2020 Hyundai Elantra Sedan vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Elantra Sedan (except SE)’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Corolla doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Corolla 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 Corolla have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available lane departure warning systems.

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

Elantra Sedan

Corolla

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

182/35 lbs.

395/206 lbs.

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

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

Elantra Sedan

Corolla

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

Hip Force

683 lbs.

868 lbs.

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 Corolla has not been fully tested, yet.

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

The Elantra Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Corolla’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 Corolla 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Elantra Sedan has more powerful engines than the Corolla:

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.

Corolla 1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

132 HP

128 lbs.-ft.

Corolla LE Eco 1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

140 HP

126 lbs.-ft.

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

Elantra Sedan

Corolla

Corolla LE Eco

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.5 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

17.3 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.9 MPH

82.6 MPH

82.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Corolla

Manual

1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/35 hwy

Auto

LE Eco 1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/40 hwy

LE Eco 16” Wheels 1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/38 hwy

1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/36 hwy

XSE 1.8 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/35 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 Corolla doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Hyundai Elantra Sedan as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Toyota Corolla is only certified to “Low Emissions Vehicle” (LEV) standards.

Transmission

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

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 more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Corolla 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 Corolla:

Elantra SE/Eco

Elantra SEL/Value

Elantra Sport

Corolla

Corolla SE/XSE

Front Rotors

11 inches

11 inches

12 inches

10.8 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Drums

8 inches

n/a

n/a

9 inches

n/a

Rear Rotors

n/a

10.3 inches

10.3 inches

n/a

10.2 inches

The Elantra Sedan stops much shorter than the Corolla:

Elantra

Corolla

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Elantra Sedan Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Corolla (225/45R17 vs. 215/45R17).

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 Corolla SE/XSE’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Elantra Sedan Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. The Corolla’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

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 Toyota Corolla 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 Corolla’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Elantra Sedan is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Corolla.

The Elantra Sedan Limited handles at .84 G’s, while the Corolla SE pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Elantra Sedan Limited executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Corolla LE Eco (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Elantra Sedan’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Corolla’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.6 feet).

Passenger Space

The Elantra Sedan has 2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 8 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Corolla.

Cargo Capacity

The Elantra Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Corolla (14.4 vs. 13 cubic feet).

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 Corolla doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, 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 Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla’s power window (except driver window), power lock and cruise control 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 Corolla L’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 Corolla’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

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 Corolla 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 Corolla doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Elantra Sedan’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corolla’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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

Both the Elantra Sedan and the Corolla 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 Corolla.

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 Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Elantra Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Elantra Sedan will cost $130 to $1380 less than the Corolla over a five-year period.

Recommendations

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

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

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