The Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic are the two oldest continuously running Japanese car brands. The Corolla was introduced in 1968 and the Civic in 1972. Both have earned reputations as well-built, fuel-efficient cars, although possessing little styling flare. The Corolla and Civic also are Toyota and Honda's perennial top-tier sellers.
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Standard equipment on the Corolla is modest: power driver and passenger mirrors, cloth seats, front bucket seats, AM/FM stereo system, CD and MP3 player. Safety features include driver and passenger airbags, side and rear airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front disc brakes and brake assist.
Standard equipment on the Civic is plentiful and includes: dual front and side airbags, curtain side airbags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, tire-pressure monitor, emergency inside boot lid release, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, folding rear seat, power windows, tachometer, intermittent wipers and rear defogger. Safety equipment in addition to the airbags includes an upgraded brake and antiskid system.
As of 2009, the Corolla is offered in the LE, XLE, the Standard and the performance XRS models. All models except the XRS are equipped with a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine generating 132hp and 58.1kg.-feet of torque. Transmission options are the five-speed manual or the four-speed automatic. Gas mileage is 27mpg in the city and 35 on the highway. The XRS features a 158-hp 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine. XRS gas mileage is 22mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.
The Civic, as of 2009, is equipped with one engine: a 140-hp 1.8-litre version generating 58.1kg.-feet of torque. With a four-speed automatic, the Civic will achieve 25mpg in the city and 36 on the highway.
The Corolla's slightly lower power output and heavier weight has affected its acceleration. It reaches 0 to 60mph in 9.1 seconds and can complete 1/4 mile in 16.9 seconds at 83.1mph.
The Civic possesses excellent acceleration with only modest torque power. It can reach 0 to 60mph in 7.7 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 16.1 seconds at 87mph.
The Corolla's reputation stands on its fuel efficiency and price. The 2009-2010 model base price is $15,350. There are few cars on the road today that can match the Corolla's cabin comfort and exceptional gas mileage for the price. Power output is minimal, and there are few power accessories for the low- and mid-trim levels. Overall exterior design, however, is very similar to the previous generation and remains conservative. The Civic's build quality rises above most Japanese imports and remains highly popular. It provides adequate get-up-and-go from a dead stop. The coupe's exterior styling has come a long away since its pedestrian 1990s models and is sporty. As of 2009, Civic starting prices range from $15,305 to $16,075.
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