2022 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2022 Honda Civic

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  • 2022 Volkswagen Jetta

    A blue 2022 Volkswagen Jetta S is angled left.

    Starting at

    $20,195[a]

    2022 Honda Civic

    A silver 2022 Honda Civic Sport is angled right.

    Starting at

    $22,350

    184Torque (lb-ft)138-177
    Manual or AutomaticTransmissionCVT
    Std.Digital CockpitAvl.

    Automakers are always taking steps to make their cars better, more advanced, and more desirable. The market for vehicles has always been competitive, so getting an edge is always a key. This is why when comparing the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2022 Honda Civic, we see two automakers taking different approaches to make their compact, five-seater sedans more popular with drivers across America.

    Honda has opted to introduce an all-new Civic sedan for 2022, representing the eleventh generation of this model, which was first introduced in 1972. Meanwhile, Volkswagen has taken a different approach. Rather than go through an entire remodel of its successful Jetta, Volkswagen has decided to improve the engine on the Jetta to boost performance without messing with success. One issue with coming out with a new generation is that the automaker rolls the dice, hoping that the new lines, engineering, and design won't alienate the car-buying public. A new model can be a real risk, especially for drivers on a budget who can't afford to take a chance on a new model that may turn out to be less than advertised. This appears to be what Volkswagen is hoping for, giving drivers a better version of an existing Jetta, rather than asking them to take a chance on an all-new model like Honda is doing with the Civic.

  • Pricing and Trims

    A silver 2022 Volkswagen Jetta SEL shows the taillight and Jetta logo in close up.

    2022 Jetta Trim Options

    The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta has a base MSRP of $20,195 and comes in four different models, each of which is front-wheel drive.[a] The base model is the Jetta S, and it comes equipped with the VW Digital Cockpit and the App-Connect infotainment system on a 6.5-inch touchscreen. The Jetta Sport features larger 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, sport seats for added comfort, and an XDS Cross Differential System for added traction. The Jetta SE also rides on 17-inch alloy wheels but has heated front seats with V-Tex leatherette fabric. The top trim is the Jetta SEL. This model has a larger 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, leather seats, a BeatsAudio premium sound system, and a panoramic sunroof.

    2022 Civic Trim Options

    Similarly, the 2022 Honda Civic sedan comes in four different trim levels. However, it has a higher base MSRP of $22,350. The base model is the Civic LX, which features the smaller of two engine options on this sedan. The Civic Sport has the same engine as the LX but adds 18-inch gloss-black alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Civic EX has a larger engine and adds heated front seats and a one-touch power moonroof. Finally, the Civic Touring is the top trim, coming equipped with leather seats, a wireless phone charger, and a premium Bose sound system.

    How To Choose?

    The lower base MSRP on the Jetta means that you can not only save money when buying the base model Jetta S as compared to the Civic LX; you can also move up the trim ladder faster, adding more features along the way. So, if you wanted to splurge and go in for the top trim 2022 Jetta SEL, you will end up saving more money than if you bought the 2022 Honda Touring with all of its features. While Honda has done a good job with the 2022 Civic, it can't compare to the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta when it comes to affordability.

  • Performance

    A grey 2022 Volkswagen Jetta SEL is shown from the front driving on a city street after winning a 2022 Volkswagen Jetta vs 2022 Honda Civic comparison.

    Engine Options

    The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta features an all-new engine. This is a 1.5-liter EA211 turbocharged I-4 gas engine that Volkswagen has made standard on all trims of the 2022 Jetta. It utilizes a high-pressure fuel injection system combined with variable turbine geometry to produce 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, an improvement of over 11 horsepower compared to the standard engine on the prior year's model.

    Honda has decided to offer two different engines on the 2022 Civic sedan. The base engine is a 2.0-liter I-4 gas engine that uses multipoint fuel injection to produce 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. This comes standard on the LX and Sport trims of the 2022 Honda Civic. The other engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4 gas engine, standard on the EX and Touring models, that generates 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque.

    By going with a standard turbocharged engine on all trims of the 2022 Jetta, Volkswagen is not making you pay more for performance. Clearly, the 1.5-liter Turbo on the Jetta outperforms the 2.0-liter I-4 on the Civic LX and Sport, generating equal horsepower and far more torque. So, if you want to get comparable performance to the Jetta from the Civic, you are going to have to buy one of the two more expensive Civic trims, the EX or the Touring.

    Transmission Options

    Volkswagen and Honda have taken different approaches to the transmissions on their compact sedans, with Volkswagen giving drivers the choice of a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic on the 2022 Jetta. The 6-speed manual is a standard feature, with the 8-speed automatic transmission available as an option on all four trim levels. The automatic transmission also features a Start/Stop system to improve fuel efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Honda has opted to offer all models of the 2022 Civic sedan with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Rather than having set gear speeds, the CVT adjusts the transmission to different driving conditions. While the Sport and Touring models add paddle shifters to give drivers some element of control over engine's performance, the Honda transmission provides a decidedly more mundane and less-engaging driving experience than either of the Volkswagen transmission options.

  • Interior Space

    The black interior of a 2022 Volkswagen Jetta shows the front seats.

    Interior space is at a premium on most types of vehicles. This is even more true when you are looking at buying a compact sedan. A slight few inches could be the difference between your five passengers feeling cramped or comfortable. However, the designers at Volkswagen and Honda have done their best to get the most of the space available on their respective compact sedans.

    The passenger compartments on the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and the 2022 Honda Civic are fairly comparable. This is a testament to the designers at Volkswagen since the Jetta has a 105.7-inch wheelbase––more than two inches tighter than the 107.7-inches on the 2022 Civic sedan. However, that smaller wheelbase doesn't end up diminishing the enjoyment of your passengers.

    Cargo and Passenger Space

    Both models offer the same amount of rear-seat headroom, 37-inches, as well as rear-seat legroom, 37.4-inches. However, the front row headroom on the Civic diminishes significantly if you choose either the EX or Touring trims with their standard moonroof. The headroom goes from 39.3-inches, the same as on the Jetta, to a very tight 37.6-inches. In addition, while shoulder room is fairly comparable on both models, the Jetta offers significantly more rear-seat hip room than the Civic. Your three rear-seat passengers will get a comfortable 51-inches of hip room inside the Jetta, while the Civic sedan only offers a cramped 48.9-inches. This could be a problem if you are going on a long road trip with five passengers in the 2022 Civic sedan.

    When it comes to storage space, both models offer surprisingly spacious trunks that can fit over 14 cubic feet of cargo. Even better, they have 60/40-split folding rear seats that allow you to expand the trunk to include the back seats, giving you nearly as much room as a small SUV. If you thought driving a compact sedan might be a compromise, the Volkswagen Jetta and Honda Civic prove otherwise.

Bud Clary Auburn Volkswagen 47.3356737, -122.2233049.