Compact cars are the forgotten heroes, slightly larger than a subcompact, but not big enough to be classified as a midsize sedan. These vehicles have a small wheelbase of no more than 109 inches with between 100 and 109 cubic feet of combined passenger and cargo capacity and have less than 20% of the US auto market.
If I were to describe these two vehicles in a few words, they could be boring but reliable. The Honda Civic is slightly roomier, cheaper, and more comfortable than the average compact, but it’s also the smoothest. The Toyota Corolla is a frugal, hassle-free haul for anyone not interested in excitement.
The Toyota Corolla’s quiet and comfortable ride makes it a favorable option, but it feels like a very basic haul and the interior is uninspired and downright boring. The Civic’s smooth styling and hard plastic dash can negate the benefit of the roomy trunk and smooth, absorbent ride that the 44-mpg hybrid provides. The Civic looks a bit sleeker and more modern, but neither option is particularly spectacular to look at. The interior of the Civic is described as a plastic toy dash for kids, far more rewarding to look at than to touch.
Both vehicles boast excellent fuel economy of 34-36 mpg highway and 27-28 mpg city, and the dimensions are similar enough to come from the same vehicle in terms of interior space, passenger volume, and passenger volume. trunk in particular. Identical fuel tank capacities give these vehicles excellent clearance before their next fill. If you really want to rack up fuel mileage, check out the Civic’s Hybrid Edition for up to 44 mpg if you’re really trying to stretch it.
Both the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic have a reputation for lasting forever, a good option when you want to find a low-cost option to simply get where you need to go. The Civic’s handling is a bit better than the Corolla’s clearly soggy handling, but both vehicles offer a decent ride that makes them comfortable for longer trips.
Both options are solid entries into the compact car class, though neither option is likely to set your life ablaze with excitement. Both meet the needs of buyers looking for a relatively inexpensive trip that doesn’t have specific design requirements.