2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Corolla Hybrid and the Elantra Sedan 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Elantra Sedan.

There are over 47 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

The Elantra Sedan’s redline is at 6800 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Elantra Sedan isn’t in the top three.

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

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Elantra Sedan Eco (53 city/52 hwy vs. 32 city/40 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Corolla Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Corolla Hybrid’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 Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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

The Corolla Hybrid 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 Elantra Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Elantra Sedan. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid 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 Elantra Sedan has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Corolla Hybrid has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Corolla Hybrid flat and controlled during cornering. The Elantra Sedan base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Elantra Sedan’s (34.1 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Corolla Hybrid easier. The Corolla Hybrid’s trunk lift-over height is 25.5 inches, while the Elantra Sedan’s liftover is 27.4 inches.

Ergonomics

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

The Corolla Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Elantra Sedan’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hybrid the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Elantra Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Corolla Hybrid has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Elantra Sedan has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/Value Edition/Eco/Sport/Limited.

The Corolla Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Elantra Sedan SE doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

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

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

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