Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla



  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    This is a great research paper, lol. Edmunds should make an article out of it. I just have a few comments. First of all, congrats on the new civic. Second, I am pretty sure you can get an arm rest for the Scion. If you are going to compare the Scion with Element compare the 2WD Element, not 4WD.

    Scions will have good resale in 4-5 years, as the kids who are dreaming about owning one now, will be able to afford a used one. I figure a 5 year old Scion xB will be about $8K, which is not bad if someone bought it for $14K new.
  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    Thanks...and you are correct about comparing apples to apples as far as the Scion and the Element. If I did choose the Element, one of the reasons for that would be that I could get it in 4WD so although that makes for a lousy comparison, that's what my choices boiled down to for me. Apples to apples, the Scion is still a lot cheaper though. I just question the radical styling of the seems like a trendy style that could very easily go out of vogue in 5 years. It's an unknown at least. The Civic is the Civic.....and for what it is will probably never go out of style. As far as my comments, they were honest and I treid to let people know what my opinions were after looking at and driving the cars. I hope it helped!

  • I understand that the Corolla comes with a timing chain rather than a belt. I would think this would be an important advantage for the Corolla.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    We've discussed the chain vs. belt issue. Either one has advantages, but chains break too!!!
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    What's the advantage to the driver of the belt over the chain?
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    What is the advantage to the driver of the Overhead camshaft over pushrod?
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    Is there a reason to consider one vehicle versus another on the basis of chain versus belt? I sometimes encounter salesmen who market the chain of their vehicle versus the belt of their competitors. They phrase it in terms of additional expense that the other guy's vehicle will cost you when you hit the 60K to 100K mileage mark.

    Is there an advantage to the belt over the chain?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and perhaps someone could answer it without the sarcasm?
  • bd21bd21 Posts: 437
    It really depends on how long you keep your cars. Currently on a Honda that uses a belt, it's due replacement at 105,000 miles or 7 years at cost of about $600 to $800. The cost is so high because service departments like to change the water pump when they have to change the timing belt. If you are selling your car when it is coming due a timing belt change, it will be a detractor for the buyer. If your car has a timing chain and you do regular oil changes and don't drive it like a race car, the chain can easily last the life of the engine or at least 200,000 miles. If I had a choice, I prefer a chain, because in the end you will save on maintenance costs over a belt. Even if you ever had to change the timing chain and sprockets, the cost is not much more than you would have spent to do a belt. Belts were originally used because they operated quieter than a chain, but that is really not a factor anymore. I would let many other aspects of a car drive my purchase decision, not whether the engine had a belt or a chain. In the end it's really a not a big deal.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Sorry, that was me. My point is that if someone is going to spend $15,000 on a brand new car and quibbles about $500 maintenance item 10 years, 100,000 miles later it makes me wonder whether they are just starting up a fight. $500 belt replacement is miniscule compared to operating costs over the 10 year period. What about tires, some cars come with good gripping tires that only last 40,000 miles, while others come with long lasting 80,000 mile tires that have less grip. I don't see anyone comparing the costs there, which are in $300-$500 range. Brakes are a wear and tear items, so are hoses, filters, fluids. There are tons of items that needs replacing on regular basis. How about the driving dynamics of a car, reliability, quality of fit and finish, fuel economy, and so on, why would a timing belt be your descision guide? If the belt vs chain is your biggest descision maker, go with GM's push rod engine.
  • stevengordonstevengordon Posts: 130
    Timing belt becomes important as the car ages. At some point you have to bite the bullet and pay for the expense or simply trade the car or sell it privately having decided not to have the belt replaced.

    Unlike tires and brake pads, the timing belt does not enter your awareness as you put miles on the car. You can inspect tires, feel their give as they wear, etc. The timing belt's presence remains cloaked, until it breaks or until your mechanic suggests replacing it.

    For any two vehicles that you assess as equals when shopping for a car, it might be the factor that tips the balance in favor of one over the other.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    just to chime in here - have (had, you'll see why) a 94 Civic, 165K miles, two timing belt changes, water pump changed, regular oil changes and tune-ups, very well maintained car. head gasket went last week, engine flooded with water, oil fouled causing loss of lubrication - bottom line, mechanic says its not worth fixing. so for loss of a head gasket, the motor is gone. have to junk the car.

    looking at the Corolla now. the honda may well be a good car, but if you plan on doing high mileage with it (commuter car), no way you can get 200K miles on a Honda engine based on my experience.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Not to be rude (and Im actually pro-Toyota on this one), but your experience is just that- one experience. Recommending the Corolla over the Civic based on your experience with only one of the two, and one that is 10 years old at that, seems hardly fair. The Civic engine now is quite different than the 1.5L (DX, LX) that powered the 1994. That said, I think the head gasket issue is reasonably valid for that model year Civic. Mine went at 97,000 miles or so, and a friends at 130,000. Still, this is not a predictor of the quality of the 2004s or 2005s, which are wholly different vehicles.

