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Honda Civic


Toyota Corolla

Summary

Honda Civic

If you think the new Civic Hatch looks a little lower-slung than its sedan sibling, that can likely be attributed to the crushing weight of expectation placed on its little metal shoulders.

See, this 10th-gen Civic might be the most important car Honda has ever made. While most manufacturers were pouring funds into their SUV ranges, Honda was diverting a huge chunk (heavily tipped to be a whopping 35 per cent) of their research and development budget into the Civic, using the evergreen nameplate as a key pin in their Australian comeback.

And with that much riding on it, it had to be good. In sedan form, which launched here last year, it mostly lived up to the hype, with Honda shifting more than 800 units per month. And with the Civic hatch finally touching down in Australia, Honda is hoping to add 1000 sales to the tally. 

So the question now is, does this new hatch version shine, too?

Safety rating
Engine Type1.8L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.4L/100km
Seating5 seats

Toyota Corolla

The all-new Toyota Corolla 2018 hatchback is here, and it has you in its sights.

Not literally. And not the car. Toyota, the brand that has been the number one seller in the country for the past 15 years straight, wants you to buy even more Corollas, because being the best-selling passenger car for the past few years in a row isn’t enough.

The story here, though, is that there’s less of a focus on fleet buyers, and more focus on everyday consumers. And to say that another way, the brand has pushed away from the base-model drive-away deal approach for the new Corolla, instead focusing on a higher-price-but-much-higher-spec way of thinking.

So, prices are up. There’s no base model equivalent anymore. And it comes loaded with equipment. Does that combination make the new-generation Corolla hatchback the best example of its type to date? Read on to find out.

Safety rating
Engine Type1.8L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency4.2L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

Honda Civic7/10

Energetic and engaging (if not quite sporty), the Civic hatch is quiet and comfortable around town, but it can more than hold its own on a twisting backroad, too. It’s looks will either appeal or not, but a lack of comprehensive safety equipment on the cheaper models is sure to ruffle some feathers.

For us, the cheapest way into the turbocharged engine forms the pick of the bunch, so we'd call the VTi-L the sweet spot. 


Toyota Corolla8/10

A truly compelling Toyota Corolla? You bet - that’s exactly what the new-generation model delivers, and not just due to the fact it’s a good looking car - it’s also good value, has a strong focus on safety, and is now theoretically better to own than ever, too. If you need a really roomy hatchback you need to look elsewhere, but for a style statement - I can’t believe I’m writing this - the Corolla could be for you.

My personal pick of the range is the ZR hybrid, which has efficiency in terms of driving and space. But the pragmatist in me reckons you get a lot of Corolla in SX 2.0-litre guise - it's a value option that's hard to ignore.

Are you drawn to the new Toyota Corolla hatch? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Also check out Matt's video review from the Corolla's international launch:

Design

Honda Civic8/10

The word 'polarising' is usually a thinly disguised way of saying 'lots of people don’t like it'. And the all-new Civic sedan was, well, very polarising. A glance at this new hatch version shows it hasn’t strayed too far from that design approach, either.

It’s as understated as a snakeskin suit in all grades, but nowhere is it quite so busy as in the RS trim level, in which the sporty trimmings jump out from every possible angle. Strangely, though, we quite like the way it looks, and it's undeniably an individual in the small car segment. 

Inside, Honda has produced the comfortable and tech savvy interior that was missing from the outgoing model, but the sense of well executed semi-premium fades as you approach the spartan rear seat.


Toyota Corolla9/10

It’s the best looking Corolla, ever. Hands down. 

There’s no point trying to argue otherwise, because the exterior design - particularly for the ZR model - somehow manages to look like a hot-hatch with its body kit comprised of side skirts, a low front spoiler, a rear diffuser and tailgate-mounted rear spoiler. The 18-inch alloys look terrific, and even the lower-grade versions on 16s with a more sedate design look pretty smart. Remember, this is a Toyota Corolla

Rather than looking bloated in size, the sculpted lines and angular edges help tame the dimensions of the new Corolla hatch. It is bigger than its predecessor, with the body measuring 4375mm long (+45mm) and the wheelbase’s extra 40mm (now 2640mm) helping look more planted and substantial than before. The extra width - now 1790mm, up 30mm - and the lower roof (height: 1435mm, down 40mm).

