Below is just my opinion. I'm no expert on cars but i'd like to share my thoughts!
I've been wanting to write this up for a long while now! I've just recently turned 22... Since i was 17 all i dreamt of was owning an EP3 Type-R. I used to sit there for hours watching video's of the EP3 spanking everything! So when i turn't 20 i decided it was time! Although my first insurance premium was very expensive (it dropped DRAMATICLY when i turned 21) i foudn it was worth it! When i got my ep3 it had just over 40k miles and was a 04 plate. As soon as i drove it away from the dealership i waited until the engine was warm and just cained it! The first thing i remember thinking about the EP3 was it felt so heavy and secure compared to my previous car (C2 VTS) and by that i mean in a good way. It felt solid & durable. The speed shocked me, when it hit vtec the pulling power was crazy. Even now thinking of it i actually miss my ep3 alot. The only thing that disappointed was the noise... I guess i was used to seeing all of the youtube clips of EP3's with induction kits and KPro's haha! If i ever raced anyone as soon as i hit second gear and had full traction i seemed to pull away. Even vs my mates E46 M3 he didn't thrash me by as much as i expected. The only complaint I had was that the car did seem to drink ALOT... then again a 20 year old with a type-r probably would! All in all it completely lived up to all my expectations, and i do still watch videos on youtube on a regular basis because i am a sad act!
When it got to earlier this year i landed a new job insurance as an underwriter. Obviously money was alot greater and i'd just finished paying off the finance on my ep3! Therefore i decided it was time to get an FN2! Again i went for a Milano red GT-Spec 58 plate with rage alloys! (25k miles) which even now i find to be such a lovely looking car. When i first test drove it the main changes i noticed were that the gearbox on the fn2 is so much friendly that the EP3. Gear changing is great, literally! Also i don't know if it's just me, but i feel like the FN2 has more torque and is easier to drive at low revs. I actually enjoy driving to and from work - even though on weekdays im a complete eco driver - i usually manage around 31 mpg (which is good considering i live in london) and i spend £20 a week on petrol for work purposes! I've owned the Fn2 for six months now and i honestly find that overall the Ep3 was a faster car... or at least it felt desperate with acceleration, the VTEC crossover is DEFINATELY more noticeable in the EP3. As for comfort again i'd go for the Ep3. The FN2 is actually quite stiff, and i find driving over poor road surfaces at low speeds is crazily shaky!.. It didn't seem bad in my ep3! Fuel consumption in my FN2 is actually outstanding. I think a lot of it is to do with the fact that I am a much more mature driver at the age of 22 (I was never that bad in my ep3 btw lol). The interior is such a nice place to be in the fn2... climate control / cruise control / comfortable seats and an extremely clean / modern feel to it. I am looking forward to start modding my FN2. I'm aiming for a flashpro / rsk/ martelius! I'm just going to do some basic comparisons below.
i hope i didn't bore you to death!
Comfort -> FN2; Even though the ride is alot stiffer, the general feel of the vehicle / interior is alot better than the EP3
Performance-Speed -> Raw out speed i would have to go with the EP3. Just feels like you're about to take off in VTEC!
Handling -> Fn2... even though it's a bigger car the FN2 feels even more steady / safe than the EP3!
Economy -> Again i'm going with the FN2 - That's just from my experience though haha
Just remember all of the above is my opinion and i'm not claiming facts!
Hope you enjoyed