Every year, The Car Guide unveils a list of Best Buys covering all the different vehicle categories in the industry.
Sporty compact cars delight thrill seekers that still want a certain versatility. And once again this year there’s no better pick than the Honda Civic Type R.
- Also: Next Honda Civic Type R to be Fully Gas-powered
- Also: The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buys: Honda Civic Type R
An accomplished hot hatch, this FWD-only beast manages to deliver 306 horsepower without much torque steer thanks to a sophisticated drivetrain. With excellent handling and responsiveness, it proves easy to drive both on the road and the track. The latter is the only place where you can test the car’s grip limit.
Powerful and playful, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a treat to exploit. Meanwhile, the brakes are super-strong with high endurance and a brake pedal that’s easy to modulate.
New for 2021, the Civic Type R Limited Edition cranks things up a notch with BBS wheels, Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, reduced weight, revised suspension and steering, and more. The 100 units available in Canada sold out in just four minutes and are sure to become collector’s items in the future.
The Other Finalists
The runner-up for our 2021 Best Buy award is the Hyundai Veloster N, which is now the only Veloster model you can purchase in Canada, by the way. Developed and honed on the famed Nürburgring race track by none other than former BMW M boss Albert Biermann, this unique performance coupe means business.
While the 275-horsepower turbo-four is not as feisty as the Type R’s, it still delivers great performance. Handling is definitely a strength of this car, with superb balance that’s only marred by a stiff and fairly noisy ride.
Third place in the segment goes to the familiar Subaru WRX and WRX STI. Although they are getting pretty old, these two compact cars continue to please sporty driving enthusiasts.
Blessed with a tremendous AWD system that allows confident year-long driving, they offer sharp handling with plenty of traction. The WRX is a solid 268-horsepower performer, while the more expensive WRX STI unleashes 310 ponies. The latter is a bit less suitable for daily driving around town due to its stiffer chassis and ride.
Don’t miss our full list of Best Buys for 2021!