It looks low and wide, sleek and muscled. It’s a chunky little number, and I really think it looks good no matter the grade. What a shame Toyota hasn’t decided to bring the bigger rear spoiler that was fitted to US cars, because it completed the look - particularly for a high-spec car on 18s.

I love that Toyota has made LED headlights standard across the range, too, and the ZR gets even higher-spec bi-LEDs. Some brands still offer halogens in their entry cars, and HID headlights, projector headlights or xenon lights. LEDs are not only longer-lasting, their lower energy consumption and lower replacement cost makes them a logical inclusion. Good on you, Toyota.

I’ll get to the interior dimensions in the next section, but have a look at the interior images and let us know if you prefer the leather trim, or the cloth… I think the latter could be the pick.

Practicality

Honda Civic7/10

The Civic hatch is surprisingly spacious in the cabin, where up front the two seats are split buy a central bin housing two of the fattest, deepest cupholders we’ve ever seen (that would be America’s 'Big Gulp' influence on the Civic’s design), along with a hidden USB and power source that sits behind the centre console, hiding the ugly chords while you’re plugged into touchscreen unit.

The back seat, is plenty spacious in the longer and wider hatch - which also sits on a 30mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing car - with more shoulder, leg and knee room for backseat riders.

Which is just as well, as there’s not much else happening back there, with no air vents, power outlets or USB points on offer, with just the two cupholders housed in a pulldown divider that separates the rear seat.

Boot space is pegged at 414 litres with the 60/40 split rear seat in place, which is enough to give the Civic hatch the edge over its direct competitors in the Hyundai i30, VW Golf and Mazda3.


Toyota Corolla7/10

You can’t mistake the new model for the old one, which is more than we can say for some small hatchbacks.

There’s an all-new dashboard design, with less of a slabby look to it and more of a premium appearance. The dimensions state the new Corolla hatch is wider, and it feels like a more open space than the predecessor car. 

The cabin is really nice, well designed and with quality materials throughout. The ZR gets sportier looking seats, but in all models the seats are a big step forward for Toyota - even if you can’t get electric adjustment or memory settings in any grade.  

The fact there’s an electric park brake adds to the simple smartness of the cockpit, and the storage is cleverly dealt with, too - there is not one cupholder but two between the front seats, and there are bottle holders in all the doors, and a deep covered centre bin plus a cubby for your phone in front of the shifter. 

Every model in the range comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system, but you only get sat nav built-in on the mid- and high-grade models, and none come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. That’s annoying.

But there’s Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, plus USB connectivity. And in the SX and ZR, you get a rear USB port. 

Speaking of the back seat, there’s only just enough space for me to sit behind my own position, because those front seats - as comfy as they are - have big backs to them and they eat in to the space.

It’s not the benchmark in terms of rear legroom and shoulder space, but it certainly is capable of dealing with a young family of four, if not a family with growing teens. Headroom is questionable in the back for taller occupants, with the ceiling side sections impinging on the space to an uncomfortable degree if you’re my size (182cm).

Plus the fact there is only a black headliner available makes if feel quite cosy in the cabin. Some might say claustrophobic, in fact… Another concern is that the high-spec model gets rear-seat air-vents, but the two lower grades don’t. And the ZR gets nicer door plastics, where the Ascent Sport and SX have cheaper feeling hard plastics.

If you want the most practical hatch out there in terms of boot space and luggage capacity, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. The ZR hybrid model gets the biggest boot size of the range because it has a tyre repair kit instead of a spare tyre. The storage space is 333 litres (VDA), as opposed to 217L in all other variants, whether they have a full-size spare (Ascent Sport petrol) or not (all others).

At least there’s a retractable cargo cover, and you can get a cargo barrier fitted if you prefer to lower the 60/40 split-fold rear seats and turn it into a compact van. Hey, some people do! And those people might also want to get a cargo liner to stop the carpet from getting wrecked.

There are no models with roof rails, but an 'Eclectic Blue' ZR model with a roof rack set-up would look very cool.

Price and features

Honda Civic6/10

Thanks to what Honda refers to as its “One Civic” philosophy, this new hatch lineup perfectly mirrors the sedan range that was launched here last year, with the only major change being the ‘Ring-burning Type R, which will be hatch-only when it arrives later in 2017.

And that means the five-strong Hatch range kicks off with the entry-level VTi ($22,390) before stepping up to the VTi-S ($24,490) and the VTi-L ($27,790). Next up is the sport-sprinkled RS ($32,290), before the range tops out with the high-flying VTi-LX ($33,590).

