2020 Hyundai Elantra Sedan vs. 2019 Honda Fit

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Elantra Sedan (except SE)’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Fit doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Fit doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Elantra Sedan’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Honda Fit has a metal gas tank.

The Elantra Sedan (except SE/SEL/Eco) offers an optional Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Fit doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Elantra Sedan and the Fit have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Hyundai Elantra Sedan is safer than the Fit:

Elantra Sedan

Fit

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head injury index

538

651

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

25 cm

25 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.55/.61

.82/.51

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, results indicate that the Hyundai Elantra Sedan is safer than the Honda Fit:

Elantra Sedan

Fit

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1 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 Fit was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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 Fit’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 Honda covers the Fit. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Fit ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Elantra Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Fit’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 5 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Elantra Sedan has more powerful engines than the Fit:

Horsepower

Torque

Elantra Sedan Eco 1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

128 HP

156 lbs.-ft.

Elantra Sedan 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

147 HP

132 lbs.-ft.

Elantra Sedan Sport 1.6 turbo 4-cyl.

201 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

Fit Auto 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

128 HP

113 lbs.-ft.

Fit 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

130 HP

114 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Elantra Sedan Eco is faster than the Honda Fit (automatics tested):

Elantra

Fit

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.9 MPH

85.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Elantra Sedan

Auto

Eco 1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

33 city/41 hwy

SE 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

31 city/41 hwy

SEL/Value/Limited 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

Fit

Manual

1.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/36 hwy

Auto

LX 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

33 city/40 hwy

EX/EX-L/Sport 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

31 city/36 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Elantra Sedan Eco’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Fit doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Elantra Sedan has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Fit (14 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Elantra Sedan as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Honda Fit is only certified to emission levels ranging from “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.

Transmission

The Hyundai Elantra Sedan comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Fit.

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 Fit doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Elantra SE/Eco

Elantra SEL/Value

Elantra Sport

Fit

Front Rotors

11 inches

11 inches

12 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Drums

8 inches

n/a

n/a

7.9 inches

Rear Rotors

n/a

10.3 inches

10.3 inches

n/a

The Elantra Sedan SEL/Value Edition/Limited has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fit. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Elantra Sedan stops much shorter than the Fit:

Elantra

Fit

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Elantra Sedan has larger standard tires than the Fit (195/65R15 vs. 185/60R15). The Elantra Sedan Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fit (225/45R17 vs. 185/60R15).

The Elantra Sedan Sport’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Elantra Sedan Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. The Fit’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

The Hyundai Elantra Sedan’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Fit only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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 Honda Fit 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 Fit’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 Fit’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Elantra Sedan’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the Fit (106.3 inches vs. 99.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Elantra Sedan is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Fit.

The Elantra Sedan Limited handles at .84 G’s, while the Fit EX pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Elantra Sedan has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Fit uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

The Elantra Sedan has .8 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 6.8 inches more rear hip room and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fit.

Cargo Capacity

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 Fit doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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 Fit 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 Fit doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Elantra Sedan’s power window, power lock and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Fit’s power window (except driver window) switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Elantra Sedan’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Fit’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Elantra Sedan’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Fit’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Fit doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Fit’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 Fit doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Both the Elantra Sedan and the Fit 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 Fit.

The Elantra Sedan Sport/Limited has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Fit doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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 Fit doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

Model Availability

The Hyundai Elantra comes in sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Honda Fit isn’t available as a sedan.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Elantra Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Elantra Sedan with a number “1” insurance rate while the Fit is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Elantra Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Fit because typical repairs cost much less on the Elantra Sedan than the Fit, including $40 less for a water pump, $21 less for front brake pads, $50 less for a starter, $45 less for fuel injection, $143 less for a fuel pump, $208 less for front struts and $19 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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

The Hyundai Elantra outsold the Honda Fit by almost six to one during 2018.

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

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