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The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R brings a lot of hot hatch heritage and pride to the speedy little grocery getter. However, the latest and thankfully restyled Honda Civic Type R promises to put the squeeze on the venerable Golf. Here’s how the upcoming 2023 Honda Civic Type R will likely stack up against the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R in a hot hatchback showdown, based on what we know so far. 

Which car is more powerful?

The Volkswagen Golf R produces 315 horsepower courtesy of its 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. While that may seem unimpressive in the days of 1,000-horsepower EV sedans, it’s pretty potent for a hot hatch. That makes it more powerful than the outgoing 2021 Honda Civic Type R, which produces 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant. 

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is a hot hatchback with the new Honda Civic Type R in its crosshairs.
Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen

However, Honda announced that the upcoming 2023 Honda Civic Type R will be the most powerful ever. The 2023 Honda Civic Type R will produce 315 horsepower and might give the Golf R a run for its money.  

Is a Volkswagen Golf R or Civic Type R faster?

The 2021 Honda Civic Type R was quite a bit slower than the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R in terms of acceleration. Specifically, the Golf R could sprint to sixty in just 3.9 seconds with its DSG gearbox. That’s fast by sports car standards. According to Car and Driver, the 2021 Type R Limited Edition could hit sixty in 4.8 seconds. While that’s quick, it’s nowhere near quick enough to beat the planted Golf.

With a more robust and focused 2023 Type R on the way, the Volkswagen Golf R might not keep such a commanding lead. Still, the Volkswagen hatchback uses an all-wheel drive (AWD) system and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That combination allows the Golf to launch hard. In comparison, the new hot Civic will pack a manual transmission, meaning a fun drive but likely slower launches.  

How much does the Golf R cost?

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R has a starting price of $44,640, making it pretty pricey for a hot hatchback. Car and Driver estimates that the upcoming Civic hot hatch will cost around $39,000, making it quite a bit cheaper than the Volkswagen. That’s in keeping with the price gap between the Golf and the outgoing 2021 Type R Touring. 

The upcoming Honda Civic Type R is going to challenge the Volkswagen Golf R's hot hatchback dominance.
2023 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

Which vehicle should you buy? 

The next generation Type R is the 30th anniversary of the venerable Honda hot hatch. Also, the manual-equipped track star is available in the handsome Historic Championship White. Not to mention that Honda finally bestowed mature styling on the new hot hatchback. 

However, if you want a vehicle with AWD and muscle car acceleration, check out the king of hot hatch hill, the Volkswagen Golf R. The Volkswagen hatchback has a judicious dual-clutch transmission and a lineage connecting it to one of the original hot hatchbacks. Still, be prepared to spend extra to get one. Scroll down to the following article to read more about hot hatches!

Updated with the latest information on 9/8/2022


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