Entry-level shoppers will make do 16-inch steel wheels, fabric seats and single-zone climate control, but there are some nice and premium-feeling flourishes, like LED DRLs, a 7.0-inch touchscreen that’s now Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped and a second colour screen in the driver’s binnacle for your trip information.

Stepping up to the VTi-S adds 16-inch alloy wheels, integrated LED indicators in your wing mirrors and proximity locking and unlocking, along with some clever safety stuff we’ll come back to under the Safety heading.

Along with a better engine (more on that in a moment), springing for the VTi-L will earn you 17-inch alloy wheels, twin-zone climate control and automatic windows in both rows, while the sporty-flavoured RS adds LED fog and headlights, along with a hearty dose of sporty styling courtesy of a bumper kit, skirting and a liberal splashing of piano black highlights.

Inside the RS gets leather trimmed seats, a better 10-speaker stereo and and a standard sunroof, too. 

Finally, the range-topping Civic - the VTi-LX - gets satellite navigation, and a fairly comprehensive suite of safety kit.


Toyota Corolla8/10

How much can you expect today for the new-generation Toyota Corolla? This price list should help guide you through the range of models on offer, and what each will cost.

The entry-level Ascent Sport is available with a 2.0-litre petrol six-speed manual at $22,870 (RRP - that’s the list price, not a drive-away price), a 2.0-litre petrol with new 10-speed CVT auto at $24,370, or a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid with CVT auto at $25,870. Toyota expects the Ascent Sport to make up the bulk of sales, as it did for the previous model (more than 60 per cent).

The next step up is the SX, which is available with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder CVT at $26,870, or a hybrid CVT for just $1500 more ($28,370).

The range-topping model is the ZR, again available with the 2.0-litre CVT drivetrain ($30,370), or as a hybrid at $31,870. That’s pretty affordable for a flagship hatchback - many competitors sit in the mid-to-high $30k range.

To make it easier to do your own models comparison, here’s the spec breakdown for each of the trim levels: Ascent Sport vs SX vs ZR.

The Ascent Sport has LED headlights (with auto high-beam), LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch touch screen multimedia system with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, voice recognition, USB/auxiliary connectivity and a six-speaker stereo. You’ll need to choose the hybrid model if you want push-button start, keyless entry and dual-zone climate control (you get manual air conditioning in non-hybrid Ascent Sport versions).

All Ascent Sport models come with a plastic steering wheel with audio controls, but at least there’s an electric park brake and a 4.2-inch colour info display for the driver. You can option sat nav and privacy glass on this grade for an extra $1000.

The next step up is the SX, which adds fog lights, tinted windows, a ‘premium steering wheel’, a wireless phone charger, DAB+/DAB digital radio and a navigation system with GPS live traffic updates. The SX has two USB ports (one front, one rear). It has a smart key no matter the drivetrain.

Flagship ZR grade versions look the sportiest of the lot, with a set of 18-inch rims adding some presence. Inside there are heated front sports seats, 'ultrasuede' and leather seats, driver’s lumbar adjustment, a 7.0-inch driver info display, ambient lighting, a head-up display and a JBL sound system with eight speakers (no subwoofer, though). ZR models also gain an electro-chromatic (auto-dimming) rear-view mirror and high-grade bi-LED headlamps.

Other standard features include expected items like power windows for all four doors and a power mirror for each of the front doors, a digital clock, central locking with automatic door lock, and a detailed trip computer. In the boot you’ll find a tool kit to help you change a tyre if you need.

Sadly, unlike some competitor top-spec models, there’s no panoramic sunroof (even as an option), and you can’t get electric seat adjustment on any grade, or a heated steering wheel, either. Models from Kia and Hyundai have those bits, plus ventilated (cooled) front seats on their high-spec wares… but the price is pretty appealing on this flagship Corolla. 

And on the topic of things the Corolla misses out on, there is no Apple CarPlay and no Android Auto - so you’ll have to just connect your iPhone (or other smartphone/mp3 player) via Bluetooth. And while some people think all cars should have a built-in DVD player, CD player or CD changer, that’s not the case here - no new Corolla has any of those things.

Who knows? Maybe Toyota will offer a premium package with some of those bits at a later date… If not that, then a black pack special edition or a sports edition is almost certain!

This model change has seen Toyota focus in on safety equipment - read the safety section to see what’s included on which models. Here’s an early hint, though: the electric power steering allows an active lane assist system, and all models have ESP (electronic stability program) with VSC (vehicle stability control), and manual models have a hill holder function. 

