2023 VW Jetta vs. Honda Civic

April 12th, 2023 by

Combine ample storage space, a smooth ride, an eye-catching design, and a host of cutting-edge technological features, and you get the Volkswagen Jetta. Over time, the Jetta has cemented its place as one of the most tantalizing options in the sedan segment, and it continues to be a popular choice amongst drivers of all ages. Now in its 2023 model year, the Jetta offers a major leap forward in terms of performance, aesthetics, and overall refinement. But when push comes to shove, how does it stack up against its ever-popular rival, the Honda Civic?   

In this faceoff, we’ll pit these two worthy contenders against each other in a series of categories to put this age-old debate to rest. Stay tuned to see which car comes out on top.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

What better place to start than under the hood when comparing these two vehicles? After all, the engine is the heart of any car. A 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine powers the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta, delivering 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard on the base trim, but most Jettas will come with the eight-speed automatic. If you’re looking for more power, the GLI models come with a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four that churns out 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Honda Civic is available with a choice of two inline-four engines, each powering the front wheels. The standard 2.0-liter engine produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, while the available 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is good for 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The Civic hatchback can be had with either engine and comes with a choice of a CVT automatic or six-speed manual transmission; the sedan is only available with the CVT. The Civic can’t match the Volkswagen Jetta in this department as it offers a higher power output across all of its engine options.

Fuel Economy

In terms of fuel economy, there’s no question that the Jetta reigns supreme. The Civic gains 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, but the Jetta’s mpg rating reaches 29 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. While both cars get an impressive mpg rating, the Jetta gains the advantage by providing an extra 2 mpg on the highway. Although less economical in the city, it’s up to the fuel economy needs of the driver to decide which vehicle is preferable.

Interior Space, Comfort, and Cargo Space

Stepping inside the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta, you’ll find a wealth of features designed to keep you comfortable and entertained on your drive. The Air Care two-zone automatic climate control system ensures you stay at your ideal temperature while an enhanced air filter with activated carbon cleans the air. The vehicle also features ambient interior lighting options and leather seating surfaces for a luxurious feel. On the flip side, the 2023 Honda Civic Sedan offers a few leather seating options but doesn’t feature interior ambient lighting.

Cargo-wise, the Jetta provides up to 14.1 cubic feet of trunk storage space, which is perfect for a quick grocery store trip or a weekend getaway. On the other hand, the Civic Sedan offers up to 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space, plus a wide trunk opening and low lift-over height, making it easy to load and unload. The Civic steals the show when it comes to cargo space, but the Jetta offers a more comfortable interior with more luxurious features. So, depending on your needs, you’ll have to decide which is more important.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Nowadays, tech goodies and creature comforts are just as important as power and performance when shopping for a new car. The Volkswagen Jetta comes standard with a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, but the highest trim levels come with an 8.0-inch touch-screen display and a 10.3-inch digital gauge display for a more upscale feel. This system also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a wireless hotspot as long as you’re subscribed to a data plan. Wireless charging is standard on the top two trim levels.

Meanwhile, the Honda Civic comes standard with a 7.0-inch touch-screen infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, but the optional 9.0-inch and 10.2-inch digital gauge displays are great upgrades. Navigation, a Bose stereo system, and a wireless charging pad are also available. While the Jetta still has a slight edge regarding infotainment offerings, the Civic is certainly no slouch. It’s a close one, but the Jetta’s configurability and overall usefulness give it the edge.

Trim Options and Price

The Volkswagen Jetta is available in five trim levels: S, Sport, SE, SEL, and GLI Autobahn. The Volkswagen Jetta S trim begins at an MSRP of $20,415, while the range-topping GLI Autobahn will set you back $31,345 MSRP. The Honda Civic only has three trim levels: Sport, EX, and Touring. Unlike the Jetta, limited options mean a limited price range. The Sport trim starts at a higher MSRP of $24,650, while the Touring trim maxes out at a whopping $29,650 MSRP. 

All things considered, the Volkswagen Jetta comes in at a cheaper price range, making it the clear winner in affordability. To top it off, Volkswagen also offers more bang for your buck in terms of features and trim options.

The Winner

You might say we’re biased, but we think the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta pulls ahead in this comparison. It offers more features and conveniences for a much lower starting price than the Honda Civic, making it the clear winner in terms of value to the consumer. It also provides luxurious interior features, a plethora of tech goodies, and more trim-level options. Its standout exterior design and reliable performance capabilities further cement the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta as the go-to choice.

So if you’re searching for a great car that won’t break the bank, stop by Capistrano Volkswagen in Orange County, California, and check out the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed. Still undecided? Check out our extensive selection of new and used cars to find the perfect vehicle for you. No matter what your needs are, we have something that will fit your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to schedule a test drive and get behind the wheel of your dream car.

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