2019 Honda Civic vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Corolla’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Corolla doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Civic Sport Sedan/Sport Coupe/EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Corolla doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Civic and the Corolla have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda Civic is safer than the Toyota Corolla:

 

Civic

Corolla

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

201

212

Neck Injury Risk

20%

26%

Neck Stress

176 lbs.

362 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

192/350 lbs.

314/513 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

34%

41%

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

78 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Honda Civic is safer than the Toyota Corolla:

 

Civic

Corolla

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

306 lbs.

412 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

68 G’s

70 G’s

Hip Force

356 lbs.

765 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

Hip Force

727 lbs.

868 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Civic has a standard 500-amp battery. The Corolla’s 356-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The Civic has more powerful engines than the Corolla:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Civic 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

158 HP

138 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Civic Hatchback Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

Corolla 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

132 HP

128 lbs.-ft.

Corolla LE Eco 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

140 HP

126 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Civic is faster than the Toyota Corolla (automatics tested):

 

Civic 4 cyl.

Civic 1.5T

Corolla

Corolla LE Eco

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

6.8 sec

9.5 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

15.3 sec

17.3 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.1 MPH

93 MPH

82.6 MPH

82.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Civic Sedan CVT with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Corolla CVT with its standard engine (30 city/38 hwy vs. 28 city/36 hwy).

The Civic has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Corolla doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Honda Civic as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Toyota Corolla is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Civic’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla:

 

Civic

Corolla

Front Rotors

11.1 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

The Honda Civic has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Corolla. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Civic stops much shorter than the Corolla:

 

Civic

Corolla

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Civic has larger standard tires than the Corolla (215/55R16 vs. 195/65R15). The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Corolla (235/40R18 vs. 215/45R17).

The Civic LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Corolla L/LE Eco’s standard 65 series tires. The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Corolla SE/XSE’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic LX has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Corolla L/LE Eco. The Civic Sport/Touring’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Corolla SE/XSE.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda Civic has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Corolla has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Civic has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Corolla doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Civic’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Corolla doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Civic is .7 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Corolla.

The Civic Sport Hatchback handles at .93 G’s, while the Corolla SE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Civic Touring Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Corolla LE Eco (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The Civic Sedan is 5.2 inches shorter than the Corolla, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Civic Touring Sedan is quieter than the Corolla SE (38 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space

The Civic Sedan has 1 inch more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 3.4 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Corolla.

Cargo Capacity

The Civic Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Corolla (15.1 vs. 13 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Sedan easier. The Civic Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Corolla’s liftover is 27.1 inches. The Civic Hatchback’s liftover is only 22 inches.

Ergonomics

The Civic (except LX/Manual) has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Corolla doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Civic’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Corolla’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Civic the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Corolla can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Civic Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Corolla LE/LE Eco/SE/XLE/XLS’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Civic has standard extendable sun visors. The Corolla doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Civic’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corolla’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Civic’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Corolla doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Both the Civic and the Corolla offer available heated front seats. The Civic Touring Sedan/Sport Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Corolla.

The Civic EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Civic is less expensive to operate than the Corolla because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Civic than the Corolla, including $91 less for a muffler, $2 less for front brake pads, $132 less for fuel injection and $538 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Civic second among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Corolla isn’t in the top three.

The Civic Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Corolla has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 22 years. The Corolla has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Corolla has never been chosen.

The Honda Civic outsold the Toyota Corolla by 16% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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