Small hatchbacks are surprisingly versatile. Despite their trim exterior dimensions, you can load ‘em up with an entire garage sale’s worth of junk.
Two popular five-door options are the brand-new Subaru Impreza or Honda’s nearly as fresh, and much-hyped Civic. Which of these cars is a better choice? Well, that’s your job to determine… AND VOTE ABOUT!
The Scoobie in this tossup is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder, the only engine offered. It’s rated at a class-appropriate if hardly thrilling 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of twist. A continuously variable automatic transmission is available, as is a five-ratio manual in the most basic model.
One ace up the Impreza hatch’s sleeve is standard all-wheel drive, something the Civic doesn’t even offer. This is a boon for customers residing in areas that actually receive weather, not sunshine every day of the year.
As for Honda’s Civic hatchback, the only engine offered is a creamy-smooth 1.5-liter turbo. It provides an impressive 174 horses (180 in the Sport models) and 162 lb-ft of torque (Sport-trim versions get 177), a good deal more giddy-up than its rival. In other good news, this powerplant can be matched to either a CVT or a proper six-speed manual, for maximum fun.
All-wheel drive notwithstanding, the Civic’s big advantage is efficiency. With the automatic transmission, it stickers at 31 miles per gallon city, 40 highway and 34 combined. A similarly equipped Impreza can muster just 28 MPG in urban driving, 37 on interstates and 31 combined.
That’s a quick look at hatchback versions of the Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza. Which of these cars do YOU prefer? Well, compare them here and don’t forget to vote in our poll!