Need help deciding between 2019 STI and 2019 Civic Type R

  1. frodooftheshire

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    #1 frodooftheshire, Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    Hi guys,


    Fist, I apologize for such a long post and appreciate if you read all the way through. Also, I should stipulate this is for a daily driver, not a weekend car.

    So I currently have a down payment on a Civic Type R that’s located in another state. Took at least a solid week or two to nail it down. The paperwork from the dealership is on the way (should be here Monday) and I was able to secure it for $37K minus the costs of registering in my state, so I’m quite happy with the price and it really isn’t a factor in this decision.

    The problem is that before I pulled the trigger on the down payment I mostly used YouTube comparisons/magazine articles as my main source for making my decision and now after reading some of this forum I’m wondering if it’s the right choice.

    I currently have a 2019 WRX series gray. It’s been an okay car, but in comparison to my previous car, a 2017 Mazda MX5 (6 speed), I would say that I’ve been less than impressed with its inconsistent engine tuning and lack luster gear box. About 20 % of the time I go WOT I will get a nice, smooth pull to 6K RPM. The rest of the time it’s a giant question mark. Sometimes it will pull pretty hard, cut power at 4K RPM, and then rip again to 5,500 RPM. It’s all over the board.

    The handling has been overall pretty nice and I’ve felt the torque vectoring system help rotate me around turns. Having said that, overall, it doesn’t nearly as much bring a smile to my face like my Mazda, even though the WRX is still faster. It really goes to show you that power isn’t everything when it comes to what makes a car “fun.” If I didn’t need something more practical I probably would still have my MX5.

    Overall the WRX just doesn’t produce the “love” feeling I had towards my Mazda. The other major issue I’ve had with my WRX is road noise and rattles - seriously my car only as 8,400 miles on it and I have rattles coming from the trunk, the speaker grills, the dash, the glove box. It’s nuts. The road noise might be helped by better tires (Michelin P4S), but rattling seems to be something most WRX owners accept is part of ownership. At the same time I’ve seen some STI owners report no issues with rattles. Anyways, all the issues above has lead me to consider something different as I have no interest in modifying my car or taking it apart and insulate rattles.

    The main two cars I was looking at is the Civic Type R and the WRX STi. Here are the reasons I was considering the STI to replace my WRX:

    • More power
    • Much more consistent engine tune, even if it means more turbo lag down low
    • Much better transmission
    • Better sound - the WRX can make some noises, but the STI is obviously better
    • Maybe it’s put together better (less rattles)
    • AWD can be nice because Oregon does get quite a bit of rain and some snow - no spinning the wheels off the line
    • Good resale value like WRX/Type R (very popular in the pacific NW)
    • Excellent visibility
    • Maybe slightly better styling vs the Type R
    Here are the negatives as I see them compared to Type R/WRX:

    • Ancient engine means horrible gas mileage compared to the Type R or even my current WRX
    • Rattles could very well still be an issue with the STI
    • Doesn’t have any suspension modes - always running pretty stuff
    • Stereo not nearly as nice as Type Rs and no navigation (without spending a lot more money on limited version)
    • From what I’ve read it isn’t as much *fun* as the Type R (Type R is lighter…which I found with the MX5 is a good thing)
    • The engine doesn’t feel quick until the upper Revs, while the Type R will have power almost anywhere in the rev range
    • Seating position is a little high - not low like Type R

    Now here are all the reasons I was considering the Type R:

    • Like the STI, much better engine tuning
    • More overall engine power and flexibility across the entire rev range
    • Sharper, more nimble chassis
    • From what I’ve read the interior is quieter than the STI with less overall rattles
    • Head unit includes GPS and has much better sound system
    • Different chassis modes means more options for cruising around town/road trips
    • Transmission is excellent - reminds me of my MX5 (shifting it in the dealership lol)
    • More comfortable seats/seating position compared to WRX or STI
    • Holds its value ridiculously well

    Negatives that I’ve recently read about the Type R on here/general concerns:
    • The paint chipping off - one of the more scarier for me - I will be doing PPF to the front with a ceramic coating, but the idea of buying a new car where the paint just peels off is quite concerning
    • Overheating - some have said on hotter days the car feels lethargic after one pull
    • The gear grinds - slightly coercing that three years into making this car Honda hasn’t done anything to revise the transmission
    • Not as good of visibility as WRX/STI
    • Tires are a huge pain in the ass - it sounds like I’ll need to spend money on two new sets of wheels/tires out of the gate (one for summer & one for winter)
    • Interior might still have some rattling issues
    • FWD with lots of Oregon rain - will I be missing the AWD
    • No seat heaters (wife loves them) and Seats show wear prematurely
    • Headlights not projectors - not nearly as good as steering sensitive HIDs on STI

    The problem with these cars is it’s very hard to compare them. Nobody will let you drive a Type R, and while I was able to drive a 2019 STI I didn’t take it above 4k (where all the power is) due to engine break in. At least I know the transmission is better. So because of this limitation I’m left reading online forums, magazine reviews, and YouTube videos which all say the Type R is the one to buy. My only problem is that a lot of them are based on track driving, which I’ll never do - just spirited driving around town and on back roads.


