2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco vs. 2013 Honda Civic EX

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited March 2016 in Honda
2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco vs. 2013 Honda Civic EX

The 2014 Toyota Corolla will be a huge seller, but is it better than the 2013 Honda Civic? Read our latest comparison test to find out.

Read the full story here


  • dfelix70dfelix70 Member Posts: 143
    Seriously, what's happened to Toyota. by the tone of this article, this really wasn't close. Yes, Honda did a great job in updating its Civic, but the Corolla is brand new and totally redesigned.

    That being said, i wish the Civic offered a Sport model like the Accord does. Yes, I know there's the Si, but there should be a Sport model without the need to step up to the Si.
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Member Posts: 116
    The article fails to mention that safety is a very important consideration for buyers as well.

    The 2013 Civic received an impressive GOOD rating in a recent IIHS Small-Offset Crash Test, whereas the all-new 2014 Corolla received a very-disappointing POOR rating.

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    I know both these cars absolutely crush the Mazda 3 in sales, which is likely to continue, but still I would have liked to see the new 3 sedan, with an automatic, thrown into the mix as a wild card.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    @dfelix: Toyota didn't build this car to win competitions like this. Toyota hasn't built a Corolla to win a competition like this for decades. Yet despite this, the Corolla is consistently at or near the top of its class in sales. In the ways that matter
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    dfelix, the Corolla has almost never come close to the Civic in autojourno comparisons, just as the Camry almost never comes close to the Accord, so this isn't anything new. Automotive journalists are far removed from the opinions of people who actually buy these cars, but that's often been the case as well. And despite the talk of road feel here, the Civic no longer represents one of the best driver's car in the segment, and probably hasn't for a few generations. It's just another sensible but ultimately bland commuter car.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @bankerdanny: Would be nice if they had either a Mazda 3 or Ford Focus as another measuring stick in this competition. I don't think the Corolla has ever been a "top" metric but it's always been a seller. Each generation it just seems to fall fu
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    orbit9090, the Corolla received a Marginal rating in the small overlap test. Not anything to be proud of for a fresh redesign, but it is a step above Poor, and it is a rating shared with the Cruze, and Jetta. Most other compacts only get one rating above this (Marginal), and the Sentra received a Poor rating. Considering I drive in a world filled with giant pickups, SUVs, and heavy minivans that will plaster anything in the compact segment during a collision, I don't know if I would base my buying decision on the small overlap test.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    Ask the professional car reviewers what constitutes a driver's car; they are the ones using that as the primary reason to buy anything in any given segment. I'm the wrong person to ask, but I personally found the Mazda3 and Ford Focus to be the most enjoyable and noticeably better than a Civic, Corolla or Elantra. I've driven the previous Civic and was pretty underwhelmed with both steering feel, drivetrain refinement, and the feel of the front suspension considering the praises sung by folks and Motor Trend and Car and Driver.
  • jeffinohjeffinoh Member Posts: 156
    When I look at the Corolla, it seems so plain. But then I look at the dash of the Civic or worse yet the Focus and they are so overdone. And for all the Star-Wars gimmickry of the Civic's dash, its seats look like a punishment for not upgrading to leather. I want to prefer the Corolla, but it is a little dull. No clear winner in this class- just personal preference. Did I mention that my 2003 Corolla has 250000 miles?
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @emajor: I don't know if I would consider those "driver's cars". In non-ST and non-Mazdaspeed form they're just as slow, just as bland, and just as lifeless as every other car in the segment. Sure, one may be more 'fun' to drive than the other (
  • lions208487lions208487 Member Posts: 240
    The Corolla isn't built to beat out anything in it's class, it's designed to be a reliable means of transportation that yields good fuel economy, and that's were the Corolla succeeds, and why it usually is number one in terms of sales.

    Performance wise, the Mazda 3, is probably the best in class.
  • birdsmellfunnybirdsmellfunny Member Posts: 0
    Exterior looks wise I'd say the color of the Toyota is about the only thing I care for between the two of them.
  • between3and14between3and14 Member Posts: 1
    Hypothetically speaking, if I'm in a Honda dealership looking @Civic EX sedan, why wouldn't I cross-shop for an Accord LX? (Well, I personally would always pick Accord, but that's not the point)
    Civic EX $20,136 Accord LX $21369 (invoice price).

