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2020 Subaru Impreza vs Honda Civic

2020 Subaru Impreza vs Honda Civic

2020 Impreza vs Civic - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

If anyone is in search of a compact car that has a modern aesthetic, reliable powertrain, efficient engine, and a comfortable interior, then there's a good chance that he or she will be looking at the 2020 Subaru Impreza and 2020 Honda Civic. These models are great choices for many reasons, including the fact that they're affordably priced. Because they come in multiple trims, customers will have a lot to consider when deciding which model would be best for them.

Four trims are available on the Subaru Impreza. There's the base model, the Premium trim, the Sport trim, and the Limited trim. At each level, customers have the choice of either a traditional sedan body or a five-door hatchback. On the Honda Civic, there are six trims. The entry-level trim is called the LX, and after that, there are the Sport, EX, and EX-L trims. At the top of the line-up is the Touring model.

The Powertrain

Under the hood of the Subaru Impreza is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that can output 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. What will appeal to many customers is the standard symmetrical all-wheel drive system. This drivetrain is continually monitoring how the each wheel is doing, and if any issues are detected, power can be sent to all four wheels to improve traction and keep the Impreza heading in the right direction. This is a main factor that sets the Impreza apart from the Civic. In fact, it helps the Impreza stand out when comparing it to the entire compact sedan market.

On the Impreza, customers have a choice of getting a five-speed manual transmission or a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. If the manual is preferred, the base model or Sport trim must be selected. Either way, the vehicle will be equipped with Incline Start Assist to prevent the car from slipping backwards when stopped on a hill.

The Honda Civic can come with one of two engines. The version on the LX and Sport trims is an in-line four-cylinder model with a displacement of two liters, and the upgraded engine is a 1.5-liter, in-line four-cylinder with a turbocharger. Having the turbocharger makes a difference, as that engine can generate 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This compares with the 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque that comes from the standard engine. Another way in which the two Honda drivetrains differ is that the standard engine has multi-point fuel injection, while the turbocharged engine has direct fuel injection.

Both Honda engines have an Eco Assist system to improve efficiency and Hill Start Assist to make it easier to get going after being stopped on an incline. The type of transmission depends on the trim. The Sport is unique in that it's offered with a six-speed manual transmission. However, if someone likes the Sport but prefers an automatic, there's the option to get a continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters. On the other trims, the engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission, and the Touring has the paddle shifter feature as well.

Being able to drive long distances before having to stop at the gas station is an advantage of driving either the Impreza or the Civic. The fuel economy of the Impreza depends on the exact trim selected, but the best scenario in terms of efficiency is being able to earn 28 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway. Manual transmissions aren't quite as efficient as their automatic counterparts, but they could get up to 24 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

The automatic Civics can achieve up to 32 miles per gallon in the city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway. These are excellent numbers that will make the Civic attractive to eco-conscious consumers. With the manual transmission, the Civic still does fairly well, having an estimated fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.

Both the Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic are widely considered to be very reliable. To put new customers at ease, they come with generous limited warranties. The powertrain warranties on these two vehicles covers certain issues for up to 5 years or 60,000 miles.


Many people would enjoy getting behind the wheel of the Impreza or Civic. They have enough power, given their smaller size, to make them feel spirited and energetic. The wheelbases of the Subaru and Honda are 105 and 106 inches, so they're easy to park and maneuver around a city.

The ride in both cars is smooth and comfortable. However, if anyone likes to hit the gas pedal aggressively, the higher trims of the Civic would give him or her a more satisfying drive. If people think they might be running into adverse conditions, remember that the Impreza has all-wheel drive, and as such, would be the smarter and safer choice.

The Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic are far from being the largest sedans in the market, but they should be sufficient for many customers, even those who plan on having tall passengers riding with them in the back. Rear-seat leg room in the Impreza is 36.5 inches, and in the Civic, it's 37.4 inches.

Cargo space is an area that customers will want to pay attention to, since this can be important while going on road trips or even doing errands around town. The trunk on the Honda Civic has a volume of 15.1 cubic feet. This is larger than the 12.3-cubic feet trunk on the Subaru Impreza sedan. However, there's always the five-door hatchback version. It has a dedicated cargo area that measures 20.8 cubic feet, and when its rear seats are lowered, it has a total cargo capacity of 55.3 cubic feet. This is close to what some compact SUVs offer, and it's a definite advantage of driving the hatchback.

It's necessary to discuss the infotainment system of each vehicle when discussing drivability, given the major role that technology now plays in daily life. On the base model of the Impreza, there's a 6.5-inch touchscreen with STARLINK technology, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, Pandora radio, and Aha app integration. An upgrade to the Premium comes with certain cloud-based apps, six speakers instead of the standard four, SiriusXM All Access Radio and Travel Link, and a CD player. An eight-inch touchscreen is found on the Sport and Premium trims, and it comes with the addition of HD Radio. The Premium gives people the option to have navigation installed, and both the Sport and Premium can be upgraded with a Harman Kardon speaker system to enhance audio quality.

