The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are the best-selling compact cars in North America. In the United States of America, the Civic is the second-longest continuously-running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer; only the Toyota Corolla, introduced in 1968, has been in production longer. The Honda Civic is currently on its 9th generation and the current model of the Toyota Corolla is its 11th generation. Both cars are highly reliable and the decision often comes down to aesthetic appeal (which is subjective), and the discounts offered by the dealer.
|Honda Civic||Toyota Corolla|
|Class||Compact: 2001 - present; Sub-compact: 1972 - 2000||Compact: 1988 - present; Sub-compact: 1966 - 1987|
|Body style||2 door coupe, 4 door sedan, 5 door hatchback||Sedan|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel drive||Front or all-wheel drive|
|Transmission||5-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic||5-speed manual, Automatic-4 speed, CVT|
|Milage (city / highway)||30 / 38||32 / 41|
|Price||$15,755-24,350||starting at $16,230|
|Headroom (in., front/rear)||39.4 / 37.4||39.3 / 37.1|
|Shoulder Room (in., front/rear)||53.7 / 52.4||53.1 / 53.5|
|Hiproom (in., front/rear)||51.9 / 51.0||51.9 / 46.2|
|Legroom (in., front/rear)||42.2 / 34.6||41.3 / 35.4|
|Track (in., front/rear)||59.0 / 60.2||58.3 / 57.5|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (gal)||13.2||13.2|
|Curb Weight (lbs., MT/AT)||2628 / 2690||2530 / 2595|
|Advanced Compatibility EngineeringTM (ACETM) Body Structure||Yes||No|
|Outboard Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)||Yes||No|
|Daytime Running Lights (DRL)||Yes||No|
|Dual-Stage, Dual-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)||Yes||No|
|Generations||1st Gen - 1973-1979, 2nd Gen - 1980-1983, 3rd Gen - 1984-1987, 4th Gen- 1988-1991, 5th Gen - 1992-1995, 6th Gen - 1996-2000, 7th Gen - 2001-2005, 8th Gen - 2006-present||1st Gen-E10 - 1966, 2nd Gen-E20 - 1970, 3rd Gen-E30-E50 - 1974, 4th Gen-E70 - 1979-1987, 5th Gen-E80 - 1983, 6th Gen-E90 - 1987, 7th Gen-E100 - 1991, 8th Gen-E110 - 1995, 9th Gen-E120 - 2000, 10th Gen-E140 - 2006|
|Basic Warranty Duration||3 Years/36000 Miles||3 Years/36000 Miles (whichever is earlier)|
|Power Train Warranty Duration||3 Years/60000 Miles||3 Years/60000 Miles (whichever is earlier)|
|Engine||1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC||1.8-liter DOHC VVT-i|
|Horsepower @ rpm||140 @ 6300||126 @ 6000|
|Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)||128 @ 4300||122 lb.-ft. @ 4200 rpm|
|Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)||12||13.6|
|Passenger Volume (cu. ft.)||90.9||90.3|
The Honda Civic is available in 7 different trims: the sedan, the coupe, the Si Sedan, the Si Coupe, the HF, the Hybrid sedan and the Natural Gas. The Civic Sis are sport compact versions of the cars. The Civic HF is more fuel efficient and aerodynamic, while the Hybrid can run on both gas and electricity, and the Civic Natural Gas runs on clean-burning natural gas.
The Toyota Corolla is currently available in three different models. The Corolla L has a mpg rating of 27/34, while the Corolla LE has a mpg rating of 36/34 with cruise control and display audio, and the Corolla S features a rating of 27/34, front and rear underbody spoilers and 17-in. 5-spoke alloy wheels.
The Honda Civic was introduced in July 1972 as a two-door coupe, followed by a three-door hatchback version that September. With the transverse engine placement of its 1169 cc engine and front-wheel drive, like the British Mini, the car provided good interior space despite overall small dimensions. Early models of the Civic were typically outfitted with a basic AM radio, rudimentary heater, foam cushioned plastic trim, two-speed wipers, and painted steel rims with a chromed wheel nut cap. The current Civic has become much more luxurious with satellite-linked navigation, a six-speed manual transmission, power locks and power windows available.
The Civic evolved from having an 1170 cc engine (1973) to having engines with larger capacities and more creature comforts (air conditioning, power windows, etc.) through the 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s.