There are eight colours to choose from: there’s 'Glacier White', which is the only no-cost colour, or you will need to add $450 if you choose 'Crystal Pearl' (a nicer white), 'Volcanic Red' (which almost looks orange at times), 'Eclipse Black', 'Peacock Black', 'Eclectic Blue', 'Silver Pearl', and the very fetching 'Oxide Bronze' (which is like a mix of green and grey). 

One nice option for ZR customers is the choice between black or red interior leather highlights - the red looks good in combination with a white exterior paint colour, but in most other instances, the black has a bit more of an understated appearance. 

Accessories for the Corolla are set to include floor mats (ask the dealer to throw them in for free), and while some aftermarket suppliers may be able to fit a nudge bar, we don’t think a bull bar will do the styling any favours. 

How many seats in the Corolla hatch? Five is the answer.

Engine & trans

Honda Civic7/10

Like the sedan version, there are two engine choices on offer, with the cheaper option a 1.8-litre petrol engine, good for 104kW at 6500rpm and 174Nm at 4300rpm found in the VTi and VTi-S trim levels.

The better option, though, is a perky turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that will push 127kW at 5500rpm and 220Nm at 1700rpm to the front tyres.

Both engines are partnered with a CVT automatic transmission, with or without wheel-mounted shifters, depending on the trim level.


Toyota Corolla8/10

Let’s talk engine specs. 

The entry-level engine size has jumped up from a 1.8-litre to a 2.0-litre - still a four-cylinder, but Toyota calls this engine the 'Dynamic Force' petrol engine, and while the name might suggest it’s a turbocharged motor, it’s not.

The direct-injection 2.0-litre’s output ratings have jumped, with power at 125kW (at 6600rpm) and torque pegged at 200Nm (from 4400-4800rpm). The horsepower output is up 21 per cent, while torque is up 15 per cent.

Only in the Ascent Sport grade can you play the ‘manual vs automatic’ game - that spec allows you to choose between a six-speed manual transmission or a newly-developed CVT automatic transmission. The rest have CVT only,  but the manual gearbox has a rev-matching feature. Sporty!

It’s some CVT, though - a 10-speed sequential unit with a ‘launch gear’, which essentially is a conventional first gear like you’d find in a torque converter automatic, and enables “brisk take off”, unlike a regular CVT which can whirr and buzz.

The other option is a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid four-cylinder. As always, things are confusing in terms of power ratings: the engine can produce 72kW (at 5200rpm), and 142Nm (at 3600rpm), the electric motor is capable of 53kW and 190Nm, and the maximum output from the drivetrain is 90kW. It uses an 'e-CVT' automatic.

The hybrid is the conventional type, with the battery pack recharging by way of regenerative braking. You can run on EV mode, but it’s not a plug-in hybrid, so you can’t recharge it at home - rather, you might recharge it on your way home. 

There are no diesel specifications to speak of, as there’s no oil-burner available. The statistics don’t lie - at the time of writing, less than two per cent of passenger car sales are diesel vehicles. Forget an LPG/gas dual fuel version for Australia, too.
 
In Australia, every Corolla is front-wheel drive (4x2). There is an all-wheel drive model (AWD) in markets where snow is more common, but it’s not a proper 4WD or 4x4. You can forget rear-wheel drive - that’s best left for the Toyota 86

The kerb weight of the Corolla hatch ranges between 1320kg and 1420kg, depending on the drivetrain and spec of the car. There is no gross vehicle weight figure given by Toyota.

Fuel consumption

Honda Civic8/10

Fuel use is pretty impressive across the board, with the 1.8-litre engine sipping a claimed combined 6.4-litres per hundred kilometres, while the turbocharged version needs just 6.2 litres on the same cycle. 

Emissions are pegged at 150 and 142 grams per kilometre of C02 respectively.


Toyota Corolla8/10

The new Corolla hatch with the hybrid drivetrain is the most efficient non-diesel hatchback in its class, with fuel consumption claimed at 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres (if you prefer, that’s almost 23.8km/L). No three- or four-cylinder petrol engine can match that… But if you want the most frugal vehicle in the class, you can’t beat the diesel fuel consumption of the Peugeot 308 (4.0L/100km, or 25.0km/L). 

