Originally published at: https://www.pakwheels.com/blog/toyota-corolla-altis-grande-vs-honda-civic-vti-oriel-facelift-better/
Both Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are two of the hottest selling cars in the world and their rivalry doesn't seem to come to an end anytime soon. Now that Honda has facelifted Civic in Pakistan, therefore now is the perfect time to make a comparison between these two sedans. The primary focus will be on how well the new Civic 1.8 Oriel stacks up against the top of the line Toyota Corolla Altis Grande. We won't be comparing the 1.5L turbo variant here due to its higher price tag and completely different engine configuration.
Out of all the locally assembled cars, Honda Civic 1.8 Oriel and Toyota Corolla Altis Grande have the best-looking exterior. Not only are they modern looking, but they also have modern LED lights on the front as well as the back. Unlike its pre-facelift shape, the facelifted Corolla has the auto-leveling Bi-Beam headlights, which also come in its international models. Honda Atlas realized that despite the more attractive design of their Civic, it was the exterior lighting of Grande which shadowed the Civic's projector headlamps. So Honda installed the LED Matrix lights in Civic. These lights give Civic a unique look. Aside from the look, there is no auto headlight-leveling nor the pulsating turn signals like the one found in Civic's international models in the local Civic. This is probably due to cost-cutting. Other improvements include LED foglights, more chrome garnish on the front and rear bumper plus newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels. I want to mention here that the 16-inch wheels in Civic come with local tyres whereas Grande comes with imported Yokohama tyres, which cost more and are better in every aspect. Also, note that Grande comes with preinstalled side skirt whereas in Civic you have to get them installed on your own.
In my opinion, it’s a tie between both cars in terms of exterior design. Grande does offer more value thanks to its imported tyres, auto leveling headlights, and side skirts.
Interior & Comfort
Find New Toyota Corolla in Pakistan
Honda models tend to have a better-looking interior than Toyota. Civic's interior is indeed better and I feel that Civic has always had a better-looking interior. Though Toyota IMC made a lot of changes in the facelift version of current gen Corolla, however, it still pails in front of Civic. While aesthetics matter, one should be mindful of practicality and utility as well. So let's focus on things which matter more here.
Both cars have automatic climate control feature which to me should be the industry standard now. With that said, Civic comes with rear A/C vents, something which you don't see in Corolla. Since both cars have an equally large cabin, so Civic will take less time in summers to cool down the cabin. Civic also happens to come with an electronic parking brake, which is missing in Corolla.
On the other hand, Corolla makes up for these feature by providing Isofix points on front and rear seats along with a reclining feature on the rear right seat for added comfort on long journies. Civic’s rear headroom is a lot tighter due to the Sportback design which can be a problem for taller passengers. With that said, I believe the cabin utility is a tie here due to both sedans offering same standout features.
Features and Safety
For the first time in the history of Pakistan, both Corolla and Civic offer a similar set of safety features as their international counterparts. First, let’s talk about the features which are present in both cars.
- ABS, VSC and Traction Control
- Power Steering
- Force Limiter for Seat Belts
- 2 SRS Airbags
- Climate Control
- Push Start & Keyless Go
- CVT Transmission
- Cruise Control
- Retractable Power Mirrors
- Rear and Front Camera (Optional in Civic)
- Bluetooth Connectivity and Hotspot
- Android Infotainment System (Optional in Civic)
- Leather Seats (Optional in Civic)
Despite the price hike, Honda has kept the camera, Infotainment system and leather seats as an option, unlike Toyota Corolla. And now to the exclusive features in both cars.
- Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Brake Hold
- Digital Instrument Cluster
- Rear A/C vents
- Emergency Stop Signal
- Hill Start Assist
- LED Matrix Headlights
- Manual Mode with Paddle Shifter
- Bi-Beam LED headlights with Auto Leveling
- Sports Mode
- Auto Reverse Link
- Brake Assist
- Rear USB Charging Port
- Toyota Connect App (Free for 6 Months)
It’s surprising how these cars are neck to neck in terms of safety features. However, Civic is a much pricier car. PKDM Civic X still misses on pulsating indicators, blind spot monitoring and side curtain airbags (also absent in Toyota Corolla Altis Grande). Whereas Grande only misses on NANOE air filtration system as compared to its international models.
Engine and Performance
Both cars feature an adequately powered 1.8-litre engine producing 138HP in Corolla and 141HP in Civic. However, Corolla performs slightly better in terms of the straight line performance. Corolla can achieve 0-100km/h in less than 10s while the Civic does it in 11s. Toyota also equipped Corolla with a sports mode which should help sharpens things up and improve throttle response. This is exclusive to the Corolla Grande series; however, its effectiveness is yet unknown but despite that Corolla performs better than Civic. Civic's slower pickup could be due to its more curb weight while Toyota Corolla Altis Grande weighs a little less. However, the latest Civic, unlike its predecessors, has a lower centre of gravity which helps it stick to the road and gives the driver a more sporty driving experience.
With the launch of new Toyota Corolla back in 2014 and Honda Civic in 2016 and their subsequent multiple price hikes, these cars are not for the majority of potential car buyers in Pakistan. Honda Civic VTi Oriel Prosmatec 1.8 and Toyota Corolla Altis Grande 1.8L will now cost you a staggering PKR3.5 million. There is no denying that 3.5 mil for Corolla and Civic is absurd. The value to money ratio has reduced drastically and there is nothing Honda and Toyota can do about the devaluing rupee against the US Dollar. Toyota did try a little by extending their warranty on all cars up to 3 years or 75,000kms, whichever comes first. However, Honda has yet to make such a move to attract customers. So, this alone makes the Altis a much more promising investment.
Going by the local standards, these two sedans are great cars, which also match their international siblings in some departments. However, their price tags are a huge concern for many. The highly unjustified 10% FED imposed on all locally manufactured cars above 1700cc has made it tough for potential customers to decide between buying these two sedans or imported cars like Honda Grace, Honda Vezel, Toyota Fielder, to name a few. Not only these cars cost less than Civic and Corolla but also come with a 1500cc hybrid engine which is free of FED.
To give a final verdict in this blog is hard as there is no make or break aspect in these two cars, which makes one sedan a clear winner over the other. Therefore, it all boils down to your personal/subjective preference for one brand over the other. Some love Toyota while others like Honda. However, I think Toyota is a better investment thanks to more features and extended warranty that come as standard.