2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2020 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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.

Warranty

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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 17 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

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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 Hatchback’s reliability 44 points higher than the Civic.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine

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The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 10 more horsepower (168 vs. 158) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 138) than the Civic’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

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

Corolla Hatchback

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

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/26

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hatchback gets better fuel mileage than the Civic:

MPG

Hatchback

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

Auto

SE 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

32 city/41 hwy

XSE 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

Civic

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/36 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/28 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

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

Transmission

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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

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

Corolla Hatchback

Civic

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

10.5 inches

10.2 inches

The Corolla Hatchback stops shorter than the Civic:

Corolla Hatchback

Civic

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

Chassis

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The Corolla Hatchback is 5.9 inches shorter than the Civic Sedan, making the Corolla Hatchback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Corolla Hatchback XSE is quieter than the Civic Sport Hatchback (71 vs. 73 dB).

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Corolla Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Civic Sedan (17.8 vs. 15.1 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Corolla Hatchback’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Civic’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The Corolla Hatchback’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

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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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla Hatchback XSE offers optional 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 and it can provide a boundary between children. 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Corolla Hatchback owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Corolla Hatchback with a number “8” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla Hatchback is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost less on the Corolla Hatchback than the Civic, including $45 less for a water pump, $142 less for a starter, $100 less for a fuel pump and $161 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/26

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla Hatchback 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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