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A man is getting into a blue 2021 Honda Civic under a bridge after winning the 2021 Honda Civic vs 2021 Toyota Corolla comparison.

2021 Compact Car Match-Up: Honda Civic vs Toyota Corolla

The words reliable, safe and dependable often come to mind when thinking about the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, two compact cars that have withstood the test of time and have evolved to meet our ever-growing needs for practicality. It seems as though every other car you pass on the road is one of the two, and for good reason. Both the Civic and the Corolla are not only affordable and easy to drive, but they’re also extremely efficient and offer the perfect solution for your daily commute, no matter how far you’re traveling. When it comes to which is better, the battle appears to be age-old with many devoted fans of each car, but which vehicle truly outperforms the other? If you’re comparing the 2021 Honda Civic vs the 2021 Toyota Corolla, let us help you pinpoint exactly which vehicle is better in our comprehensive match-up.

Practicality & Performance

Both vehicles exhibit high marks when it comes to practicality. With the Civic’s smooth handling, lively engine, and pleasant ride and the Corolla’s variety of driver-assist features, stellar fuel economy, and roomy interior, it may be difficult to make your pick. The Civic offers up a dynamic engine for its size with your choice between the 2.0L four-cylinder, which offers 158 horsepower, and the 1.5L turbocharged option, which provides up to 174 horsepower. The Corolla disappoints with a less than exciting 1.8L four-cylinder engine that provides it with a lackluster 138 horsepower, enough to get you moving but hardly energizing. The Corolla does offer a step up from its base engine with a 2.0L four-cylinder, which gives you a boost of up to 169 horsepower but hardly comparable to what the Civic can offer.

When it comes to fuel economy, you won’t need to make a stop at the pump very often with either vehicle, but the Civic sedan outshines the Corolla by a little bit. The most efficient Civic engine, the 1.5L, gets up to 32 miles per gallon in the city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway. Meanwhile, the most efficient Corolla engine, the 2.0L, gets up to 31 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway. There isn’t a large discrepancy between these two models, but the Civic does beat the Corolla when it comes to maximum fuel economy.

It’s true, both cars are extremely practical and will get you anywhere you need to go smoothly; however, one option offers more. The 2021 Honda Civic provides a more energizing ride with more engine power, and with gas mileage just slightly better than the Corolla, we have to give it to the Civic. Not only will you get the performance you need for your day-to-day commute, but you’ll also get to enjoy excellent gas mileage and a fun ride. The Corolla simply falls short with its performance, making it a practical car without a lot of excitement.

A gray 2021 Toyota Corolla is driving on a blurred highway.

Design & Tech

It’s no secret that you have options when it comes to either vehicle, as each offers up a wide array of trim levels to choose from, ranging from basic to elegant. The 2021 Civic offers a clean design inside and out with a spacious interior featuring an impressive amount of cargo space in the form of cubbies and a roomy trunk, the roomiest in its class. The 2021 Corolla also provides ample space in its sedan models, a stylish design, and sufficient tech features. Both the sedan and hatchback options available in the Civic include enough room for all to feel comfortable, but that’s not the case with the Corolla hatchback, which tends to be a bit of a tight fit in the backseat.

When it comes to infotainment and connectivity options, both the Civic and the Corolla offer up similar interfaces. Both provide an intuitive touchscreen experience with access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and available premium audio systems. You’ll also get desirable tech options like WiFi Hotspots, wireless charging, SiriusXM, and more features available as you peruse the trim options within each vehicle. If you’re looking to stay connected on the road, both vehicles do an excellent job of providing you with exactly what you need.

Both cars offer a number of options to choose from to get the car that’s right for you, and both offer storage options and tech features to help you maximize your journey. So, who is our pick when it comes to design and tech? Again, we’re going to have to go with the Civic due to its ultra-sleek design, the abundance of storage, and more room in its hatchback option.

Safety Features

These two compact cars are shockingly similar in many ways, and when it comes to safety, you’re looking at two really great options. The 2021 Civic is equipped with a host of safety and driver assist features available through the Honda Sensing program, and the 2021 Corolla offers its fair share of features through Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Features like blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, advanced airbag systems, and other helpful options available in both the Civic and the Corolla help drivers stay more in control of their ride. Driver-assist features are also plentiful in both compact cars, with systems like Adaptive Cruise Control, parking assist functions, and a series of cameras and sensors to get the most out of each vehicle.

If you’re looking for a safe, reliable vehicle that won’t let you down, both options are solid. So, which car wins for safety? We have to say that this one is a tie. Both the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Toyota Corolla offer everything you need to stay safe and secure behind the wheel, making both excellent choices when it comes to safety. These companies really show their dedication to their customers through the care they put into developing safety technology and making sure that safety is included in even the base models.

The Verdict

With an exciting engine, stylish design, and loads of interior space, the 2021 Honda Civic is the go-to option for those looking for a capable, dependable and safe vehicle. The Toyota Corolla’s engine selection may not be as great as the Civic’s, but it too offers a variety of modern design options, and it’s a safe and practical vehicle. Both cars offer an enhanced ride with extreme functionality, perfect for the day-to-day grind, long commute into work, or weekend road trip, but only one can be crowned the winner. Unfortunately, the Corolla fails to live up to the standards set by its fierce competitor, the Civic. A sluggish engine, dull ride, and lack of space in its hatchback option contribute to the Corolla’s second-place rating, and it just can’t compete with the personality found in the Civic.

When it comes to our compact car match-up, our choice is the 2021 Honda Civic. Not only will you get to experience a lively ride, but you’ll also get to take advantage of a spacious interior, upgraded tech, and advanced safety features, making the Civic a well-rounded and exciting choice for your next car. Visit your local Honda dealer for a test drive of the 2021 Civic today and discover all the ways it will enhance your ride.