2020 Corolla vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Corolla Redesigned for 2020.


Standard Automatic Transmission.


2 Year/25,000 Mile Maintenance Warranty from Toyota


Advanced Standard Safety Features.


Standard Apple CarPlay.


Hybrid Option.


The Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic are both highly competitive cars. Among small sedans, they ended 2018 as the top two best sellers according to J.D. Power. How do these vehicles compare to each other? Let’s find out.

Welcome to the 2020 Toyota Corolla, a redesigned experience. After six model years of the eleventh generation, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is brand new on the TNGA platform. “What is the TNGA platform?” you might be asking. TNGA stands for Toyota New Global Architecture, and it arrives as the platform of the future for Toyota. TNGA provides a better frame and powertrain, creating both better handling and better power for the 2020 Toyota Corolla. The 2019 Honda Civic, on the other hand, was new for the 2016 model year. It has been updated slightly year-to-year, but the 2020 Toyota Corolla is brand new this year.

Despite a new redesign, the 2020 Toyota Corolla remains competitive with the 2019 Honda Civic in price. The 2020 Corolla starts at an MSRP of $19,600. The 2019 Civic starts $50 cheaper at $19,550 MSRP. But that’s ignoring context. The 2019 Civic comes standard with a manual transmission that is less fuel efficient. While a 2019 Civic with an automatic transmission shares the 2020 Corolla’s fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, the standard manual transmission actually runs at an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway.

If you would like a 2019 Civic with an automatic transmission, it will cost an extra $800, bringing the MSRP to $20,350. If you opt for the base models of each of these vehicles, you may save $50 on the Honda Civic at the dealer, but over time, the Corolla will cost less. The EPA estimates that yearly fuel costs for the base 2020 Corolla would end up at $1250. The base 2019 Civic, on the other hand, would cost $1400 per year for fuel. After five years, you would save $750 in fuel costs alone if you pick the base 2020 Toyota Corolla over the base 2019 Honda Civic.

Not only would the 2020 Corolla save you money in gas, but it would also save you money in maintenance costs. Toyota offers its special plan entitled ToyotaCare on all new Toyota vehicles. This plan not only includes a 2 year/25,000 mile maintenance warranty, but it also includes a 2 year/unlimited mile roadside assistance program. What this means is that when you take your vehicle in for regular maintenance, it is covered by Toyota for either 2 years or 25,000 miles. Honda does not pay for any scheduled maintenance whatsoever.

As far as the roadside assistance program is concerned, Honda does offer it on the Civic. Both Honda and Toyota offer a roadside service program that you can call to assist your vehicle if you run into car issues. The issue is that Honda caps their program. Honda will only offer roadside assistance for 36,000 miles. Toyota’s program is unlimited on miles. Admittedly, Honda’s program has one extra year on the Toyota roadside assistance, but if you are someone who drives often, the unlimited mile warranty can come in handy. If you would like to read more about ToyotaCare, you can check out the link below for more information.

As far as safety is concerned, the 2020 Toyota Corolla has your back. The 2020 Corolla received a Good rating (the highest rating) in every crashworthiness test by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). In addition, the Corolla earned a Superior rating in the front crash prevention test, that test’s highest rating. With solid ratings on the optional headlights that are offered on the XSE and XLE trims, the 2020 Toyota Corolla earned a Top Safety Pick award. All other lights did not qualify for the top award, but all headlight options were rated higher than the lights offered on the 2019 Honda Civic. All options for headlights were rated Poor on the 2019 Honda Civic, meaning the Civic did not earn any awards for safety.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla also received 5 stars in all front crash tests from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Side crash tests have not been published yet, but we expect good results. In addition to its crash tests, the NHTSA recommends that all vehicles have four safety technologies: Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Crash Imminent Braking, and Dynamic Brake Support. The 2019 Honda Civic has Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning standard, but it does not offer Crash Imminent Braking or Dynamic Brake Support at all. All four technologies come standard on the 2020 Toyota Corolla.

Not only does the 2020 Toyota Corolla have standard safety features, but it also has standard Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay is a system that connects with the 7-in. touchscreen that is standard in the base Toyota Corolla to change the layout to a familiar Apple design. On the 2019 Honda Civic, Apple CarPlay is only available on trims higher than the base. Additionally, the standard touchscreen in the 2019 Civic is 5-in. It can be upgraded to match the base Corolla’s 7-in. screen, but the 2020 Toyota Corolla also offers an 8-in. touchscreen on higher trim levels.

Beyond interior options, the 2020 Toyota Corolla also offers a hybrid version for the first time ever in the USA. The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid earns an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. These Prius-rivaling numbers blow the 2019 Honda Civic’s best fuel economy estimates out of the water. With the 1.5-liter turbo CVT engine, the 2019 Honda Civic reaches a 32/42 split. Despite its best efforts, the Civic still earns 21 less mpg in the city and 10 less mpg on the highway.

At one point in time, there was a Honda Civic Hybrid, but it was discontinued after the 2015 model year. Since then, some have argued that the Honda Insight is essentially a Honda Civic Hybrid. While this is not entirely true, the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid still matches the 2019 Honda Insight for fuel economy. Both have a combined fuel economy of 52 mpg, but the 2020 Toyota Corolla does better on the highway. The 2019 Insight earns a respectable 49 mpg on the highway, but the 2020 Corolla Hybrid earns 52 mpg on the highway. While the Insight does beat the Corolla Hybrid in the city, the margin is smaller. The 2019 Insight earns 55 mpg in the city to the Corolla Hybrid’s 53. The difference in numbers gives the Corolla Hybrid a slight edge, even if it isn’t immediately shown in the combined fuel economy number.

In the end, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is an impressive car that tops the 2019 Honda Civic in several key facets. If you would like to learn more about the 2020 Toyota Corolla, you can visit us at 515 W Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808. You can also call us at (260) 482-3730. We hope to see you soon.

Websites/Articles Mentioned (in order mentioned):

JD Power 10 Most Popular Small Cars of 2018: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/sedans/10-most-popular-small-cars

EPA 2020 Toyota Corolla and 2019 Honda Civic Comparison: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=41217&id=40846

ToyotaCare Program: https://www.toyota.com/owners/parts-service/toyota-care?garagePrefVehicle=0&garageModelName=Corolla&garageYearValue=2020&addToVehicleList=false&remRecentVehicle=false&csrfToken=15653757169595087053018711446499/