary to homologate the racing cars – it’s more of a diluted homage – although the package is still enticing enough.



VW’s juicy EA888 2.0-litre turbo engine is reprised in the same 286bhp tune last seen in the much-loved GTI Clubsport 40 of 2017, only now with a brace of additional radiators from the Golf R. It gives the Golf easily the broadest powerband among the assembled, pulling with peak torque all the way from 1950rpm to 5300rpm. Elsewhere it is predictable fare, with power put to the road through the same electronic locking differential and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (there’s no manual for the Golf, although it’s the only car here available with a neat three-door body) as the existing GTI Performance. The alloys are a relatively restrained 18in, but peer through them and you’ll see the drilled brake discs and calipers from the old GTI Clubsport S – once holder of Nürburgring record for front-drive cars. That it stole the record from the previous-generation Civic Type R before itself being usurped by the Type R here today shows how tight this tit-for-tat class is in dynamic terms. Just 6.83sec separates the three lap times, and don’t bet against Renault going a smidgeon quicker still when it unleashes the ultra-hardcore Trophy-R later this year. But never mind the Nürburgring; the point is that for a good few years, GTI owners with ‘just’ 242bhp under their right foot must have known they could go considerably quicker in rival cars, but with the TCR that’s no longer the case. Welcome back, Volkswagen.

It’s the Golf we start in, and in a cabin that feels extraordinarily fresh given that the fundamental Mk7 architecture was introduced back in 2011. The TCR gets various niceties, such as perforated leather for a firm, flat-bottomed steering wheel that also gets a race car-style centre-marker and attractive new cloth seats whose deep bolsters are trimmed in the soft grey microfibre also found on the door cards and gearshifter. This interior is a tailored sports coat next to the Trophy’s no-nonsense yoga pants and the scarlet bomber jacket of the Honda, and as well it might be given the £34,650 asking price – easily the highest of the three.



The dull drive over to Wales from southwest London was also a timely reminder why the GTI is so uniquely successful among hot hatchbacks. Conspicuously quieter at a cruise and more spacious than its slightly claustrophobic-feeling rivals, and with our car’s adaptive dampers set to Comfort, the day-to-day road manners are simply first class. Whatever happens next, if there’s space only for one car in your garage, the GTI TCR needs to be in your final reckoning.

What actually happens is that I drop into the deep Recaro buckets of the Trophy, bring up Race mode on the touchscreen display and head into the mountains. And that’s not as mindlessly gung-ho as it sounds. Whereas the rear wheels are generally slung in a contrary direction to those at front at speeds of up to only 37mph, in Race mode that rises to 62mph. The effect is nothing short of phenomenal: the Mégane rotates through bends with a zeal that must surely be identifiable to ‘ditch-hooking’ rally drivers. Admittedly, there is an inescapable feeling of the artificial, although by making better use of all four contact patches, the Renault gets into a corner more aggressively than the others, straightens up sooner once through the apex and, assisted by a fairly tightly wound torque-sensing differential, then simply drives away up the road. Point to point, it’s the quickest car here – or at least feels that way, despite an engine that doesn’t feed with such glorious greed over the last thousand-or-so revs.


But is it too nervous? Maybe, although we’re into the murky realm of personal taste here, because there’s certainly nothing perilous about it. The Cup chassis is stiff – spring, damper and anti-roll bar rates are all significantly up compared with the standard chassis – to the extent that it requires properly substantial loadings to get it working fluidly, which it surely does, what with its new hydraulic bump-stops.

It needs commitment, in other words, and if you’re the sort who is prepared to give it the necessary in that regard, you’re probably prepared to indulge its taste for torque steer and occasional vulnerability to deflection. God it corners flat, though, especially on smooth stretches of road, where the ultra-wide front track bites viciously through quick direction changes, often prompting the tail to swing in time-honoured Renault Sport fashion, whether you’re riding the new, lightweight bi-material brakes or have the throttle pinned. In fact, once you’re in tune with the car’s slightly unnatural false-oversteer routine, the Trophy becomes wonderfully expressive and adaptable to whatever driving style best suits the conditions or your mood. Just make sure it’s a fast one.



