Toyota Corolla Vs. Honda Civic

By Justin Cupler | June 12th, 2019

Compact sedans like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic have to delicately balance cost, roominess, and amenities to hit a large cross-section of buyers. Which one of these models hits the largest cross-section for our car shoppers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The Honda Civic got a brand-new look back in 2016, bringing in a more angular body than it’s ever had. This added a touch of sportiness to this compact sedan while its Accord-inspired nose added a touch of class. This new look tuned the Civic for all types of buyers, thanks to its mixture of class and youth, solidifying its spot as a top seller in the compact sedan market.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla is all-new, inheriting much of its style from the critically acclaimed Corolla Hatchback. This new look leaves no ambiguity in who it caters to. This is a young person’s car through and through with its bold fascia and sharp body lines.

The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic share many of their exterior features, including steel wheels with hubcaps, but the Corolla gets a leg up with its LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights. These striking lights add to its unique look.

 

Measurement 2020 Toyota Corolla 2019 Honda Civic Difference
Length 182.3 to 182.5 inches 182.7 inches -0.2 to -0.4 inches
Width 70.1 inches 70.9 inches -0.8 inches
Height 56.5 inches 55.7 inches +0.8 inches
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.3 inches
Ground Clearance 5.1 inches
Curb weight 2,910 to 3,150 pounds 2,762 to 2,963 pounds +148 to +187 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Honda Civic

  • More mature looks
  • Lighter and nimbler

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Corolla

  • Smaller footprint
  • Stands out in a crowd
  • Standard LED lighting

Interior

Inside, the Honda Civic features with a busy cabin filled with angles, shapes, and more. Some buyers may prefer a little more simplicity than the Civic offers, but there is no denying this is a stylish interior. The Civic also boasts tons of storage for gadgets and other pocket-dwelling items, including the large center passthrough and roomy center console. The Corolla lacks this type of storage space.

One second inside the Corolla, especially a higher-trimmed model, and you will have to pinch yourself in disbelief. Is this clean, high-grade cabin really part of the Corolla lineup? It sure is, but don’t let its simple looks fool you, as this cabin is also chock-full with standard features, including a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker audio system, in-car Wi-Fi, and much more. The 2019 Civic doesn’t get these types of features until it hits the EX trim.

The Toyota Corolla lacks in lateral room inside its cabin, but it makes up for it in other places, including its full-size rivaling 41.4 inches of rear legroom. The Civic comes back to win the cargo-room battle, especially against the Corolla Hybrid, which has batteries that gobble up nearly 2 cubic feet of space.

 

Measurement 2020 Toyota Corolla 2019 Honda Civic Difference
Front headroom 38.3 inches 37.5 to 39.3 inches 1 to +0.8 inches
Front legroom 42.3 inches 42.3 inches
Front shoulder room 54.8 inches 56.9 to 57 inches -2.2 to -2.1 inches
Front hip room 53 inches 53.7 inches -0.7 inches
Rear headroom 37.1 inches 36.8 to 37.1 inches +0 to +0.3 inches
Rear legroom 41.4 inches 37.4 inches +4 inches
Rear shoulder room 54.8 inches 55 inches -0.2 inches
Rear hip room 43.9 inches 47.3 inches -3.4 inches
Cargo room 11.4 (hybrid) to 13.1 cubic feet 14.7 to 15.1 cubic feet -3.7 to -1.6 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Honda Civic

  • Tons of storage room
  • Large trunk
  • More lateral room

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Corolla

  • Incredible rear legroom
  • More standard technology
  • Clean, well-laid-out design

Performance

Both of these compact sedans have a few powertrain options to cater to various buyers. The base Honda Civic LX comes with a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter engine that pairs to a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. This easily trumps the 2020 Corolla’s standard 139-horsepower 1.8-liter engine. But the Corolla’s base engine has up to a 4 mpg advantage on the combined cycle.

