2021 Honda Civic vs 2021 Toyota Corolla

  • 2021 Honda Civic Sedan

    A silver 2021 Honda Civic is angled left.

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    2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan

    A pale blue 2021 Toyota Corolla is angled right.

    Starting at


    158 - 174Horsepower (hp)139 -169
    362Combined Fuel Economy (mpg)34
    15.1Cargo Space (cu.ft.)13.1

    The 2021 Honda Civic and 2021 Toyota Corolla are both new iterations on classic sedan models competing for your attention in the new model year. Both vehicles offer much of what you would come to expect from a modern compact car: competitive fuel economy, advanced safety features, competent performance, and more. However, a detailed comparison of the 2021 Honda Civic vs 2021 Toyota Corolla will make it clear that Honda's iconic car continues to hold an edge over its counterpart from Toyota.

    With tons of great options, incredible standard features, and engineering that puts it over the top, the 2021 Honda Civic has clearly earned its stellar reputation for good reasons. From the outside, it is clear that the Honda Civic is a step ahead of the game. While competitors like the Corolla look very much like what you expect from a safe compact sedan, the new Civic is striking to look at with bold accents and a sporty grill shape that gives it a much more athletic frame than anything in its class.

    When it comes to performance, the new Honda Civic features more powerful turbocharged engines and even offers a genuine racecar variant in the Civic Type R. This drastically outpaces even the strongest engine you can put in the 2021 Corolla. Packaged technology features also favor the Civic over the Corolla with unmatched options such as the Honda Sensing suite, Smart Entry, and Road Departure Mitigation system. Even when you consider the price difference, while you save some money initially with the lower-priced 2021 Corolla, you certainly miss out on the impressive list of features, capabilities, and styling that come standard with the Honda Civic.

    No matter how you look at the equation, the 2021 Honda Civic is a spectacular looking, well built, efficient, and fun to drive sedan that leaves the Toyota Corolla in the dust with the last decade of car design. Honda's reliability and innovations make the 2021 Honda Civic a top buy and great all-around car for a competitive and fair price.

  • Performance

    A silver 2021 Honda Civic is shown from the side with trees during autumn in the background.When comparing the engines and drivetrains of these two vehicles, it becomes very clear at a glance that the 2021 Honda Civic is just built with more powerful engine options than the competitor from Toyota. Setting the incredibly powerful Honda Civic Type R, both cars offer the choice between two four-cylinder options. However, the output of the Honda Civic is consistently higher. If you are a driver who desires a driving experience that has some pep in its step with responsive acceleration and thrilling capability, then you will definitely want to choose the Honda Civic over the Toyota Corolla.

    Engine Options

    Starting with the Civic engines, their LX and Sport sedan models use a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. This engine is a pretty standard size for this class, and it generates 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. Those figures compare well to the 139 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque generated by the smaller 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that comes standard in the Corolla's L, LE, and XLE trims. It is clear that at some level here, size does matter, and the Honda engine will be much more responsive in any driving situation.

    All versions of the Civic hatchback and the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims of the Civic sedan get a smaller but turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharger provides an extra boost by forcing more air into the engine to create more efficient combustion. Unlike the Civic, the Corolla's more powerful engine lacks a turbocharger and is a simple 2.0-liter engine. Toyota pays for this choice as its 2.0-liter engine only gets 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. This isn't a massive deficit, but if performance is important to you, every digit counts.

  • Technology

    A close up shows the infotainment screen and applications on a 2021 Honda Civic.Most modern vehicles are fully loaded with infotainment, safety, and convenience features that make driving a car feel very similar to operating a smartphone. Both the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Toyota Corolla sport some impressive technology, but the Civic edges ahead of its competitor thanks to a few additional technology features. The Civic is remarkably well equipped with modern tech, most notably its standard array of safety features. 

    Honda Sensing

    Among the best technology features are the Honda Sensing suite of safety tools. Honda Sensing is the trademark system of sensors, cameras, and driver aides that not only keep you safe in an accident but work to help you avoid an accident from ever happening in the first place.

    Standard on all 2021 Civics, this array of safety and driver aids includes:

    • Collision Mitigation Braking System: these sensors can detect sudden and unexpected obstructions, objects, or other vehicles that are in the front of your vehicle while in motion. At certain speeds, it can activate automatic emergency braking to bring you to a stop before colliding.
    • Adaptive Cruise Control: at low speeds, you can activate an adaptive cruise control that uses a speed sensor to maintain a safe following distance from the car in front of you. This is especially useful if you find yourself stuck in traffic.
    • Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Keeping Assist: These sensors can tell when you are coming close to drifting out of your lane. After a quick notification, the car can automatically steer itself back into your lane.

    The Corolla offers some similar standard systems, but its safety equipment falls short of what the Civic can provide. For instance, the 2021 Civic can be equipped with super bright LED reflector headlights, while the 2021 Corolla only offers older LED projector headlights.

    More Tech Features 

    Additionally to the safety packages present, the Civic also provides Smart Entry and Walk Away Auto Lock features that are slick and convenient features that can't be matched by the competition. And when it comes to entertainment, the Civic offers a 450-watt 10-speaker sound system while the Corolla tops out with a less powerful 9-speaker setup. From the technology that keeps you and your passengers safely to the technology that simply makes driving fun and convenient, Honda outdoes the competition.

  • Comfort

    The black leather interior is shown from the side on a 2021 Honda Civic.For many drivers, a compact sedan like the Civic or the Corolla can be incredibly useful for moving people and extra luggage with expanded passenger and cargo space. Whether you like the extra room for your friends and extra gear for your trip, or you are a small and growing family, the extra seating and space is a much-needed feature. Regardless of what you need the space for, the 2021 Honda Civic outclasses the Corolla's interior for package and person space.

    Interior Dimensions

    The 2021 Honda Civic has a ton of comfortable space with extra to spare. The passenger area has a whopping 95 cubic feet of space. Compared to the 88.6 cubic feet of the Toyota Corolla, you're going to notice that you and your passengers feel significantly less cramped in the larger Honda. This is particularly true for anyone in the back seat, as the rear legroom in the Honda is a very comfortable 37.4 inches so that even tall riders will be living in luxury compared to the 34.8 inches of rear legroom found in the Corolla. The Civic's trunk also has over 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which is two whole cubic feet larger than the Corolla's 13.1 cubic feet of rear storage space. For the utility possibilities of these sedans, the Civic beats out the Corolla with flying colors.

    Comfort Features

    It isn't just important to have lots of useful space but to also make sure that the people in those seats are comfortable. In addition to having more seating and cargo space, the Civic has some fantastic comfort features that are not available in the Corolla. These range from an available four-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat (the Corolla only has a manually-adjustable passenger's seat) to heated outboard second-row seats (unavailable on the Corolla). As a passenger vehicle and gear hauler, the Civic is a clear winner that offers more space and greater comfort.

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