2019 Toyota Corolla vs. 2018 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla 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’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 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, daytime running lights 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 Toyota Corolla is safer than the Honda Civic:

 

Corolla

Civic

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

53 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 Toyota Corolla is safer than the Honda Civic:

 

Corolla

Civic

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

154

204

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

106 G’s

252 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

294

404

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

198

260

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

37 G’s

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” to “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Civic was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla 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’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Corolla’s reliability 39 points higher than the Civic.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Civic isn’t in the top three.

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’ 2018 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota first in reliability. Honda is ranked 9th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Corolla stops shorter than the Civic:

 

Corolla

Civic

 

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Corolla LE Eco handles at .83 G’s, while the Civic EX Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Corolla’s turning circle is .1 feet tighter than the Civic’s (35.6 feet vs. 35.7 feet). The Corolla’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (35.6 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Corolla SE is quieter than the Civic EX Sedan:

 

Corolla

Civic

At idle

38 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

71 dB

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

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’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Civic’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Corolla detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Civic doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Corolla owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Corolla with a number “3” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost less on the Corolla than the Civic, including $18 less for a water pump, $188 less for a starter, $64 less for a fuel pump, $12 less for front struts and $41 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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