The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buys: Honda Civic Type R

Every year, The Car Guide publishes its Best Buys in nearly 30 different vehicle categories. Today we continue our review of the 2020 winners with a look at compact sports cars, a segment where passion and brand loyalty are strong.

The Honda Civic Si sedan and coupe (MSRP from $30,290) as well as the screaming Civic Type R hatchback (MSRP from $43,690) are in our opinion the best buy you can make this year, especially after receiving a series of updates.

The 205-horsepower Si models deliver a solid mix of performance and driving dynamics, but the showstopper is definitely the 306-horsepower Type R, a racy hot hatch designed to shred the track leaving every competitor in the dust. Despite being front-wheel drive only, torque steer is incredibly missing. In addition to its razor-sharp handling, this mighty Japanese proves more comfortable as a daily driver than the Subaru WRX STI.

Photo: Honda

Last year’s champion drops in second place. The Volkswagen Golf GTI (MSRP from $30,845) is no longer accompanied by the explosive Golf R and is showing signs of age. However, it remains very desirable thanks to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 228 horsepower. A perfectly balanced chassis and clever suspension tuning result in a fantastic combination of ride and handling. Also, the GTI is just as versatile as the regular Golf.

As for third place, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo (MSRP from $27,549) and Veloster N ($35,049) deserve the nod this year. The former uses a 1.6-litre turbo engine that produces 201 horsepower, while the latter benefits from larger displacement (2.0L) and generates more power (275 hp). We love their bang-for-the-buck proposition and unique looks.

The Car Guide’s 2020 Scores

  1. Honda Civic Si/Type R – 82%
  2. Volkswagen Golf GTI – 81%
  3. Hyundai Veloster Turbo/N – 80%
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