2019 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A-Class offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Civic doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A-Class offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Civic only offers a rear monitor.

The A-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Civic doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the A-Class and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The A-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

Engine

The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (188 vs. 158) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 138) than the Civic’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 14 more horsepower (188 vs. 174) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 162) than the Civic’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (188 vs. 180) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 177) than the Civic Hatchback Sport’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the A 220 is faster than the Honda Civic (automatics tested):

 

A-Class

Civic 4 cyl.

Civic turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

8.3 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.9 sec

22.6 sec

17.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

8.4 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

16.5 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

125 MPH

126 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Civic doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The A-Class has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic (13.5 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Mercedes A-Class comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Civic.

The A-Class offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Civic doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic:

 

A-Class

Civic

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.2 inches

The A-Class stops much shorter than the Civic:

 

A-Class

Civic

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A-Class has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Civic LX. The A-Class’ optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Civic Sport/Touring.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Civic doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A-Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Civic’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A-Class’ wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Civic (107.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the Civic Touring Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The A-Class has 1 inch more front headroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the Civic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the A-Class’ trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Civic Sedan’s useful trunk space.

The A-Class’ standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Civic doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 59% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

When three different drivers share the A-Class, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Civic doesn’t offer a memory system.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Civic doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A-Class’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Civic LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Civic doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The A-Class’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Civic EX/EX-T/EX-L/Touring.

The A-Class offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Civic doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the A-Class’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Civic doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The A-Class has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Civic Coupe/LX doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The A-Class has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Civic EX/EX-L/Touring.

Both the A-Class and the Civic offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A-Class has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Civic Sedan/Hatchback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Civic doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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