Hyundai Elantra vs. Hyundai Sonata

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 26, 2021

With the redesigned Hyundai Elantra for the 2021 model year, the South Korean automaker has brought its compact sedan more in line with its midsize car, the Sonata. The Sonata was redesigned in 2020, bringing an upscale design, impressive tech features, and updated engines. It’s a similar story for the Elantra, but for the 2021 model year.

If you’re in Hyundai’s showroom, which sedan should you go with? Keep reading to find out based our comparison of some of the key specs and features to help you decide which is best for you.

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

What The Elantra Gets Right

As the smaller vehicle of the two, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that the Elantra is more affordable than the Sonata. Pricing for the Elantra starts at $20,655 (including destination), which is $4,300 less than the Sonata. That’s a big chunk of change that could be used to move up to a higher trim level.

Another area where the Elantra has the edge over the Sonata is when it comes to fuel economy. The hybrid powertrain is rated to get up to 54 mpg combined in the Elantra, while the Sonata Hybrid has a 52-mpg combined rating. The regular Elantra is more efficient, too, carrying a combined rating of 37 mpg, which bests the Sonata’s 32-mpg combined rating.

What the Sonata Gets Right

One of the major advantages with the Sonata is its spacious cabin. The midsize sedan offers more room when it comes to legroom, headroom, shoulder room, and hip room in both rows than the Elantra. The Elantra does offer more rear legroom, though. Trunk space in the Sonata measures in at 16 cubic feet of cargo space, which is roughly 2 cubic feet more than what the Elantra offers.

For consumers seeking more performance out of their sedan, the Sonata is the better option. The base engine in the Sonata is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower. The range-topping N Line comes with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that generates 290 hp. The base four-cylinder in the Sonata produces 147 hp, while the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the Elantra N-Line makes 201 hp.

Want Extra Space?

On paper, the Elantra and Sonata are incredibly close to one another. They have similar interior designs, standard features, optional tech features, and safety features. The main differences include pricing and size. If you have the budget and need a sedan with a more spacious cabin, the Sonata will be a better fit.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Elantra

With similar features, a more affordable price tag, and more efficient engines the Hyundai Elantra is the winner in this comparison. It may not be as spacious as the Sonata or as powerful, but it should offer enough space for consumers that only plan on using the back seats occasionally and can be fitted with a peppy turbocharged engine. For the majority of consumers, it’s the better choice.

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Elantra »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Sonata »

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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