    IMO, there should be a series of cross/up shopping comparisons for value and/or on-the-fence shoppers of Focus->Fusion, Elantra->Sonata, Corolla->Camry, Civic->Accord, etc.
  • se_riouslyse_riously Member Posts: 94
    between3and14 - I agree wholeheartedly. It rarely makes financial sense to get a loaded compact versus moving the next class up. In your example, the Accord LX costs $120 less annually to insure that the Civic EX. That in itself pays for the price difference, and the Accord's higher resale value will pay you back anyway. The only thing the Civic does better than the Accord is mileage and it fits in tighter parking spaces. Depending on where you live / how and how much you drive, those factors may not be important and I'd take the added safety, refinement, and room of the Accord anyday over a Civic.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    You had a lot of good things to say about the Corolla that were lacking in the previous gen. How about a Civic vs. Mazda 3 comparo next? Looks like the CVT made all the difference in the fuwel economy, in cars that are otherwise so closely alike.
    By the way, editors, nice that on a lead article you enabled the COMMENTS box so we can read what else was posted at any time.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    @dfelix70 yes, a sport model without the high-revving Si engine and cost would be nice. Civic used to have a 'S' model (I owned one) which had all the looks of the CRX of the day. I don't think it was faster, but had a few upgrades (performance-wise I t
  • rayzorrayzor Member Posts: 61
    Honda Civic has a very nice side and rear profile BUT the front end is just ugly!! What's up with those tacky chrome bars going in all directions...Just not sold to the front end look...A new nose job will do wonders to this otherwise very nice compact car.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    duck, sure, the spiced-up versions of these compacts are more interesting to drive, but I'm not sure I see the relevance of that argument. They usually require compromises that reduce the car's appeal as a commuter and people mover. Besides, there are tangible differences in the way the plain jane compacts drive, and I don't think anyone needs to shop hot hatches to appreciate the differences steering response and suspension tuning. "Enthusiast" can have a range of meaning, and I'm sure there are plenty muscle car and genuine sports car drivers who would scoff at the notion of an "enthusiast" being proud of a front-wheel drive hot hatch built on the platform of a $17K commuter box.
  • themandarinthemandarin Member Posts: 436
    Whats with Edmunds' love for nasty green paint (also seen on Corvette)? Make your logo green for consistency
  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150
    What's wrong with green paint?
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    To misquote The Who: "Meet the new bland; same as the old bland". I'm going to watch some paint dry to wake myself up.
  • 84cressida84cressida Member Posts: 0
    The Corolla's interior materials are far above the Civic. The Civic added what, one little strip of soft touch plastic far away from the driver for 2013 and now it's suddenly amazing? The entire Corolla's dashboard is soft touch and has far more "soft touch materials" than the Civic does in it, and the cloth material used on the seats of the Corolla feel much higher quality. The window switches and door handles are the same in both cars, but I do love how you had to try to make up things to try to justify one choice over another.

    Driving dynamics really aren't that far apart, and the Civic falls well short of the Focus in this department and isn't anywhere near perfect like you guys claim.

    Also, how come you test a higher trim level Civic, then declare it a winner against a lesser Corolla? You could've at least outfitted your Corolla LE with alloys instead of the steelies, but that would've been too fair correct?

    Also, you are flat out lying in your picture captions when you say "Both cars have split folding rear seats". Both cars have cars that have folding rear seats, but the Corolla's are 60/40, which is far more practical and something a buyer is likely to prefer since it allows you to still have passengers while having part of the seats folded. The Civic's entire seat back folds down, hampering usability.
  • se_riouslyse_riously Member Posts: 94
    Agreed 84cressida. A loaded Corolla S Premium with moonroof is MSRP $22,060, within $300 of the Civic EX. And in the Corolla, you'd also get the sport seats (heated no less), SofTex, 8-way power driver's seat, firmer suspension, 17" alloys, fog lights, turn signal repeaters, and heated side mirrors. That would have been a fair comparison to the Civic EX.
  • danwat1234danwat1234 Member Posts: 27
    The new 2014 Civics have CVTs so to compare apples to apples you shouldn't compare the 2014 Carolla with the 2013 Civic, but with the 2014 Civic.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    what's with a two month old rehash article? Just take a Christmas break! Merry Christmas, editors.
  • themandarinthemandarin Member Posts: 436
    "The Civic's wheel is near-perfect in its size and shape." Its shape is a remarkable circle.
  • socal_ericsocal_eric Member Posts: 189
    One of the picture captions states "The Corolla's LED headlights stand out" and Toyota is advertising that feature as one of the differentiating points about the new Corolla, but in the Edmunds articles and elsewhere I haven't seen anything mentioned how they actually perform (light fill pattern/cutoff, color rendition, etc.) It's nice to see technology trickle down to mainstream products but I'd be curious if they actually perform well at night or if they're just there primarily for the marketing.
  • tbone85tbone85 Member Posts: 27
    "In the ways that matter to the compact sedan buying public Toyota did a great job with the redesign and will continue to sell all that they can build."

    In the ways that matter to the compact sedan buying public, Toyota's design efforts are completely irrelevant. The previous model was woefully behind it's competition in design, power, performance, fuel efficiency, materials, fun to drive factor, etc. Yet it remained the top seller.

    When it comes to the buying public and the Corolla, the only critical design element is that the Toyota name remain on the vehicle.
  • mrhiguymrhiguy Member Posts: 3
    I'm a Toyota guy and I didn't even want to read this review. Both Toyota and Honda are lame now. Mazda will beat them sooner or later. Their Momentum of hiding behind their names will soon slow down and the rest of the industry will pass them
  • 96089608 Member Posts: 5
    Interesting comparison of Civic and Corolla. Many comments on here that Mazda3 would actually be the best compact choice. Mazda3 is arguably the sportiest and best handling compact available. The downsides to the Mazda3 and all Mazdas for that matter are resale value, somewhat lower perceived reliability, and a much smaller dealer network. You look at Mazda dealer inventory and they typically have a small selection and none of the cars available with the right combination of options/ color on the lot for the car you had in mind. Plus they don't discount as aggressively which is important especially in this segment.
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