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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra



  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If I wanted great cornering, a zingy engine, and exceptional steering at a reasonable price there would probably be a numeral in the car's name. Maybe even the word "speed" (hints at excitement, doesn't it?).

    (You thinking 328i? :) I am!)

    But if you wanted a new car, and didn't want to spend more than $20k, those things are out of budget with the exception of Mazda's 3. The Mazda 3s is a good buy, and shares similar characteristics with the Civic (although the 3's road noise and tire vibration are much more HEAVILY pronounced in the examples I've been in). The Civic meets the two in the middle, although it leans more towards the Mazda than the Elantra.

    You guys are taking my "excitement" comment way too far. I never claimed the Civic to be a Bimmer alternative, or a poor-man's Porsche; just a more fun alternative to the Elantra. The Elantra has plenty of wonderful attributes (space, ride comfort, Stability Control), but it isn't something I'd ever consider to be "fun." Sort of like a small Camry; practical, but boring.
  • mjoshimjoshi Posts: 34
    Apart from your excitement comment and dont want to pick on you (and that is seriously not my intention) but I drive Mazda 3 every day. And I test drove Civic LX other day and I'll tell you there is not difference in terms of road noise between two. And Civic has more pronounced wind noise than Mazda 3. Actually I was expecting similar thing from Civic as we owe Odyssey and we were ripping our hair initially with Ody's road noise & wind noise, so nothing ground breaking there from Honda.
    On other hand Elantra had higher engine noise especially when you rev it up.

    Also one more thing I dont get how Edmunds and CR rates Civic higher than Mazda 3. Reason being the number of features Mazda 3 offers is more than Civic. It handles better than Civic and it costs less than Civic. It has better warranty than Civic, It holds it value same as Civic. I bought mine 04 Mazda 3 Hatch with everything except leather seat for like $17500 in 2004. If I wanted to get same featureset from Civic it would have costed me more than that (and some of things like Stability control is not even available on Civic). I'd say I loved the console layout of Civic more than my 3 or Elantra. Probably I would wait for year or two to see what comes out next.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Here we go again with etheral feelings...things that cannot be explained. I tell you I own a 2006 Civic and I don't hear any supernatural whispering in my ear when I drive mine. Sarcastic? sure but I want to throw up my hands in exasperation when I read of those "feelings" that subliminally say......"brother, you bought the best". OK, the Civic is a good car but no better than others within the class, and in many ways worse. Just me though. :)
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    How is it some in here think "they know it all" and use sarcasm as a way to answer others opinions that they don't agree with...whatever. Since you are having so many problems with your car...dump it already and move on. This forum is just like the Mazda 3 one about four years ago. There was one particular poster who had some problems with his 3 and went on...and on...and on...until it got tedious to read the forum. Many of us just left because of the constant negativity. Luckily when I came back about a year later, it was a much nicer atmosphere in there.
    On a side note here, there are five Civic owners from this generation at my installation and none have had all the problems some keep talking about in here. Only two of us had the lug bug problem taken care of and besides that...nothing. Two were assembled in Japan, two in the U S and the last in Canada. A pretty fair random sample and nada...just five happy owners. That fact alone tells me volumes about the quality of the Civic.
    Still love my Civic and the wife still loves her Mazda. Hopefully in the fall my kid will get her Elantra and then I'll be able to come back and post some real life opinions about all three cars. Enjoy your cars and if not...move on to something else. Life's way to short.

    Outta here.......The Sandman :)
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    If you are referring to me I freely admit that I certainly don't "know it all". I only know about that with which I have had nearly three (3) years first hand experience (that would be our 2006 Civic EX sedan). It seems when someone disses the Civic they are whiners dragging down the happy Honda family. Why should only the "great car ever" comments be seen? Sarcasm, by the way, is an accepted form of addressing others although you may not like it it has its place.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    There was one particular poster who had some problems with his 3 and went on...and on...and on...until it got tedious to read the forum.