The 2.0-litre petrol automatic model has good fuel economy, too, using a claimed 6.0L/100km (16.7km/L) which is better than many non-turbo rivals, but not quite as good as the likes of an entry-grade VW Golf. An eco mode, sport mode and normal mode will likely effect the fuel use of the 2.0-litre CVT model.

The six-speed 2.0-litre manual is claimed to use a bit more than the auto: 6.3L/100km (15.9km/L)

Your mileage for the hybrid will be determined by fuel tank size - 43 litres - while the 2.0-litre has a 50-litre tank capacity. 

Now if you plan to fit a tow bar to your Corolla, you best not buy a hybrid version. The petrol-electric model has no towing capacity at all, because of the design of the car. Instead, you can opt for a petrol model with a capacity of up to 450kg for an un-braked trailer, or 1300kg braked.

Driving

Honda Civic7/10

Honda struggles a little in explaining  exactly what its new 1.5-litre turbo-powered Civic is.

Is it a hot hatch? Nope, the incoming Type R will handle those duties. Oh, so it's a warm hatch, then? Not really - it's mechanically identical (same engine, gearbox and suspension) to the other, top-tier Civics. In fact, only the brand of tyres seperate the RS from the more luxurious VTi-LX.

"We would say it's a 'sporting hatch'," says Honda's head honcho, Stephen Collins.

And sporting it is, with its clever turbocharged 1.5-litre engine a willing and perky unit, delivering plenty of oomph all over the rev range and with no noticeable, soul-destroying lag in its power delivery. 

The steering, too, has a sporty flavouring, it's super direct, and offers such crisp direction changes that you have to pay keen attention driving, as even the slightest input will see you steering out of your lane. And while the ride is a little crashy through bumps, it pays you back with composed cornering antics that see the front wheels hanging on to the tarmac for much longer than you might expect.

But the best trick of the 1.5-litre engine is that it doesn't require much accelerator to make it move, which means there's never too much strain on the CVT auto in town. And, given the auto is both loud and intrusive when you ask too much of it, that can only be a good thing.

Like most CVT 'boxes, it's quiet and composed in city driving, but loud and with a tendency to surge when you start to test it. So much so that heavy acceleration requires a kind of lucky dip as to when to back off the throttle, with the Civic continuing to accelerate for a moment or so even once you get off the gas.

Happily, then, the 1.8-litre models are much easier to classify. They're the cheap ones.

It's a a simple, honest and hardworking engine that feels both slower and slower to respond than its newer, turbocharged sibling, but is more than capable of getting up to speed, even if it struggles to add pace from the mid-range onward.


Toyota Corolla8/10

As with every model the company has built on the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the Corolla is better to drive than the model it replaces. And in this car’s case, it’s a quantum leap forward.

Admittedly it’s not the fastest hatchback out there - 0-100 acceleration speed takes a back seat to fuel efficiency, for example - but the performance is better than we’ve known from the Corolla for some time.

A lot of that comes down to the new Dynamic Force engine and its very clever CVT auto transmission. There isn’t a huge amount of power, but there’s definitely more than ample grunt to get things going, and the CVT’s clever launch gear really does make stop-start traffic and green light acceleration less annoying than it used to be. It offers much more zesty engine response than the engine outputs suggest, although it can be a little noisy under hard acceleration.

Of course, the hybrid drivetrain is a tried and tested (you can read that as ‘old’, if you like) unit, and while it doesn’t move the game on for tech, it is usable, fuss free, and largely well refined. You can expect to run about 2.0km on electric power alone. 

The new platform means the entire body of the car - including the centre of gravity, overall height and the ground clearance (135mm) - is lower than before. And it handles like it’s more hunkered down, too.

The chassis is all-new, with MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link independent rear suspension set-up - with a clear emphasis on cornering body control and ride comfort.

There is a slight difference in terms of ride quality depending on the size of the alloy wheels you’re driving atop. The lower-grade variants with 16-inch wheels are slightly more pliant, while the 18 inch alloys have a slightly terser edge to them, particularly over sharp bumps. 

It’s nice to see a big jump in wheel sizes between low/middle and top-spec versions - there are no 15-inch or 17-inch rims, and thankfully no chrome wheels, either…

You will notice, though, there’s more road noise on the bigger wheels (not that the 16s offer the most muted drive, with noticeable tyre roar on coarse-chip surfaces), and there’s an impact on the car’s park-friendliness, too. 

