2022 Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Sedan Is Faster?

The rivalry between the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic is a heated one. And it’s only getting more so with the launch of the redesigned 2022 Civic Sedan. Being compact sedans, Corolla and Civic buyers aren’t necessarily focused on speed. But then, no one wants to struggle to merge onto the highway. Hence why YouTube team Throttle House lined up a 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring and a 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE to see which was quicker.

The 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring gets more power, but not necessarily more speed

A red 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring drives down a city highway
2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring | Honda

Although redesigned, the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan has the same engines as its 2021 predecessor. The lower LX and Sport trims use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while the EX and Touring have a more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. And in the 2022 Civic Sedan, both engines only pair with a CVT.

However, the 1.5-liter engine is slightly more powerful going into 2022. Instead of 174 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque, it now makes 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. And it also has a slightly higher EPA city fuel-economy rating.

The 2022 Honda Civic Sedan’s redesign gave it a stiffer chassis and retuned suspension, but also a slightly higher curb weight. Honda claims the weight gain hasn’t changed the car’s performance. However, based on Car and Driver’s testing, that might not be the case.

In Car and Driver’s hands, the previous-gen Civic Sedan Touring went 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The 2022 Civic Sedan Touring, though, needed 7.5 seconds to do the same. It’s a similar story with the cars’ ¼-mile times. Car and Driver found the 2022 car ran the ¼-mile in 15.8 seconds, 0.6 seconds more than the previous-gen model.

It’s worth noting that Car and Driver’s test 2022 Civic Sedan was a low-mileage example. So, the powertrain might not have been properly broken in yet; with more miles, acceleration could improve.

On paper, the 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE might struggle to go fast

A gray 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE next to a white 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE parked underneath a city bridge
2021 Toyota Corolla XSE (left) next to a 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE | Toyota

However, those test figures might still give the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring the win. Because on paper, the 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE is a bit out-gunned.

The 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE eschews turbocharging for a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s rated at 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, sent, as in the Civic, to the front wheels. On the plus side for enthusiasts, you can get the Corolla XSE with a manual. However, it’s only available on the Corolla Hatchback. Instead, the 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE exclusively comes with a CVT.

Although Car and Driver found the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring slower than expected, in testing, the Toyota Corolla XSE was even slower. Not only is it down on power compared to the Civic Touring, but it’s also slightly heavier. As a result, Car and Driver recorded a 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds and a ¼-mile of 16.3 seconds.

Things only get worse for the Toyota Corolla XSE when looking at other speed-related metrics. In its 5-60 mph, 30-50 mph, and 50-70 mph tests, Car and Driver found the Corolla was consistently slower than the Civic. To be fair, the difference between the two was typically 0.1 or 0.2 seconds. But that’s still slower—at least, on paper.

Which was faster in Throttle House’s tests?

The Throttle House co-hosts’ races were straightforward. First, the sedans lined up for a standing-start ¼-mile drag race. The cars then repeated the run, but from a rolling start rather than a standing one.

Sadly, for the 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE, its on-paper disadvantage carried over to the real world. Although the XSE did slightly better in the rolling race, the 2022 Honda Civic Sedan Touring beat it both times. In a straight line, it’s the faster compact sedan.

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