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2019 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2018 Honda Civic

For many of us, the humble compact sedan is the first car we’ll ever drive. These smaller models are not only efficient at a time when gas prices can make a serious dent in our budgets, but they are easier to maneuver when first learning how to stay within our own lanes and figure out what the various knobs and levers do. Really, if you don’t need more space and you don’t tow anything, is there any reason not to enjoy the many benefits of compact vehicles? We think not, which leave the only question, which one? In comparing the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2018 Honda Civic, you’re looking at two vehicles that have been battling head-to-head since the 1980s.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2018 Honda Civic

2019 Volkswagen Jetta


2018 Honda Civic

$18,545 Starting MSRP $18,940
1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder Engine 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
147hp/184 lb-ft of torque Performance 158hp/138 lb-ft of torque
6-speed manual Standard Transmission 6-speed manual

2019 VW Jetta Performance Specs

If there’s one criticism of compact cars, it’s frequently their performance. For the sake of fuel economy, smaller vehicles can sometimes feel underpowered. This isn’t the case for the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta with its 147-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Paired with it is a six-speed manual or available 8-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport driving modes.

The 2018 Honda Civic does offer more horsepower, slightly, from its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. With a maximum output of 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque, it’s not the worst choice on the market. However, when you note that the Jetta offers only slightly fewer ponies, but up to 184 pound-feet of torque, you’ll definitely want to stop for a test drive to compare. Especially after you find out that the Civic’s upgraded transmission is a continuously variable, the deal may just be sealed.

What about Honda’s reputation for reliability? You’ll rest easy knowing that Volkswagen has introduced the People First Warranty, which provides six years or 72,000 miles of limited bumper-to-bumper coverage against manufacturer defects. Honda’s basic new car warranty is for just three years or 36,000 miles.

With five trim levels and plenty of great features, you’ll want to stop by Onion Creek Volkswagen for a test drive of the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta.