RE: Civic Type R vs Megane R.S Trophy | PH Video

RE: Civic Type R vs Megane R.S Trophy | PH Video

Sunday 1st September

Civic Type R vs Megane R.S Trophy | PH Video

Dan P ponders what it means to be the best front-drive hot hatch in the world...



The FK8-generation Type R has been the best front-drive hot hatch since its introduction in 2017. It had no right to be. The FK2 wasdecent, but an also-ran. The FN2 before it was worse, and while the EP3 is (deservedly) very fondly remembered, it too was overshadowed by superior alternatives at the time. The FK8 though - the first Type R which could truly call itself a global car - was different. It did everything. Brilliantly.

And there it has remained, at the head of the class, being brilliant. But you don't hold the throne for long in hot hatchdom; there are pretenders everywhere. None is more potent than Renault Sport. The Megane R.S 265/275 seems remarkably distant in 2019, but prior to 2017 the third generation model was all but unassailable. We still talk about the steering as a benchmark now. And the chassis. And the erstwhile Trophy's uncanny ability for making a grey day memorable.

Now, of course, there is a new Trophy; one with 300hp and all-wheel steering and no little sophistication. Renault Sport's ambitions for it are plain, and exemplified by the Nurburgring record it wrestled back from Honda using the stripped-out and absurdly pricey R variant. We're less interested though in western Germany than we are in rural Great Britain. Does the Megane Trophy have what it takes to move the benchmark beyond the FK8? Or is round two of this match-up simply confirmation of Honda's unlikely home run? Dan P has the casting vote. Roll camera.


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Author
Discussion

Chestrockwell

Original Poster:

1,866 posts

102 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Had my Civic since June, I’ve covered nearly 5k miles since (yes, 5k miles, a lot of drives for the sake of it) here are the biggest drawbacks.

- Infotainment is diabolical
- Sound system is also diabolical
- Autowipers are useless
- Needs to be more configurable re damping & steering

I was picking a few friends up in my Type R earlier on from this town in the middle of nowhere and I had a good 7 miles worth of pitch black bumpy bendy roads with NSL signs and no cars anywhere, near a village called Abinger Hammer in Surrey and it was a very good drive ruined by 1 thing.

The ride in sport and R+ was absolutely shocking and nigh on unbeatable but comfort mode absorbed nearly all of those bumps on the road and made the drive a lot more fun, however I just couldn’t get on with the steering being in comfort mode and it really let the experience down. I barely drive in comfort as I can never tell the difference in day to day driving so I wasn’t used to how light the steering is. It felt nearly as bad as a modern BMW’s steering. I wish it had a configurable individual mode!

Brilliant car and I don’t doubt the Megane either, probably a very good car but let down by the fact that it wasn’t complete from the first day it rolled out of the factory.


wab172uk

1,370 posts

172 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Another great Video by Dan.

For me, on looks alone, I'd probably buy the Megane. Though it's not what you'd call a pretty car.

Civic Type R for sure if I was in my late 20's, early 30's. Think they look best in Blue.

moonigan

1,380 posts

186 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Such fine margins between the two so it really comes down to which one could you live with on a day to day basis and what you are happy to compromise on. For me I'll compromise slightly better drivability for much better looks.

Derek Chevalier

2,402 posts

118 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
I've had mine for just over a year and 24k miles. It's a great all round car, can munch the motorway miles (in Comfort mode) with the family on board yet still be a great drive on the right roads. A couple of grumbles:


1. Wheels are (very) easy to kerb
2. Engine has insufficient cooling for track work (which surprised me given how much noise they made about the 'ring record)

Glenn63

538 posts

29 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Are these ‘fixed’ driving modes something an aftermarket tuner would be able to hack into/modify so they could be used individually ? Seen a few reviews now were most seem to agree with the engine/steering in +R and suspension in comfort would be the perfect road setup.

SidewaysSi

5,618 posts

179 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
I've had good seat time in the Civic and found the ride was fine in all modes on road. Depends on your expectations and previous experience I guess. Personally I wouldn't call it diabolical at all.

