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The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are two of the most popular vehicles on the market today and longtime rivals in the compact car space. Both come packed with safety features, technology, and amenities that make them great buys, and each one has it’s own unique pros and cons, but how do you know which is the best vehicle for you? Read on to learn more about the Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic and how to choose the right car.

First, it’s always crucial to know what is essential to you when looking for the right car. You should be sure that whatever car you choose, it fits your budget and your needs. For more of what to look for, check our our article on selecting the ideal new car for you.

Read on below to find out if the 2019 Honda Civic or the 2020 Toyota Corolla is right for you.

About the Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. and Toyota has sold more than 46 million Corollas since the car was first introduced in 1966.

The Toyota Corolla is a four-door compact car that seats five people and is completely new for the 2020 model year. The Toyota Corolla comes in two different body styles: sedan and hatchback. It is also available in a new-for-2020 hybrid version. You can read more about our first drive of the 2020 Toyota Corolla under the Details & Specs tab, on the Toyota Corolla page at AutoGravity

The Toyota Corolla has yet to win many awards, but it is available in showrooms now.

Diagram of all the Toyota Corolla's Stats

About the Honda Civic

The Honda Civic the third most popular vehicle in the U.S. behind the Corolla and the Toyota Camry. Honda says that it has sold 19 million Honda Civics since they first introduced the vehicle in 1973 and it is America’s best-selling car by retail sales.

The Honda Civic comes in a variety of body styles but seatsfive passengers in all formats. Different types of Honda Civic  include:

  • Honda Civic Coupe which only has two doors
  • Honda Civic Hatchback
  • Honda Civic Type R
  • Honda Civic hybrid

The 2019 Honda Civic has won a lot of awards and has been named everything from a best compact car to buyers most wanted by top tier publications like Car & Driver and Edmunds. It is available in showrooms now. If you want to learn more about the Honda Civic, check out our review of it on the Honda Civic page at AutoGravity.

Both the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are made by Japanese companies, and both vehicles are built at factories based in the U.S.

Diagram of all the Honda Civic's Stats

The Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic: What has Better Interior, Space, and Comfort?

The Honda Civic edges out the Toyota Corolla in interior materials, space, and comfort. Honda has made an art of creating really good-looking interiors that offer up tons of space and comfort for passengers.

While the Toyota Corolla offers enough room for five passengers, the back seat space is somewhat cramped compared to the Civic, and there are a lot of hard plastics around the interior. Additionally, the interior of the Corolla can be a bit noisy at highway speeds whereas the Honda Civic offers a bit more refinement inside.

The Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic: What has Better Safety Equipment and Ratings?

Both the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are packed to the gills with safety features as standard. That means you don’t have to add packages or upgrade to get excellent safety equipment. While both cars offer a ton of safety,  in our opinion, the Toyota Corolla is slightly better than the Honda Civic in the safety department.

The 2019 Toyota Corolla gets a  Good rating in all crash tests, by the Insurance Institute For Highway Saftey or IIHS. They have not yet released ratings for the 2020 Toyota Corolla since it is still relatively new.

The 2019 Toyota Corolla also gets a five-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA has not yet evaluated the 2020 Toyota Corolla.

The 2019 Honda Civic gets a Good rating in all crash tests by the IIHS and also gets a five-star crash rating by NHTSA.

Both vehicles come with their own suites of standard safety equipment. The Honda Civic comes with Honda Sensing which includes functions like:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control:  In traffic, set the cruise control and the Accord will follow the car ahead keeping a safe distance
  •  Lane keeping assist: This system keeps the Accord in the center of its lane.
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic high beams

The Toyota Corolla comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This includes features like:

  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection: This is Toyota’s name for their lane departure warning system. It gives an audio and visual alert if you are coming too close to the edge of a lane and it will gently guide the car back into the center of the lane.
  • Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control: This system allows you to set your cruise control and follow a vehicle in front of you as it speeds up (to your set limit) or slow down. It uses a radar system to “see.”

