2020 Hyundai Elantra Sedan vs. 2019 Toyota Yaris

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Yaris scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Elantra Sedan (except SE)’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Yaris doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Yaris 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 Yaris 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 Yaris doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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 Yaris doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Elantra Sedan and the Yaris 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 Yaris was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

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

The Elantra Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Yaris’ (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 Yaris 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 Eco’s standard 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder produces 22 more horsepower (128 vs. 106) and 53 lbs.-ft. more torque (156 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl. The Elantra Sedan’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 41 more horsepower (147 vs. 106) and 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl. The Elantra Sedan Sport’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 95 more horsepower (201 vs. 106) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Elantra Sedan Eco gets better fuel mileage than the Yaris Auto (33 city/41 hwy vs. 32 city/40 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 Yaris doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Elantra Sedan has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Yaris (14 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is available on the Hyundai Elantra Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Yaris.

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 Yaris 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 Yaris 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 Yaris:

Elantra SE/Eco

Elantra SEL/Value

Elantra Sport

Yaris

Front Rotors

11 inches

11 inches

12 inches

10.2 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 Yaris. 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 Yaris:

Elantra

Yaris

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Elantra Sedan has larger standard tires than the Yaris (195/65R15 vs. 185/60R16). The Elantra Sedan Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Yaris (225/45R17 vs. 185/60R16).

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 Yaris LE/XLE’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Elantra Sedan Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. The Yaris’ 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 Toyota Yaris 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 Toyota Yaris 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 Yaris’ 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 Yaris’ 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 Yaris doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Elantra Sedan’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Yaris (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Elantra Sedan is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Yaris.

The Elantra Sedan Limited handles at .84 G’s, while the Yaris pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Elantra Sedan Limited executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Yaris (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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

The Elantra Sedan has 9.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Yaris (95.8 vs. 85.9).

The Elantra Sedan has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 4.8 inches more front hip room, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 5.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Yaris.

Cargo Capacity

The Elantra Sedan has a larger trunk than the Yaris (14.4 vs. 13.5 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 Yaris 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 Yaris 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 Yaris 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 Yaris’ power window (except driver window) switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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

The Elantra Sedan Value Edition/Eco/Sport/Limited has standard heated front and second row seats (second row heated seats optional on Limited) extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Yaris.

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 Yaris 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 Yaris doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Elantra Sedan has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Yaris doesn’t offer rear vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Elantra Sedan’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Yaris doesn’t offer a filtration system.

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 Yaris doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Elantra Sedan Limited/Sport. The Elantra Sedan’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Yaris doesn’t offer a navigation system.

Model Availability

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

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 Yaris is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

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 Yaris only retains 43.71% to 44.31%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Elantra Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Yaris because typical repairs cost less on the Elantra Sedan than the Yaris, including $8 less for front brake pads, $66 less for a starter, $96 less for front struts and $12 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Hyundai Elantra outsold the Toyota Yaris by over seven to one during 2018.

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

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