    So what I’m really interested in is hearing from those that maybe owned an STI (2018 or 2019 model) that now drive the Type R and what they might say to some of the concerns. Do you miss the AWD? How is the interior rattles/noise compared? Are you happier overall? I know if I’m not happy with the Type R I could probably flip it easily, and for a great price, but it’s a lot of hassle. If you were in my position, and lived in Oregon where we see quite a bit of rain would you still go for the Type R or say the STI is a better fit?
     
  2. TypeSiR

    TypeSiR Senior Member

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    #2 TypeSiR, Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    Don’t sign any paper until you’ve test driven the CTR from Carvana or a local forum member. I’m inclined to say AWD is a major advantage in your location, not necessarily advocating for the STI. And your wife’s preference for heated seat is also a factor. The CTR won’t be a quiet car by any means but certainly quieter than the ND1. Also, consider a Model 3 ($38k last I checked) if you can charge it at home.
     
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  3. ToofHurts

    ToofHurts Senior Member

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    I'll try to help with some insights.

    I had a 2009 WRX (had 100k miles when sold). Great car. Fun. AWD. Hatchback. However - things were breaking down once it hit 90k. Needed new clutch, A/C ... and decided to sell. Was happy to sell though. Worst gas milage ever ... awful gearbox ...

    so I was in the market for a new car. Was researching for many months. STI, RS, Type R, even Model 3, Porsche Macan, S3/4 ... etc. I live in the NE and was worried about not having AWD ... and also about not spending too $$. But wanted to be really happy with. Cars aren't "cheap" anymore and it seems you need to spend at least 27k for a decent car.

    One weekend - I just said "F IT" and went to the dealership and purchased a 2019 CW Type R at MSRP. Didn't even test drive it.

    Best decision I made. Period. I absolutely love this car. I have ZERO regrets. Zero. Hard to find a 37k car that puts more smiles on my face, turns more heads on the road, handles like a Porsche, fast, reliable, great gas milage, hatch back, most comfortable sport seats, etc.

    Paint doesn't chip. Car doesn't overheat on the road. No issues what so ever in the rain. Zero rattles. Extremely practical (car seat, stroller, golf clubs).

    There's a reason every car review article praises this car. It's the real deal. Don't miss out.
     
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  4. Z06Chris

    Z06Chris Senior Member

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    My friend just got a 2019 STI...
    I drove it and the clutch is a lot firmer.
    The car feels much heavier when accelerating.
    He's got full bolt-ons and is getting 15-17mpg.
    Only thing it's got going for it really is the AWD and some cool aero options if he wanted to go that route (Varis widebody).

    I was in the same boat looking for a daily driver. I definitely wouldn't want the STI for a daily.
     
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  5. Land of the ADM

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    I was able to do a limited test drive the Type R at a Carmax. You might be able to do so as well on used Type R somewhere near you.
    Of course, I haven't bought one yet, and it wouldn't be my daily when I do.
     
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  6. Zystus

    Zystus Member

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    #6 Zystus, Sep 15, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    Should just wait for 2020 Civic Type R or the STi refresh in 2021 with FA20 motor (Speculated). The EJ motor on the current STi is really shitty if you want to mod, you barely gain any power unless you go Stage 3+ with a bigger turbo + tune. I had a Stage 2+ w/ etune and it really didn't feel that great, was very lacking in power still. If you want a car now I would definitely recommend the Type R over the STi!
     
  7. ExVTEC

    ExVTEC Senior Member

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    I got my CTR and my GF has a WRX Limited. I never test drove the WRX but after driving hers I kind of regret it. I like my CTR but I'm dreading the winter weather. The WRX with a tune and FBO is pretty quick and maybe a better value than the STI.
     
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  8. GraphiteAZ

    GraphiteAZ Senior Member

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    I just did this comparison.

    I drove both. The CTR at Carmax and the STi at the dealer. The STi drove like a pickup. It felt heavy, slow to turn, and rode terrible. I also couldn't get over the vape-life feeling I had every time I see a STi pull up.

    I drove the CTR and it drove like a civic for 99% of the time. Rode nicely and had a great interior and amazing seats. The 1% of the time I leaned into the throttle, it had a nice strong pull with no lag.
     
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  9. movovr

    movovr Member

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    I had a 2016 wrx sti. If you don’t need the awd then pick the type r. The drivetrain is much better in the type r and I have yet to run into the issues you outlined for the type r. Mine is a 2018 and it sure feels quicker than the sti.

    On that note I do miss the sunroof, rumble, and heated seats of the sti. And awd would be nice seeing how I live in Canada but good winter tires help there. I do not miss the suspension tuning in the sti as that thing beat you up.
     
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  10. fatherpain

    fatherpain Senior Member

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    I second this. ToofHurts nailed the CTR perfectly. I also love the styling of the Type R.