EX and higher Civic models switch to a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that delivers up to 174 horsepower. This engine not only pushes the Civic’s fuel economy upward, but it also drops its 0-to-60 time to just 6.8 seconds, which is 1.4 seconds quicker than the Civic LX. The Corolla’s optional engine, which is only available in the SE and XSE trims, is a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-pot. This engine feels far more competent than the base 1.8-liter, but it still falls short of the Civic with an 8-second 0-to-60 time.

The Corolla has one more powertrain wrinkle in the LE Hybrid trim that combines a 1.8-liter engine with an electric motor for a modest 121 horsepower. Where it makes up for its lack of power is efficiency, as it gets up to 53 mpg city, 52 highway, and 52 combined. This crushes the best the Civic offers by 21 mpg city, 10 highway, and 16 combined.

 

2020 Toyota Corolla 2019 Honda Civic Difference
Engine 1.8-liter 4-cyl 2.0-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 139 hp at 6,100 rpm 158 hp at 6,500 rpm -19 hp
Torque 126 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm 138 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm -12 lb-ft
Standard transmission CVT 6-spd manual
Optional transmission
CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time
8.2 seconds
MPG City 29 to 30 mpg 25 to 30 mpg 1 to +4 mpg
MPG Highway 37 to 39 mpg 36 to 38 mpg 1 to +3 mpg
MPG Combined 32 to 33 mpg 29 to 33 mpg 1 to +4 mpg
Optional engine 2.0-liter 4-cyl (SE and XSE only) 1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl (EX, EX-L, and Touring)
Horsepower 169 hp at 6,600 rpm 174 hp at 6,000 rpm -5 hp
Torque 151 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm 162 lb-ft at 1,700 to 5,500 rpm -11 lb-ft
Standard transmission 6-spd manual CVT
Optional transmission Dynamic Shit CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 8 seconds 6.8 seconds +1.2 seconds
MPG City 29 to 31 mpg 30 to 32 mpg -3 to +1 mpg
MPG Highway 36 to 40 mpg 38 to 42 mpg -6 to +2 mpg
MPG Combined 32 to 34 mpg 33 to 36 mpg -4 to +1 mpg
Optional engine 1.8-liter 4-cyl hybrid (LE Hybrid only)
Horsepower 121 hp (total system)
Torque 105 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm
Transmission eCVT
Driveline FWD
0-60 time
MPG City 53 mpg
MPG Highway 52 mpg
MPG Combined 52 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Honda Civic

  • More power across the board
  • Quicker to 60 mph

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Corolla

  • Better fuel economy
  • Thrifty hybrid model
  • Rev-matching transmission

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Toyota Corolla is available in six trim levels — L, LE, SE, LE Hybrid, XLE, and XSE — and their starting prices range from $19,500 to $25,450.

 

The 2019 Honda Civic has five trim levels: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Their starting prices range from $21,450 to $27,300.

2020 Toyota Corolla Key Features and Pricing by Trim

L: $19,500

  • 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electric power steering
  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED taillights
  • Black grille with sport mesh
  • Color-keyed power mirrors
  • Color-keyed outside door handles
  • 15-inch styled steel wheels
  • Intermittent windshield wipers
  • Cloth seating
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • 4.2-inch color multi-information display
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Soft-touch center console
  • Front USB 2.0 port
  • Digital clock
  • Enform Audio infotainment system
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Scout GPS Link
  • In-car Wi-Fi
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure alert
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Road-edge detection
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Road-sign assist
  • Lane-trace assist
  • Full-speed adaptive cruise control
  • Electric parking brake
  • Hill-start assist

 

LE: $19,950

  • All L features, plus
  • Heated mirrors
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Automatic climate control
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders
  • Metallic interior trim
  • Chrome door handles
  • Color-keyed door panel piping
  • Remote keyless entry
  • USB 2.0 ports in front and center console
  • Entune Audio infotainment system
  • 8-inch touchscreen

 

SE: $22,650

  • 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching
  • 18-inch machined alloy wheels with dark-gray-painted accents
  • Upgraded LED headlights
  • LED accent lighting
  • Gray metallic sport mesh grille
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • Power moonroof
  • Gray metallic rocker panels
  • Rear spoiler
  • Chrome-tipped double-pipe exhaust
  • Premium sport seats with fabric inserts
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Smart key system on front doors and trunk
  • Push-button ignition

