2012 Toyota Corolla vs. 2012 Honda Civic: Which One Should I Buy?

Compact cars are the unsung heroes, slightly larger than a subcompact, but not quite big enough to be classified as a mid-size sedan. These vehicles have a small wheelbase of no longer than 109 inches with between 100 and 109 cubic feet of combined passenger and cargo capacity and holding less than 20% of the U.S. car market.

If you were to describe these two vehicles in a few words, they might be boring but dependable. The Honda Civic is slightly more spacious, economical, and comfortable than the average compact but is also the blandest. The Toyota Corolla is frugal, trouble-free transportation for anyone who is not interested in excitement.

honda civic 2012
2012 Honda Civic

Design Characteristics

The quiet and comfortable ride of the Toyota Corolla makes it a favorable option, but it feels like very basic transportation and the interior is uninspired and downright dull. The Civic’s bland styling and hard plastic dash may negate the benefit of the roomy trunk and absorbent and smooth ride delivered by the 44-mpg Hybrid. The Civic looks slightly more sleek and modern, but neither option is particularly spectacular to behold. The interior of the Civic is described as a child’s plastic toy dashboard—much more rewarding to see than to touch.

Fuel Economy

Both vehicles boast excellent fuel economy of between 34-36 mpg highway and 27-28 mpg city and the dimensions are similar enough that they could be coming from the same vehicle as far as interior room, passenger volume, and trunk volume in particular. Identical fuel tank capacities give these vehicles both an excellent distance before your next fill up. If you really want to rack up on fuel mileage, check out the Civic’s Hybrid edition to get up to 44 mpg if you’re really trying to stretch it.

Reliability

The Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic both have the reputation of lasting forever, a good option when you want to find a low-cost option for simply getting to where you need to go. The Civic’s handling is slightly better than the Corolla’s distinctly soggy handling, but both vehicles offer a decent ride making them comfortable for longer trips.

Both options are solid entries into the compact car class, although neither is likely to set your life on fire with excitement. They both meet the needs of buyers who are looking for a relatively inexpensive ride that does not have any specific designer requirements.


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Caz

17 years of experience
57 reviews
Caz
17 years of experience
Honda Insight - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Acworth, Georgia
Patient, thorough, professional and takes his time to explain things. This is the second time I have used Caz's services, and he consistently delivers. Look forward to working with him again.
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
My husband and I are looking for a reliable used car for our teenage drivers. We had two that we were considering and wanted to have them inspected prior to purchasing. Caz did a thorough inspection of both vehicles and recommended we walk away from both. We really appreciated his transparency and knowledge. We will definitely use Caz again.

Chris

22 years of experience
2001 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Porsche Macan - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Chris you as so knowledgeable and really out my mid at ease with the private seller purchase. Highly recommend to anyone shopping for a car :)
Lexus ES300h - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Temecula, California
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Casey

19 years of experience
27 reviews
Casey
19 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Katy, Texas
Casey is awesome. Helped me fully understand the health of the used vehicle I was buying for my mother in law. Great service and very knowledgeable for sure. Casey found only one issue we needed to deal with and was able to book the repair just a few days later.

Colby

14 years of experience
21 reviews
Colby
14 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Longmont, Colorado
Colby called to notify me he was in route to the inspection--to ease my mind and to ask if there was anything in particular/extra I wanted him to check out. He was going to do a pre-purchase inspection of a 2002 Ford Ranger. He assured me that I hired the right guy since he'd worked for Ford for 13 years. An hour or so later, he called me while he was driving home to discuss his inspection. I could ask him everything I wanted as we dialogued. That was so helpful! And way more personable and real than just reading the report he emailed. The report was thorough and included a test drive. He had recommendations for some work to be immediately done; rotors & brake pads. Then, included the cost for him to do that work should I choose. The price was fair and not crazy expensive. I'm still deliberating on whether to have that done or to wait for my mechanic to do it once I have the truck. Thank you again Colby.

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