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2007 Elantra vs VW Rabbit

germancarfan1germancarfan1 Posts: 221
edited March 6 in Hyundai
I don't think a topic like this exists. if so, please transfer this message to the existing topic.

I thought this would be an appropriate and timely forum topic given the recent C&D comparison featuring, among other cars, the VW Rabbit (1st) and new 2007 Elantra (4th).

Discuss.
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Comments

  • In the C&D comparo, they used a 5DR Rabbit which came with an as-tested price of $18,470. However, if you can live with the 3DR model, you can get one for roughly the same price as the Elantra SE.

    2007 Rabbit
    ESP option
    16' alloys
    $16,470 SHIPPED.

    For practically the same price as the Elantra SE, you get a much safer car (Traction control, Stability, IIHS Silver award), better interior quality, better handling, but less space and lower fuel economy (by 4MPG C&D tested).

    Disagree? Please discuss why you would choose the Elantra over the VW Rabbit (or vice versa) given the above information.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Thanks for starting this. Here's a tip, though. It's important to put the right cars in the categories when you create a discussion. The Browse by Vehicle search uses those categories, so if they aren't there, that search won't find the discussion. Most people (I am told) find discussions that way.

    Anyway, that's just for another time. I set them up for you here.

    Carry on!
  • john_fjohn_f Posts: 30
    I'm sure the new rabbit is a very nice car. After my bad experience with an early Passat v6, I will not but another VW for a very long time. So I bought the '07 Elantra GLS AT for my son. Price, percieved quality, safety feautres and warrantee all came together.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I think the Rabbit is a very nice small car also and a great value in 3-door trim. I see its main advantages being excellent crash safety plus standard and optional safety features for its class, well-controlled ride and handling, quality interior materials, and the convenience of a hatchback. The minuses I see are low fuel economy for its class that is not offset by superior performance, poor predicted reliability, and the price of the 5-door when a few options are added.

    Compared to the Elantra (note I haven't driven the Elantra yet so comments on driving dynamics are based on reviews), I see the plusses of the Elantra being back seat comfort, price/value, fuel economy, predicted reliability, ride comfort over rough surfaces, a quality interior that is more "modern" than the Rabbit's, and noise (at least below 72 mph). The minuses are lack of crispness in the ride and handling for twisty roads, engine noise with the MT over 72 mph, lack of a hatchback (for now at least), and lack of features like ESC and traction control (on U.S. spec models at least). Also the crash-worthiness of the new Elantra is an unknown for now (as it is for the 3-door Rabbit for that matter, at least for side protection).

    I think they are both fine small cars that will appeal to different types of buyers. People looking for a small hatchback with a quality feel and traditional Teutonic cues will go for the Rabbit. People looking for a roomy, smooth, comfortable small sedan for car-pooling and running around town will prefer the Elantra.
  • still won't buy a VW.

    i wanna see VW improving on the quality department first. i love golf, and now the rabbit, but i had too many issues with VW in the past.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Disagree?

    yes I do.

    Why?

    Pluses for the Elantra are more room, 4 doors, better fuel economy and better reliability.

    And I strongly disagree with you on the safety thing.

    I will check out the cars to see about the interior, but that may not be for some time.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Why do you disagree about the safey thing? The Rabbit is a very very safe car, there is nothing to dispute that.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Why do you disagree about the safey thing?

    Well first off I don't think any tests have been done on either car. So it is pretty much an unknown which will fair better in an accident. Granted it is safe but so are most other cars.

    Secondly he mentions stability control. I seriously question how much safer a sedan with a low center of gravity is with stability control.

    And finally traction control also seems to be more show than substance, especially if you have good tires.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I don't really understand what a 'modern' interior is suppossed to look like or mean, especially since our perception of modern becomes more and more like spaceships from starwars. (i.e.the new civic. which i think looks nice). But the vw's interior is flawless, if the elantra continues the hyundai tradition of continually improving upon its interior but still not being quite as sharp as the interior, i doubt it will in any way eclipse the rabbits. Vw, reliabilty aside, is known for having the most quality laden and plush interiors for their cars in general and for this class it is as good, if not better than any of the other contenders.

    As far as quietness goes, the rabbit is deathly quitet. Even above 72 mph. Or under it, whatever you like. I have yet to sit in a quieter vehicle in this class, and even though i have not tested the new elantra, the 2.0 that resides in it already has a rep for being a loud engine, so there is that. I doubt its quiter as the rabbit; maybe as quitet, but then once that engine gets going its over.

