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Compare the2024 BMW M3VS 2023 Honda Civic Type R

2024 BMW M3
2023 Honda Civic Type R

Safety

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The M3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The BMW M3 has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer knee airbags.

The M3 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The M3 has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The M3 offers an optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor for objects to the rear and automatically applies the brakes to prevent a collision. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The M3 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The M3 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Civic Type R only offers a rear monitor.

The M3’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The M3 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the M3 and the Civic Type R have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

The BMW M3 weighs 652 to 802 pounds more than the Honda Civic Type R. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The M3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic Type R’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year or 14,000 miles sooner.

The M3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Type R’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Honda pays for maintenance for the Civic Type R (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M3 has a standard 720-amp battery. The Civic Type R’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the M3 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the M3’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Civic Type R’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW above average in long-term dependability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, Honda is rated below average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2023 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW third in overall reliability. Honda is ranked fifth.

Engine

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The M3’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 158 more horsepower (473 vs. 315) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 310) than the Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The M3 Competition’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 188 more horsepower (503 vs. 315) and 169 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 310) than the Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The M3 CS’ standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 228 more horsepower (543 vs. 315) and 169 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 310) than the Civic Type R’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M3 3.0 is faster than the Honda Civic Type R (manual transmissions tested):

M3

Civic Type R

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.2 sec

11.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.2 sec

13.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

117 MPH

108 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. If the conditions warrant or the driver wishes, the system can be manually disabled at any time for the duration of a trip. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The M3 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic Type R (15.6 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The M3 offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the M3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic Type R:

M3

M3 CCB

Civic Type R

Front Rotors

15 inches

15.7 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

15 inches

12 inches

The M3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Civic Type R are solid, not vented.

The M3 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The M3 stops shorter than the Civic Type R:

M3

Civic Type R

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

153 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

104 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the M3 has larger tires than the Civic Type R (F:275/40R18 & R:285/35R19 vs. 265/30R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M3 offers optional 20-inch rear wheels. The Civic Type R’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The M3 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Civic Type R’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M3’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Civic Type R (112.5 inches vs. 107.7 inches).

The M3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.9% to 47.1%) than the Civic Type R’s (61.4% to 38.6%). This gives the M3 more stable handling and braking.

The M3 Competition handles at 1.03 G’s, while the Civic Type R pulls only 1.02 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The M3 Competition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Civic Type R Touring (23.8 seconds @ .85 average G’s vs. 24.5 seconds @ .76 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the M3 Competition is quieter than the Civic Type R (86 vs. 88 dB).

Passenger Space

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The M3 has 1.3 inches more front headroom and .7 inches more rear headroom than the Civic Type R.

Cargo Capacity

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Pulling a handle automatically lowers the M3’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M3 offers cargo security. The Civic Type R’s hatchback body style and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the M3. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the M3’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The M3 also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

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The M3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Civic Type R uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the M3 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Civic Type R. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 31% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

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The M3 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the M3, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a memory system.

The M3 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed, tachometer, warning and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the M3 and the Civic Type R have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the M3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Civic Type R prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The M3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Civic Type R’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The M3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Civic Type R’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Laser headlights, optional on the M3, produce their light by firing blue lasers through phosphorus, a process that uses one-half the power of the Civic Type R’s LED headlights. Laser headlights can have double the range of LEDs with a much smaller surface area.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M3 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M3 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the M3 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Civic Type R’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The M3’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic Type R offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the M3 and the Civic Type R have standard heated front seats. The M3 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Civic Type R.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the M3 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the M3’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the M3 and the Civic Type R offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the M3 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The M3’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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