Kia Stinger Vs Civic Type R, Focus RS And Golf R Is An Odd Battle

The guys from Drive set out to pick the best performance car under AUD $60,000 (USD $45,434), and they chose four distinct vehicles to do so.

What they brought were the Ford Focus RS Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R, three hot hatches that need no further introduction.

However, the Kia Stinger Si is the fourth addition, as it has a starting price that falls within the AUD $60k budget, 365 horsepower and 510 Newton-meters (376lb-ft) of torque from a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 petrol engine.

Granted, the Kia Stinger is not a direct rival to the rest of the group as it is larger and competes against four-door premium compact coupes such as the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe – plus it’s rear-wheel drive.

This alone might be enough to make enthusiasts favor it over the super hatchbacks, but can it challenge them as a performance machine? There’s only one way to find out: just check out the following video.


  • Sam

    The Kia provides the most car for the money in this group. Plus its a grand tourer not a hot hatch so it cant be expected to be so nimble. With a 7 year warranty and 7 year fixed price servicing promising 7 years of ownership pleasure the Kia has to be be smartest choice in thei group. The VW and Ford might be nice to drive as a new car but to own would be a nightmare. Ford and VW are both terrible to deal with should you have a problem with your vehicle. Just google it.

  • Ray Filetti

    This doesn’t make sense. Surely the Ford out PERFORMS the Honda? The Ford is faster in a straight line, faster around corners, have equal or better brakes, and has razor sharp steering. Aren’t these the main criteria for a performance car? And it has the added dimension of AWD which will expand its abilities over the others in wet conditions. It also has a wide range of adjustments to steering and dampers. What does a supple ride have to do with a PERFORMANCE car?

    • Bananarama

      With that logic, they could put an Ariel Atom in this comparison and it would win.

      That’s kind of dumb.

    • Laptimes

      Think the RS hard ride is bit too difficult(?) to live with everyday…??

      Incidentally Nurburgring lap times:
      07:43 mins Honda Civic Type-R
      08:03 mins Ford focus RS (2016)

      Don’t see a lap time for the Golf R…. maybe it broke down and left the driver on the side of the road, like my (past) Golf did to me…!???

      Rather amusing seeing the lap times for all those Porsches, Corvettes, Nossan GT-Rs then seeing “Civic” amongst them. Kudos to Honda.


        Yep, and only paid $35k for mine 😉

  • Eduardo Palandi

    a manual gearbox is not a must for me. that said, the Kia has a RWD setup, seems to be easy to live with in the real world, produces more power, has a nice design and a good fit and finish. plus, it is the less flashy of the four cars, which is something I like. I’ll take the Stinger.

    • OdysseyTag

      Stinger less flashy than a Golf? Not sure about that one.

      • Eduardo Palandi

        well, these two definitely are the less flashy. you have a point, Sir.

  • Ray Filetti

    Do your research. An Atom is way over AUS$60000. This is between the Honda and the Ford. The Ford outperforms the Honda in the performance criteria. Surely a supple ride is a low criteria? Using your logic, the KIA should have won.

    • Bananarama

      Well in the US market with more normalized prices, and Atom is $49k.
      Yet as someone else pointed out, the Civic still beats the Ford’s “performance” in Ring time. It’s not about a supple ride. It’s striking a balance.
      But back to performance, the Ford’s numbers are marginally better, but who cares? It’s about how it feels to drive and that’s what it’s getting praised for. A car can be excellent performance car without having an overly bumpy ride.


      Type R is way more daily driveable than the Focus. Performs better in some runs as well while being $6k cheaper. literally no point in getting the Focus RS over it unless you really think the AWD makes a big difference in this case. Honda seems to have engineered a working FWD sports car.

  • Craig

    I don’t think of the Stinger as a ‘hot hatch’.

    • Matt

      It’s not a hot hatch comparison.

      • Craig

        It might not have been intended to be – but it is.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Strange comparison. Indeed. Can’t think of a Kia as a sport car and the Stinger is hardly a hothatch. It won’t sell anyways.


    should be against arteon r line 2.0

  • brn
  • Trackhacker

    I don’t like any of them >__<

  • nauticalone

    Both the Honda and Ford here are way too “Boy Racer” styled for my taste. So that leaves the VW and KIA. I love the VW Group cars a lot – have owned several, and currently own a Touareg Wolfsburg Edition. And although I like the Golf R enough I think it would have to be the Stinger of this group.

  • KidRed

    If you have $50k to spend on a car, then you’re parents are rich and you get the Golf R/Civic/Ford or you work for your money and you’d get the Stinger.


      I make 6 figure tech salary and bought the Civic Type R. Not wasting money on Korean quality – you get what you pay for.

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