I traded a 16 ST,for this sexy beast of a vehicle. I could of put a crap-load of money into the ST,but it's still going to be an ST. The awd in this vehicle,outweighs having 500+hp ST. Plus the looks on this vehicle,is soo much better than the ST. The nitrous blue is one sexy looking color. The 2018 Limited Edition,basically the last year of owning an RS,in the usa. I bought the RS for the history,and you'll find alot less RS,than you will an ST. I read about the ride quality,but it isn't as bad once you press that accelerator. The Inside for the price you pay for the vehicle isn't upscale,but I bought the car for the performance. I ain't rich,and 40k is alot more than 22k otd for an ST,but the all around package is well worth it.
Con: the ride is horrible, the Sony sound system sounds like boom box, the car is expensive for what it is. Pro: all is forgiven on mountain roads. I traded in my 2014 ST ( a great handling/ sporty daily driver) after 4 yrs. I want to know what's all the hype about the RS, espically the AWD system. The first thing I noticed after delivery was the ride comfort. It is horrible!! It's not the stiffness of the ride, but the tuning. I have my share of "stiff cars", 2000 Acura ITR, 2005 Lotus Elise are among them. Those cars are stiff rides, they went over bumps and would let you know, and moved on. The RS goes over bump, amplified the shock 4-5 times what the bump is, bounds up and down a few times before the suspension settle down. My head feel like the bobbling head figure on dash board. I don't think I can survive in the passenger seat for more then an hour. The Sony sound system is the same as in ST, has not change since then, i.e. Sounds very bad as an upgraded system. The Recaro seat has to be broken in before it can be semi comfy. The RS is expensive for what it is. For the price I paid, I can get almost TWO 2018 ST (with rebates applied). No doubt the acceleration is much better then ST, and I have not fully explore the awd system to see if it's worth the $18k increase vs ST. I could have bought a 2018 ST and save the ~$18k for modification, should be able to match the RS output and performance minus the awd system and the extra weight. The shifting is notchier on my copy of RS vs ST. The price point treaded into BMW/Audi base 3 and 4 series already. I cannot tell if performance is above them yet, but they probably has better interior, and ride compliance. BUT, once goes on back road/ mountain roads, all the above negatives are forgiven. Compared to the ST, the RS turns in/ move out faster on the curves, accelerates faster / effect less, stays betw/ 3and 4 gear instead of 2 and 3 of ST. So far that's all I found out in my RS. On another thought, at the time I was shopping for my RS, if the local Honda dealers had the civic type R with the color I like, I might not be writing this review.
Update: Have the car for about 8 months, about 10500 miles, mix in town/ highway driving, just came back from a 1300 mile trip. These are the issues:
1) major issue , sometime last month, during normal driving, rpm surge between gear change ( surge up 2k-4K rpm instead of dropping rpm with clutch down/gas up)!!! Not reproducible every time, went to dealer, test drove, cannot duplicate the issue, ran diagnostics, no code, no issue. They said they can’t don anything. Checks in the forums, it happened in some st and rs!!!
2) the tires are NOISY!!!! Intolerable in 10 hrs driving, they transmit and amplify whatever they contacted with. But they have tons of grip!!!!!
3) the ride is horrible, the pogo stick effect is there, every time it ran over bumps, pot holes, etc, the car hopped up and down a few time before settled down. A few times after lunches, it made me felt I would see the lunches again!! Plan to change the springs, hope that might solve the issue.
4) It’s fun to drive, espically on the back roads!!!!!