The Honda Civic has an enviable reputation--and the sales figures to support it. The Honda Civic is one of the most popular vehicles on the market, but it's certainly not the only game in town worth considering these days. So, let's see how the latest 2017 Honda Civic measures up to one of its best domestic rivals: the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze.

2017 Honda Civic vs Chevrolet Cruze

Styling

The 2017 Honda Civic was completely redesigned last year, but it still feels like the Civic we've come to know and love. The front is reminiscent of the previous generation, but the rear end has undergone some considerable cosmetic surgery. Already available in sedan and coupe versions, the Civic can now be found as a hatch for the first time, so there's certainly plenty of choice. If you like the idea of a smaller version of the Accord, here you go.

We're now a year from the last redesign of the Cruze, but Chevy has added a hatchback version to complement the sedan. Unlike the Civic, you won't find a coupe, but that's not an issue because the sedan is now lower and sleeker and does a decent impression of a coupe. A sedan is not a coupe, though, and the extra choice in the Civic line gives it the nod here.

Engines & Performance

You'll have the option of two flavors of Civic. One is a relatively sedate commuter with the standard 158 horsepower 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. But the excitement builds when you get behind the first turbocharged Civic, the power for which comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo that ups the power ante to 174 horsepower. Both engines are available with either a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission.

For the moment at least, the Chevy only has a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four that puts out a modest 153 horsepower. This model is 250 pounds lighter than its predecessor, which does help, but it's no match for the fun of the Civic. The performance of the Cruze doesn't deliver on the promises made by the body, so the Honda takes the honors here.

Fuel Economy

Unless they're all-out performance models, cars of this size need to be pretty fuel-efficient--and the Honda Civic proves that point. A sedan equipped with the 1.5 turbo is rated by the EPA at 32 mpg in the city, 42 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg combined.

As with the Honda, the most economical version of the Chevy Cruze is also the sedan, which is rated as good as 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg combined. That's pretty good, but until the rumored diesel engine option debuts, the Civic still has the Cruze beat.

Interior Comfort

Some dimensions of the compact Civic would suggest it's actually more of a midsize, but others place it firmly as a compact. Either way, you'll find a comfortable amount of interior space for four people and their gear. The quality of the interior and the materials used is good, but you're not going to mistake this for a luxury model, even the top trim levels.

The Cruze is also on the larger side of the compact realm so four people also have plenty of room in here, and the cargo capacity is also very good with the hatch in particular offering an impressive 23.7 cu.-ft. in the trunk. The quality of the interior is on a par with the Civic, but the impressive cargo space gives the Cruze the win here.

Learn More about the Honda Civic

Overall, despite a strong showing from the Chevy, the 2017 Honda Civic remains the one to beat in this section of the current market. With impressive fuel economy, three body styles to choose from, and performance to back up its sleek design, the Civic proves that its reputation is more than warranted.