2022 Honda Civic vs. Subaru Impreza: Which Compact Sedan Is More Fuel Efficient?

If you’re in the market for a compact sedan, then two prime choices are the 2022 Honda Civic and the 2022 Subaru Impreza. Both of these commuters come equipped with similar features. However, one is a front-drive car, while the other only comes in all-wheel drive form. They’re both great for the everyday drive, but which of these compact sedans is more fuel-efficient?

The 2022 Honda Civic uses turbocharged technology to save fuel

a red 2022 honda civic, a new sedan that is both efficient and fast
2022 Honda Civic | Honda

While both the 2022 Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic are fuel-efficient in their own ways, the latter is the more efficient of the two. For 2022, the Honda Civic is available with two different engine choices: a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine and a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine. The former is equipped on the base trim levels (LX and Sport) and pumps out 158 hp, and comes with an idle-stop feature, which shuts the engine off when the car comes to a complete stop. The engine then turns back on when the driver releases the brake pedal.

The top trim levels (EX and Touring) are equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine under the hood that produces 180 hp. This engine can achieve up to an EPA-estimated 33 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, while the larger 2.0-liter engine can get up to 31 and 40 mpg, respectively. The increased fuel economy in the turbocharged engine is indicative of its force-fed nature as the turbo increases power and efficiency.

The 2022 Subaru Impreza only comes with one engine choice

A side view of the 2022 Subaru Impreza on a private street.
A side view of the 2022 Subaru Impreza on a private street. | Subaru

Under the hood of every 2022 Subaru Impreza is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Boxer engine that pumps out 152 hp. This engine is akin to the base mill found in the Civic’s lower trim levels. However, its flat-four architecture makes it work just a little differently. The engine also pumps its power through a five-speed manual or CVT and then through all four wheels. This leads to some power loss and lower fuel economy numbers.

As such, every Subaru Impreza sedan is able to achieve up to an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. That’s far less than the fuel economy numbers found in any trim level of the Honda Civic.

Which compact sedan should you choose?

An interior shot of the 2022 Impreza
An interior shot of the 2022 Impreza. | Subaru

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the choice is clear – the 2022 Honda Civic. Both of the Civic’s available engines trump the Impreza’s in terms of fuel economy by a long shot, no matter which one you choose. However, if you live in a snow state and need the extra traction, then the Subaru Impreza’s all-wheel drivetrain can do wonders.

Of course, no matter which of these two compact sedans you buy, you’ll be treated to many years of reliable commuting. But with gas prices as elevated as they are nowadays, the 2022 Honda Civic could be a much better choice. After all, we were able to achieve an average of 35 mpg in our real-world testing, which is still better than the Impreza’s EPA estimates.

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