    Predicted reliabilty? A variable as uncertain as that is best left to time; yes vw's rep is against it, and hyundai's is for it i suppose; i can't recall anyone going on about the legendary reliability of the hyundai elantra (and a few posts of elantra owners doesn't really sway), but i guess it has more going for it than the rabbit. But after my sunvisor in my 06 civic practiacally fell off, i figured that its best to leave reliabilty to time as oppossed to history imo.

    Ride comfort could go to the rabbit too, especially since in the elantra there is a trade off in handling; the vw handles great and has an awesome comfy ride.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    what you "think" is irrelevant. Crash tests have been conducted for the rabbit and it is a prime example of a safe car. I can see why the elantra has not been tested because is just came out, but the rabbit is not new for 07, its an 06 redesign so there would have been no reason to wait so long to test the car; it has been tested. And you don't have to have a low center of gravity to make stabilty control have an influence on the safety of a vehicle. And if traction control is more show than substance guess what? You can get it on a rabbit and not an elantra. And for some people having all that stuff matters and i'm pretty sure if the elantra had it and the rabbit did not, it would be another reason for elantraites(wow thats nice :P )
    to list as an 'advantage' for the elantra.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    The Rabbit has a very nice interior, but as the folks at C/D noted, it has "traditional" German styling--straight lines, boring but nicely done. The Elantra is more curvy, more interesting I think w/o being too far out (like the Civic). To each his own. As for plushness, that goes to the Elantra (see C/D's review for example, they specifically use the word "plush" to describe it and note that the Rabbit's passengers will not be as happy as the driver).

    The Rabbit is noisier than the Elantra at idle and at 70 mph cruise, but is quieter at full throttle. Since my cars are never at full throttle, I prefer quietness at idle and 70 mph cruise.

    The ride of the Rabbit is very good, but has one flaw that even small bumps cause a fairly loud "thump" (probably tire noise). I'll have to drive the new Elantra to see if its ride is as quiet as my '01 GLS was.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Specifically, the NHTSA tested the Rabbit. But I think the IIHS extrapolated the tests from the Jetta. That is probably why it doesn't give the 3-door Rabbit its "Silver" award, since it hasn't done a side test on the 3-door configuration.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Have you driven the rabbit? Because you cant say that it is quieter or less rough unless you have tried both backy. (wow deja vu :blush: ) And even if it is a litte rougher, its handling trade of is worth it, it's not as rough as the mazda 3 so were not talking about this huge margin of comfort between the rabbit and elantra. 70 mph cruising? I could swear my car doesn't even have an engine. To each his own yes, but i certainly wouldn't call the rabbit boring. It has the german feel and look to it, and to most that means 'very nice' as oppossed to boring but, if it doesn't suit your fancy thats fine, i just don't find it boring.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Of course I have driven the Rabbit, or I wouldn't have made the comment I did about the noise from bumps. Give me some credit, guy!

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Rabbit is unattractive. But it's not as visually interesting as the Elantra. The Rabbit is pretty much the same shape it's been since the mid-'80s Golf. So that's why I said it appeals to traditionalists.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    but the rabbit is not new for 07, its an 06 redesign and the crash tests have already been conducted.

    Correct it is a redesign, until that redesign is tested it is an unknown.

    And you don't have to have a low center of gravity to make stabilty control have an influence on the safety of a vehicle.

    Yes and you can make a car safer by putting a parachute on it just in case you drive off a cliff. But it aint going to do much good for 99.99999% of the people out there. Same with stability control, I seriously doubt that stability control will have any real effect on 99.9999% of the owners of these cars.

    To be honest I am coming up on my 30th year of driving. I at times drive hard and fast and on some difficult roads. I don't think there ever was a time when I pushed a car like the Elantra (or my Elantra for that matter) to the point where stability control would have really influenced the car. Not to say that I haven't done so in SUV's, vans, school buses, ambulances and trucks, but never in a sedan.

    And if traction control is more show than substance guess what?

    Yes as I said before closing in on 30 years of driving and every winter was either in the upper Midwest or Alaska. Good hard winters in those places. I can count on the fingers of one hand of a high school shop teacher the times I actually needed traction control (and at least one time it wouldn't have worked anyway). They only other time I had real trouble with traction it was solved by getting rid of old worn out tires and putting good new ones on.

    and i;m pretty sure if the elantra had it and the rabbit did not, it would be another reason for elantraites

    Not me as they are not deal breakers for me. As I said before I managed to survive without them and not damage anything so why would I need them now.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I give you credit man come on! Just a legit question. I really don't think the difference could be that big though, maybe there, but not OH MY GOD! or anything. But i disagree about the traditionalist thing: maybe on the inside but the outside is noticeably different. Its just a 2 door hatchback jetta with a nicer butt, remember how many people don't like the new jetta over the old one?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    I actually like the FRONT of the Rabbit better than that of the Jetta. I don't like that chromy-thing they've stuck on the New Jetta.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    correct it is a redesign but until that redesign is tested it is an unknown.

