In the heated compact automotive sector, there are many worthy contenders for market supremacy. The two top dogs in this four-wheeled fight for car buyers’ dollars are the all-new 2016 Honda Civic and the 2016 Toyota Corolla. Both vehicles offer a number of features that should put them at or near the top of everyone’s list when looking for new 2016 cars in Phoenix. But which of these two capable and stylish compacts has the edge?

We here at your Valley Honda Dealers put both these cars to the test, seeking input from various sources as well as detailing the attributes of each vehicle. So like two championship prizefighters getting ready to duke it out, let’s see what our “tale of the tape” tells us.

On Exterior Styling

The 2016 Honda Civic is new from the ground up with dramatic styling that has critics raving. In fact, Marty Padgett of TheCarConnection.com notes, “The Civic is now one of the best-drawn, sleekest, most appealing shapes on the road.” More importantly, the Civic is offered in a sleek and sensuous Coupe version, unlike the Corolla. As Jeff Jablansky of the New York Daily News says, “The Civic Coupe’s best angle is undoubtedly its rear quarter, where the boomerang effect tail has its tallest stance. Honda is proud to boast about the Civic Coupe’s ‘wheels out’ stance, but a Mini Cooper this is not. A shorter rear deck and front overhang round out a compelling design.”

And Steve Siler of Car And Driver states of the Civic Coupe’s design “First, kudos to Honda for still making a coupe in the first place. And a double shot of kudos for making it look this good. Up front, little is changed compared with the sedan, but from the A-pillar back, it’s a whole different animal. The roof peaks just above the front seats, and the rear side glass tapers inward to give the rear fenders a beefier section. Some 5.5 inches have been lopped off the rear overhang compared with the sedan, and what’s left has been more finely sculpted and is highlighted by an arcing graphic of taillamps. The result is a car that looks muscular and planted, and fresh and futuristic, in person. Its look is more effortless and far sportier than the more design-intensive sedan. …”

To be fair, the Toyota Corolla does have some admirers of its own. Bengt Halvorson of TheCarConnection.com points out that the Corolla’s look is “much more daring and edgy than its previous iteration.”

Nevertheless, we think that the new Civic holds the edge here thanks to its brand-new sheetmetal and the fact that the Corolla doesn’t come in a coupe model.

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Interior Comparison

Both the new 2016 Honda Civic and the 2016 Toyota offer revamped and upgraded interiors. As far as the Corolla is concerned it offers good head and legroom as well as premium materials, as does the Civic. The Civic counters with a totally revamped cockpit that Marty Padgett with TheCarConnection.com, favorably compares to that of a BMW. He says that “It adopts a broad, horizontal theme, not unlike recent BMWs in the bow and swell of the major trim pieces. Thick at the driver side, it tapers as it moves toward the passenger door, paneled with embossed metallic trim. The old two-tier dash has been banished to some third-world automaker’s future design notebook; in the Civic, the clutter of screens is now focused on one area, where a five-inch base color screen grows into a seven-inch touchscreen on the nicer trim levels.”

Civic Wins The High-Tech Battle

Both the 2016 Honda Civic and 2016 Toyota Corolla offer an array of high-tech features for entertainment, navigation, and connectivity. No surprises there. The Toyota offers its Entune™ app suite along with standard Bluetooth®, available voice recognition and USB port. Their system lets you tune into a variety of Internet and streaming audio apps.

But what the Corolla doesn’t have is Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. Both of these systems let you control your connected world like never before. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ allow you to connect and use a variety of smartphone apps that display on the Civic’s available 7-inch color touchscreen mounted above the center stack. Additionally, the Civic also offers Honda’s exclusive HondaLink® Featuring Aha™. HondaLink is a full-featured suite of “infotainment” functions that include audio, navigation, hands-free Bluetooth® connectivity, and social media apps.

