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The Volkswagen Golf R tops the hot hatchback’s model lineup, ahead of the tenured GTI. However, the Golf R isn’t alone in the hot hatch segment; the 11-generation Honda Civic Type R matches the Golf R’s 315 horsepower output and promises to contend with the German performance hatchback. However, even with similar characteristics, the Golf R has an edge over the Type R in most categories. 

The Volkswagen Golf R outruns the Honda Civic Type R, but the two hot hatches brake with comparable force

A Honda Civic Type R shows off its front end at a Cars and Coffee event.
Honda Civic Type R | Erik Sherman, MotorBiscuit

When pitted against each other in an acceleration and braking test, the Golf R outperformed the Honda hot hatch. 

Model0-60 mph0-150 mph Braking 150-0 mphBraking distance 150-0 mph
Volkswagen Golf R4.5 seconds33.3 seconds6.2 seconds675 feet
Honda Civic Type R4.9 seconds45.7 seconds6.3 seconds674 feet

In Car and Driver’s 2023 0-to-150-to-0 Speed Test, the Volkswagen Golf R outran the Civic Type R from a standstill up to 150 mph. The gap was just 0.4 seconds at the 60 mph mark. However, by 150 mph, the Type R was 12.4 seconds behind the Volkswagen hot hatch.

Still, the Civic Type R was a much closer rival to the Golf R in the braking evaluation, which involved each vehicle scrubbing off every bit of 150 mph as quickly as possible. The Type R stopped from 150 mph in 674 feet, just one foot shy of the Golf R’s stopping distance. That said, the Golf R managed to stop 0.1 seconds before the Type R.

Altogether, the Volkswagen Golf R accelerated to 150 and came to a dead stop much quicker than the Type R. Specifically, the Type R took 52.7 seconds to hit the speed benchmark and stop. Impressively, the Golf R finished the same evolution in 40.2 seconds. 

The Honda Civic Type R can’t hope to keep up with the dual-clutch Volkswagen Golf R

While the Honda Civic Type R offers a six-speed manual transmission as its only gearbox option, the Volkswagen Golf R boasts a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Paired with the Golf R’s grippy all-wheel drive (AWD) system, the quick-shifting Volkswagen hatch will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, a full second quicker than the front-wheel drive (FWD) Type R. 

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