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2023 Honda Civic Type R vs. 2023 Toyota GR Corolla exterior

VIDEO: 2023 GR Corolla Morizo vs. 2023 Civic Type R Autocross Shootout

The showdown we've wanted for a while ...

  • Toyota and Honda are back at it with the GR Corolla and the new Civic Type R.
  • While Honda has some experience in this arena, Toyota is coming for the crown.
  • Which of these little beasties will prevail on Edmunds' autocross? Watch to find out!

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R and the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla couldn't have come at a better time. The reason for that is twofold: First, the number of enthusiast cars that come with manual transmissions is dwindling year after year, and these two make great cases for the existence of that niche. The second is, well, they came out at almost exactly the same time, and that means they're ripe for comparison.

So, that's exactly what we did. This isn't a full-on comparison and instead a test of what these two can do on a short but tricky autocross course. In Toyota's corner is the super-limited-edition GR Corolla Morizo Edition. The engine makes the same 300 horsepower as the standard GR'olla that's sent to all four wheels, but the back seat has been removed, the chassis has been stiffened, the curb weight reduced, and the wheels wrapped in supersticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. Honda's offering is, well, the standard Civic Type R. It does have a back seat and doesn't enjoy the same ultra-sticky tires the Corolla does, but it makes more power at 315 hp and, as the last Type R proved, is far from wrong-wheel-drive.

2023 Civic Type R vs 2023 Toyota GR Corolla exterior

So, who's your money on? The Corolla's shorter wheelbase and AWD make it a favorite for this event, but cold weather on the day of filming meant the tires couldn't quite get up to temperature. The Type R is front-wheel-drive but has masses of traction and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires that aren't quite as sensitive to colder weather. Both are punchy off the line, but the Corolla's AWD helps eke out some extra pace and that should give it an advantage. Can the Type R claw it back or is the Corolla just too quick? Watch the video to find out.

It's worth noting that the winner in this video only wins in the autocross setting. A different test with different conditions might net a different result, or the same one. But one thing is for sure: It was a good way to have fun in two excellent little cars.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla exterior

Edmunds says

Which would you rather have — the new GR Corolla or the new Civic Type R?