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Autotrader just released a comparison between the 2020 model year Honda Civic and new Toyota Corolla. The competition is always intense, as many industry voices iterate.  Each of the newest models have some cutting edge, desirable features. Both have been seen through the years for their affordability as well as reliability. Here are some of Autotrader’s findings.

Style

For any vehicle, this will be entirely subjective; some will like the sleek profile of the Civic, while some will prefer the updated aggressiveness of the Corolla. The Civic’s looks tend to appeal to younger first car owners and families, while the Corolla’s looks appeal to an older audience who isn’t quite ready for something totally boring. On the inside, both cars are designed for functionality, with a layout that everyone will find easy to navigate and intuitive to use. Since both cars have updated appearances, and both will appeal based on styling to different crowds, we will grade styling as a draw.

Winner: Draw

Features

Both cars are very well equipped for the segment and basically trade feature for feature across the board. Heated front and rear seats are available, both have automatic climate control, both have Apple CarPlay and both have wireless phone charging, amongst other similarities. However, the Civic pulls ahead in a few notable areas: Civic has dual-zone setup for climate control as well as a few more drive settings than Corolla. Crucially, in terms of technology, Civic enjoys a faster operating navigation system, as well as Android Auto and more USB charging points. In the digital age, connectivity is a must, and here the Civic clearly jumps ahead.

Winner: Civic

Usability

One thing the modern consumer has been spoiled to not be patient with is slow tech response. Here, the 2020 Corolla fails, as Autotrader details how the touch screen can take 1-2 seconds to respond to your input, to the point where the user wonders whether they touched the screen with enough pressure. If you get frustrated with tech not living up to its billing, this alone will turn you off the Corolla. Civic pulls away in terms of in-cabin storage, as there are spots all around you to store bottles, phones, small packages etc, with thoughtful cord pass-through points to better organize your device cables. While both cars feature driver assistance items such as lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control, consumers used to instant feedback from digital devices will find themselves coming up with bleep-worthy terms for the Corolla’s technology.

Winner: Civic

Comfort and Practicality

Both Civic and Corolla pass the test when it comes to driver/ passenger comfort for both short and long trips. Seats that support in all the right places and compliant suspension make for a pleasant drive, without the chiropractic issues that may have arisen a decade or two ago. The Civic gains a slim advantage in terms of practicality with the aforementioned interior storage as well as superior rear passenger space. For families, Autotrader states that “Civic beats the Corolla in practicality, however, with larger accommodations for rear passengers, and more cargo space to haul all your stuff.” More space allows children to grow into–rather than out of–the family vehicle.

Winner: Civic

Power & Driving

The Corolla has admittedly made leaps from the staid models of old to become a more engaging driving experience with the 2020 model. A big issue we have however found, is that the engine can feel overwhelmed when driving conditions require highway passing or quick bursts of acceleration. The Civic’s engine, on the other hand, handles these scenarios handily, never causing the driver any need to worry whether their car is up for the challenge of the pass. As Autotrader states, “The Civic fires up and gets up to speed so effortlessly in comparison, it feels like it is in another class.”

Winner: Civic

Fuel Economy

While Autotrader achieved slightly better mileage for the Corolla, the 2020 Civic and Corolla both achieve excellent fuel economy, with the Corolla at 7.0l/100km combined, and the Civic at 7.1l/100km. However the Civic achieves those numbers with the aforementioned engine, which delivers power in a clearly more reliable fashion. Therefore if the economy numbers are equal, yet the Civic’s engine is far superior in terms of driving performance when it matters most, the Civic will be judged the winner of this category.

Winner: Civic

Value

In similar trim levels, the Corolla will cost a few hundred dollars more than Civic. While some may like the improved styling of Corolla, the buyer gets more bang for their buck with the Civic. While the Corolla has clearly increased its value proposition compared to previous models, better engine, more technology, more interior space and storage and better practicality give Civic the slight edge.

Winner: Civic

While the 2020 Toyota Corolla is definitely an improved version from previous years, the 2020 Honda Civic is still the clear class leader. Or, as Motor Trend put it in a separate review of the same vehicles, “take a big-picture look at this classic matchup, though, and it’s a knockout. The Civic provides a more rewarding driving experience, important even if you don’t care about driving. It’s also more spacious, has a bigger trunk, looks better, feels more upscale inside, and is a car we’d consider buying for ourselves…the Honda Civic remains the compact car to beat.” Honda West always has a comprehensive selection of new Civics in our inventory, so drop by for a test drive and find your favourite model!

Awards

 

Category Honda Civic Touring Toyota Corolla XSE
Pricing $29,876  $30,890
Fuel Economy (City / HWY) 7.8/6.2 L /100KM 7.7/6.1 L /100KM
Horsepower 174 hp @ 6,000 rpm 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Safety Honda Sensing Suite Star Safety System
Features Wireless Charging, 4 USB Ports, Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto, dual-zone automatic climate control Apple Carplay, 2 USB Ports
Cargo Volume (behind 1st Row) 416 L  371 L
Overall More power, better reliability, more space, more connectivity. Less power, less space,  less  connectivity.