The two best-selling compact cars in America are the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. At the halfway point in the current sales year, Toyota was 268 cars ahead* of Honda, which is statistically insignificant considering that together the two companies moved 317,676 Civics and Corollas from January to June. Viewed another way, one of every 25 cars sold in the U.S. is either a Civic or a Corolla.
Honda redesigned the Civic for the 2012 model year, and then promptly made substantial upgrades for 2013 in order to improve the Civic’s safety ratings, standard equipment levels, and overall refinement. After two steady years of upgrades, the 2014 model not significantly changed, continuing in 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan body styles, and available in base LX, upgraded EX, luxury-themed EX-L, fuel-efficient HF, hybrid-powered Hybrid, alternative-fuel Natural Gas, and performance-tuned Si trim levels.
For 2014, Toyota has completely redesigned the Corolla. The new Corolla is bigger inside, more fuel-efficient, and more sophisticated in terms of design and technology. Toyota has also cancelled the Matrix 5-door hatchback version for 2014, making all Corollas 4-door sedans available in base L, mid-level LE, fuel-efficient LE Eco, and sporty S trim levels.
I recently had an opportunity to drive the Civic EX-L Sedan and the Corolla S Premium back-to-back on the same 35-mile driving route and under the same weather conditions, and there are stark differences between these two popular cars.
* Sales figures include the Corolla-based Matrix model, but this version sells in low numbers