Car Comparison

2019 Honda Civic vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla: Which Is Better?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Eric Brandt November 2018
  • The Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are long-time rivals in the compact car segment.

  • The Civic gets a mild refresh for 2019, and the Corolla is mostly unchanged.

  • Sedan, coupe and hatchback body styles are all available for the Civic, but the Corolla is only available as a sedan.

For decades, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla have been duking it out for compact car supremacy. They both have reputations as reliable, affordable cars that make for sensible everyday transportation for a wide range of drivers.

The fight between the 2019 Honda Civic and the 2019 Toyota Corolla is as heated as ever, but we think there's one clear winner in this fight. Let's take a look at what's different, what's similar and which is better.

Exterior

The Honda Civic in its current generation has been around since the 2016 model year, and the Corolla has been mostly unchanged since 2014. The Civic got a mild facelift for 2019, and the Corolla got one for 2017. Being the older car, however, the Corolla is starting to look a little dated compared to the more modern Civic.

In sedan form, the Civic and the Corolla have almost identical exterior dimensions. However, one advantage that the Civic has over the Corolla is variety in its body styles. The Civic is available as a sedan, coupe or hatchback. There is a new 2019 Corolla Hatchback, but that's technically a different model and a different version of the Corolla with a new engine.

It's becoming increasingly rare to find one model that you can get in sedan, coupe or hatchback forms, and it's nice to see that variety in the Civic. The Corolla isn't a bad looking car, but we think the Civic is the more attractive compact.

Interior

In terms of interior design, material quality and overall fit and finish, the Civic has a nicer interior than the Corolla. However, there's one huge advantage that the Corolla has over every other compact: class-leading rear legroom.

We're not sure how they did it, but Toyota managed to give the back-seat passengers of the Corolla enough legroom to think they're in a much bigger car. With a significant four inches of legroom more than the in the back of the Civic, the Corolla is the car that anyone riding in the back seat will prefer. That said, the Civic is still pretty roomy for all occupants compared to every other car in its class, with the Corolla being the one exception.

One thing we really like about the inside of the Civic is that the digital gauges in the dashboard make you feel like you're in a more expensive car. The analog gauges in the Corolla are perfectly functional, but the display in the Civic is just nicer. See the 2019 Honda Civic models for sale near you

There's little compromise on the inside of the Civic, but the inside of the Corolla might serve as a reminder of its budget pricing. If you're planning on carrying backseat passengers regularly, however, the legroom in the Corolla is a big plus. See the 2019 Toyota Corolla models for sale near you

Mechanicals

The Honda Civic has two available engines, and the Toyota Corolla has just one. A couple things both of these cars have in common is they're both front-wheel drive and available with either an automatic or a manual transmission.

2019 Honda Civic Engines

  • 2.0-liter inline four; 158 horsepower, 138 lb-ft of torque; 30 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway

  • 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four; 174 hp, 167 lb-ft of torque; 32 mpg city/42 mpg hwy

2019 Toyota Corolla Engines

  • 1.8-liter inline four; 132 hp, 128 lb-ft of torque; 28 mpg city/36 mpg hwy

The Honda Civic is a clear winner under the hood. In terms of both performance and fuel economy, both of the engines available in the Civic have the Corolla engine beat. There is an Eco variant of the Corolla, however, that returns 30 mpg city/40 mpg hwy, but the turbocharged engine in the Civic still has those fuel economy numbers beat while delivering much better performance.

Technology

The Civic and the Corolla are both packed with some very impressive safety tech that is standard on all models. For the Corolla, it's the Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) package. TSS-P includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist and automatic high beams. The Honda Sensing safety tech suite that's standard on the Civic is very similar to TSS-P, but it doesn't include automatic high beams.

Every 2019 Corolla comes with an Etune infotainment system, and every 2019 Civic gets some version of the Honda Display Audio system. They both have Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports, but the Civic is the only one that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, the 2019 Corolla supports neither in any trim.

One thing that's worth noting about the 2019 Honda Civic is the inclusion of a traditional volume knob. Previously in the Civic, Honda tried using a slider for volume control both in the center stack and on the steering wheel that was frustrating to use. Now there's a good old-fashioned knob by the screen and volume buttons on the steering wheel, making it easier to control the volume than it was in previous model years of the tenth-generation Civic.

The Civic and the Corolla are pretty neck-and-neck when it comes to safety tech, but the Honda has the Toyota beat in terms of connectivity features.

Pricing

The Corolla beats the Civic on price, but which car is a better value is debatable. The 2019 Corolla has an affordable starting price of $18,700, and the 2019 Civic sedan starts at $19,450. On the high-end, the Civic gets quite a bit more expensive than the Corolla. The top trim of the Civic is the $27,300 Touring model, and the top-of-the-line Corolla is the $22,880 XSE. In the midrange, you can get a nice Civic in the low $20,000 range, while it's easier to get a well-appointed Corolla under the $20k mark.

Conclusion

With a nicer, more modern look inside and out, much better engine options and more advanced technology, we like the 2019 Honda Civic more than the 2019 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla has two advantages over the Civic: more backseat legroom and a lower price tag. That said, we think the Civic's slightly higher price is justified by its many merits. Find a Honda Civic for sale or Find a Toyota Corolla for sale

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New 2019 Honda Civic Sport Sedan
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New 2019 Honda Civic Sport Sedan
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MSRP $22,870
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New 2019 Honda Civic Sport Sedan
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MSRP $22,870
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New 2019 Honda Civic LX Sedan
New 2019 Honda Civic
MSRP $21,170
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Honda Civic vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla: Which Is Better? - Autotrader