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No Turbo For The Corolla

Putting performance to the pavement is an important consideration when looking at both the Civic and the Corolla. Here, the Civic gets the advantage with its more powerful new direct-injection 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Designed for high cruise efficiency and robust performance, it pumps out 174-hp and 192 lb-ft. of torque. The Corolla, unfortunately, doesn’t offer a turbocharged engine option, and its 1.8-liter, 140-hp 4-cylinder engine falls short of the Civic’s 158-hp i-VETC® 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Looking at fuel economy, both the Civic and the Corolla are star performers. The Corolla’s LE Eco model gets up to an EPA-estimated 42 mpg highway/30 mpg city while the Civic also achieves 42 mpg highway/31 mpg city when paired with its continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Driving Dynamics

When it comes to handling, both the Civic and Corolla (specifically the S Sport model) offer engaging and nimble driving dynamics. That being said, the new Civic get rave reviews for its completely revamped chassis and suspension which more ultra-high-strength steel, a redesigned front strut suspension, and multi-link rear suspension. Front and rear stabilizer bars are larger and stronger. A new brake torque vectoring assist combines with four-wheel disc brakes for improved cornering and sure-footed stopping.

As TheCarConnection.com’s Marty Padgett states, “On EX-Ts, EX-Ls, and Touring models, the Civic wears 215/50R-17 treads, paired with those hydraulic dampers on the rear, and on the Touring, a slightly thicker rear stabilizer bar. The result is a wonderfully compliant, composed ride quality and excellent tracking. These Civics don’t bobble and dance over bumps; they micromanage them. They filter off the economy-car levels of compliance we’re used to feeling in the best-selling Korean and American compact cars. Add in firm, quick-reacting brakes with short pedal stroke, and the Civic has its performance act together in a way it hasn’t, really, since the middle of the last decade.”

The Safer Alternative

Finally, we come to safety. Here again, both the 2016 Civic and the 2016 Corolla receive kudos for offering a number of important safety and driver-assist features. The Civic’s advanced available Honda Sensing™ safety suite includes collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, and road departure mitigation. In keeping with Honda’s commitment to safety, a rear multi-angle backup camera is standard on all Honda models, including the new Civic. The Civic’s exclusive ACE™ energy-absorbing body structure and multiple “SmarttVent®” airbags. Honda Lane Watch™ utilizes a small camera that displays nearly 4 times more visibility than the passenger mirror alone.

The Corolla offers a similar complement of safety features. Both the Civic and the Corolla earn high industry safety ratings.

In the final analysis, both the all-new 2016 Honda Civic and 2016 Toyota Corolla are worthy of your consideration if you are in the market for a well-equipped, stylish, dependable, and fuel-efficient compact vehicle. Based on this head-to-head comparison, we give the nod to the new 2016 Honda Civic based on its fresh new styling, a two-door coupe model, and the availability of Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and a turbocharged engine.

The 2016 Honda Civic four-door sedan is the first of a completely revamped Civic lineup that includes a Coupe, Si sport model, a 5-door hatchback, and the much anticipated 300-hp Civic Type-R. You can also order your new Civic in a variety of trim levels, including the LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, and premium Touring models.

Civic The Car Of The Year

We’re also proud that the new 2016 Civic for sale in Phoenix at your Valley Honda Dealers was recently named “Car of the Year” by AutoGuide.com. As Car And Driver Magazine states, “Sweet-handling and fun to drive, the Civic deserves serious consideration from enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.”

We also point out that Hondas are some of the most reliable vehicles on the road today. In fact, an IHS-Polk survey found that 75% of all Hondas built within the last 25 years are still on the road today. Plus, U.S. News & World Report states that Honda won more “Best Cars For The Money” awards in 2015 than any other automaker.

Experience The New 2016 Honda Civic Today

Your Valley Honda Dealers invite you to visit one of our conveniently located Honda dealerships in Phoenix and test drive the outstanding new 2016 Honda Civic for yourself. We’re sure you’ll agree that it’s a winner.