2020 Honda Civic Si vs. 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic Si deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic Si’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Jetta GLI’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic Si’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Civic Si and the Jetta GLI have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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There are over 60 percent more Honda dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic Si’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 16th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 1 place higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

On the EPA test cycle the Civic Si gets better fuel mileage than the Jetta GLI:

MPG

Civic Si

Manual

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

Jetta GLI

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Civic Si uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Jetta GLI requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Civic Si has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Civic Si has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Civic Si stops shorter than the Jetta GLI:

Civic Si

Jetta GLI

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Civic Si has larger tires than the Jetta GLI (235/40R18 vs. 225/40R18).

The Civic Si’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Jetta GLI’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Si offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Jetta GLI’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Civic Si’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Civic Si Sedan handles at .97 G’s, while the Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Honda Civic Si may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI.

The Civic Si Coupe is 7.9 inches shorter than the Jetta GLI, making the Civic Si easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Civic Si has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Jetta GLI uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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The Civic Si Sedan has 1.2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Jetta GLI.

Cargo Capacity

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The Civic Si Sedan has a larger trunk than the Jetta GLI (14.7 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Si easier. The Civic Si’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Jetta GLI’s liftover is 28.7 inches.

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the Civic Si the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Jetta GLI can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Civic Si detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Civic Si has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

The Honda Civic Si comes in coupe and sedan bodystyles; the Volkswagen Jetta GLI isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/15

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Civic Si, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Civic Si was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Jetta GLI has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 23 years. The Jetta GLI has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Jetta GLI has never been chosen.

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

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