2019 Honda Civic vs. 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Elantra Sedan’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Civic and the Elantra Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda Civic is safer than the Hyundai Elantra Sedan:

 

Civic

Elantra

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 24 percent more Honda dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Civic’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 1 place higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The Civic has more powerful engines than the Elantra Sedan:

 

Horsepower

Civic 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

158 HP

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

Civic Hatchback Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

Elantra Sedan Eco 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

128 HP

Elantra Sedan 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

147 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Civic 4 cyl. is faster than the Hyundai Elantra Sedan 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Civic

Elantra

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.1 MPH

84.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Civic Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Elantra Sedan:

 

 

Civic

Elantra

 

 

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

29 city/38 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto SE/Eco

 

 

n/a

28 city/37 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto Limited

 

1.5 Turbo/Auto

31 city/40 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

1.6T/Auto

 

Touring 1.5 Turbo/Auto

30 city/38 hwy

n/a

 

automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Civic offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Honda Civic has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Elantra Sedan. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Civic stops much shorter than the Elantra Sedan:

 

Civic

Elantra

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Civic has larger standard tires than the Elantra Sedan (215/55R16 vs. 195/65R15). The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Elantra Sedan (235/40R18 vs. 225/45R17).

The Civic LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Elantra Sedan SE/Eco’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic LX has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Elantra Sedan SE/Eco.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda Civic has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Elantra Sedan has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Civic has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Civic flat and controlled during cornering. The Elantra Sedan base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Civic’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Civic Sport Hatchback handles at .93 G’s, while the Elantra Sedan Eco pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Civic Sedan is 4 inches shorter than the Elantra Sedan, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Civic Touring Sedan is quieter than the Elantra Sedan Limited (78 vs. 82 dB).

Passenger Space

The Civic Sedan has .5 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.7 inches more rear legroom than the Elantra Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Civic Sedan has a larger trunk than the Elantra Sedan (15.1 vs. 14.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Sedan easier. The Civic Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Elantra Sedan’s liftover is 27.4 inches. The Civic Hatchback’s liftover is only 22 inches.

Ergonomics

The Civic (except LX/Manual) has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Civic’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Elantra Sedan’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Civic the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Elantra Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Civic Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Elantra Sedan’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Civic has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Elantra Sedan has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/Value Edition/Eco/Sport/Limited.

The Civic’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Elantra Sedan SE/SEL doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Model Availability

The Honda Civic comes in coupe, sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Hyundai Elantra isn’t available as a coupe or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Civic is less expensive to operate than the Elantra Sedan because it costs $558 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Civic than the Elantra Sedan, including $50 less for a muffler, $35 less for fuel injection and $129 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its October 2016 issue and they ranked the Honda Civic Sport Sedan first. They ranked the Hyundai Elantra Sedan Limited third.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Civic second among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Elantra Sedan isn’t in the top three.

The Civic Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Elantra Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 22 years. The Elantra Sedan has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Elantra Sedan has never been chosen.

The Honda Civic outsold the Hyundai Elantra by 71% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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