Subaru Impreza 4dr vs Volkswagen Jetta Comparison in Huntington Beach, CA

Normally, it's easy to fit vehicles into certain categories. The Volkswagen Jetta certainly fits into the category of a small SUV. But every once in a while, there comes a vehicle so exceptional that it simply can't fit into one category. The 2020 Subaru Impreza 4dr is such a vehicle. It began its life as an off-road-capable Legacy station wagon, but quickly gained a personality of its own. These days it may technically be an SUV, but its wagon origins still shine through in the best possible ways. When you compare it to the Volkswagen Jetta, you'll see that the Subaru Impreza 4dr is truly outstanding, a perfect match for drivers who refuse to be confined to just one category.

Subaru Impreza interior

2020 Subaru Impreza vs 2020 VW Jetta: Design & Configurations

Though both the Subaru Impreza and the VW Jetta are compact cars, the Jetta really takes "compact" to heart. The cabin has just 94.7 cubic feet of passenger volume, which is downright cramped when you compare it to the 2020 Subaru Impreza. Inside the Subaru Impreza Sedan, you and your passengers will be able to stretch out in a roomy 99.8 cubic feet of space. If more cargo space is what you're after, the Subaru Impreza also comes in a five-door hatchback configuration with 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats, as well as slightly greater passenger volume. The VW Jetta is a sedan only, with cargo volume that maxes out at 14.1 cubic feet.

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Subaru Impreza driving down a city street

2020 Subaru Impreza vs 2020 VW Jetta: Performance

When it comes to power, the engines in these two cars may seem similar. The Subaru Impreza has greater horsepower, but also weighs a little more. However, there's much more to performance than power alone, and the Subaru Impreza is truly exceptional here. First, let's take a look at the engine design. The 2020 VW Jetta comes with an inline engine, a common and unremarkable design. The 2020 Subaru Impreza, by comparison, gets a BOXER® engine. This engine features a flat design that serves a number of purposes. It can help decrease vibrations for a smoother drive, and it also provides the Impreza with a lower center of gravity for better handling--especially on corners. The driving feel is further improved by the suspension in the Subaru Impreza. That's because it features a fully independent four-wheel suspension. The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta does have independent front suspension, but its semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension makes its drive less refined.

2020 Subaru Impreza driving down a highway

2020 Subaru Impreza vs 2020 VW Jetta: Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, is one of the foremost experts on automotive safety, and they give out awards to safe vehicles every year. The 2020 Subaru Impreza earned the honor of a 2020 Top Safety Pick award, while the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta earned no IIHS awards at all. Taking a closer look, the reason for this becomes clearer. Both performed admirably on their crashworthiness tests, but their headlight scores are markedly different. The standard headlights on the 2020 VW Jetta earned a rating of Poor, the worst possible rating from IIHS. Even with upgraded headlights, Marginal is the best that the VW Jetta could get. By comparison, the headlights on an upgraded 2020 Subaru Impreza earned the best possible rating of Good. These available headlights are not only LED, but they're also steering-responsive. This means that they'll track in the direction of your turn, making cornering at night much safer.

Blind spot assistance light on the side mirror of the 2020 Subaru Impreza

2020 Subaru Impreza vs 2020 VW Jetta: Driver Assistance Technology

Both the Subaru Impreza and the Volkswagen Jetta come standard with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking at all but the entry-level trim. But when it comes to other driver assistance features, the Subaru Impreza gives you more at a lower price. Lane keeping assist is available on the entry-level Subaru Impreza and standard on every other trim level. This feature helps you stay centered in your lane, and can guide you back if you begin to drift. Similarly, adaptive cruise control is available on the entry-level Subaru Impreza and standard on all others. This works much like regular cruise control, but can also slow you down if you get too close to a car in front of you. Both of these features are available upgrades in the Volkswagen Jetta, but they only come in the two most expensive trim levels.

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2020 Subaru Impreza vs 2020 VW Jetta: Value

The Subaru Impreza and the Volkswagen Jetta have incredibly similar starting MSRPs, but the Subaru Impreza simply offers more. More passenger space, a more refined drive, more safety at lower trim levels. While the differences are clear enough when you read about them, they stand in even starker contrast when you test drive these two cars. Come experience the Subaru Impreza today and you'll see just why it's the perfect match for life in Southern California.

2020 Subaru Impreza2020 Volkswagen Jetta
$18,695Starting MSRP*$18,745
StandardAll-Wheel DriveNot Available
99.8 Cubic FeetPassenger Space94.7 Cubic Feet
Independent Double WishboneRear SuspensionTorsion Beam
2020 IIHS Top Safety PickSafety AwardsNone
28 City - 36 Highway (MPG)Fuel Economy (Automatic Transmission)30 City - 40 Highway (MPG)
AvailableReverse Automatic BrakingNot Available
52%ALG Residual After 36 Months (Base Model)42%
5 Years / 60,000 MilesDrivetrain Warranty 4 Years / 50,000 Miles

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.