However the steering is quite poor to be honest and on road it wasn't a particularly engaging car. Maybe on track it would be great but as an everyday proposition as a fun road car, I think they have missed the mark by some distance.

Would be a RR for me if I was after a fast newish Civic for that sort of cash.

Derek Chevalier

2,402 posts

118 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Maybe on track it would be great
See my comments above

Mike1990

710 posts

76 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
I’ll watch the video afterwards...

But IMO all these modern era hot-hatches are really good, infact all cars are ‘good’ these days and it’s just a case of which do you prefer on the day to which one you’d buy. For me at the moment it’s the Mk4 Focus ST, next week probably a i30 N...

jl4069

98 posts

47 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all

Def one of Dans best commentary's to date. He really gets into the small nuances of the handling of these. He hails the steering of the civic, but I am left wondering if that is a case of it being just about the only front drive hatch that has any feel? I wonder (and indeed this is something that we all would like to see in a future video!) how the Civic r steering would feel in direct comparison to an Integra r? Now that would be a amazing twin test. I get the sense that if Dan had the Integra r on this test with the Civic, that Civic r would have switched roles and be graded down for an actual lack of feel? Also another test I think we all would look forward to would be the Civic against the last gen VW golf gti clubsport s. Bring these videos on. j

lee_erm

806 posts

138 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Poor old FN2 Type R. It's a good hot hatch, and an improvement over the EP3.

Edited by lee_erm on Saturday 31st August 18:19

renmure

2,946 posts

169 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
I've had good seat time in the Civic and found the ride was fine in all modes on road. Depends on your expectations and previous experience I guess. Personally I wouldn't call it diabolical at all.

.... Maybe on track it would be great but as an everyday proposition as a fun road car,.
I was nodding in agreement with the 1st bit and shaking my head at the 2nd.

I bought my Type R because I knew it would be great as a fun road car and, if necessary, an everyday proposition. Part of that decision was made because the ride was fine in all modes. Mrs R can take the same car and tootle off to Tescos in comfort mode with 3 friends and a boot full of shopping and is happy as can be apart from being slightly embarrassed about the rear wing. I can play at being a boy racer knowing I'm in multiple award winning, record breaking, dooper dooper hot-hatch (ok, it's a big hot hatch) with all the aero appendages that go with that and whose limits on the road are way in excess of the drivers.

ellipsis

200 posts

110 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
jl4069 said:
Def one of Dans best commentary's to date.
Agreed.

FaNtheMaN26

45 posts

4 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
I am bringing my white one to BMW Sunday service tomorrow so glad it 'won'!

Both great cars though and as has been said you really are spoilt for choice in the hot hatch segment

I have to disagree with R mode being to hard and jiggly, i whack it in there 99% of the time, it's absolutely fine for me

I have also stuck a Remus on mine gives it so much more character

FaNtheMaN26

45 posts

4 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
I've had good seat time in the Civic and found the ride was fine in all modes on road. Depends on your expectations and previous experience I guess. Personally I wouldn't call it diabolical at all.

However the steering is quite poor to be honest and on road it wasn't a particularly engaging car. Maybe on track it would be great but as an everyday proposition as a fun road car, I think they have missed the mark by some distance.

Would be a RR for me if I was after a fast newish Civic for that sort of cash.
Do you meant the mugen RR?