The ZR has an 11.4m turning circle (5.7m radius) compared with the 11.0m turning circle (5.5m radius) but the ZR has a slightly different steering ratio, (13.6 compared to 13.5), and what that translates to is a slightly more direct rack in the ZR, and fewer turns lock to lock (2.65 compared with 2.76). 

In short, the ZR feels more sporty to drive. It has a warm-hatch feel to it, gripping better than the lower-spec cars thanks to better, wider Dunlop tyres. It’s genuinely enjoyable to push through corners.

Stopping power is pretty impressive in the petrol, and fine in the hybrid. Both have ABS brakes (anti-lock brakes) and brake assist, so you will stop in a timely and straight fashion, but the pedal feel of the hybrid model’s brakes proved a bit squishy.

We didn’t do any off-road driving, so there’s no comment to be made there. But hey, if you want a compact model with AWD, you’d be best served to check out the C-HR.

Safety

Honda Civic6/10

While some of its key competitor are throwing safety functions at all trim levels, with Honda it’s still sadly a case of you get what you pay for.

The entry-level VTi, for example, makes do with six airbags (front, front-side and curtain) and a 180-degree reversing camera, opting for the VTi-S, VTi-L or RS adds front and rear parking sensors and Honda’s cool 'LaneWatch' (with activates a side-mounted camera when you indicate, beaming an image of the lane running alongside the lefthand-side of the car up onto the 7.0-inch screen).

Spring for the top-spec VTi-LX, however, and Honda’s complete 'Sensing Suite' arrives as standard, adding AEB, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist and active cruise control.

The entire Civic range was awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.


Toyota Corolla8/10

There’s no ANCAP crash test safety rating as yet for the Corolla hatch. But Toyota says it anticipates the maximum five-star ANCAP score.

The level of safety features offered on all Corolla models is very good. 

Every automatic Corolla is fitted with auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection (day and night) and bicyclist detection (day), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, speed sign recognition, active cornering control (torque vectoring by braking),

If you choose the Ascent Sport manual you miss out on fully adaptive cruise that works at all speeds, down to 0km/h - instead, it gets a ‘high-speed active cruise’ system. Plus the manual misses out on lane-keeping assist.

Corolla SX and ZR models add blind-spot monitoring, but there’s no rear cross-traffic alert. And while every Corolla has a reverse camera, but none come with a surround view camera, nor are there parking sensors fitted to any model as standard (front and rear sensors are available as an accessory option, fitted by the dealer). Unlike some competitors, there’s no semi-automated park assist, either - even in the high-grade.

All Corolla hatchback models have seven airbags, including dual front, front side airbags, driver’s knee and full-length curtain. Further, every Corolla hatchback has ISOFIX and top tether attachments, meaning fitting your baby car seat should be a breeze. 

It shouldn’t really matter where a car is made these days, but there are still people who will ask ‘where is the Toyota Corolla built?’ And the answer varies: for the hatchback models, it’s Japan; for sedans, it’s Thailand. 

Ownership

Honda Civic7/10

The Honda Civic is covered by the brand’s three year/100,000km warranty, requiring servicing every 10,000km or 12 months, Your annual service cost is capped at $843 for the first three years.


Toyota Corolla8/10

Toyota persists with a three-year/100,000km warranty, which is below par these days. Rival brands Hyundai, Mazda, Ford and Holden all have five-year/unlimited kilometre plans, while Kia extends that out to seven years. 

If you fear the reliability rating for the Corolla won’t be terrific, there’s the option of an extended warranty plan - up to three additional years/150,000km total - which should put your durability doubts at ease. 

But the Corolla can now match the best of them for service intervals, with maintenance due every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first. There’s a five-year/75,000km capped price servicing program for the new-generation Corolla, and the maintenance cost is capped at $175 per visit. That makes the service cost for Corolla hatch pretty much unbeatable.

It’s a big improvement over the existing Corolla, which had a three-year/60,000km service plan, and visits for the old model were due every six months/10,000km. You still don’t get included roadside assistance, but at $78 a year it’s not a budget-breaker.

Resale value on Corolla hatches has typically been stronger than some competitors - just be sure to keep your owners manual / logbook stamps up to date to make sure you get the best second hand price possible.

It’s hard to say if there will be any long-term reliability concerns with the new architecture and drivetrains applied in the Corolla range. Be sure to check out our Corolla problems page to see if any complaints, issues, automatic gearbox problems, clutch, suspension, engine or cruise control problems, or any other common problems.