    I have a 2018 and have not experienced the 2nd gear grind... that may be confined to 2017s. Dunno.

     
  11. Kekela98a

    Kekela98a Senior Member

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    I had owned a 2016 STI with stage 2 pro tune (e85, catted downpipe, r400 exhaust, etc)

    then 2018 s5 sport back for one year then now the 2019 CTR for the last 2 weeks.

    The STI is a bit out dated in terms of the engine. And the torque isn’t as responsive as the CTR. The tuning community is very robust...but the engine can’t handle more power without a rebuilt. I was putting down 385whp and 415 torque on a mustang dyno.

    Between the two cars I would pick the CTR over the STI even in NY weather.

    The CTR is just special and it’s more fun to drive than the STI.
     
  12. tinyman392

    tinyman392 Senior Member

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    If you're thinking about a new STI, I'd wait until they refresh it (which they should inevitably do).
     
  13. CTRFK8

    CTRFK8 Senior Member

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    Wait for the new STI, possible next year? It will be a whole different STI, not just a refresh. If you want the latest and greatest then wait for the STI.

     
  14. Harlaquin

    Harlaquin Senior Member

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    Nice post very well thought out. I would say some answers you are gonna get here may be a bit bias. I would also post this same question in the STI forums and get a counter perspective. My two cents im not typically one to say wait for a car but Honda generally releases the new models in november. It might be worth it to wait till the 2020s come out. I had a 17. and I was one of the lucky ones I guess that did not have a gear grind and I really don't hear about them much on the newer one. I think you are ok there. I Live in a place were we get snow and ice but not like northern states. however I have never had much issue with front wheel drive hondas in the snow. The only issue I would say with the type R is that high spot of harder ice snow inbetween the tire ruts. The Type Rs front end sort of acts like an ice scraper on that. so that's a down side. Heated seats... they have them in other type Rs they may bring them to US in the 2020s we don't know, but if they are something wanted well... the sti may be a better choice.

    I've never had a STI but I have seen much negative on it being such a dated platform. so there is that to consider. The Type Rs seats are a love hate. Some love them Some hate them and some it causes back issues. AT the least if you can drive one sit in one for a period of time. Try the seats out. I think you mentioned stereo. Well the stereo in the type R aint nothing to write home about as they say. Its got clarity for days but the range of bass to high needs a lot of work. I do know there are alot of used low mile type Rs on the market. lots of people who buy them and then very shortly trade them in. not sure of the reasons. But could be same for sti.

    I guess everything else aside. the sti is an outdated platform that needs updating and the type R is currently under active development. as per the spy shots we see on the test tracks. That alone would steer me toward the type R. I prefer manufacturers who actively update their platforms. That and I owned one for 2 years and love my time with it. I only sold mine because where I live (it was my daily) the manual became no fun and more a chore. Its a great manual one of the best you will drive. It wasn't the cars fault I sold it I was just my particular needs. I will most likely own another in the future.

    I don't know if any of this helped but figured I through my thoughts in too. whichever you choose Im sure you will be happy they are both good cars. although if you get a lot of winter snow and ice and its your main car might consider the STI. BUt I honesty would wait to see whats coming this close to model change as we have no info right now. well some but speculative.
     
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  15. darrvao777

    darrvao777 Senior Member

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    I'd definitely vote for the CTR given the current ancient platform of the STI unless you were planning on waiting it out for the new STI

    In regards to your points of concern for the CTR:

    I pressure wash my CTR weekly (using a cheap Sunjoe pressure washer) and have had zero issues with paint

    I live in a very hot area (91 degrees tomorrow, 80% humidity) and have had no issues with overheating (I don't track the car though)

    Visibility is fantastic in the car even with the wing on the back, I don't know what the comparison is to an STI but I've had no visibility issues with this car. You can see the wing if you look backwards but it does not appear in the rear view mirror

    I don't know what the roads are like in Oregon but I'm blessed with some decent roads down here. For me, the tire issue is overblown. I'm on stock wheels and tires for 4000+ miles now with no issues. I do plan on upgrading to Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires for better longevity but not until I get closer to 10000 miles

    No rattling in my interior. It's not a quiet interior but I wouldn't expect luxury levels of sound deadening within a Civic (even one as nice as the CTR)

    Also live in a climate with a lot of rain. Never had issues with driving in the rain. I don't drive very aggressively at baseline and I tone it down further in the rain so perhaps that's why I don't notice a significant different in traction between my CTR and my wife's larger AWD SUV

    No premature wear on my seats (although hard to say at 4000 miles), the seat heater issue could be a problem if it's a deal breaker for the wife. I'm not sure I would let a seat heater sway me towards a significantly older platform though

    Never had steering sensitive HIDs so can't comment much on those but night time visibility has been the same as any car for me (I also don't do a lot of night driving)

    In summary, I live and drive like a grandpa even though I'm in my 30s. So if you do the same, you'll be fine in either vehicle, but my vote is for the CTR ;)
     
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