You can’t drive 5 minutes down ANY road without seeing several Toyota Corolla’s and Honda Civics. That’s because these two rivals are some of the best-selling cars on the market, with the Corolla surpassing 50 million sales globally! It’s clear these are highly competitive rivals, but how does the battle play out between the Corolla vs. Civic? Keep on reading to find out!
Pricing and Equipment
To begin, let’s talk about how the pricing stacks up for these affordable sedans.
Starting with the Civic, we have what is now the new base trim level for 2023, the Sport. Honda never has any option packages, so after the destination charge, the total is $26,145.
Civic (Sport): $25,050 | Options: +$0 | Destination: $1,095 | Total: $26,145
Keeping things equivalent, we also have the sport-design trim level of the Corolla: the new Hybrid SE. We will evaluate the major powertrain differences later in the review, but for now, just know that the Corolla carries a very similar price tag of $26,335, all in.
Corolla Hybrid (SE FWD): $25,240 | Options: +$0 | Destination: $1,095 | Total: $26,335
That places our price difference at just under $200. With the highly competitive price debate settled, let’s go ahead and see who gives you most for your money!
When you walk up to these two, you’re going to notice completely different designs. Honda has gone for the grown-up, sophisticated look with a simple grille and a wide lower fascia. It looks particularly good with the blacked-out paint scheme, but the Corolla has an opposite look. It also has a black grille, but the white paint contrasts it nicely and overall, it has a much more aggressive look. Comment down below which one you prefer, but we will keep the scoring to only the objective items.
Outside of the grilles, both have extravagant lighting for their prices. They both feature full-LED headlights w/ LED daytime running lights plus LED turn signals. Neither have fog lamps, but it is worth noting that the Corolla has nicer projector style LED headlamps as opposed to the reflector LEDs on the Civic.
Continuing to the sides, the Civic is about 2 inches longer than the Corolla in overall length and both models offer sporty Hatchback versions for those wanting more style and practicality.
Length: 182.3-inches (Corolla) | 184.0-inches (Civic)
The side designs are punctuated by stylish 18-inch alloys in both the Civic and Corolla, with the Corolla having a new dark gray finish for 2023 and the Civic having a fully gloss black finish.
And as far as the back, the same design themes from the front repeat, so the Civic rocks a more subdued look while the Corolla has a bit more flare with an aggressive lower diffuser. But as far as features, both have lip spoilers up top, chrome tipped exhaust outlets on the right side, and partially LED taillight units. The brake light is LED on both Corolla and Civic.
Now checking out the mirrors, unfortunately, both the Civic and the Corolla are missing BSM and heating at this price point. That being said, both models come standard with their brands’ most advanced active safety features no matter which trim you choose. Included within those suites are adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection and auto high beam headlights.
And the last thing to mention is the warranty. Of course, being as competitive as these two are, they have very similar warranties. For both, you’re looking at 3 yr/36k miles for basic warranty, 5 yr/60k miles for powertrain and new for 2023, Honda is offering 3 years/36k miles of complimentary maintenance. That bests the Toyota’s 2 years/25k mile complimentary maintenance.
But anyway, that’s concludes the outside, so now let’s head inside the cabins before we go out on the road!
Next, approaching both vehicles, you will find smart entry systems and nice key fobs for both models. You will notice that the Civic’s key has remote start integrated on the fob whereas Toyota offers that service in a subscription after the trial period.
Once we open up the doors, you’ll find blacked out and sporty interiors that look more expensive than you’d probably expect.
Starting with the seats themselves, both have cloth seating with manual adjustment in these more affordable trim levels. Leather and power adjustment are available on the upper trims if you prefer more high-end features.
Once inside the cabins, we can check out the broad category of material quality. By and large, they are similar, with soft touch upper dash boards and stitching details. Both the lower areas are going to be hard touch, as you would expect However, the Civic has an overall solidity to it that is missing from the Corolla, which has more hollow feel to it. In addition, the vent detailing is quite upscale, so the Civic will walk away with the materials point.
Both have push button start, and after startup, you’ll notice a big departure. The Civic has a premium half-digital 7-inch gauge cluster with customizability. Meanwhile, the Corolla has a more basic 4.2-inch multi-function display until you get to the higher trims.
Coming back to the steering wheels, both have an attractive design and are leather wrapped on these Sport grades. They are manual adjusting.
Storage and Technology
But moving on to the important aspect of interior storage, we have a big Honda advantage. The Corolla can barely fit our coupons in the center console, meanwhile, the Civic has one of the largest consoles in the segment. In addition, the front storage bin is larger in the Civic making it the more practical choice.
