Most years, we don’t see a Toyota that can go up against the Honda Civic Type R, but now the Toyota GR Corolla has the chops to take on the Type R.
The new GR Corolla offers a departure from the norm. With the Civic Type R, you don’t have many options; instead, you’ll have to drive the Honda in a fully loaded package. Toyota masterfully built a hot hatch with options, making it pretty easy to enjoy the benefits of Gazoo Racing without paying as high a price as you will for the hot Civic.
How should the Toyota be equipped?
The Honda Civic Type R brings the loaded package to the track for $44,385. You can start with the base version of the Toyota GR Corolla Core and pay $36,995, but you’ll feel like you’re standing still compared to the Honda.
Adding the Performance package to the GR Corolla gives you the front and rear limited-slip differentials for better grip and lateral movement. This package adds $1,180 to the price of this Toyota hot hatch.
If you want the version of the Toyota with the equipment that is closest to what the Honda brings, the Circuit model is what you want. This model includes the Core packaging, the Performance Package, the Technology Package, and the Cold Weather Package. This model also gives you the Morizo Edition brake ducts, bulging hood, red-painted brake calipers, a suede-cloth/leather upholstery package, and a carbon-fiber roof. To have all of this, you’ll need to plop down $44,995, which puts the Toyota GR Corolla at a slightly higher price point than the Honda Civic Type R.
Is there really a loser in this contest?
In the world of winners and losers, we find defined lines of demarcation to determine each. That said, although the Toyota GR Corolla is bested by the Honda Civic Type R in many categories, you won’t find any reasons to avoid either car. Let’s see how each car fared in this comparison.
Toyota GR Corolla
Instead of a gussied-up Corolla hatchback, this hot performer does a great job of giving you the cool factors you’re looking for. You won’t even think you’ve got a Corolla at your fingertips, but something cooked up in a mad scientist lab. This hot hatch brings the fun you want and makes it easy to smile when your turn on the track comes.
From the word go, the Corolla delivers a mean, angry, and aggressive package of power from the turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Torque is delivered early to give you the desired quickness. Although the Corolla is 15 horsepower behind the Civic, you’ll find the angriness to be a lot more fun in the Toyota. Gazoo Racing turned up the heat with an impressive steering package that you’ll feel at your fingertips. While this car isn’t great for daily commutes, when it’s time to let it loose, the Toyota GR Corolla reminds you how much fun it can be to actually drive a car.
Honda Civic Type R
The Honda Civic Type R is a car that just gets it. From the exceptional packaging in the cabin where you’ll see sporty styling with red carpets, seats, and belts, along with the smattering of metal trim that gives this car the industrial feeling you love in a sports car. The six-speed manual transmission delivers the short throws and impressive quickness you want during your time on the track. When you want the car that answers the why question, the Civic Type R is the right car for the job.
Although the growl and grunt that you can admire in the angry little Toyota aren’t present in this Honda, the Type R is more powerful, faster, and brings some serious heat once you hit 6,000 rpm. The steering is amazing, and the road engagement is unmatched. This impressive Honda shows you that it’s important to have at least four cylinders to handle the job when it’s time to take on the world of hot hatches.
Which hot hatch would you drive?
You’ll find it extremely difficult to choose between the Honda Civic Type R and the Toyota GR Corolla. These two hot hatches might offer different ways to perform on the track and road, but both insist that you can experience the fun and active driving desired. To be perfectly honest, both cars are right. Which one will you drive?
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