2020 Hyundai Elantra Sedan vs. 2019 Chevrolet Cruze

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Elantra Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking optional in the Elantra Sedan as “Superior.” The Cruze scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

The Elantra Sedan’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cruze doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Elantra Sedan and the Cruze have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Hyundai Elantra Sedan is safer than the Chevrolet Cruze:

Elantra Sedan

Cruze

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.2 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Hip Force

928 lbs.

937 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Elantra Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cruze has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The Elantra Sedan comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Cruze’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Elantra Sedan 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Cruze. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Cruze ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Elantra Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Cruze’s (7/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Elantra Sedan’s reliability 12 points higher than the Cruze.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Elantra Sedan second among compact cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Cruze isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 13 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The Elantra Sedan Sport’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 48 more horsepower (201 vs. 153) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 177) than the Cruze’s 1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Elantra Sedan Eco is faster than the Chevrolet Cruze:

Elantra

Cruze

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.9 MPH

82.7 MPH

Transmission

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The Elantra Sedan has a standard 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 Cruze doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Elantra Sedan offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Cruze doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

For better stopping power the Elantra Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Cruze:

Elantra SE/Eco

Elantra Sport

Cruze

Front Rotors

11 inches

12 inches

10.8 inches

The Elantra Sedan stops shorter than the Cruze:

Elantra

Cruze

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

For superior ride and handling, the Elantra Sedan Sport 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 Chevrolet Cruze has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Elantra Sedan has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Cruze’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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

The Elantra Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Cruze doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Elantra Sedan Limited handles at .84 G’s, while the Cruze LT Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Elantra Sedan’s turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the Cruze’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Elantra Sedan a Mid-size car, while the Cruze is rated a Compact.

The Elantra Sedan has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cruze Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The Elantra Sedan’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Cruze L/LS’ standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Elantra Sedan Value Edition/Eco/Sport/Limited’s trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Cruze doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Elantra Sedan Limited, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Cruze doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Elantra Sedan Limited’s optional Seat Easy Access glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cruze doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Elantra Sedan SEL/Value Edition/Eco/Sport/Limited’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control. The Cruze’s driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Elantra Sedan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Cruze doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Elantra Sedan Limited has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Cruze doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Elantra Sedan Value Edition/Eco/Sport/Limited has standard extendable sun visors. The Cruze doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Elantra Sedan Limited with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Cruze’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Elantra Sedan’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Cruze doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Both the Elantra Sedan and the Cruze offer available heated front seats. The Elantra Sedan Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Cruze.

The Elantra Sedan’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Cruze doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Elantra Sedan Limited offers an optional Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Cruze doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

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The Elantra Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Elantra Sedan will retain 45.03% to 46.12% of its original price after five years, while the Cruze only retains 39.36% to 43.56%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Elantra Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Cruze because typical repairs cost much less on the Elantra Sedan than the Cruze, including $429 less for a water pump, $255 less for a muffler, $47 less for front brake pads, $118 less for a starter, $66 less for fuel injection and $91 less for a fuel pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Elantra Sedan will be $65 to $3004 less than for the Chevrolet Cruze.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Elantra Sedan and the Chevrolet Cruze, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Hyundai Elantra outsold the Chevrolet Cruze by 41% during 2018.

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

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