2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Civic doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla Hatchback’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Civic doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Corolla Hatchback and the Civic 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, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla Hatchback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Civic was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Civic.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hatchback’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (168 vs. 158) and 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (155 vs. 138) than the Civic’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Honda Civic 2.0 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

 

Corolla

Civic

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.4 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Civic Hatchback Sport requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Civic doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Corolla

Civic

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

10.5 inches

10.2 inches

Chassis

The Corolla Hatchback is 8 inches shorter than the Civic Sedan, making the Corolla Hatchback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Corolla Hatchback has .2 inches more front hip room and .5 inches more rear headroom than the Civic Sedan.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Corolla Hatchback and the Civic have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla Hatchback is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Civic prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Corolla Hatchback’s front and rear power windows all 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 Civic’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Corolla Hatchback’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Corolla Hatchback’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Civic’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla Hatchback XSE CVT has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Civic doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Corolla Hatchback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Civic EX/EX-T/EX-L/Touring.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Civic Coupe/LX doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Corolla Hatchback and the Civic offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla Hatchback XSE has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Civic Sedan/Hatchback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

The Corolla Hatchback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Corolla Hatchback will retain 51.71% to 51.95% of its original price after five years, while the Civic only retains 44.1% to 46.81%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Corolla Hatchback and the Honda Civic, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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