In the Honda Civic, Bluetooth is standard, so people can stream audio and make hands-free phone calls. While the LX doesn't have a touchscreen, the other trims do. They have a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a SMS text message function, and an eight-speaker audio system. SiriusXM and HD Radio are incorporated at the EX level and above, and the Touring trim has navigation with voice recognition, Honda HD Digital Traffic, and a 10-speaker system that includes a subwoofer.

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Honda and Subaru have developed reputations for being companies that pay close attention to safety. This commitment to safety is illustrated by the numerous components built into the Impreza and Civic.

Drivers of the Subaru Impreza have a lot of mechanisms that they can count on. If there happens to be any type of collision, the multiple airbags can shield people from some impact. The head restraints can reduce the likelihood of getting whiplash, the three-point seatbelts can keep passengers in place, and the LATCH system can keep child seats securely fastened.

Because the Impreza has a rear-vision camera, drivers can be aware of what's behind them when they're backing up. Higher trims have reverse automatic braking to further reduce the chances of hitting an object behind them.

EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is one of the more well-known features in Subarus. It's available on the base model and standard on all the others, and it includes several driver-assist systems that are programmed to take action if needed. Lane keep assist can gently correct steering; lane departure and sway warning can alert drivers when they need to re-center themselves; adaptive cruise control maintains proper distancing by adjusting speed; and pre-collision braking can apply pressure to the brakes when it seems like the Impreza is about to hit the car in front of it. Blind spot monitoring, with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, is available on higher trims.

Many of the same features are found in the Honda Civic. Like the Impreza, it has a collection of airbags, three-point seat belts, and the LATCH system for child seats. Unlike the Impreza, the rearview camera isn't standard across the trims. The LX is the only trim to not have a rearview camera, and this may be surprising to some consumers, given the widespread use of this type of technology in new vehicles. What the LX does have are LED daytime running lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, and anti-lock brakes.

In all of the Honda Civic trims, drivers will be able to take advantage of Honda Sensing technologies. This is the name for Honda's driver-assist systems. Included on the Civic are a collision mitigation braking system that can prevent frontal accidents, a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control that works at a full range of speeds, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

In addition, Honda Lane Watch is integrated into the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. It's a type of blind spot monitoring system that uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to monitor that hard-to-see spot. Rather than simply alerting a driver to someone else in a blind spot, it actually sends the video feed to the infotainment screen so a driver can be more aware of what's alongside the vehicle.

Which Has the Best Value?

The Subaru Impreza has a lot going for it, including its competitive pricing. It can be hard to find a car priced at under $20,000 that still feels like a quality vehicle, but this Subaru is just that. Once anything above the base model is chosen, the MSRP does jump over the $20,000 mark.

For about $22,000, the Premium will give customers EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability. The Sport trims come in at around $23,000, and they come with 18-inch wheels, keyless access, sport cloth upholstery, and an eight-inch touchscreen. If people still want more, they can get the Limited, which costs approximately $27,000. This model has leather seats, a power-operated driver's seat, available navigation, and LED headlights that can change their angle as the vehicle takes turns.

With the 2020 Honda Civic, prices are also affordable. The LX has a MSRP just above $20,000, so anyone on a tight budget will likely consider this option. The Sport is attractive because it has smartphone connectivity, a push-button start, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport is offered for about $21,500. Another two thousand dollars will bring people to the EX level. With this model, there is a power moonroof, SiriusXM Radio, remote start, a power-operated driver's seat, and the turbocharged engine. The EX-L, with its leather seats and HomeLink remote system, comes in at $25,00, and the Touring is priced at $27,700. It comes with navigation, LED headlights, a premium audio system, LED headlights, heated front and rear seats, and more.

Which is Better?

The match-up between the Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic is a competitive one. They're compact cars that handle well, have many advanced interior components, and look and feel modern.

If performance is at the top of anyone's checklist, the Honda Civic would come out as the winner. Not only is its upgraded engine more powerful than the one in the Impreza, but its standard engine also has more horsepower than the Impreza's engine. However, only the Impreza comes with all-wheel drive, so this may make the decision a bit more difficult if people will frequently be driving in slippery conditions. Both models are efficient, but the Honda Civic really shines, being able to achieve over 40 miles per gallon in some scenarios.

In terms of size, the five-door Impreza is the most versatile option. The Impreza sedan and Honda Civic sedan are more compact, yet they do have a good amount of trunk volume. Entertainment options can help keep people happy in the cabin, and the Subaru offers a bit more, especially at the lower trims. When looking at safety, the two cars both come with a comprehensive package. One difference is that the base-level Civic has more standard components than the base-level Impreza.

The 2020 Subaru Impreza and 2020 Honda Civic will likely attract the same type of customers. If the distinction between the powertrains doesn't matter significantly to a particular customer, it may come down to a preference in style. The Honda Civic is a bit edgier, and the Impreza seems to be a more practical, down-to-earth choice.

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