What would you buy? A new Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic?

Hello to everyone!
If you were to buy a car, given your knowledge of mechanics, what would you buy: a new Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic (which type, i.e. LE, CE, etc)? I need a car that will drive some 200K miles, safe to drive my family and that if I keep up with the maintenance schedule, won’t end up being a lemon after, say, 100K miles.
Thank you for your honest response.

Both are excellent vehicles with well above average reliability ratings. Buy the one you like…either is a great choice.

I’m a mechanic, but who cares what I would buy? There’s no point in buying a reliable economical car if the seats are uncomfortable for you or you don’t like the way the front end looks or the steering wheel is too thick for your hands.

If you’ve searched and have narrowed down your preferences to these 2 cars, don’t just go on a 20 minute test drive. Rent one for 2-3 days and use it as you would in your daily life. Get a feel for how comfortable it is and how well it fits you.

That said, I’d choose the Toyota because I find they ride a little more comfortably. But either one should be a reliable car with proper maintenance.

Whichever does not have a cvt trans

Rent one for 2-3 days and use it as you would in your daily life. Get a feel for how comfortable it is and how well it fits you.

This is very good advise. We’ve had several people in this forum over the years saying they just bought a new vehicle and then ask how to make the seats more comfortable…the ride is too harsh… If the seat is uncomfortable and the ride too harsh…then why would any buy that vehicle.

The advice about renting a particular type of car for a few days is definitely a good idea.
However, the OP needs to be aware that different trim lines of the same model may have somewhat different seats, and may have VERY different ride qualities.

On several occasions (the most memorable one being our old friend “Otterhere”), we have had threads started by people who were very unhappy with the…ride quality…handling…seat comfort…and (believe it or not) even the seat fabric of their new car. Upon repeated probing, we determined that these folks took a test drive in a different trim line of the car than the trim line that they wound up buying.

Rental cars typically are one of the lower trim lines or–at most–one of the mid-level trim lines, and as a result, they frequently have higher-profile tires than more expensive trim lines of the same model. Those higher-profile tires ride much softer than the lower-profile tires that are usually used on higher trim lines in order to provide more responsive handling.

The lower trim lines of a particular model may also lack lumbar support, or power-adjustable seats, or other items that provide more comfort on higher trim lines of the same model.

Even things like suspension tuning and the amount of sound-proofing can vary from one trim line to another. Even the upholstery fabric can vary, as Otterhere found out to her dismay after taking one trim line for a test drive, and then purchasing a different trim line of the same model the next day. She was VERY upset by the pattern of the fabric on the model that she purchased, after seeing it in daylight.

So…whether the OP rents a car for a few days, or whether she takes an extended test drive, she will only get a real sense of the ride comfort, seat comfort, and handling qualities if the rental/test drive car is of the exact same trim line as the one that she is contemplating buying.

It doesn’t matter what I’d buy. The only thing that matters is what YOU like.
If you met my ex you’d realize I don’t always make great decisions anyway… {:stuck_out_tongue:

What they said. I would also test drive a Mazda 3.

I’d buy the Toyota. I tried to buy a few Honda’s in the past and the owners all acted like snobs. They all asked one price (too high) and they didn’t leave room for dickering. No negotiations…no deal for me.

Looking at Consumer Reports online.
Reliability of recent used cars: Honda Civic-excellent
Toyota Corolla-excellent-
Mazda3-excellent- So, a slight edge to the Honda. Very slight.

New Car rating, top to bottom

Honda Civic (bit choppy ride)
Mazda 3 (ride, cramped rear seat, pricey)
Toyota Corolla almost tied with Mazda (Lackluster handling, inconsistent interior quality)

So, this sort of thing gives the nod to Honda. However, if you don’t riding/driving, move on.

@asemaster has it right… Buy a car for fit just as you would buy a pair of shoes. When my wife and I were,working, the,university where we were employed had some Honda Civic Hybrids in its fleet. Neither of us cared for these vehicles. I didn’t have,enough legroom. My wife didn’t like the ride. On the other hand, my research partner, thought these,Civics were great. Her,personal cars have always been Civics.
My wife traveled a lot of miles on recriting trips and,would request a Ford,Taurus,from the,fleet if one was available. She,made one,trip from Indiana to Washington, D…C… and back in a Dodge Avenger and,had no complain ts. A year later on a vacation we rented,an Avenger. I found the driving position very uncomfortable. Don’t buy something that doesn’t fit. When I was in high school I bought shoes at Thom McCans… They put me in a 12D. I bought these shoes,for $9.95. My feet bothered me, but I didn’t attribute the discomfort to the shoes. The,last time, I,went to Thom McCans, a, new,salesman helped, me. He,measured my foot and found out I needed a 14AA. Thom McCans didn’t have that,size available and I had to travel 50_miles,to a specialty shoe,store. My feet immediately felt better. In both shoes and,cars, buy what fits.

After all these great comments about the CAR,
also consider the long term service of that car and the purchasing experience …i.e. ; the dealer.
WHO are you buying it from and who will be working on it.
There are many discussions herein about the differences is dealers, indy shops, and parts places.
The major caveat being…the people.

after you find a car you like,
consider the people you will be dealing with for its entire lifespan.
Heck , in big cities you may even have multiple Toota or Honda dealers from which to choose.

In THIS small town …of those two choices…I have to go Toyota as there is no Honda dealer for 140 miles one way.

"In THIS small town …of those two choices…I have to go Toyota as there is no Honda dealer for 140 miles one way."

Wow 140 miles! I Have A Honda dealer located only 105 miles away! However, we don’t have Toyota anywhere around here, either! No Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, etcetera.

People here don’t drive many foreign makes (unless they’re passing through.) Look in my golf course parking lot on league night (almost all locals) and it’s 90% domestic traditional Ford, GM, Jeep/Chrysler, 10% foreign Mercedes, BMW, collector cars…, and 50% of the 90% are trucks.


You guys clearly live in a very different part of the country than I do.

When I went for my power-walk a few days ago in the nearby state park, just out of curiosity I did an informal survey of what makes of cars were parked in the lot that walkers, hikers, and bikers use.

My count was:


Ergo, 2 cars made by US manufacturers, and 9 made by so-called foreign companies, even though most of those “foreign” cars were actually manufactured in The US.

Go for whatever is most comfortable to you.

That Is Really Good Advice From Ken Green To Shop The Service/Dealer, In Addition To Shopping For The Car, Especially If You Are Not A DIYer And Depend On Others.

Ask around.


Since it is a new car, Honda and Toyota are good choices. I would buy the one that Has the best ride comfort and handles the best for you. The Mazda3 is a good choice. My daughter has a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze and she is very happy with it.

Between those two cars. I’d take the Civic Si

Either one would be a good choice, you will need to spend some money on repairs over the life of the car,particularly with over 100k on it but a well maintained Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla should last a long time with a good mechanic looking after the vehicle. The choice depends on things like the ride and how you like the controls. I’ve used a version of Toyota’s Entune on a previous gen Corolla LE rented last summer and it was simple to understand which isn’t what i’ve heard about the Civic EX touchscreen. Both can be found in a variety of trim levels but it mostly depends on what features you really want/need.

Either would be a good choice. Choose by test driving and price/availability. For reliability choose a base model with as few electric actuators and electronic gadgets as possible. If you look at the posts here, automatic transmission problems are one of the biggest reasons cars give their owner pocketbook grief. So choose a model w/a simple time tested manual transmission. Unless you absolutely need to use one, avoid automatic and CVT transmissions.