2020 Hyundai Veloster vs. 2019 Honda Civic

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 2019/10/16

To help make backing safer, the Veloster Premium/R-Spec/Turbo’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 Civic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Veloster (except N)’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 Civic doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Veloster and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Veloster the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Civic was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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

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

The Veloster’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Civic’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Veloster has a standard 550-amp battery. The Civic’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Veloster second among compact sporty cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Civic 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

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The Veloster has more powerful engines than the Civic:

Horsepower

Torque

Veloster Turbo/R-Spec 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

201 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

Veloster N 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Veloster N 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Civic 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

158 HP

138 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Civic Hatchback Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Veloster Turbo/R-Spec 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Honda Civic 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

Veloster

Civic

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.6 MPH

88 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Veloster N 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Honda Civic 2.0 (manual transmissions tested):

Veloster

Civic

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

88 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Veloster Turbo/R-Spec 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Honda Civic turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Veloster

Civic

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Veloster uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Civic Hatchback Sport requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The Veloster 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 Civic doesn’t offer an SMG.

The Hyundai Veloster N manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Civic doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Veloster N’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic:

Veloster N

Civic

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

10.2 inches

The Veloster N’s optional front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Civic are solid, not vented.

The Veloster stops much shorter than the Civic:

Veloster

Civic

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Veloster 2.0’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Civic LX’s standard 55 series tires. The Veloster N’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Civic Sport/Touring’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Veloster 2.0 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Civic LX. The Veloster N’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Civic Sport/Touring.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Veloster offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Civic’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Veloster N handles at .97 G’s, while the Civic Coupe pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Veloster N executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the Civic LX Coupe (25.2 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Veloster’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Civic LX/EX’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The Veloster’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Veloster is 10.4 inches shorter than the Civic Coupe, making the Veloster easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Veloster has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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The Veloster has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Civic Coupe (19.9 vs. 12.1 cubic feet).

The Veloster’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

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The Veloster Turbo Ultimate has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Civic doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Veloster and the Civic have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Veloster is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Civic prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Veloster’s standard 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 Civic LX/Sport’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 Veloster’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Civic’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Veloster’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Civic EX/EX-T/EX-L/Touring.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Veloster owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Veloster with a number “3” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Veloster is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost much less on the Veloster than the Civic, including $7 less for a water pump, $275 less for a starter, $23 less for fuel injection, $96 less for a fuel pump and $206 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Veloster and the Honda Civic, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

The Veloster N was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Civic hasn’t been picked since 2017.

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

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