In our opinion, the Honda adaptive cruise system is slightly better than the Toyota system because it’s slightly smoother, though the Toyota system does allow you to set it in a broader range of speeds. The new Corolla can also read road signs and help drivers know the speed limits when they are marked. Finally, the Civic has slightly more obtrusive collision warnings, while the Corolla’s are less annoying.

The entire selection of 2020 Corolla Trims parked

The Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic: What has Better Technology?

When it comes to technology, the Honda Civic beats out the Toyota Corolla for a few reasons. For one, the Honda Civic comes with available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay while the Toyota Corolla only comes with Apple CarPlay.

The Toyota Corolla does, however, come WiFi capability and Amazon Alexa, however, while the Honda Civic does not. One thing to note is that Honda upgraded the infotainment system to include a volume knob (rather than the previous year’s annoying slider) which makes the system a lot easier to use.

Both cars have plenty of USB ports and Bluetooth capability, so if you choose the Civic or the Corolla, you will be able to pair (and charge) your smartphone.

In both cars the infotainment systems are relatively easy to use and intuitive. Whether you choose the Corolla or the Civic, you’ll be happy with the available technology in both.

The Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic: Which is Better to Drive?

In general, the Honda Civic is better to drive than the Toyota Corolla. Even in its base form, the Honda Civic offers more horsepower and torque than the Toyota Corolla and is more lively and fun to drive, whether you’re just heading to the grocery store or out for a lively drive on a canyon road.

The Honda Civic also offers a broader array of engine options than the Toyota Corolla, so it can almost be customized to your driving style. We prefer the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine over the 2.0-liter engine because it’s much peppier and more fun to drive. You can also choose from a wider variety of body styles if you go with the Honda Civic. The Civic feels connected and responsive on the road while the Toyota Corolla still feels a bit underpowered and the steering is lighter than the Honda Civic.

The Toyota Corolla isn’t terrible, but it is definitely a bit less peppy than the Honda Civic. The Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT in the Toyota Corolla, however, is slightly better than the one in the Honda Civic. The Toyota Corolla, however, does get better gas mileage than the Honda Civic. Even the Toyota Corolla Hybrid beats out the Honda Civic Hybrid in EPA ratings.

2019 Honda Civic Hatchback and Honda Civic Type-R

The Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic: Which Car is Priced Better?

At its base level, the Honda Civic beats out the Toyota Corolla by just $50. The Toyota Corolla starts at $19,500 while the Honda Civic starts at $19,450.

At the top end of pricing, the Honda gets far more expensive than the Toyota Corolla, however.

In this case, both cars are loaded with great amenities and safety features at the entry level. Either would be a great bet if you are shopping on price alone.

The Toyota Corolla versus the Honda Civic: Which Should I Buy?

If you’re choosing between the Honda Civic versus the Toyota Corolla, we’d recommend the Honda Civic as your car of choice. Both Hondas and Toyotas tend to hold their value well over time, but the Honda offers a great driving experience, tons of tech and safety features, and a good price for a really great little sedan.

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Toyota Corolla vs. Honda Civic: Which Car is Right For Me?
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Toyota Corolla vs. Honda Civic: Which Car is Right For Me?
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We pit the Toyota Corolla vs the Honda Civic, with a Pro comparing driving experience, tech, safety features, and pricing to clarify which is right for you.
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Abigail Bassett is an Emmy-winning journalist, video content producer, and manager who has covered a wide range of world-impacting events including everything from the invasion of Iraq to Katrina and the financial and housing collapse. She has covered premiere automotive and lifestyle launches and unveilings all over the world over the last 15 years. Abigail has also extensively covered personal finance for a variety of outlets and start-ups. She spent more than ten years as a Senior Producer at CNN in New York and was most recently the Senior Director of Photo, Video and Social Media at Edmunds. She currently lives and works as a freelance writer and content manager in Los Angeles. Her clips have appeared in top-tier publications including Autoweek Magazine, Forbes, Arstechnica, Motor Trend, TheDrive, and Fortune. She is also a U.S. juror for the World Car Awards.

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