Toyota Corolla 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 23, 2021

The Toyota Corolla sedan has always been a stalwart option in the compact class. With its fuel-efficient engines, comfortable cabin, and long list of standard features, the Corolla has appealed to shoppers looking to save fuel, as well as ones looking for a do-it-all vehicle.

For the 2021 model year, the Hyundai Elantra enters the fight with the Corolla as a fully redesigned model. With its bold design, impressive tech features, available hybrid trim, and optional turbocharged engine, the Elantra looks it has the goods to take the Corolla on.

Is the redesigned Elantra a better option than the Corolla? That’s what we'll answer below in our comparison of key specs and features for both of these value-oriented compact cars.

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

What the Toyota Corolla Gets Right

Toyota offers the Corolla in both sedan and hatchback body styles. For consumers that need some extra cargo space, the available hatchback body style is a major benefit over the Elantra’s sedan-only configuration. The Corolla hatchback offers up to 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, while the Elantra can hold up to 14.2 cubic feet of cargo.

For consumers that prefer to have a lot of choices, the Corolla is the better option. It’s available in a total of 12 trim levels, including the Corolla hatchback and available hybrid trims. Hyundai offers the Elantra in six trims. Having more trims to choose from could help you find a vehicle that has everything you’re looking for.

What the Hyundai Elantra Gets Right

Consumers on a budget will find the Hyundai Elantra to be a better choice. It’s $365 less than the Corolla and is more efficient, too. With the available hybrid powertrain, the Elantra is rated to get up to 54 mpg combined. The Corolla Hybrid has a 52-mpg combined rating. The regular Elantra is more efficient, as well, carrying a combined rating of 37 mpg compared to the Corolla’s 35-mpg combined rating.

Despite costing less than the Corolla, the Elantra comes with more tech features. An 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and voice recognition are standard. The Corolla comes with a 7-inch touchscreen as standard and has wired smartphone compatibility. The largest touchscreen that’s offered in the Corolla is an 8-inch unit, while Hyundai offers a 10.25-inch touchscreen on the Elantra.

Both vehicles compete in the compact class, but the Elantra is the more spacious model of the two. The Elantra offers more front headroom, front legroom, front shoulder room, rear headroom, and rear legroom than the Corolla. Rear legroom in the Elantra is especially noteworthy, as the Hyundai offers 3.2 extra inches of room.

A Cut Above

Before the full redesign, the Elantra was a step behind the Corolla, but that changes for the 2021 model year. Performance, fuel economy, interior space, features, price tag, you name it and there’s a good chance that the Elantra bests the Corolla in that category. The Corolla is still a good option in the class, but the Elantra is better in areas that matter more.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Elantra

While we’re fans of the Hyundai Elantra’s bold design, upscale cabin, and peppy performance over the Toyota Corolla, the majority of consumers will enjoy its more spacious cabin, more affordable price tag, and high-tech features. Either way, the Elantra flat out beats the Corolla.

Take a closer look at the Toyota Corolla »

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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