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2023 Honda Civic Type R (FL5) vs VW Golf R (Mk8) | PistonHeads

All-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive. EA888 vs K20C1. Germany vs Japan. Which madly expensive hot hatch should you buy?

Remember when the Civic Type R was a cheap hot hatch that had its Euro rivals quaking in their boots, thanks to a healthy dose of VTEC howl? The good news is most of that remains intact with the FL5. All bar the 'cheap' bit. That's because the latest Type R will set you back some £47,000, which is well and truly into all-wheel drive mega hatch territory. That's a market dominated by the ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf R, which boasts trick torque vectoring, launch control and the obligatory crackly exhaust in Mk8 format.

The flagship Civic and Golf used to approach the hot hatch formula from different ends of the spectrum - but now they both output roughly 330hp from turbocharged four-cylinder engines and - with the Golf R 20 Years edition we have here – are edging on £50,000 apiece. Despite myriad differences, similarities abound. So which is best? We sent John to find out...

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added on 11 Feb. 2023


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