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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback vs 2017 Toyota Corolla iM: What to Buy?

The trend in the marketplace towards SUVs and crossovers, particularly those of the sub-compact and compact varieties, continues unabated this year.

Fortunately for the small sedans out there, a good number of these models are now being offered in hatchback versions, allowing them to hang on to a good part of their market share. In comparison with their 4-door brethren, the 5-door models offer generally sportier styling, increased cargo space and better overall versatility – all qualities that attract those consumers immune to the siren call of utility vehicles.

At the beginning of May we offered you a Top 10 of the compact hatchbacks available in Canada for 2017; the list included the expected big names like the Volkswagen Golf, the redesigned Subaru Impreza and the Mazda3 Sport, but also fresh new faces like the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback, the second-generation Elantra GT from Hyundai, the Honda Civic Hatchback (winner of’s Compact Car of the Year award for 2017) and the Toyota Corolla iM.

These last two brands have particular resonance in the marketplace, and the team at tried both these models out over the past few months. Today we stack them up for a quick comparison that hopefully will help make your buying decision more informed and maybe even a little easier! Take note that each of the models comes with its own suite of state-of-the-art safety systems (Honda Sensing and Toyota Safety Sense, respectively).

By the numbers…

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Technical specificationsReviewPhoto gallery

  • LX - $21,490
  • LX Honda Sensing - $23,790
  • Sport - $25,290
  • Sport Honda Sensing - $27,590
  • Touring - $29,490

Strong points

  1. Several versions available, and the base model is priced lower
  2. Very sporty, Japanese look
  3. Much more powerful and slightly more fuel-efficient engine
  4. Generously equipped with new technologies
  5. Solid chassis and sportier driving experience

Weak points

  1. Design not as mass consumer-oriented
  2. Slightly deficient rear visibility
  3. Touchscreen could be improved, and lack of physical knobs
  4. The Sport and Touring versions require premium gasoline
  5. Price point quite high for those two trims

2017 Toyota Corolla iM – Technical specificationsReviewPhoto gallery

  • Manual - $22,540
  • CVT - $23,375

Strong points

  1. Trendy, European styling
  2. Agility and ride quality
  3. Well-built interior with particularly accommodating seats
  4. High on value (good bang for the buck)
  5. Impressive reliability and resale value

Weak points

  1. Only one available version, and no option other than the transmission
  2. 1.8L engine is slow under acceleration
  3. Steering is less responsive, the driving experience less exciting
  4. Not as much cargo space as in the Honda
  5. Certain controls are too small or difficult to access