The Corolla fights back with a wireless phone charging pad which is something the Civic reserves for the Touring model.
Taking a look at the shifters next, both are sticking with traditional leather wrapped ones. Once in reverse, both have standard backup cameras. Only the Civic has active trajectory and multi-angle views, though. Behind the shifters are electronic parking brakes and brake hold.
For the climate controls, we have a single zone automatic setup on both. Dual zone options are available on higher end versions of each model.
When it comes to sampling the audio systems, neither one will blow you away but they are acceptable for the segment and branded audio systems are available on higher trims.
Everyone wants high-tech displays in their new cars these days regardless of price, and the refreshed Corolla will pull ahead of the Honda Civic in this area. The display itself is going to be an inch larger, at 8-inches compared to 7-inches in the Civic. Additionally, Toyota throws in integrated navigation plus it comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, whereas the Civic makes you get the Touring model for those features.
Wrapping up the front of the cabins, both have manual mirrors and do not have moonroofs at this price point.
Rear Seats and Cargo
Heading around to the rear, let’s see how much space both throw in for your families and friends. Honda’s are hard to beat in this area and the Civic is no different. It has a pretty significant 7% legroom advantage over the Corolla, but their headroom figures are identical.
Civic: 37.4 inches of legroom
Corolla: 34.8 inches legroom
As far as the features back here, the Corolla makes a big comeback. While the Civic is basically just seats, the Corolla now offers two charging USB ports and a fold down arm rest with cupholders.
How much stuff can you bring along with you? Once you open up the trunks, the Civic is once again going to boast an advantage over the Corolla in terms of space. The Civic comes in 12% larger at 14.8 cubic feet as a maximum compared to the Corolla’s 13.1 cubic feet.
Civic: 14.8 cu. Ft.
Corolla: 13.1 cu.ft.
Now, let’s take these Compact Kings out for a drive and see how they compare on the road!
Once you hit the road with these best sellers, you’re going to see big differences in this area. Under the hood we have two distinct powerplants and missions. The Corolla is the Hybrid model, which we will discuss more in the fuel economy section, but that means it has an updated 1.8L 4-cylinder, lithium-ion battery pack, and an electric motor. All told, it produces 134hp and 156 lb. ft. of torque which is up nearly 25% over the 2022 Corolla Hybrid. The Civic, on the other hand, doesn’t even offer a Hybrid powertrain (yet). So, the Civic Sport is rocking a normal 2.0L 4-cylinder making 158hp and 138 lb. ft. of torque. That means the Civic has more horsepower, but the Corolla has quite a bit more torque.
Civic: 2.0L I-4: 158 hp | 138 lb.ft
Corolla: 1.8L I-4 + Electric: 134 hp | 156 lb.ft
Driving Impressions and fuel economy
Neither of them are quick by any stretch of the imagination. The Civic feels slightly faster to 60, but the Corolla having a battery makes the initial takeoff seem spunkier.
Both vehicles are rocking a CVT and eCVT, which in practice, both feel similar to each other.
Now as far as other driving characteristics, the Honda will benefit greatly from its sportier feel. The Civic has always had nice chassis balance, quick steering and a solid feel behind the wheel which is a big advantage over the number feeling Corolla.
Out on the highway, sound insolation is important. Both offer relatively quiet cabins, but the Corolla will definitely have an advantage here.
Corolla: 58.8 dB @ 55 MPH
Civic: 64.2 dB @ 55 MPH
Now it’s time to highlight a huge difference between these two vehicles. The Civic, as previously mentioned, doesn’t even offer a Hybrid which means the Corolla excels in terms of fuel economy. It comes in 14MPG better combined than the Civic at a fantastic 47MPG combined.
It’s also worth noting that the Corolla offers AWD for a little over $1,000 more. That’s something that isn’t offered on the Civic.
Civic Sport: 30/37/33 MPG
Corolla FWD: 50/43/47 MPG
The Civic is the Victor in this Battle!
At the end of the day, both of these affordable sedans will offer tons of value for the price. However, the Civic edges out the Corolla by just one point. Despite the Corolla making a comeback when it comes to fuel economy and tech features, the leading space figures all-around on the Civic make it the more practical option if you plan to haul things (and people) around.
That’s it for this hot seller comparison! Combined, these two products have sold nearly 75 million cars globally, which is a testament to just how good they are. But which do you prefer? We hope we helped you answer that question for yourself today. Make sure to leave a comment below as to which one you would pick personally.