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Make
Model
Model
Variant
Variant
Engine
Engine
Badges
1997. - 2001. Production 1999. - 2003.
C - Small family car Vehicle class C - Small family car
hatchback, 3 door Body style hatchback, 3 door
Front Wheel drive Front
Safety
Dimensons & Volumes
4190 mm
Length 4152 mm
1695 mm
Width 1735 mm
1375 mm
Height 1427 mm
225 liters
Boot (min) 350 liters
600 liters
Boot (max) 1100 liters
45 liters
Fuel tank 55 liters
Engine
Honda
1.6 D16Y5
Volkswagen
1.6 8v ALZ
Petrol Fuel Petrol
4 - Inline, 4 valves per cylinder Configuration 4 - Inline, 2 valves per cylinder
Naturally Aspir. Aspiration Naturally Aspir.
1590 cc
Displacement 1595 cc
117 hp
Power 102 hp
141 Nm
Torque 148 Nm
Performance (manual gearbox)
manual gearbox - 5 gears
manual gearbox - 5 gears
975 kg
Vehicle weight 1065 kg
10.2 s
Acc. 0-100 10.9 s
188 km/h
Top speed 189 km/h
8.1 l/100km
Cons. (urban) 9.6 l/100km
5.5 l/100km
Cons. (highway) 5.3 l/100km
6.5 l/100km
Cons. (average) 6.8 l/100km
153 g/km
CO2 emissions 163 g/km
Performance (automatic gearbox)
automatic - 4 gears
automatic - 4 gears
1000 kg
Vehicle weight 1135 kg
12.0 s
Acc. 0-100 12.7 s
172 km/h
Top speed 184 km/h
9.7 l/100km
Cons. (urban) 11.2 l/100km
5.9 l/100km
Cons. (highway) 6.2 l/100km
7.3 l/100km
Cons. (average) 8.0 l/100km
174 g/km
CO2 emissions 192 g/km
Expenses
1200 EUR
Price from 2300 EUR
Virtual Adviser's™ opinion

Overview

Well, these are two pretty similar cars we have here! It's only details that could potentially make the difference. Considering they both belong to the small family car segment and utilize the same 3-door hatchback body style and the front wheel drive system, it all comes up to the specific petrol engine choice they offer. The first one has a Honda-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 117hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 8-valves 102hp engine designed by Volkswagen.

Safety

The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the Audi being a slightly better choice apparently. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the German car offers a marginal difference of 9% more metal.

Reliability

I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that Honda is significantly less fault-prone, at least on all of the models level. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Honda with an average rating of 4.7, and models under the Audi badge with 4.3 out of 5. Independent research findings rank Civic 37% above average, and A3 those same 37% below the first one. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the Japanese car rank it on average as 5.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.8 out of 5.

Performance & Fuel economy

Honda is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.7 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 188 kilometers per hour, 1km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 6.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (42 mpg), in combined cycle.

Verdict

Honda is apparently more reliable, not too much, but just enough. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the German car offers much better overall protection, which launches it ahead of the other contender. From there things take a different direction, with Honda offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! No mistake, whatever you decide here, but I'd still go for the Honda. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.
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