The Toyota Corolla was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the bestselling car in the world, with over 30 million sold as of 2007. Over the past 40 years, one Toyota Corolla car has been sold every 40 seconds. Corollas are currently manufactured in Japan, the United States (Fremont, California), the United Kingdom (Derbyshire), Canada (Cambridge, Ontario), Malaysia, China (Tianjin), Taiwan, Pakistan, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey, Philippines, Thailand, Venezuela, and India. The Corolla's chassis designation code is "E", as described in Toyota's chassis and engine codes.
The Honda Civic’s luxury features include a color touch screen display, USB audio, Bluetooth HandsFree, steering wheel-mounted phone controls, a navigation system with voice recognition, steering-wheel mounted navigation controls, and heated leather seats.
The Toyota Corolla’s luxury features include Bluetooth wireless, a USB port with iPod connectivity, and Entune, a multimedia system with apps, traffic, weather and navigation.
Both can be outfitted with an optional sunroof or moonroof from a dealership. For models without rear power windows, power window regulators can be purchased and installed separately. However, most new models now feature power windows for both front and rear windows.
Two versions of the Honda Civic have a fuel mileage of 41 mpg-US or above, according to tests by the US government: the HF model and Civic hybrid.
Current models of the Toyota Corolla have an advertised gas mileage of 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Honda advertises its Civics very similarly at 30 mpg (city) and 39 mpg.
The ALG currently rates the 2012 Civic at 58% residual value after a three-year lease. Kelley Blue Book suggests that the current Honda Civic sedan and Toyota Corolla both have a predicted 5-year retained value of 52%.
Safety and Recalls
The current Honda Civic has been highly rated in crash tests by both the NHYSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Civic sedan received a rating of “good” on both frontal and side impact tests, while the Civic coupe was rated “acceptable” in the side impact test. The NHTSA gave the Civic 5 stars for frontal impact, 4 stars for side impact front seat, 5 stars for side impact rear seat, and 4 stars for rollover.
On July 31st 2009, Honda recalled 440,000 cars in the US, including many Civics, due to a defect with their airbags, which could rupture due to too much air pressure. One death was linked to the defect.
From 2005-2008, the Toyota Corolla received an “acceptable’ rating in the IIHS side impact test and a “marginal” rating in structure/safety cage design. Injury protection ratings were “Good,” except for driver leg injury protection, which was “acceptable.” Models from 2009 to the present received a “good” rating in frontal offset and side impact crash tests.
On October 10th, 2012, Toyota recalled 7.4 million vehicles, including Corolla models, because of malfunctioning windows.
Warranty Direct rated the Honda Civic as the sixth most reliable car of the century. Consumer Reports gave the Honda Civic sedan its top score for reliability in 2008-2010, and the 2012 model got a Better than Average score, higher than any other compact car. In another study by Warranty Direct, the 2006 Honda Civic was considered the second most reliable car, with a claim/breakdown rate of 10% and electrical issues the most common cause of claims.
Warranty Direct rated the Toyota Corolla as its 91st most reliable car of the century. According to another study by Warranty Direct, the model sold in 2001-2007 was the most reliable car, with a claim/breakdown rate of 7% and axel and suspension as the most common cause of problems.
The Honda Civic EX was voted International Car of the Year in 2005. The Civic Si was called “Best New Sport Car” and the sedan was named “Best New Economy Car” in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year Awards. It also won the North American Car of the Year and the North American International Auto Show Car of the Year in 2006.
The Toyota Corolla has received the 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick.
The standard Honda Civic Sedan starts at $15,955, while the Civic Coupe starts at $15,755.
The standard Toyota Corolla begins at $16,230.
- Wikipedia: Honda Civic
- Wikipedia: Honda Civic (ninth generation)
- Official Honda Cars Website
- The 100 most reliable cars of the last decade (in order) - gizmag
- Cars.com Recommends the 2012 Honda Civic - Cars.com
- Wikipedia: Toyota Corolla
- Official Toyota Corolla Website
- Ten most reliable used family cars revealed – and the bottom ones named and shamed - This is Money
- Top 10 best resale value cars - CNNMoney
- Fuel Economy of 2012 Toyota Vehicles - U.S. Department of Energy
- Toyota Corolla Review - Edmunds.com