 

Hybrid LE: $22,950

  • All LE features, plus
  • 1.8-liter hybrid four-cylinder engine
  • Electronically controlled CVT
  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • EV, Normal, Power, and ECO drive modes
  • Hybrid Sport mode
  • Upgraded LED headlights
  • 7-inch color multi-information display
  • Smart key system on front doors
  • Push-button start

 

XLE: $23,950

  • All LE features, plus
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Upgraded LED headlights
  • Smoked sport taillights
  • Power moonroof
  • Leatherette seats with sport cloth inserts
  • Heated front seats
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 7-inch multi-information display
  • Smart key system on front doors and trunk
  • Push-button start
  • Enform Audio Plus infotainment system
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM

 

XSE: $25,450

  • All XLE features, plus
  • 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine
  • Dynamic Shift CVT with physical first-gear launch
  • Normal and Sport driving modes
  • LED accent lighting
  • Gray metallic sport mesh grille
  • Gray metallic rocker panels
  • Rear spoiler
  • 18-inch machined alloy wheels with dark-gray-painted pockets
  • Chrome-tipped double-pipe exhaust

2019 Honda Civic Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $21,450

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electric parking brake
  • Automatic brake hold
  • Eco Assist
  • Hill-start assist
  • Brake assist
  • Electric power steering
  • 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Two-speed intermittent windshield wipers
  • Projector-beam headlights with automatic on/off
  • Security system with remote keyless entry
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Automatic climate control
  • Power windows with auto-up.down front glass
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • LED pocket lights
  • Rear-seat heater ducts
  • Floor mats
  • Front 12-volt power outlet
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • One-piece fold-down rear seat
  • 5-inch color audio system display
  • Four-speaker, 160-watt audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Front console 1.0-amp USB port
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

 

Sport: $21,150

  • All LX features, plus
  • Larger front stabilizer bar
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Center-outlet exhaust
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Sport pedals
  • Push-button start
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rear-seat center armrest
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Eight-speaker, 180-watt audio system
  • 7-inch high-resolution display
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SMS text messaging
  • 1.5-amp USB port in the center console
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

 

EX: $23,400

  • All LX features, plus
  • 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Larger front stabilizer bar
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Remote engine start
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Variable-intermittent
  • One-touch power moonroof
  • Push-button ignition
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rear-seat center armrest
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Eight-speaker, 180-watt audio system
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SMS text messaging
  • Front console 1.5-amp USB port
  • SiriusXM radio
  • HD Radio
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Honda LaneWatch

 

EX-L: $24,600

  • All EX features, plus
  • HomeLink universal remote control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Leather seating

 

Touring: $27,300

  • All EX-L features, plus
  • Paddle shifters
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome door handles
  • Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • LED headlights
  • Sport pedals
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Satellite-linked navigation
  • 450-watt, 10- speaker premium audio system

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda Civic?

The Civic is the pricier of the two compact sedans, plus its design is more mature. Both attributes point toward more established buyers as the best Civic buyers. These buyers seek comfort and class in their compact sedan, which are two things the Civic offers in gobs.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Toyota Corolla?

With its range of tech features, a lower base price, and style that stands out in a crowd, the 2020 Toyota Corolla’s best buyers hail from the younger generation. It works especially well as a college cruiser, as its roomy back seats have loads of space for roommates and friends on the weekends. Commuters will also prefer the Corolla LE Hybrid and its insanely high fuel economy numbers at a surprising bargain.

 

Whether you’re heading to school in Waukegan, dropping friends off in McHenry, or heading for a night out in Crystal Lake, the 2020 Toyota Corolla will get you there in style and with superior efficiency. Swing by Garber Fox Lake Toyota to test drive the 2020 Corolla and see what it offers you. Can’t make it to our showroom serving the Waukegan area today? Navigate to our online showroom to see what 2020 Corolla models we have in stock and choose one to test drive later.