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ....are any cars still using timing belts of the 'interference' variety? That is, on interference cars, when the belt breaks, the engine is pretty much toast? I remember someone telling me when I had my '90 Mazda Protege LX that Hondas of that era were 'interference' while the Mazda was non-interference. Ergo, you could just wait for the belt to break without worrying about destroying the engine (not that I'd recommend that course of inaction, but still, it's possible).

    Please correct me if I'm wrong here, folks?
  • tombtomb Posts: 4
    Far above in message #8 dated 4/24/2004, alpha01 writes,

    "The Civic handles more nimbly, no doubt (but not the DX or VP models)."

    Is the handling of the DX different from the LX? Is the hardware different in these two models?

    I have a price of $12,500.00 for a two door DX VP, which is presented as a DX with air and CD. I drove the car and it handled well. I thought. Should I drive an LX? Should I expect the handling to be different?


    Tom B.
  • tombtomb Posts: 4
    I've got the brochure for the 2004 Civic Coupe, and inside the back cover it lists the DX and HX without stabilizer bar, but shows the LX and EX with stabilizer bars, which are 15.9 mm in front and 12.00 mm in back.

    Do these stabilizer bars make for much of a difference in handling?

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I had a tail happy 1994 Civic DX coupe w/o the stabilizer bar, and it felt sloppier (lots more body roll) than a friend's 95 Civic EX.

    If you can afford the LX, go for that car. Its just much nicer overall, and will be a lot easier to resell down the road.

    Would you instead consider an Elantra? You can easily get one equipped like the Civic LX except with head protection side airbags, for the price you're being quoted for the Civic DX.

    Also, you may want to check with your insurance company on the cost to insure a Civic 2 door vs. the cost to insure the 4-door. I'm guessing you could save some money there.

  • tombtomb Posts: 4
    Thanks, alpha, for your helpful comments.

    What is you opinion of spending $228.00 for front side air bags?

    Tom B.
  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    Most cars today have switched to the timing chain and the Civic engines will eventually do the same. A timing chain lasts the life of the engine - a belt last about 100k miles. The reason to use a belt is partly noise related, but mostly cost related. It's much cheaper (for Honda) to build an engine with a belt and make the consumer pay for its eventual replacement. I've always traded in my Civic before 100k because I figure that the $500 would be better spent towards another new Civic. If you plan on buying and keeping a Civic for the 100k miles, this is certainly something to think about. With this in mind you really need to add $500 to the new price of a Civic to compare it to other new cars with the chain.
  • tombtomb Posts: 4
    Referring to Message 50 above.

    I'm insured by State Farm, and they said the 2-door would cost me $58.00 a year more than the 4-door, everything else being equal.

    I'm a 60-something-year-old geezer, and that surely affects the amount they quoted.

    Tom B.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747

    I think the side airbags offered in the 2004 Civic are only marginally beneficial, since they only protect the torso. For the cost, I'd say get them, but if they were any more expensive Id probably not care. To be clear, the seat mounted side impact airbags offered on the Civic do NOT protect the head. Same thing for the 2004 Corolla, but this was changed for the 2005s, which are currently available (the 2005s feature front seat mounted thoracic and head protection side curtains for front and rear passengers).

    In terms of insurance, with a clean record and many years of driving experience, I can understand why the 2 door is not that much more $$.

  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    I really wanted the side-impact airbags when I bought my LX. However, since I also wanted a 5-speed, this configuration was not too common and I couldn't find one in the color that I wanted, so I had to settle for an LX without them. This is not an option that can be added....had to come from the factory with them. For the price, it would be foolish NOT to have them if you could get them.

  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    With this in mind you really need to add $500 to the new price of a Civic to compare it to other new cars with the chain.

