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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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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