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2018 Sport Compact Car of the Year: Civic Type R, WRX STI or S60 Polestar?

3 little rockets producing over 300 hp on just 2.0L! By ,

Auto123.com will be crowning winners of the 2018 Auto123.com Awards for best vehicles of the year on November 22 in Toronto. We’ve already unveiled the three finalists in each of the 17 categories; today we look in more detail at the Sport Compact Car of the Year finalists.

Honda Civic Type R
As the most powerful production Honda ever sold in Canada, the Honda Civic Type R is primed for the track. Its 2.0L i-VTEC turbo engine allows it to produce 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Then there’s its spectacular design, its interior that closely approximates perfection, and its driving dynamics that zero in on the desires of all those who adore compact Japanese sports cars. Alone among the finalists in this category, it does not come with all-wheel drive. More details on the Civic Type R.

Photo: Honda

Subaru WRX/WRX STI
Subaru’s resident twin rebels, now offered only in sedan format, are still distinguished by the sound and performance of their BOXER turbo engine – 2.0L and 268 hp in the case of the WRX, and 2.5L and 305 hp for the WRX STI. For 2018 the latter gets upgraded Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels and Recaro sport seats. No surprise, the excellent symmetrical all-wheel drive system with active torque distribution is a major factor behind its exceptional performance capabilities on the road and on the track. More details on the WRX/WRX STI.

Photo: Subaru

Volvo S60/V60 Polestar
Under the hoods of the S60 and V60 Polestar lurks a 2.0L, 367-hp Drive-E engine delivering 347 lb-ft of torque and able to take the cars from a stop to 100 km/h in under five seconds. Three of the several distinctive elements of these Swedish sports models are the 8-speed Geartronic transmission, BorgWarner all-wheel drive system and 20-inch wheels. The V60 is an even more alluring choice for the scarcity on the market of wagons offering this level of performance. More details on the S60/V60 Polestar.

Photo: Subaru