Hyundai Elantra N
Price: from $37,199 (2022)
Like the Civic Type R, Hyundai’s Elantra N has only two-wheel drive and is just as formidable on dry, properly paved surfaces. Here the direct comparisons end. The Honda carves corners with greater acuity, demonstrates greater agility, has a silky-smooth manual transmission and a devilish volcanic engine. That of the Hyundai is more eye-catching. On the other hand, the South Korean sedan has the merit of offering a dual-clutch automatic transmission, a more accessible price and a more generous warranty, for an additional charge.
Toyota GR Corolla
Price: from $47,709 (2023)
Just a few years ago, driving passion and Toyota were never in the same sentence. The times are changing. The 86 (born FR-S), the Supra and now the GR Corolla attract the attention of enthusiasts today. The GR Corolla – a full test bench will be published next month – draws on the know-how of the brand’s competition department (Gazoo Racing). Placed on the architecture of a 5-door Corolla, this sports car raises its hood to a 300 horsepower three-cylinder and is available in three liveries, all equipped with four-wheel drive. Just like the Civic Type R, only a manual transmission is offered.
Volkswagen Golf R
Price: from $47,495 (2023)
For the real accelerator junkie, the Volkswagen Golf R may seem quite placid. The acceleration is vigorous, the times are muscular, but the emotion is rare. Would it be too effective? Or is she just less characterful? Both points of view can be defended. Its all-wheel drive gives it increased versatility, regardless of the season. That said, despite a Drift function that allows for controlled skids (a futile device, it is said), the Volkswagen does not force the same commitment. Like the Type R, the Volkswagen’s hatchback bodywork gives it extra versatility, but the infotainment system occasionally misfires and the presentation lacks cheerfulness. A little red maybe?