2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats 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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid’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 Hybrid 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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

Reliability

The Civic’s redline is at 6500 to 6700 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid 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’ 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Civic Sedan 1.5T Auto (53 city/52 hwy vs. 32 city/42 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Corolla Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Civic doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Corolla Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Civic doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid 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 Hybrid comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Civic.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Civic LX/EX’s (34.1 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (34.1 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla Hybrid easier. The Corolla Hybrid’s trunk lift-over height is 25.5 inches, while the Civic Sedan’s liftover is 26.8 inches.

The Corolla Hybrid’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 power windows standard on both the Corolla Hybrid and the Civic have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla Hybrid 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 Hybrid’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 Hybrid’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 Corolla Hybrid’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 Hybrid 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.

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

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