    Dude did you even read what i posted? Why quote me saying that it was a redesign AND that it HAS been tested only to say this?

    My rabbit has a anti slip regulation and it is a type of tracion control over wet roads. I don't know how many wet roads there are in the frozen stretches of alaska, but i have tested the system on and off and it DOES make a difference in hard rain. And in NC where i'm live (not from) it rains A LOT.

    Another thing; have you had a vehicle with traction control on it to be able to say the benefits are next to nothing? This all sounds interesting coming from someone who has pushed suvs, trucks and buses through fast difficult roads when it makes more sense to put a well handling sedan with a not so high center of gravity through them. Truly you have dizzying intellect. Traction control is not something you equip on a car to make it do amazing feats or to make easier to drive very hard roads; its there in case something sudden that was not planned, ie hard rain causing puddles, black ice, etc were to occur that the driver was notready for or has no control over. Pushing a vehicle on a rough road to its limits is a different story though. :confuse: Its nice to know you have survived.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I know what you mean. I don't hate it but i think it would look better without it. Backy we just agreed on something!! :P
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Dude did you even read what i posted?

    Yes I did are you know trying to back peddle?

    And don't call me dude.

    Another thing; have you had a vehicle with traction control on it to be able to say the benefits are next to nothing?

    No I question its true usefulness as I don't seem to have much problems accelerating in the slush, snow, ice and rain we get up here. Be it in a FWD or RWD.

    This all sounds interesting coming from someone who has pushed suvs, trucks and buses through fast difficult roads when it makes more sense to put a well handling sedan with a not so high center of gravity through them.

    Well you try putting a 6 pound Parrot rifle into a sedan.

    Why I was driving said vehicles is not german to this conversation.

    Traction control is not something you equip on a car to make it do amazing feats or to make easier to drive very hard roads;

    And you claim that I don't read what you wrote? Did you actually read what I wrote? I made no mention of those two together.

    These thing add marginal safety to a vehicle. People have been driving safely without these things for years.

    I am done with you, don't bother responding it will be ignored.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Listen MAN

    If you had read what i posted you would have discovered that saying that this YEAR OLD REDESIGN was still uknown for its crash test results after having been told THAT ITS NOT then you wouldnt ask if i was 'back peddling'.

    if you have not tried a vehicle with it, don't say its useless either. you have no point of reference. You simply have never tried it.

    as far as the 'amazing feats' comment goes, i never said you mentioned those two things together, i was making a point as to what traction control is for; YOU just didnt get it. Don't make that my problem.

    And people have been crashing WITHOUT them for years too.

    Cheers. :) or am i being ignored? oh no! just the thought... :cry:

    A
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's back up and cool off for a sec, okay? There's no need to turn this into something personal.
  • For those of you that live in the Northern states, here is a price comparo that might surprise you.

    One often overlooked feature of the 4DR Rabbit is the standard heated seats, pretty much a necessity for those living in the Rochester tundra.

    Let's compare
    Elantra 5-sp SE w/ Heated seats (and floor mats because Hyundai is too cheap to make them standard) versus VW Rabbit.

    4DR Rabbit:
    Heated seats
    Traction control
    Stability control
    ABS
    Alloys
    $18,470 SHIPPED ($18,020 WITHOUT ESP)

    Elantra SE w/ Heated seats package
    NO traction Control
    NO stability control
    ABS
    Alloys
    Sunroof (blah for heavy snow weight)
    $17,530

    Honestly, for less than $1000, look at the difference. Which would you drive in the winter? This should put an end to the myth that the Rabbit is somehow THOUSANDS more ($4K by some ppl) more expensive.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Honestly, for less than $1000, look at the difference.

    Honestly for $1,000 less I get a more dependable car that has more interior room and better gas mileage.

    What do I get for the additional $1,000? Stuff that I can very easily live without.

    This should put an end to the myth that the Rabbit is somehow THOUSANDS more

    It is when you compare it to the GLS and take into account of what the prices actually are (not MSRP). The lowest priced Rabbit invoices at $16,907 and you most likely pay $500 over that. The lowest price for an Elantra would be an invoice price of $13,285 and could most likely be had for that or a little less. So yes the Rabbit would cost you thousands more, its no myth.

    So $3-4K more for a smaller less fuel efficient car with poorer reliability. No thanks.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • Complete inaccuracies.

