The Japanese have been recently distraught about the Tsunami which struck their lands. However people across were more concerned with the automotive loss rather than that of the lives. We haven’t heard or read of many fund raisers for these grief stricken Japanese people. The only lamentations that can be heard are that production facilities have been destroyed all across the “Land of Rising Sun”. Many companies like Nissan, Mitsubishi and also Toyota were forced to go off track for this very reason. However it seems that Honda Motors were the worst affected. The reason for this is that although Honda claims that nearly all their facilities are okay but then CBUs coming down to India have been stopped. There is almost a waiting period of 5-6 months for almost all of Honda products in India. That Honda prefers not to manufacture these products here is another part. Toyota don’t look as much hit by the Tsunami however facts do suggest that even they have suffered big losses. But then except for the Camry, production of no other vehicle has been stopped as of yet. But we Indians are in for a big loss since two of the hatches from this prestigious Japanese manufacturers were supposed to come to our shores very soon. Those two hatches are the Honda Brio and the Toyota Liva. Their launch dates have been postponed and this seems like a bit of disappointment for the Indian car buying populace. After all seeing the success that the Etios is enjoying, Toyota definitely want to capitalize on it. However the story here is of a different kind. Its between the traditional Japanese rivals, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla Altis. But this war is not being carried out in Japan now but rather in India. So gear up for the Toyota Corolla Altis in India and the Honda Civic in India duel. Looks As far as the looks go, the Honda is the more radical design. So much so that even after years of it being launched here, it still commands fleeting or even lingering glances. The Honda Civic in India and when we say India, the American model definitely has to be dismissed. It looks more like the Honda City that we have here in India. So the 7th generation Civic that we have here is one of the best one as far as its looks go. Its more like an eligible bachelor all dressed up in the finest of clothes and women just admiring him so that they can hook up with him for the night or even for life. The Toyota Corolla in India however is more of the middle aged man who has designer clothes to his credit, is rich and pompous with a fetish for middle aged women. So both the cars are different in their looks. Actually the earlier Toyota Corolla was the blandest things on wheels. That the same company manufactures the Prius with its Kammback tail is another story. However the newer Altis looks good and is far more a good looker than what the previous generation can lay claim to. Its HID lights would definitely make heads turn as far as night time driving is concerned. Of all the manufacturers out here, Honda is the only one which doesn’t carry a family face legacy here. All its vehicles look different from each other but they definitely have the Japanese look to them. While the Honda looks a boy racer from every angle, the Corolla Altis tends to lend the imposing stance. The Civic has a more radical alloy wheel design than the Corolla Altis and this would appeal to those young at heart. Out at the rear, the Altis with its bulbous sticking out LED tail lamps are a stark contrast to the Civic’s pentagonal LEDs. As far as looks go, it’s the Honda Civic which goes one up over the Toyota Corolla Altis. However if you prefer a more laid back design, then the Toyota Corolla Altis is the one to go for. Interiors The Toyota Corolla Altis in India comes with the typical wood finish that we have come to see from almost all the Toyotas in India. Actually speaking, the Toyota has so much wood panels in it that a small tree house can be built out of it. Its dash makes use of light as well as dark plastics overall. The steering wheel is more like the Hyundai Sonata Transform with its half wood and half leather combination. It is a multi function steering wheel. The Corolla Altis also boasts of optitron meter dials which look fabulous when lit up. But if its meter dials that we are talking about then the Civic’s hybrid like blue backlit meters take the cake. Infact many of us would have at one point or the other stared at the Honda Civic’s interiors when it would be stationary at a traffic signal. The Civic also boasts of a first class interior with the three spoke steering wheel which houses the various controls. However to get into the Civic, you note that you have to crouch lower than that in the Corolla Altis. Both the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla offer ample of features like climate control, monochromatic and also electronically retractable mirrors. However the Toyota pips the Civic as far as features list goes. Out at the rear, the Civic has a flat squab which ensures that sitting three abreast isn’t a problem however when the Corolla comes into the equation, it ensures that not much is wasted as far as passenger comfort is concerned. You sit a bit higher in the Toyota and have a better under thigh support in this car as compared with the Civic. Boot space of 475 liters may not be great in the Altis however the Civic also has the same dimensions to its boot space and hence one cannot be said to be better than the other in this regard. As far as the interiors go, the more funky one is the Honda Civic while the better one is the Toyota Corolla Altis as far as build quality goes. Moreover, the Altis feels a bit better built than its Japanese rival, the Honda Civic.