Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - April 16, 2021

Long seen as the benchmark in the class, the Honda Civic has led the way forward for the compact segment for decades. Unlike some other compacts on the market that focus on being strong in one area, the Civic is a well-rounded vehicle that can do it all. Unfortunately, while competitors have come out with redesigned models, the Civic hasn’t been updated since 2016.

Redesigned for the 2021 model year, the Hyundai Elantra arrives and immediately impresses. It’s bolder, more enjoyable to drive, and packed with more features than before. The changes result in an Elantra that shoots to the top of the pack instead of languishing somewhere in the middle. Here's a comparison of key features and specs to help you make an informed decision.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Honda Civic & the Hyundai Elantra »

What the Honda Civic Gets Right

Honda offers the Civic in both sedan and hatchback body styles for consumers that need a little extra versatility from their compact. The Civic is available in a total of 10 configurations, while the Elantra is available in six trims including hybrid models. For consumers that prefer having more choices and are looking for a hatchback, the Civic is a better choice.

While Hyundai introduced a sporty N-Line trim for the Elantra, it can’t match the Civic Type R. Honda’s mighty hot hatchback comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 306 horsepower. The turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the N-Line produces 201 hp. In a nod to driving enthusiasts, the Civic Type R is only available with a manual transmission.

What the Hyundai Elantra Gets Right

The Elantra is the more affordable option of the two, being the better option for consumers on a budget. Prices for the Elantra start at $20,655 (including destination), which is $1,590 less than the Civic that costs $22,245. In addition to being more affordable than the Civic, the Elantra is more efficient, too. It carries a 37-mpg combined rating for the standard engine and a 54-mpg combined rating for the available hybrid.

The Elantra may cost less than the Civic, but it comes with more advanced tech features. An 8-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone compatibility, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and voice recognition, are standard on the Elantra. The Civic comes with a 5-inch display, Bluetooth, and a USB port as standard. A 10.25-inch touchscreen, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone charging, and a Bose audio system are all optional on the Elantra. The largest available touchscreen for the Civic is a 7-inch unit.

Love Driving?

The Honda Civic shines because of its performance. The available Civic Type R is one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars ever made. Even lower trim levels offer engaging performance thanks to a balanced chassis and sharp handling. The issue with the Civic is its age. To remain competitive in the compact class, the Civic needs a refresh. Fortunately, a Civic redesign is coming this year.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Elantra

The fully redesigned Hyundai Elantra hits all of the right notes. Over the Civic, it comes with more tech features, a more spacious interior, a bolder design, and more fuel-efficient engines. It’s also backed by one of the longest warranties on the market. All of this comes at a cost that undercuts the Civic by a wide margin. That’s a win-win.

Take a closer look at the Honda Civic »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Elantra »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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