Subaru WRX vs. Honda Civic Si: How Do They Compare?

An ideal compact sedan delivers high performance with increased comfort. It is fit for a great city driving experience, as well as on the highway for those long road trips. This sedan is loved by the family, carpool mates, as well as those friends who just want to ride along to your favorite hangout spots.

Build quality, performance, comfort and fun being the benchmarks, let’s look at and compare two of the most popular cars in this segment: Subaru WRX and Honda Civic Si.

The Subaru WRX 2018 is the fourth generation VA-series, marking a tremendous progression from its early days in 1992. The WRX stands for the rally tournament (World Rallycross). It was built to dominate, and its rally origins make it a powerful machine ready to provide greater power and speed than any competitor.

When it comes to build, the 2018 Subaru WRX and the Honda Civic Si have a lot in common. Both cars are sporty, stylish sedans, with dark alloy wheels and a dark matte grille. The Subaru WRX, however, has rally pedigree and heritage, and features a classy hood scoop, making it stand out from the pack of sporty sedans.

The interiors are upgraded with an extra six inches hip room in the back seat, making this one of the more comfortable sedans for passengers. The 2018 Subaru WRX Starlink Infotainment system has also been rated faster and more responsive (by Car and Driver, among others) than the comparable system in the 2018 Honda Civic Si.

It’s under the hood where the Subaru really comes into its own. The 2018 edition is powered by a twin-scroll 2 L turbocharged engine with a powerful 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This can be purchased as a standard six-speed manual transmission or as a CVT add-on with paddle shifters. In comparison, the Honda Civic Si features a turbocharged 1.5L engine with 205 hp, and a sport-tuned suspension.

In addition to the standard trim, the Subaru WRX also features the STI models with an even more powerful 2.5L turbocharged engine, rated at 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. They also feature Brembo brakes and front and rear limited-slip differentials. The Si version of the Civic however, does not feature any additional trims.

The all-wheel drive (AWD) feature really sets the Subaru WRX apart. In common American climate conditions like snow, ice and sleet, or in tougher terrains and inclines, the AWD makes all the difference, and the Front Wheel Drive of the Si just can’t compare.

The AWD is standard across all Subaru WRX trims, and features the Subaru Symmetrical AWD technology, featuring a horizontally opposed lightweight engine. This maximizes the AWD potential as it allows all four wheels to bear weight equally. The Active Torque Vectoring System, in combination with the Symmetrical AWD eliminate any unnecessary wheelspin, slippage and understeer. Performance tires are standard across all trims as well.

The 2018 Subaru WRX handles better than the 2018 Honda Civic Si as well, at least according to Carbuzz, as it’s heavier transmission is located closer to the middle for an ideal lower center of gravity. The Subaru WRX with the 2 L engine can go from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, again outshining the Honda Civic Si comfortably.

The brilliant control over a powerful engine, best-in-class handling, top-class braking, and steering make the 2018 Subaru WRX a driver’s delight. The 2018 Subaru WRX therefore has the fastest top speed, a better stopping distance, and a better grip than the Honda Civic Si.

The 2018 Subaru WRX has a total of three trims—the base WRX, WRX Premium, and WRX Limited—in comparison to the single version of the Honda Civic Si. There are also additional add-on and dealer package options with the 2018 Subaru WRX.

The base model of the Subaru WRX features a rear-view camera, heated side mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio, a Starlink Infotainment system and a 6.2-inch screen display. HD and Satellite radio are included too. The upgrades on the Subaru include a powered driver’s seat, larger wheels, full leather upholstery, a sunroof, paddle shifters, and a Harman Kardon stereo. In addition, driver aids such as roadside assistance, emergency notification, and remote unlocking and locking are available.

The package add-on options in the Subaru WRX also include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a performance exhaust, a carbon-fiber trim, and a short-throw shifter. The performance package includes upgraded brake pads and Recaro front seats.

The Honda Civic Si features dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, limited-slip front differential, a rear spoiler, but offers little room for any further styling upgrades.

The 2018 Subaru WRX achieved the 2018 Top Safety Pick+, awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This award, one of the highest and most coveted accolades in the industry, was given due to Subaru’s uncompromising approach to passenger safety, ensuring best-in-class material and technology in their cars. Only 15 other vehicles across the world, including the 2018 Subaru WRX, received the accolade in 2018, which highlights just how difficult and stringent the Highway Safety rules are.

The 2018 Subaru WRX offers optional EyeSight electronic driver assist technology, which uses onboard cameras to provide adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. In addition, it features blind-spot detection and steering-responsive headlights. These options are unavailable on the Honda Civic Si.

Ultimately, the decision is clear. The 2018 Subaru WRX offers a driving experience second to none, with enhanced and stylish interiors, numerous optional upgrades and add-ons, and is highly rated when it comes to safety.

All these facts and excellent dealer services make the 2018 Subaru WRX the best sporty sedan on the market. Indeed, the one thing left to do now now is to book a test drive with Royal Moore Subaru and find out for yourself.

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Eric Write head editor and chief at The Pluto Daily