If the GTI TCR matched the Mégane’s level of incisiveness, it would be much more stimulating, but it also would cease to be a Golf. Truth is, the optional decals and flared sills are misleading, because this final hurrah never sets the pulse racing in quite the way you’d want it to. The steering is probably a touch more linear but folds the car’s nose into corners more lethargically, like a dimmer switch compared with the Renault’s circuit-breaker. This example’s £875 adaptive suspension also struggles for vertical control at the pace set by the Mégane, while the powerful brakes simply aren’t communicative enough for a category in which confidence when shedding speed is so important. The preemptive electronic differential is the most predictable of all the hardware here, however, and were the Golf’s 225-section front tyres to match the 245s of the others, any difference in apex speed would be negligible. Shame it’s all just a bit remote and uncomfortable in its boy-racer skin.

Which leaves our final car, and herein lies an inconvenient truth for Honda’s golden boy: the Civic Type R is neither as versatile as the Golf GTI TCR nor, frankly, as electrifying as the Mégane on a charge. The infotainment is dreadful, too, and materially the cabin is miserable in parts. The bodykit we’ve already addressed, although there’s also the fact that the skinny-spoked 20in wheels make the rear brake discs looks like MiniDiscs.



However, the Type R possesses arguably the greatest human-machine interface compilation of any car on sale relative to the norms of the segment in which it exists, and perhaps beyond. It starts as soon as you climb aboard. After the Golf – a car ergonomically all but flawless – the heavily bolstered seats feel as though they’re bolted directly to the floorpan. Glorious. The high scuttle and an instinctive awareness of the Civic’s sloping tailgate and long wheelbase mean the thing ceases to feel like a hot hatch and takes on the demeanour of something altogether more serious – and ultimately more interesting and satisfying.

On the move, the pedals’ weight and positioning is noticeably good, flattering any heel-and-toe efforts. Steering is heavy but quick – just 2.1 turns lock to lock – and the wheel itself modest in diameter. The surprisingly supple suspension is less troubled along these cloud-scraping rural Welsh highways than the Mégane’s, and yet clinical body movements are no more pronounced. The power delivery from this unusual, oversquare 316bhp 2.0-litre VTEC is more organic, shapely and characterful than anything else here, relying less on exhaust tuning and more on induction roar; the shift action is the best of any car in recent memory; and the brakes feel race-car firm compared with the others, and are easier to modulate. It goes on, but it isn’t complicated: a sense of tight tolerances and mechanical integrity is what we want, and it’s what the Honda gives us, in spades.



It’s the economy of movement that truly startles, though. The resistive controls invite precision and repay it with interest, in stark contrast to the rabid Renault. There’s also the fact that you can throw the Civic into corners in a way that would amount to a dereliction of duty in most cars, and yet the new independent rear axle simply lifts for a brief moment then sets itself firm. There’s no corruption to your line, no unpleasant surprises, just resolute composure with good adjustability should you desire it. If McLaren built a hot hatch, you’d expect it to feel something like this.

And the Golf? Supreme in the wet, with a silken engine, and easily the most versatile car of the three, but it never has you laughing out loud or leaves you wide-eyed in awe of its cornering abilities. It’s a bit too polite for this company, in truth, although maybe that will see it top many people’s shopping lists. But make no mistake: it’s still the Civic Type R you should save up for, so well done Honda. And good call, Twitter.


Golden Oldies



Renault Sport Mégane: The previous-gen Trophy R is the most prized example of a hot Renault, but it’s rare and expensive. The standard item is discerning enough, particularly with the Cup chassis that gets you firmer suspension and a mechanical limited-slip diff. Early 2010 cars start from £8000, while late-2016 versions can be bought for around £16,000.



Honda Civic Type R: The ninth-generation Type R of 2015-17 had a long gestation and a relatively short life but still managed to snatch the Nürburgring’s lap record for front-drive cars from the Trophy R. Power output is almost the same as the current Type R, too, so performance won’t be a problem. Expect to pay around £19k for a decent one.



VW Golf GTI Mk6: It might be a decade old now, but the Mk6 Golf GTI is still one of the most well-rounded hot hatches around. The standard 207bhp GTI provided more than enough fun for most, but thrill-seekers could seek out the limited-run ‘Edition 35’ with 232bhp. Prices start at a bargain-basement £5k for the cooking GTI, while the Edition 35 will set you back nearer £15k.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:51 PM   #20
h3llsp4wn
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Dealership near me it's only asking $2000 ADM on the 2019 CTR. That's the lowest ive heard of.

Last edited by h3llsp4wn; 05-09-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wappit View Post
Amen. The performance and engineering in the CTR is incredible, but its the ugliest car I've ever seen.
But i thought nothing was uglier than the 15+ wrx? 🙄😂😂
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:37 PM   #22
SCRAPPYDO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
Not to sound like scrappy, but I yearn for a simpler time.


not sure if I should be insulted or humbled...
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