Since the dawn of time (erm, the 1970’s) there has been a rivalry between 2 of the greatest commuter cars: the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. They’re both renown for bulletproof reliability, efficiency, and low cost to own and buy. But which one should you buy? We will tell you the good and the bad for both cars, and tell you our pick for 2020. To maintain consistency, we will be comparing the Corolla SE CVT with the Civic sport CVT.
This year, the Honda Civic lineup is not disappointing in the slightest. With 7 main configurations to choose from, all starting for under 30k, it remains affordable. The exterior styling is sharp, boasting lots of impressive shapes and angles. The interior is no slouch either, with all the materials being high quality. Aesthetic trim and beautiful lines complete the look.
The cargo and storage cubbies are impressive as always, and the back seat space is average for the segment. What they are missing is a back seat armrest, which detracts from the rear passenger comfort.
On the road it handles very well, and with its 1.5 L 4-cylinder producing 180hp and sub 3,000 pound curb weight, it is quite sprightly. It’s continuously variable transmission(CVT) helps it maintain a 29 city, 35 highway fuel economy. Not bad.
New for model year 2020, the Toyota Corolla strikes back. Gone are the days of boring exteriors on your Corolla: now it boasts aggressive headlights shaped like glowing battle axes and a large trapezoid-shaped grille. It’s interior feels more expensive than it is. The Corolla, being the cheaper of the two, manages to install quality materials throughout the interior.
The Corolla has extra-spacious back seats, as well as an armrest for the passengers in the rear, something that Honda forgot. While losing out to the Civic in cargo capacity, the Corolla still holds its own in this space.
When the Corolla hits the pavement, it aims to impress, and succeeds. It has multi-link rear suspension for handling larger bumps. It also has a respectable 169hp from its 2.0L 4-cylinder, making it not fast, but not slow. What makes the Corolla more peppy despite the lower power numbers is the use of a separate “normal” first gear, along with the CVT. When the car accelerates it uses its first gear, and then later changes to the CVT, making the acceleration feel more satisfying than the CVT. Where the Corolla really shines is its fuel economy: 31 city and 40 highway.
If we look at the base prices for the two, the 2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT MSRP is $22,050.The 2020 Honda Civic Sport CVT has an MSRP of $23,550. They are both affordable, but the Corolla gets the cake. Both cars offer immense value at this price.
At the end of the day, we say you should buy the Corolla. It’s fresh on the outside and the inside. It has a more mature appearance, while not being boring. It is more efficient, cheaper, and has a history as being one of the most reliable cars.
It’s quick enough and handles well enough for what you’re using it for. Getting to work and hauling around family or friends comfortably and cheaply are all things the Corolla does best. That’s what is most important.
There’s a reason it is the most sold car of all time. It does what it was designed to do, the best.
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