Battle of the 2021 Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic: what do local enthusiasts think?

Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Two of the most popular affordable cars in the world and the darlings of our JDM focused car community.  Both of them recently got their generation upgrade, triggering the inevitable discussion of what the local petrolheads think about them? Well, we did some snooping about on their interwebs and this is what we found.

Starting with the new 2022 Civic, the overall reception to the new model has been positive, with most liking the design. One opinion that was echoed by many was the new model bears strong resembles its upmarket brother, the Accord. Enthusiast Abdullah Al Masud commented the new design appears to have taken inspiration from the 1996 Accord, a claim that holds merits since both cars share almost identical width and wheelbase. Although most reacted positively to the change, others such as fellow automobile Journalist Tahnic Murshed thought otherwise and found the "repetitive design language among manufacturers disappointing".

In terms of performance, the new Civic will share a good chunk of its platform with the outgoing generation, meaning the figures remain mostly the same. That said, the performance-oriented Type-R variant of the new Civic is rumoured to get a 400Hp hybrid drivetrain with rear-axle torque vectoring, which is a cause for excitement for many. For looks, car magazine MotorTrend speculates the new Type-R will take a step back from the over the top styling of the current model, dropping the triple exhaust and huge fake vents for a sleeker, refined look.

As with the regular Civic, the speculation surrounding the Type-R drew in mixed comments. Some welcomed the perceived tone down of the design, while others, mainly younger enthusiasts, found the new car to be "too tame" even in Type R form.

Switching gears to the other side, the reception of the 2020 Corolla has also been generally positive, with one Samiur Rahman Tushar going as far as to say he prefers it over the Civic. Opinion surrounding the new Corolla mostly revolves around the lack of availability, as pointed out by a K M Wasif. Toyota only offers the region-specific Toyota Altis in Bangladesh, with the said model being available with only one hybrid drivetrain. The Altis lacks many of the visual design elements of the new Corolla, such as the "Tripple J" headlights and the objectively nicer looking alloy wheels. Despite this, the price of a brand new Altis is 41 lakh, almost double the price of a fully optioned out Corolla XSE. The high price of basic models combined with the lack of option is a source of disdain for many local car fans, with one Munajj Ahamed stating the only way to drive inexpensive fun cars in Bangladesh is not to be in Bangladesh (unless you are incredibly wealthy).

Interest for the Corolla's performance variants has been minimal, as the Corolla Apex Edition will mostly just offer suspension upgrades. Toyota will limit production to just 6,000 units for the 2021 model, of which only 120 will be manual. It seems a "hot" Corolla fails to catch the imagination of most car enthusiasts, something that can be partly blamed on the company's refusal to make anything exciting for well over a decade.

 Overall, it appears the local enthusiast considers each car for a different role. The Honda Civic is preferred by those who want a little turbocharged touch of performance in their daily driver while the Corolla is preferred by those who enjoy fuel economy and comfort, reasonable parameters if you factor in all the time we spend in traffic jams.  As for reliability, the perceived bulletproof nature of Toyota's engineering remains dominant, as said by one Sami Islam.  


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