Battle of the Compact Sports Sedans: Subaru Impreza Sport vs Honda Civic Sport

The compact sedan segment has been filled with some stiff competition over the past decade. Cars like the Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, and Toyota Corolla have always brought practical value to the table, while the Honda Civic has seemingly always sat at the head.

But what about the Subaru Impreza? It offers the same type of safety, practicality, and value as the others, but seemingly gets overlooked. To give it a shot in the limelight, we decided it would be an interesting comparison to take a look at the Impreza sedan and the Civic sedan, more specifically their Sport trims, and see how they stack up.

Honda Civic Sport

First up, we’ll take a closer look at the 2020 Honda Civic. The Civic was completely redone for the 2016 model year and refreshed for the 2020 model year, however, the Sport trim was added for 2019.

Slotted between the base LX and better-equipped EX trims, the Civic Sport adds a budget-minded, yet sporty choice to the equation by way of piano black trim and more aggressive wheels.

To delineate the Civic Sport from its stablemates, Honda gave it a darkened front fascia and side pods, a black rear decklid spoiler, 18-inch black wheels, and a polygonal exhaust tip that is similar to the one found on the Civic Si.

2020 Honda Civic Sport

Under the hood, the Civic Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. It can be mated to either a CVT transmission or a slick-shifting six-speed manual.

On the inside, the Civic Sport has cloth seats and plenty of soft-touch details, however, the main highlight is the 7-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

And while it’s easy to say that interior is looking a little bit dated, considering it dates back to 2016 and not much has changed, it’s still functional and attractive. For 2020, Honda made the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features standard, so at least the Civic Sport has that going for it as well.

Overall, the Civic Sport offers up a sporty looking twist on a modern classic that’s perfect for the cost-conscious enthusiast.

Subaru Impreza Sport

Just like the Civic, the Subaru Impreza is getting a little long in the tooth as it was redesigned back in 2017 and is in need of a refresh.

Dated looks aside, the Impreza Sport still has a lot offer. Just like on the Civic, the Sport trim is right above the base Premium model and below the up-level Limited trim level.

Choosing the Sport trim adds a black sport grille, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, and a rear spoiler. On the inside, the Impreza steps it up a notch higher than the Civic by offering a sport-cloth interior with contrast stitching, an 8-inch touchscreen display, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

2020 Subaru Impreza Sport | Subaru

Subaru’s Eyesight driver-assist suite is standard and includes the same features as Honda’s such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist, and frontal collision warning.

Under the hood, the Impreza Sport has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Boxer engine that pushes out 152 horsepower and 145 torque, which can be mated to either a CVT transmission or a five-speed manual.

While the Impreza clearly offers the same features as the Civic Sport, it wouldn’t be a Subaru if it didn’t have the brand’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with torque vectoring. A feature that definitely makes the Impreza stand out from the rest.

2020 Subaru Impreza Sport | Subaru

How do they stack up?

Believe it or not, the feature sets and even the interior dimensions are nearly identical between these two competitors. As for fuel economy, the Civic is rated at 30 city and 38 highway, while the Impreza achieves 27 city and 36 highway, probably due to the beefier all-wheel-drive system.

Pricing wise, the Civic bests the Impreza with a starting price of around $21,000 versus the Subaru’s $24,000 price tag. However, if we had to choose between the two, we would pick the Impreza Sport for its well-rounded versatility thanks to its renowned all-wheel-drive system.

Good job, Subaru. Now go redesign the car.