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When it comes to compact sedans, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are the most popular choices. These two rivals have competed in this burgeoning segment over the past few decades, and they offer a lot in their current forms. But what if you can’t afford a new Civic or Corolla? In that case, a three-year-old model could do. Let’s see how well they fare today.

How do the 2020 Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla stack up against other?

When shopping for a 2020 Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla, you may find that they’re similar in many different ways. Both cars adequately fit up to five and have decent trunk space. They also have plenty of tech-savvy features and safety equipment. Let’s take a closer look at each.

2020 Honda Civic’s notable features:

  • Turbocharged 1.5-liter engine: 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Push-button start, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a powered driver’s seat
  • Top-trim features: Heated front and rear seats, 450-watt audio system with 10 speakers, leather upholstery, and a power passenger seat
  • Safety features: Honda Sensing suite – forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, collision mitigation braking, LaneWatch camera

2020 Toyota Corolla’s notable features:

  • Naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine: 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Push-button start, keyless entry, Apple Carplay compatibility, a 7-inch infotainment display, a six-speaker audio system
  • Top-trim features: Premium JBL sound system, Softex leather seats, heated front seats, blind spot monitors, and satellite radio
  • Safety features: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 – forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure alert, lane-keep assist, and auto high beams

As we can see, both of these 2020 models stack up well against each other, considering they’re similarly equipped.

Pros and cons of driving the 2020 Civic and Corolla

2020 Honda Civic Touring overhead
2020 Honda Civic Touring | Honda

Stacking up the specifications of both the 2020 Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are one thing, but driving them is another. According to the editors at Car and Driver, the Honda Civic is “fun to drive, practical, and has a spacious interior.” However, they also didn’t like its “overdone styling, below-average warranty, and low real-world fuel economy numbers.”

As for the Toyota Corolla, the editors stated that it has “wonderful fuel economy and a roomy backseat.” However, it’s also “unexciting to drive,” and its engine sounds slightly coarse compared to the Civic. Otherwise, the editors felt that both cars were well-rounded and provide great transportation.

Are the 2020 Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla reliable cars?

Yes, both the 2020 Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are considered reliable cars. On Car, a site where car owners list their issues, there are currently 111 complaints for the Civic and 154 complaints for the Corolla. However, it should be noted that most of the complaints for each are due to minor infotainment issues or problems with the passenger seat. There aren’t any notable reported mechanical failures.

The 2020 Honda Civic also received a 76 out of 100 for reliability from J.D. Power, which is considered to be average. The 2020 Corolla, on the other hand, received an 80 out of 100, which is also considered average. Ratings aside, plenty of current owners are singing the praises of both cars on the consumer review page.

Some of the Corolla owners reported minor issues with the infotainment system, but overall find the car to be reliable. The same can be said of the Honda Civic, as a few owners reported minor issues with the navigation system but are overall happy with the car’s reliability.

How much do these cars cost today?

2020 Toyota Corolla exterior
2020 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

A recent nationwide search on Autotrader revealed that both the 2020 Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are priced in the $20,000 to $25,000 range. The cars on the lower end of the spectrum have close to 50,000 miles, while those on the upper end of the price range are close to the sub-10,000-mile range.

How do the 2020 Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic fare today?

As we would expect, both of these 2020 models hold up well despite being three years old. Anyone looking for a reliable, compact sedan can’t go wrong with either a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. As an added plus, both cars are up to date when it comes to their technology and safety features, so we’re sure that anyone shopping for either car will find a lot to like about each. If you can’t afford a new Civic or Corolla, go with a 2020 model – it’ll last for a long time to come.