If you’re shopping for a compact car, then it’s easy to gravitate toward either a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. And why not? Both cars are perennial leaders in the segment and they both offer value that’s obviously withstood the test of time. However, if you look a little closer, then you might realize that the Subaru Impreza could actually be the smarter choice.
The Subaru Impreza has what you need
Both the 2021 Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza are available in either sedan or hatchback form. However, if you’re looking for the bare necessities, then the Impreza has you covered. In base form, the Impreza comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, and Apple Carplay/Android Auto.
Subaru’s Eyesight suite of driver-assist features come standard as well, but you have to get the automatic transmission for that. However, safety is still prevalent as the Impreza comes standard with an all-wheel-drivetrain that’s connected to a 2.0-liter, Boxer engine that produces 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque and is able to achieve an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway in manual form, add one mpg to the city figure if you opt for the automatic.
The Honda Civic is still a formidable contender
And while it’s easy to smitten with the Impreza’s base features, one look at the Honda Civic’s feature list and you’ll know why it’s so highly regarded. The Civic LX comes standard with an automatic transmission, automatic climate control, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto, a five-inch infotainment screen, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features.
The Civic also comes standard with a 158-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but if you opt for the higher trim levels, then you’ll get a more-potent 174-hp, turbo 1.5-liter engine. A six-speed manual transmission is available for the higher Sport and Sport Touring trim levels and you can expect fuel economy numbers to be in the 30s in the city and 40s on the highway with either engine choice.
How is the Subaru Impreza a smarter buy?
The real difference between these two compacts starts to show up when you move up the trim levels. For example, if you opt for the top-trim Impreza Limited, then you’ll get the CVT transmission, EyeSight driver-assist suite, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather seats, LED headlights, and a larger 8-inch infotainment screen, all for $25,895.
However, for the Honda Civic Touring, then you’ll get the same features, however, it will still have a small infotainment screen and lack the more-capable all-wheel-drive system that the Subaru has. Also, the Civic costs more than the Impreza as you go up the trim level ranks with the Touring trim coming in at a whopping $28,100, before the $955 destination charge.
The Subaru Impreza offers a sneaky good value
While it’s easy to say that the Honda Civic does provide a great value overall in terms of the features that are packed in each trim level, it’s doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that it also costs a good amount more than the Impreza at every turn. So, if you like the capability of having all-wheel-drive and want to save money while getting a lot of the same tech-savvy features that you would in the Honda Civic, then the Subaru Impreza could easily be the smarter buy.