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Comparison: 2020 Honda Civic Sedan vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta

We compare two of the most popular compact sedans available in Canada - read more to find out which model we preferred.

2020 Honda Civic Sedan

Starting Price: $20,176 CDN

Pros

  • Compact on the outside, roomy on the inside
  • A reliability champ
  • A resale-values champ

Cons

  • Higher trims become pricey
  • Busy styling can be polarising

What's New For 2020

  • Honda Sensing driver aids now standard throughout the range.

 

Summary

Buyers of brand-new compact cars are lucky. They have the front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger 2020 Honda Civic Sedan as just one of several fantastic choices. There are some factors, though, that nudge the Civic a tad above compact sedans like the Volkswagen Jetta, Mazda3, Kia Forte, and the new-for-2020 Toyota Corolla.

One thing is resale values, where the Civic excels. Rock-solid reliability is another. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also makes it a Top Safety Pick. Models span from the sensible DX to the more luxurious Touring.

 

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Starting Price: $21,245 CDN

Pros

  • A “compact” sedan that’s almost as spacious as a midsize
  • Excellent driving manners blending comfort with composure
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is standard
  • Generous 4-year/80,000-km bumper-to-bumper warranty

Cons

  • Some high-tech options not available on lower trims
  • Only one engine choice available for non-GLI Jettas

What's New For 2020

  • Every new Jetta receives App-Connect smartphone integration (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink)
  • Execline model gains 17-inch alloy wheels

 

Summary

The front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger 2020 Volkswagen Jetta compact sedan has never been better. In terms of generation, it’s only one year old, so the technology and safety features are fresh, with driving abilities that are both refined and athletic. Space and comfort are two more strong points. The pricing is also reasonable.

Jetta competitors include the Honda Civic plus the all-new Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza and Mazda3. Each has its particular appeal, but the 2020 VW Jetta should definitely be on any list of possible new compact-sedan purchases.

 

Final Recommendation

While either of these compact sedans is an excellent choice, the 2020 Honda Civic Sedan edges out the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta in this comparison thanks to its reliability, broader choice in engines and its resale value, while the Jetta is a solid car that offers European driving dynamics.

 

 

Specs

  2020 Honda Civic Sedan

  2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Engine

  2.0-litre I4
  158 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  138 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm

  1.5-litre Turbocharged I4
  174hp @ 6,000 rpm
  205 lb-ft @ 5,700 rpm

  1.4-litre Turbocharged I4
  147 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  184 lb-ft @ 1,600-3,500 rpm

Transmission(s)

  6-speed manual

  Continuously variable automatic

  6-speed manual

  8-speed automatic

Fuel Economy

  2.0-litre I4:
  Manual - 8.0 L/100 km (9.3 city, 6.5 hwy)
  CVT LX, EX - 7.9 L/100 km (6.1 city, 7.1 hwy)

  1.5-litre Turbocharged I4:
  CVT Sport - 7.4 L/100 km (8.2 city, 6.5 hwy)

  CVT Touring - 7.1 L/100 km (7.8 city, 6.2 hwy)

  Manual/Auto - 7.0 L/100 km (7.9 city, 5.9 hwy)

 

Warranty

  3 years/60,000 km

  4-years/80,000 km

Max Seating Capacity

  5

  5

Wheelbase

  2,660 mm

  2,686 mm

Overall Length

  4,626 mm

  4,702 mm

Width

  2,107 mm

  1,799 mm

Height

  1,416 mm

  1,463 mm

Curb Weight

  1,252-1,351 kg

  1,314 kg

Headroom, Front

  953-997- mm

  979 mm

Headroom, Rear

  935-942 mm

  945 mm

Legroom, Front

  1,074 mm

  1,045 mm

Legroom, Rear

  950 mm

  949 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

  1,447 mm

  1,420 mm

Shoulder Room, Rear  

  1,397 mm

  1,372 mm

Passenger Volume

  2,769 L

  2,682 L

Cargo Volume

  428 L

  510 L

Max Towing

  N/A

  N/A

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