It’s always tough comparing two top cars from the same class against each other because they usually have so much in common that it’s tough to distinguish which one is really better. For example, the Honda Civic has been a fan favorite for decades and it’s hard to really say anything bad about it.
And the Toyota Corolla is right up there next to it, however, it’s always been somewhat bland in comparison, until now. For 2020, the Toyota Corolla was redesigned and poses a big threat to the aging Honda Civic, so here are five reasons in which the Corolla is better.
Sure, looks are subjective, but Toyota did step up its game a lot when designing the new Corolla. Now in its 12th generation, the Corolla was redesigned from the ground up and given a much bolder look than we’re used to, both inside and out.
We like its sharp, angular headlights and aggressive front grille, both of which give it a much bolder look. It’s a refreshing sight considering Corollas in the past looked much more homely. The Honda Civic, on the other hand, has been refreshed but is still sporting the same look since 2016. Time to step it up, Honda!
A more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter engine
Along with the new restyling, the Corolla was outfitted with an available 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the engines that Toyota previously stuffed under the hoods, we would say that it’s a huge step up.
Even better is that it’s able to achieve 31 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway and can be paired to a six-speed manual transmission when you opt for the SE trim level. The Honda Civic’s 2.0-liter engine, however, is not as powerful nor as efficient.
Both the Corolla and Civic utilize Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), however, the Corolla’s incorporates a “launch gear” for more optimal acceleration. The CVT transmission is known to cause sluggish acceleration off the line, and therefore, less efficient. However, the launch gear aids in quicker acceleration and better efficiency.
Also new to the Corolla lineup is the Corolla Hybrid. This new hybrid option utilizes the same Corolla body style but is stuffed with even more efficient thanks to a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that achieves up to 53 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. The Civic doesn’t have a hybrid option.
When it comes to the word “value,” price is always the biggest factor. And luckily, for anyone interested in a Corolla, they will be paying less while getting the same features that are in the Honda Civic. The base starting price for a Corolla L is $19,600 (without destination) and it tops out at $25,550 for the top-trim XSE.
By comparison, the Honda Civic starts at $20,650 for the base LX trim and up to $27,700 for the Touring trim level.
Best in class
The compact sedan segment is a tough class to be in, but these two legendary stalwarts have always managed to stand their ground. But with the new redesign, it’s possible that the Toyota Corolla could actually win over a lot of prospective Honda buyers. After all, value and uniqueness are what it’s all about.