Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla: Comparing Car Reliability and Ratings

Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla: Comparing Car Reliability and Ratings

Shopping for a vehicle is undeniably exciting. Nevertheless, it can be exhausting. The possibilities and choices are vast, but when it comes down to the finer details, the experience could become downright daunting. That's especially the case when deciding between two equally impressive vehicles that are so strikingly similar, such as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla.

Read on for an in-depth comparison of the Honda Civic versus the Toyota Corolla to help you choose which compact sedan suits your lifestyle, with highlights on performance, capacity, tech,  price, and more.

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Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla, performance

Thanks to its sporty aesthetics, handling, and solid build, the Honda Civic is a favorite among tuners and gearheads. It's perfect for zooming around the city; in fact, its agility may inspire antics in vacant parking lots. What's more, it's equally as fun to drive on the highway. The Civic is available as a sedan or hatchback, with two powertrain options: a standard two-liter, four-cylinder engine or a more powerful, turbocharged, 1.5-liter, four-cylinder upgrade.

The 1.5-liter engine comes standard in the base and Sport trims of the Civic. Drivers can expect an output of 158 horsepower and a fuel efficiency of 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. The EX and Touring models that feature the more energetic, two-liter engine achieve an output of 180 horsepower without significantly reducing their fuel efficiency.

While the Toyota Corolla looks aggressive on the outside, it offers drivers a pleasant driving experience, with excellent handling and the ability to minimize bumps. The Corolla sedan offers a standard 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Also available is a two-liter, four-cylinder engine matched with either CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Additionally, you can choose a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder hybrid option combined with an electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. The hatchback comes standard with the more sizable engine, as do the sportier models of the sedan. The Corolla hybrid is only available as a sedan.

The Corolla produces 139 horsepower and a fuel efficiency of 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the standard engine. The fuel efficiency gained by equipping the two-liter engine is incremental at 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Still, the output is noticeably more robust at 169 horsepower. The hybrid option will get you the most elevated fuel efficiency of the three engines with 53 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway and an output of 121 horsepower.

Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla, capacity

The Civic is surprisingly spacious for a compact car. Thanks to its 99 cubic feet of passenger volume, you can bring four friends along for the ride and your cargo with 14.8 cubic feet of truck space. The hatchback provides extra cargo space with 22.6 to 25.7 cubic feet behind the back seats and 46.2 cubic feet with the back seats down.

If you're tall, the Civic features a generously spacious cockpit with 39.3 inches of headroom and 42.3 inches of legroom. If you're friends with a tall person, they may be more comfortable riding shotgun on a road trip, but the 37.1 inches of headroom and 37.4 inches of legroom in the back are doable for short trips and comfortable for adults who are average height. The hatchback dimensions are similar, as its rear legroom loses just one inch.

The Corolla offers five seats with a passenger volume of 88.6 cubic feet and 13.1 cubic feet of truck space. Like the Civic, you'll gain some cargo space in the hatchback. Behind the back seats, it can hold 17.8 cubic feet of cargo, and the back seats are foldable, making oversized or awkward packages a breeze to load.

The cockpit of the Corolla is roomy in the sedan and hatchback. They feature 38.3-38.4 inches of headroom and 42 inches of legroom. Where you'll notice the difference between the two is in the back seats. The sedan features 37.1 inches of headroom and 34.8 inches of legroom, and while the hatchback gains some headroom in the rear seats at 37.6 inches, it makes way for the extra cargo space with 29.9 inches of legroom.


Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla, interior and tech

Minimal, clean styling defines the Civic's interior. It offers a four-speaker audio system and a user-friendly infotainment system to keep you connected and your passengers entertained. You can access calling and audio streaming features via Bluetooth or integration of your Apple or Android device.

The interior of the Corolla is luxurious and comfortable, filled with soft-touch materials yet bold styling. The base model comes standard with a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system and a six-speaker audio system. Like the Civic, it includes access to calling and audio streaming features via Bluetooth or the integration of your Apple or Android smartphone.

Both vehicles come standard with a list of driver-assist and safety tech, including a collision-avoidance braking system, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. Additionally, both cars include auto high-beam headlights.

2013 Honda Civic EX (from $13,450)

2013 Honda Civic EX (from $13,450)
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2013 Honda Civic EX (from $13,450)
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Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla, price, quality, and reliability

If you're looking to buy new, the Civic starts at $21,700 for the base model. Even in the top trim level, the pricing is attractive, at $28,300. However, you can get a used Civic for as little as $6,950. You're likely to find a preloaded model that suits your lifestyle with some cash left over to put toward another significant purchase.

The prices are comparable in the Corolla, with the base model starting at $20,075 and the maxed-out trim model starting at $28,360. With used Corollas going for $7,700, it's possible to find the perfect model within your budget.

As for quality and reliability, the Civic holds an impressive 76 out of 100 based on J.D. Power's predicted reliability rate, and the Corolla is close by with an 80 out of 100. With this system, a rate of 70-80 is "average," and a rate of 81-90 is "great." However, you've likely seen for yourself how durable earlier-model Civics and Corollas are, with many still driving around your neighborhood or passing you on the highway.


2015 Toyota Corolla S Plus (from $15,200)

2015 Toyota Corolla S Plus (from $15,200)
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Which is better, the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla?

The answer to which car is superior is truly subjective. It all comes down to lifestyle. Do you prefer the sporty aesthetic and roomy interior of the Civic? Or would you be happier with the smooth ride and hybrid option of the Corolla?

If you'd like to explore more sedans, check out this article that compares some of the best used sedans on the market. Or perhaps you'd like to compare some of the other Toyotas. Whichever make and model you want to call your own, you can buy any of Shift's cars directly online from the comfort of your home. You'll know it has no hidden issues as they complete an extensive 150-point inspection as well as fair upfront prices.

If you're still stuck, why not book a test drive to see for yourself: Are you team Civic or team Corolla?

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Author
Shift Editorial Team