    The lowest priced Rabbit invoices at $15,008 DELIVERED.

    The lowest Elantra AVAILABLE is the GLS with A/C invoices for $14,068 DELIVERED. HOWEVER, A quick check of 4 dealerships in my area and another check of 2 dealerships in Rochester, NY shows that the cheapest Elantra AVAILABLE is the GLS w/ Preferred package and floor mats (ppl just don't want a car without cruise control) at $14,671 DELIVERED.

    Where's that 3-4K difference? Please do some research before confusing potential buyers.

    Compare the 4DR Rabbit with the Elantra SE (even without heated seats) and you're still within $1200 or so.

    I guess i'm just crazy, but I just can't see the value in the "new" Elantra. When such a small amount of money nets you a safer, better handling car, I guess I don't understand why one would purchase the inferior car based on an assumption of superior reliability (both Hyundai and VW are far below average in JD power LTD survey) and 4MPG tested average difference in fuel economy.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    germancarfanComplete inaccuracies.

    The lowest priced Rabbit invoices at $15,008 DELIVERED.
    Incorrect.

    Invoice is $15,375 for a 2 door Rabbit

    $15,620 is the base MSRP for a 2 door Rabbit per VWOA.

    $17,620 is the base MSRP for a 4 door Rabbit per VWOA.

    germancarfanI guess i'm just crazy,

    JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study Results (data released in 2006 for 2003 model year vehicles)

    Problems per vehicle
    2.53 Hyundai
    2.99 Volkswagen
    2.27 Industry Average problems per vehicle
    1.94 Honda

    I guess I don't understand why one would purchase the inferior car based on an assumption of superior reliability (both Hyundai and VW are far below average in JD power LTD survey)

    The difference is less than 1 problem per vehicle difference between Volkswagen and the industry average.

    The difference between VW and Honda is 1.05 problems per vehicle.

    1.05 problems per vehicle is the difference upon which you differentiate Superior and Inferior reliablity! :surprise: :sick:

    And this is for 2003 vehicles, it is reasonable to conclude that 2006/2007 vehicles will be more reliable for both manufacturers based on improving initial quality/reliability data.

    Ridiculous to make a mountain out of a molehill concerning reliability! There simply is not a major difference in amount of problems between vehicles.
  • In 2006 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study, Hyundai is ranked 23rd, while VW is near the bottom (32nd place) out of a total of 37 brands. http://www.jdpower.com/global/press-releases/pressrelease.asp?StudyID=1160

    In another rating (http://www.jdpower.com/autos/brand-ratings/), hyundai's over manufactering quality is 4 star while VW is 2 star.

    Also, when equipped with *comparable* features, elentra SE is about 3K less than VW rabbit.
  • Just my opinion, but after reading the posts on this subject and seeing the price comparison (regardless of actual numbers), I notice the main difference here is traction control and stability control.

    No doubt that both would be extremely handy on a midsize sedan, SUV, truck, van, large sedan, etc. But do we really need such options on compact cars? It seems to me that certain manufacturers are making these options "standard" and touting their amazing safety ratings. In reality, they are using these options to boost the price on their vehicles and make more money. In the case of the Rabbit, we're talking about almost $20K for a compact hatchback! I saw one of these recently, and my first impression was that it looked an awful lot like my 1982 rabbit, which handled fine in the snow without all the flash and still got better gas mileage than the ones today reportedly get. (Also, that car cost around $6K new).

    Finally, if you want your car to be safer, DRIVE MORE CAREFULLY! I live in the northeast, and I see people drive like maniacs all winter because their cars have "traction control, abs, ebd, AWD, stability control", and all the other acronyms. I have been driving for long enough to know that fancy options do not replace careful driving.

    Also, people generally buy compact cars to save money, not for expensive options, which are now mandatory.

    Thanks for reading!
  • $15,008 according to edmunds.com. Take it up with them.

    "Ridiculous to make a mountain out of a molehill concerning reliability! There simply is not a major difference in amount of problems between vehicles."

    Exactly my point. So to claim that the Elantra is far superior in reliability when Hyundai is rated far below average anyway (23rd place is nothing to gloat about) makes the reliability factor mute. A VW compared with a Honda makes reliability a relevant factor. But that is not the title of this discussion, is it?
  • "Also, when equipped with *comparable* features, elentra SE is about 3K less than VW rabbit."

    Considering i've just proved this to be false, i'd consider this a mute point. Frankly, it isn't even possible to compare the Elantra SE with the VW Rabbit, because many important components are not even offered on the Elantra (safety systems, 10-speaker sound system, 3 rear headrests, turn signal indicator mirors, electro steering, etc.)
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