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Unread 07-08-2015, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default 2015 Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla?

For a short-distance commuter compact car with high reliability and equipped with a CVT, I've narrowed down my choices to the 2015 Honda Civic SE and the 2015 Toyota Corolla (LE/LE Plus/S). I've read and watched multiple reviews of both, but am still undecided. I'm edging toward the Corolla from a value-per-dollar perspective, though I am aware of the tradeoffs, such as lower quality interior materials, somewhat greater cabin noise, and somewhat lower safety scores. One of the problems I've read about with older Corollas is that their paint will come off in a spotty pattern or something. Anyone know if that's still true of more recent models?

More generally, however, I'd just like to know what people here think of the two options I bring up here, plus any specific trims. Categories to consider:

- Seat comfort, especially for extended driving
- Ride quality
- Cabin noise
- Steering and handling
- CVT performance
- Relative cost to insure (location: Junction City, KS 66441)
- Cost of ownership (over, say, five or more years)

Ultimately, I'll need to test drive both again, and more extensively than I did the first time, but I like to make up my mind as much as I can beforehand. Any assistance with this is much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Unread 07-08-2015, 03:07 PM   #2
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Couple questions,

Why CVT?

Comfort will heavily depend on your physical dimensions, how tall are you and whats your build?

The corolla and civic are both reliable cars but they are about as bland as bland gets, can you give us some insight into what your budget is and what else you have test driven? There are a lot of fantastic options out there that are in this car category.
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Unread 07-08-2015, 03:14 PM   #3
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Honestly those are both going to be extremely similar in almost every aspect. If you're set on a choice between those two, I would just go with the one you enjoy driving and being in more and forget these other factors.
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Unread 07-08-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
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CVT because I don't drive manual and these two models are otherwise only available with a CVT in the trims I can afford and would want. I'm also going for new.

I'm 5'8" and have some pounds to spare, but I still don't think that the word "big" is accurate for the purpose of this discussion. I'm on the lighter side of that term.

My aim, pretax, is less than $21,000. More than half will be taken care of with the down payment so that I can afford monthly. Edmunds.com has insurance averages for my area available -- at first glance, the Corolla definitely appears to be cheaper to insure, though it being an average, I have no idea of specifics such as trim and how my credit score (which is good) would impact it.

Bland doesn't mean much to me, as the newest thing I've driven and become accustomed to is a 2000 Chevy Astro LS (before that, it was a car from '89 and another from '73). This is also going to be my first car. I'm primarily looking for a good combination of cheap and reliable, which has led me to look at the Corolla and Civic. I've test driven one trim each of those and a Honda Fit, and decided I didn't want to go the subcompact route. Believe you me, what you call "bland", I call "more exciting than anything I've ever driven."

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Unread 07-08-2015, 06:01 PM   #5
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You may just want to call your insurance company and get some quotes for the cars. If you don't have one, start price shopping and see who can offer you the best rates for each car.
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Unread 07-08-2015, 08:28 PM   #6
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There aren't many Honda and Toyota dealers within a reasonably close distance (only reason this matters is because the vehicle I'd be using to get to the dealership has seen far better days and shouldn't travel far). The closest is a joint Honda/Toyota dealership, so I'd be dealing with two people at that one, at most. I'm sure that has implications for how competitive they'd be, being under the same roof and all.

Really, all I wanted from this thread was people's evaluations of one car compared to the other, should they have experience with them or know something the reviews don't tend to mention (e.g. that paint problem with older Corolla models).

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Unread 07-09-2015, 01:26 PM   #7
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Really they are practically the same, whichever one feels better to you will be the deciding factor. CVT describes a specific type of trans fyi. The broader term you are looking for is an automatic trans. With that in mind there are other cars that should be on your list including the Mazda 3, the Nissan Altima, and the Chevy Cruze. These are all within your price range and are all imo more enjoyable cars than the corolla or civic. Since you are already going through the tedious process of purchasing a new car I highly recommend driving everything within your price range. At least if you don't like them you'll have a threat you can carry to the toyota/honda dealership.
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Unread 07-09-2015, 07:37 PM   #8
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I'm aware of the difference between a CVT and a traditional automatic. As I said, the Corolla and Civic trims that I can both afford and want only come with CVT or manual, and I don't want manual. I'm fine with either CVT or traditional automatic, but the trims I listed off did the choosing for me in that regard.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm avoiding the Cruze, as I've gotten the impression that it's too risky of a purchase, as far as reliability goes. The Mazda3 is something I looked into quite some time ago, but I ultimately discounted it due to its higher cost and lack of interior space relative to the Civic and Corolla (especially the latter). That said, I'll look into it again. I'll also look into the Altima. I must say, though, that the Mazda3 and Altima may not be doable for me right now without the customer cash deals that lower their prices by $1k-$2k.

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Unread 07-10-2015, 09:45 AM   #9
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The cruze had some issues in its first two years of production as any new design does but anymore its been doing very well. All of these cars compete with each other for a reason.

Also if you're margins are so close that you are worried about 1k difference in financing costs I highly recommend you look into a low miles used vehicle. I purchased my sonic new, and I love the car but I will never buy a new car again as there is no value in it, might as well flush that money down a drain. Through financing you will always be upside down on your vehicle in terms of ltv until the day you pay it off.

Just trying to be perfectly honest so you go into this process with all the facts in front of you.
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--2005 Chrysler Pacifica w/175k - SOLD!
--1987 Chevy R10 Pickup w/80k
--1997 4.3L Chevy Blazer w/193k- SOLD!
--1998 Oldsmobile Aurora w/190k - SOLD!

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