I think it would be best for you to drive or take a ride in both (a few of your friends would definitely have either) and then choose for yourself.
Grande and 1.8 oriel both have almost identical power numbers, and similar transmission. So there's not any significant difference in responsiveness. You should also expect similar fuel economy numbers from both.
Both are quiet and comfortable, civic being slightly more sharp in cornering due to its independent rear suspension. Grande is a tad softer on the bumps.
Civic is the latest thing, still in the introduction stage and therefore draws attention. Two years into production, Corolla is way past that stage now.
A practical significant difference between the two is in the seating. Grande has a higher seating position in all seats and the rear legroom is very accommodating. Civic has low seating for all, specially the rear passengers. Ingress and egress is not as convenient as in grande.
There's also a hump in the rear floor that somewhat tightens the space.
Anyway, since there is not any outstanding difference between either the features or the technology of both cars, it's ultimately your personal choice. Think, evaluate your options and take a decision. It's a win win either way.