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2017 Toyota Corolla vs. 2017 Honda Civic

2017 Toyota Corolla

Introduction

 

In the U.S., there are typically two cars from which you choose if you’re looking for a compact sedan – the Corolla and the Civic. Both of these cars have been in circulation for over 40 years, though both the Corolla and the Civic have gone through substantial changes over this time. The latest generations have come about in 2013 and 2016 respectively, and the Toyota Corolla is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary.

It’s true that both cars will offer reliable transportation, good gas economy, and more features than ever before, but the 2017 Toyota Corolla has consistently been getting better ratings from reviewers than the 2017 Honda Civic. Why is a better choice over the Honda Civic?

The Toyota Corolla is one of the biggest success stories of the automotive industry. Thanks to its excellent performance and large range of features, the Toyota Corolla has made its manufacturer the biggest in the world, and there have been over 43 million Corollas sold. This makes the Toyota Corolla the best-selling car of all time.

The 2017 Toyota Corolla, in particular, looks exquisite, has a powerful and easy to use infotainment system, and a cavernous interior. It all comes together in a perfect package that makes the Corolla easily the no. 1 choice in the compact sedan sector, both in the U.S. and abroad.

The 2017 Toyota Corolla is available for sale at Riley Toyota in Jefferson City, Central Missouri, conveniently located close to Columbia, Sedalia, and St. Louis.

 

Gas Mileage

 

Most Corollas for sale today sports a 1.8-liter inline-4 engine that outputs 132 horsepower. It’s paired with a CVT transmission that responds well. The greatest fuel efficiency you’ll get is with the Corolla LE Eco trim, which has a specially tuned engine and offers you an impressive combined gas mileage of 35 miles to the gallon.

 

Handling

 

Most of the models of the Corolla are tuned to be light and pillows on the road, with demure steering that’s predictable and confidence-inducing. The rear suspension system is tuned to reduce vibration and noise from the road.

You can take a test drive at Riley Toyota to see whether you prefer this or the sportier Toyota Corolla SE trim. The SE trim has a sportier suspension and a nice Sport button that will sharpen up the steering. The ride on the SE is particularly well damped and absorbent.

All models of the Corolla in the U.S. come with a CVT transmission. This makes for better performance and smooth acceleration, all without losing power. The S model of the Corolla steps it up a bit with a 7-speed transmission. The transmission has excellent simulated gear ratios, composed steering, and cool paddle shifters.

If that’s not how you roll, then a manual transmission with six speeds is an option.

 

Styling

 

Toyota has added a number of exterior updates to the Corolla that enhance the style and aerodynamics of the car, in turn improving the fuel economy. The exterior style is one of refinement and grown-up taste. The wide wheelbase gives the Corolla a much sportier look than its previous incarnations, and the LED headlights and running lights add a level of sophistication.

Choose the XSE model (or the 50th-anniversary model in 2017) and you’ll get a more masculine Corolla, with a dominating grille, improved suspension, and a tough look inside and out that still remains adult.

 

Comfort

 

The interior of the 2017 Toyota Corolla is particularly uncluttered and luxurious. Previous generations were considered better suited for rental cars, but the materials and trim of the latest generation are really top notch. It is a surprise to see such excellent materials in a car that is such low cost. The sound insulation is excellent, keeping the cabin quiet and comfortable.

The two-level dashboard design makes clever use of the space and makes the car feel modern and spacious. The dashboard is ultimately more pushed back to offer more space, and it’s adorned with nice accents and a soft-touch feel. Note that S models have firmer seats, perfect for the sportier handling.

Despite being a compact car, there’s a healthy 13 cubic feet of trunk space, thanks to the low floor and smart folding seats.

 

MSRP Including Destination Change

 

Overall, the Toyota Corolla comes in cheaper than the Honda Civic in 2017. The Corolla LE CVT begins at $19,820, for example, with the closest corresponding Civic LX CVT beginning at $20,415.

 

Legroom Rear

 

Though both cars are considered compact cars, there’s more room for movement within the Toyota Corolla. Consider the legroom in rear seats for example – you get 41.4 inches of room in the Corolla, whereas you only get 37.4 inches of legroom in the Civic. That’s a huge difference that your passengers will notice immediately.

 

Front Knee Airbags

 

From a safety perspective, it’s important to note that the 2017 Toyota Corolla comes with front knee airbags as standard. These are not even optional features on the 2017 Honda Civic.

 

Power Sunroof/Moonroof

 

At the higher end of the comfort scale, consider opting for a power sunroof with a sliding sunshade that is available on the 2017 Toyota Corolla. This is not available on the 2017 Honda Civic.

 

Rear Split Folding Bench Seat

 

Compare the rear seats of the Civic LX and the Corolla LE side by side and you’ll notice it’s not just the extra rear legroom that makes the Corolla the better option. On these models, the Corolla offers 60/40 rear seat split rear seats, for better use of cargo space. The Civic doesn’t have this option.

 

Number of Speakers

 

Again, when comparing the similarly priced Corolla LE and Civic LX you’ll notice that the Toyota comes with six speakers, where the Honda only offer a basic four speakers.

 

Safety Technology

 

Toyota has long been known for being a leader in car safety technology, and in this regard, its flagship Corolla is no slouch. It is perhaps Toyota’s attention to detail when it comes to safety that has made the Corolla the best-selling car in the world. There are no less than eight airbags in the car, including the rarer front knee airbags. The traction control, stability control, brake assist, and electronic brakes of the Toyota Corolla are as good as any in the better, and if you apply force to the accelerator and the brake at the same time with force then power to the engine will be cut.

The Safety Sense Plus system from Toyota includes a wide range of advanced safety tech, including automatic emergency braking, a forward collision warning, auto high beams, lane departure warning, and active lane control that automatically steers the car back on the straight and narrow when it has gone astray. The emergency braking system surpasses others from other manufacturers as it includes pedestrian detection, something that was missing from the Corolla until recently.

As such, the Toyota Corolla aced federal safety tests, receiving a full 5-star rating for crash safety. The IIHS concurred and awarded the 2017 Toyota Corolla a Top Safety Pick in 2017.

 

Summary

 

The Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla have long been staring at each other across the road from showroom to showroom, bitter rivals for the mainstream compact car buyer. For over 40 years they’ve been in battle, and they do have a lot in common. There are important distinctions though, as we’ve outlined above, the most important probably being that the 2017 Toyota Corolla comes with more features as standard, and many of these features aren’t available on the Honda Civic at all (or are only offered on the more expensive higher trim levels)

Consider also that the lowest cost Toyota Corolla is priced lower than the cheapest Honda Civic. Both cars may offer the same fuel economy figures, but the 2017 Toyota Corolla feels sportier, particularly the models with sports suspension and trim. One could say that both vehicles are excellent value at their price point, but the additional features that the 2017 Toyota Corolla gives you for this price really tip the balance in Toyota’s favor.

Another thing that makes the Toyota Corolla the ultimate choice in 2017 is its excellent safety systems. Toyota leads the pack in safety, and the inclusion of things such as knee level airbags at even the base trim level shows they mean business, and we expect that other manufacturers will need to begin including these features too in their 2018 models and beyond.

In its 50th year, then, the 2017 Toyota Corolla continues to reign supreme as the best compact sedan choice. Once you’ve test driven the Corolla, you’ll agree that it is the best combination of luxury, sportiness, utility, family-friendly, and safe that you’ll find on the road today.

You can take the 2017 Toyota Corolla for a test drive at Riley Toyota in Jefferson City, MO, close to the communities of Fulton, MO; Columbia, MO; Mexico, MO; and Sedalia, MO.