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The sporty compact car segment has been heating up over the past year, with the new Civic Type R and the Subaru WRX as two key players. Both of these compact cars are similarly priced and have similar power, so picking the right one to address your need for speed can be tricky. But is the 2023 Subaru WRX faster than the almighty 2023 Honda Civic Type R? Let’s look closer at the Subaru WRX’s 0-60 times and how they compare to the new Civic Type R’s.

How fast can a WRX go 0-to-60?

The 2023 Subaru WRX is a performance sedan that’s powered by a 271-hp, turbocharged flat-four engine. According to Car and Driver’s testing, the Subaru WRX can reach 0-60 mph from a standstill in only 5.5 seconds. That time was registered using a WRX equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, but a controversial CVT is available to buyers.

We say “controversial” because some car enthusiasts would consider it blasphemous to drive a sporty car with an automatic transmission, let alone a CVT. However, the editors at Car and Driver noted that the WRX GT, with the CVT, got up to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. You can thank the turbocharged engine’s 258 lb-ft of torque for those low numbers.

When it comes to going past the 60 mph mark, the Subaru WRX can cross the quarter-mile mark in only 14.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 145 mph.

How fast does a 2023 Honda Civic Type R go from 0 to 60?

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is a new and improved version over the last generation. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 315 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly more than the WRX. That power translates well when it hits the pavement, as the editors at Car and Driver got the Civic up to 60 mph from a stop in 4.9 seconds.

Additionally, the end of the quarter mile came in 13.5 seconds, which is a far better time than the Subaru WRX’s 0-60 time. Lastly, according to Honda, the Civic Type R can reach a top speed of 169 mph. That’s extraordinarily fast for a small four-cylinder car, but we’ll take Honda’s word for it until testing proves otherwise.

A rear view of the 2023 Honda Civic Type R
2023 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

The Subaru has one thing the Civic Type R does not have

2023 Subaru WRX interior
2023 Subaru WRX | Subaru

Now that the performance figures are laid out, we can see that the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is much quicker and faster than the Subaru WRX. That said, one caveat is that the WRX comes in an all-wheel drive configuration, which could be useful to those who live in snowy places in the wintertime.

Spinning all four wheels can also help the car get traction when it must go around corners quickly and accelerate quickly. However, it doesn’t look like the added traction helps when comparing the WRX’s performance figures to those of the Civic Type R.

2023 Subaru WRX vs. 2023 Honda Civic Type R: Which compact car is faster? If you mainly care about the numbers, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is the one to get. It’s hard to argue with 315 hp and sub-five-second 0-60 mph times. Of course, the real test comes when you drive each car and see which one is best for your needs. If the WRX’s sedan body style and AWD are better for your everyday use, that could be the better car for you. Just remember that it might be a little slower than the Civic Type R that pulled up next to you at the light