    I remember of the reasons why I left for a while. He had the A/C problems, yeah?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    crickets chirping

    This is very surprising to notice how dead it is in here. Especially with the Civic probably getting ESC in 09...but the Elantra getting a hatchback/touring/whatever type deal.

    I'm considering these two in the fall, with the spiky gas prices. I like having a hatch...but I'd also like to get nav (in dash please, no goofy add-ons with wires all over the place). I drive 100 miles to work and back per day, so MPGs are important....but so is a long warranty. My my what a quandry, hmm?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Since you drive 100 miles a day, you might also consider the 2009 Sonata Limited I4. Its highway fuel economy isn't much different from the Elantra's, it has a 5AT, it has a factory nav option, it's a quiet and comfy highway cruiser, and historically has had much bigger incentives than the Elantra, so price-wise it won't be much different than a loaded Elantra Touring and would probably cost less than the Civic EX-L with nav (once the 2008 Sonatas are cleared out that is).
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Maybe so, but the MPGs are going to be a rather significant step down on the Sonata. Even with the new 5 speed auto, it's only rated at 31 highway.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    2 MPG highway isn't that significant when you're talking about that much extra power, space, and comfort. The Elantra gets 33 hwy, per EPA.

    Besides, if the Elantra and Sonata are anything like my dad's Civic and my Accord, the Sonata's torquier engine will help it go over and above the EPA estimates on the highway, where the Elantra's 2.0 will have to work harder, and no exceed the numbers so well, especially in hilly or higher-speed (70+) sections. I routinely get 37+ on my Accord, and he gets about that as well, going the same speed. The difference is that I have 32 more lb-ft of torque and a lot more passing power, room, and comfort.

    Around town, his car would outperform mine mileage-wise though, due to his car being lighter and having 75% the displacement of my car.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    It's not (totally) about's about gearing. So what I really want to know is how many RPMs each engine turns at about 70-75 MPH (that's cruising speed on the interstates here unless one wants to get run off the road by angry drivers).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Actually 32 mpg highway for the Sonata I4, or about 3% less than the Elantra. And we don't know what the ratings will be for the Touring yet. An acceptable tradeoff IMO for 37 more horses and the extra room and comfort of the Sonata.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Unless one likes the hatch...I've still got my 04 Mazda3 5-door and a hatch REALLY comes in handy sometimes. But with the selection so narrow, I may break down and get a trunk anyway...can't get a Sonata with a hatch, can't get a regular Civic with a hatch sad, ya know?

    I'm semi-considering the Sonata, but I have to see how the incentives shake out. I'm really not too sure on getting something that big, though the range increase on the gas tank might be handy.

    Incidentally, Edmunds gives the Sonata I4 as 30 MPG highway. Elantra is 33 MPG, Civic is 36 MPGs.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Incidentally, Edmunds gives the Sonata I4 as 30 MPG highway.

    30 for the automatic, 31 for the manual. is the final say on EPA numbers, as far as I'm concerned.
  • delaluzdelaluz Posts: 48
    I own a 2007 Sonata I4 with auto. I got 32 MPG on a recent trip from NC to NY.

    I had owned a 2002 Elantra (auto) and averaged 28-30 mpg on my 26 mile round trip to work. With my Sonata I had averaged 25-26 for the same trip. I try to measure my mileage each tankfull by dividing miles on trip counter by gallons.

    I hope this info helps!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Try checking the EPA numbers for the 2009 Sonata--they are improved for 2009 over 2008. I don't think they are posted yet on yet though.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I believe you are right; thanks for clarifying!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    If you want a hatch and factory nav and good fuel economy, your best bet might be the 2009 Fit or Matrix. Then there's the Prius, but it gets kind of pricey. And I read the 2009 SX4 will have nav standard, at a low price.

    Personally I never much understood the value of factory nav, when the time I need it most is when I am on a business trip out of town--driving a rental car. :surprise:
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Is the 2009 Fit going to have VSC/ESC/ESP/VSP or whatever other alphabet soup they use to denote traction and stability control? I haven't found out one way or the other.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Yes, VSC will be availble on the Fit for 2009.
This discussion has been closed.