FaNtheMaN26

45 posts

4 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
jl4069 said:
Def one of Dans best commentary's to date. He really gets into the small nuances of the handling of these. He hails the steering of the civic, but I am left wondering if that is a case of it being just about the only front drive hatch that has any feel? I wonder (and indeed this is something that we all would like to see in a future video!) how the Civic r steering would feel in direct comparison to an Integra r? Now that would be a amazing twin test. I get the sense that if Dan had the Integra r on this test with the Civic, that Civic r would have switched roles and be graded down for an actual lack of feel? Also another test I think we all would look forward to would be the Civic against the last gen VW golf gti clubsport s. Bring these videos on. j

There already is a comparison test on pistonheads with the previous meg r.r and golf cs. Civic came third....what evs haha

Edited by FaNtheMaN26 on Saturday 31st August 20:52


Edited by FaNtheMaN26 on Saturday 31st August 21:01

jl4069

98 posts

47 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Sorry I had read it but forget as I didn't find the test very detailed. Also it would have been nice to text another clubsport at some point in the ensuing months with the tyres it was developed on. I much preferred the tests of the Golf clubsport and megane that Evo mag did. Maybe another more detailed test is in order. J

Zarco

12,364 posts

154 months

Saturday 31st August
quotequote all
Why does he keep shouting the odd word in the video? I know it's for emphasis but I found it irritating and unnecessary.

jl4069

98 posts

47 months

Sunday 1st September
quotequote all
FaNtheMaN26 said:

There already is a comparison test on pistonheads with the previous meg r.r and golf cs. Civic came third....what evs haha

Edited by FaNtheMaN26 on Saturday 31st August 20:52


Edited by FaNtheMaN26 on Saturday 31st August 21:01
Funny I was just rereading the comments from that article last year, we had a very nice conversation in that thread. I miss having many of those folks on this site, j

Champion Hero

1 posts

2 months

Sunday 1st September
quotequote all
I picked up my Trophy last week and really don't see the complaints about the ride at all. It's firm yes, but having come from an S2K, it's like I'm floating on a cloud! Sure they are very different cars but I really can't see myself struggling to live with this at all. My S2K was a daily for 13 years, I've covered just over 300 miles in the Trophy and there is definitely no arguing it's comfort or its ability. It handles corners just as well at the same speeds and does it in ways that the S2K would skip over sometimes. The Mrs hasn't driven it (probably never will), but as a passenger, she has said it's so much quieter and comfortable too (until you have it in sport and get those absolutely addictive pops and burbles from the exhaust!).

I haven't driven the type R, but I have no doubt anyone buying either of these would find them comfortable, unless you are used to a big Merc or SUV type of comfort.. but then, that's not what these cars are made for in opinion. I chose the Mégane for its looks. Reviews mostly say that performance is tight enough that I would probably not be able to tell, or certainly extract (especially on the road) so looks were the decider.
My only complaint is the touch screen can be a little awkward to press and reach at times, and the gearbox is a bit notchy. The S2K was notchy, but you could literally flick the gear lever up from 2nd and its path would go into 3rd. The Mégane needs a bit of guidance to get there. Both are minor niggles that I can learn to adjust to though.

gutbobs

45 posts

119 months

Sunday 1st September
quotequote all
I've done about 1,200 miles in my Trophy and really only recognise the complaints about the gear shift and the touch screen.

The screen issue probably isn't Megane specific, just that I got the big screen and on reflection there just isn't enough physical buttons - e.g. you can't turn off the aircon without swiping up the aircon menu and then pressing "off". There's a physical button to turn it back on though.

Changing gear pretty much needs to be treated as a two step process - change out of the gear you're in and then select the next gear, letting the spring loading help and best if not rushed.

I'm glad the review addressed some journalists complaints about the 4control feeling odd and unnatural. I think it's great as it helps with tight car parks, with turn in when you get to a twisty road and feels stable on long sweepers. I've used the RS monitor to see that it's doing something, but otherwise it goes about it's business and I don't notice it.

Another minor negative is that it has a 50l fuel tank compared to 60 in the mk3, so it does feel like you're in the petrol station more often than the earlier car. That said it's currently showing 32.9 mpg on the trip computer when similar journeys showed about 30 on the mk3.

The driving modes are pretty useful as well. I use sport mode far more often on the mk4 than the mk3 as the throttle mapping is way better (also, that exhaust is juvenile and make me laugh). I've learned not to attempt overtakes in comfort mode though as it limits the power (feels like a soft rev limit)