    Here we go again. Why stop at the $500 cost of timing belt replacemnt? You will most likely go through 2-3 sets of tires ($300 each time), a set of front brakes ($40-$80), 25 oil changes ($20 each) , 1-2 transmission fluid changes ($30-$50 each), brake fluid flush ($30-$50), a few light bulbs ($5 each) and at least 2 headlight bulbs ($10 each), 3-4 air filters ($10-$15 each) in 100,000 miles before the timing belt replacemnt. Owning a car AIN'T cheap, the $300-$500 cost of timing belt replacement is miniscule compared to the total cost of the vehicle and other maintenance by 100,000 miles.
    Here is the deal breaker for you. Cost of gasoline in 100,000 miles:
    Assume Civic LX averages 40 mpg that is 2500 gallons of fuel at $2/gal that is $5000, while a car at 35 mpg will consume 2857 gallons, at $2/gal that is $5714, a car averaging 30 mpg will consume 3333.33 gals at $2/gal that is $6666.67. So, yes you can get a car with timing chain that will save you $300-$500 in belt replacemnt, while you will pay $1667.67 more in fuel in the same 100,000 miles.

    By the way, the Civic Si come with timing chain.
  • diogodiogo Posts: 6
    As everyone can see by my other messages, I am really torn between the civic and the corolla.
    Currently, I have been quoted 17200 out the door price for a corolla le with abs, jbl audio package and front side airbags. This, however, was by a dealer here in Atlanta that I have seen several poster complain about, and they want a deposit up front. I have also been quoted 16250 for a civic lx with front side airbags. Once again, the dealer has a "less than perfect" reputation, and so far has only sent general pictures of civics when I ask the see the specifics of the one we are talking about.
    There are two other dealers who are friendlies and have better reputations, but cannot come close to matching those prices (about 500- 600 more). Does anyone have any suggestions? This is the first time I buy a new car and it seems to me that there is a trade off between dealer reliability and price. Also, the civics are a lot more expensive than I though they would be, given the clearance and the fact that they are an older model than the corolla.
  • pslpsl Posts: 2

    i was quoted $16,100 out the door for the 04 Civic LX with side airbags by a local major dealer in houston over the internet. the offer is valid for me for the next 72 hours.
  • I just graduated College in June, and started hunting for my first new car. Coming from a family of Honda owners (we've owned 5), I was naturally inclined towards the Honda Civic when I was looking to replace my '92 Civic Si. However, I found the Hondas to be over-priced (at least in my area), I could find only a DX for anything near my price range (the DX was $17,000, my price range was $15,000) but I wanted cruise control and A/C. I was very close to buying a 2002 EX for $15,000, but it had high mileage (56,000 miles).
    So, I decided to check out the competition, and found the Toyota Corolla. I like the look of it better, and it felt more comfortable to me as far as seeing out the back (the trunk is lower than the Civic). The ride was comparable, and they seem to get very comparable gas mileage (despite the Corolla having more power than the Civic). The Corolla cost A LOT less (I was able to get mine for $13,700 with cruise control and power locks and A/C). They were able to offer wonderful financing (2.9% for 5 years). So, I am very happy with my brand new Corolla CE.
    By the way, I really like the daytime running lights on the Corolla, since it makes you more visible. Also, it has a light sensor on the dash (standard in all Corollas) which automatically turns the headlights on and off.
    Good luck to your daughter, and I know the feeling, being in the same position myself! :D
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Congrats on graduating. I bought my first brand new car when I graduated in 1999, and it was a Honda civic.

    I don't know where you live, but $17K for DX is absurd. People pay $13K for LX. I paid $14,500 for brand new Si in early 2003.

    Were you looking at Civic's with HOnda Factory Perfomance Packages?
  • zazazaza Posts: 7
    I wonder which states those ppl bought the LX for $13K from. In Columbus, OH the lowest quote that I could get is $14,799. Btw, talking about insurance on LX Coupe, even with my age and clean driving record, Progressive & Nationwide still give me a quote for over $100/mo for 6 month.
  • I am torn between 03 Civic and 02 Nissan Altima 2.5 S. Wife wants Honda, I want to give Nissan a try. We had 92 Civic - great car, traded it last year (on 210,000 miles) for 97 Nissan Altima.
    Now we want newer car, but can't make up our mind.
    Any opinions out there.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    I wonder which states those ppl bought the LX for $13K from. In Columbus, OH the lowest quote that I could get is $14,799

    There is no reason why a car built in OH would cost more in OH than it did in CT. Check out plug in your zip code. This will give you the no hassle price. Right now the price for my zip code the 4 dr LX is $13.9K and 2 door is $13.7, plug in your zip and see what it is. I usually get a better price on my own than through carsdirect.

    Insurance wise, a coupe will cost more in insurance. Even a 2 door Explorer costs more to insure than a 4 door one.
This discussion has been closed.