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As automakers increasingly focus on SUVs, new sedans are becoming rarer, but plenty can be found on the used car market. The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have been longtime rivals, and both brands are renowned for their reliability. If you’re interested in a 5-year-old model, check out this comparison of the 2018 Honda Civic and the 2018 Toyota Corolla.

Note: Regardless of a used car’s reliability score, always obtain a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection to uncover potential problems before purchasing. Also, prices may vary depending on trim level, mileage, overall condition, and location.

2018 Honda Civic vs. 2018 Toyota Corolla: Reliability and quality scores

2018 Honda Civic four-door
2018 Honda Civic | Honda Motor Europe Ltd.

The 2018 Honda Civic earned a quality and reliability score of 76 out of 100, which J.D. Power considers “average.” This rating is based on vehicle ownership for at least three years. Higher scores mean a car shows better build quality and has lower maintenance costs than less reliable rivals. It also means owners won’t run into as many major repair problems well after the vehicle’s manufacturer warranty has expired.

Thanks to its “great” driving performance score of 87 and average resale value of 79, the 2018 Civic has an overall 79. That’s two points shy of a “great” rating from J.D. Power.

On the other hand, the 2018 Toyota Corolla’s quality reliablity score is a “great” 86. It’s driving experience is the same as the Civic’s at 87. And its resale value is slightly lower at 78, for an overall “great” score of 83.

2018 Civic vs. 2018 Corolla: Pricing and specs

A blue 2018 Toyota Corolla SE
2018 Toyota Corolla SE | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

J.D. Power reports that people are paying $16,827 to $23,240 for a used 2018 Honda Civic. However, if you want a standard touchscreen interface with smartphone integration, find an EX trim or higher. The base model has a 158-hp four-cylinder engine earning up to 31/40 mpg city/highway with a continuously variable transmission. 

Higher trims come standard with a 174-hp turbo-four, which actually gets slightly better mileage than the base engine. Under the hood of the 2018 Honda Civic Si, this engine generates 205 hp. You can also get a 306-hp turbo-four inside the 2018 Civic Type R, which might cost around $23,000.

2018 Toyota Corolla SE interior
2018 Toyota Corolla SE | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

According to J.D. Power, people are paying $15,981 to $20,725 for a used 2018 Toyota Corolla. Regardless of the trim level, all models have a 132-hp four-cylinder engine. A CVT is the standard transmission, but the SE trim could be optioned with a six-speed manual. 

Like the Civic, the Corolla has room for up to five passengers on cloth or synthetic leather seats. However, with over 41 inches of rear legroom, the Corolla is slightly more accommodating.

This sedan also has some excellent standard tech options, including several advanced driver’s aids and a 6.1-inch infotainment touchscreen. The 2018 Corolla XSE, which costs closer to $21,000 for a used model, has a larger touchscreen and GPS navigation.

Civic vs. Corolla: Owner complaints

The 2018 Honda Civic has 60 owner-reported issues on and 356 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That might seems like a lot, but it’s fewer than most other older Civic models. One of the most significant problems owners have experienced is an A/C condenser failure that costs about $1,240 to replace. Drivers have also reported electrical problems and cracked windshields.

Conversely, has received only 10 complaints from 2018 Toyota Corolla owners, but 170 drivers have reported issues to the NHTSA. The most expensive repair — wiring replacement after mice chewed through the soy covering — totals $410.

Which 5-year-old used car is better?

The 2018 Toyota Corolla has proven to be a highly reliable sedan, and its lower trims offer plenty of value. Regardless, U.S. News and Autotrader recommend the 2018 Honda Civic. It offers more engine options, better tech, and a more modern interior that makes the Corolla look drab.

However, if high value overall is your main priority, you might be more satisfied with a 2018 Corolla.


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