Should I buy a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a longtime Civic owner contemplating a switch.

The 2020 Corolla SE.
The 2020 Corolla SE. –Toyota

Q. I have had a Honda Civic for 15 years, and it’s time for a new car. I’m looking at the Toyota Corolla, even though I’ve had good luck with the Civic. One reason that I’m looking at the Corolla is I have read about issues with the new Honda engines. What do you think? 

A. When comparing the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, I used to always rate the Corolla as a first choice and the Civic as a very close second. Recently, however, I drove the 2019 Honda Civic and thought it was just about a perfect compact car. The engine was responsive and economical, the handling was more like a sports car, and the overall design — with the exception of the infotainment system — was spot-on. As far as I can tell, any issues with the engine have been resolved. The Corolla is still a great car, though, so it’s easy to recommend, too.


John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to

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