The Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai i30 N are arguably the two best front-wheel drive hot hatches currently on sale, but which is the quickest in a straight-line?
To find out, Cars.co.za over in Cape Town, South Africa lined up the two for a drag race. While the examples tested weren’t the updated 2021 i30 N and 2021 Civic Type R, the results will probably be the same for the new models.
On paper, the Honda has an obvious advantage. That’s because its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumps out 315 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, while the i30 N muscles out 271 hp and 279 lb-ft (378 Nm) from its 2.0-liter. Both are front-wheel drive and have six-speed manual transmissions.
Off the line, the driver of the Hyundai got a perfect launch and got the jump on the Honda. However, as the race down the quarter-mile progressed, the Civic clawed back the lead and secured the win.
As we know from driving both cars, though, it is not in a straight-line where they shine but rather in the corners. Both the Civic Type R and i30 N are exceptionally fun to drive along a twisty mountain road and offer superb levels of grip thanks to their suspension set-ups and limited-slip differentials. Around a racetrack, there’s no doubt that the Honda would have an edge over the Hyundai, but in our experience, it is the Hyundai that is actually the more enjoyable car to drive.