2020 Honda Civic vs. 2020 Mercedes A-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Civic Sedan/Hatchback are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes A-Class doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic 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’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The A-Class’ airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Civic and the A-Class 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 and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Civic the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Civic 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the A-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Civic’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Civic’s reliability 22 points higher than the A-Class.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Civic Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the A-Class:

MPG

Civic Sedan

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/36 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

Sport 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

32 city/42 hwy

Touring 1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

A-Class

FWD

Auto

220 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

220 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/34 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Civic uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Civic Hatchback Sport/Sport Touring for maximum performance). The A-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Civic 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 A-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Honda Civic as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Mercedes A-Class is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

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The Civic offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A-Class doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Civic stops much shorter than the A-Class:

Civic

A-Class

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Civic has larger standard tires than the A-Class (215/55R16 vs. 205/55R17). The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/40R18 vs. 225/40R19).

The Civic has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the A-Class; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the A-Class don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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The Civic Touring Sedan handles at .90 G’s, while the A 220 pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Civic LX/EX’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the A-Class’ (35.4 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

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The Honda Civic may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Mercedes A-Class.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Civic Sedan a Mid-size car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.

The Civic Sedan has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (97.8 vs. 93).

The Civic Sedan has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The Civic Sedan has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (15.1 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Hatchback easier. The Civic Hatchback’s trunk lift-over height is 22 inches, while the A-Class’ liftover is 26.1 inches.

Ergonomics

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To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Civic has standard extendable sun visors. The A-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Civic and the A-Class offer available heated front seats. The Civic Touring Sedan/Sport Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A-Class.

Model Availability

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The Honda Civic comes in coupe, sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Mercedes A-Class isn’t available as a coupe or four door hatchback.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda Civic, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes A-Class isn't recommended.

The Honda Civic outsold the Mercedes A-Class by over 18 to one during 2019.

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

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