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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra



  • dankgdankg Posts: 1
    I have been looking for a small car for a while and would like to get a used Honda Civic DX. A dealer nearby has a 1997 with 48K miles for $9,500. I baulked because it was at the top end of what I wanted to spend.
    Today the dealer called back and said he had a 2000 Hyundai Elantra with 6,300 miles for $8,300.
    I don't have experience with the Hyundai make but
    began reading up on them.
    Any opinions out there? The vehicle would be mainly used for commuting to school.
  • elantra00elantra00 Posts: 225
    id go for the elantra....less mileage and a thousand cheaper. also, especially since the civic is a "DX" trim, you dont have power windows/locks/mirrors. so for a thousand less, you get a car that is pretty much brand new with power everything, 40k less miles and still under warranty (5 yr/ 60k i believe). Thats my choice, but either one you can't go wrong. its what YOU like. Good luck
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    Civic DX with 48000 mileage for 9K ??
    It will be very good if u can get it for Edmunds private Party value. Regarding Elantra, it depreciates like crazy, also u won't be getting 10year-100K powertrain warr. Hyundai Xmission had tendency to break before 60K mileage in the past, but if it sustains & breaks JUST after 60K miles u will spend atleast 1600 on it.

    Look in the market, try to get Civic from Private party instead of a dealer...u will do much better(at least 1200-1500$ better)
  • elantra00elantra00 Posts: 225
    tendency to break after 60,000 miles? Let me CLARIFY this up. For pre-1995 model elantras, the timing belt had to be changed at 60,000 miles. If not, then it could cause problems. But lets see..that was about 6 years ago! That problem has been DEALT with and SOLVED. And to boot, if you changed the timing belt at 60,000 miles, then you would have no problems! This is a passed problem that has been fixed.
    So lets stop hounding on passed problems that have been fixed and lets look at the present. You cannot change the past. Honda sucked when they first came out, as well as Hyundai did. Honda became great, and now so is hyundai. Just hyundai is about 5-10 years behind hondas rep so they are catching up now and their cars are fantastic.

    ....and 8300 is pretty good for a 2k elantra. I usually seen them for 10-11,000. But out of that one post, you are right about the depreciation....for now ;) At the rate hyundai is going, their resale value will be nearly if not as good as Honda. Give'm 5 years and you'll see, sobers.

    If i were you dankg, i would take COMPLETE advantage of the depreciation, while you can. The cars resale will go up in the future cause the hyundais are only getting better. $8300 is a fantastic deal for a almost new elantra. unfortunately sobers is right, you wont be getting the 100,000 mile warranty because you are the second owner. but at least you ll get a 5 yr/60k warranty....better then the civic. civic warranty is up unless the dealership throws in a 2 yr which some do. but 3 yrs less then the new elantra warranty. Only if you need the best fuel economy, then maybe the civic would suit you better....or maybe a 1.0 litre 3 cyclinder 55 hp metro w/ 50 mpg. lol. But for performance, then the elantra.
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    My intentions were not to drive away somebody from getting Elantra vs Civic. Everybody is smart enough to spend amount like 8k-9k properly.
    I was just making aware of possible Xmission problems. There is one site (I forgot wed addr),
    which deals with the Xmissions. It presented case study from all records of repairs(both warranty & others collected from various sources)

    The site gives estimates for Xmission duarbility & overall quality
    GM: The best shifting, reliable AUTOs, No probs until 100K mileage.
    Toyota/Honda: 150+ Reliable. Toyota being more smooth.
    Ford: 80k+
    Chrysler/Koreans: 60-80K regular failure problems.
    I don't remeber exact figures but these are pretty close. Please read my pevious post(apprx 50 post back) regarding this.

    2001 Elantra is improved over 2000. So u will be getting previous generation car. Also mpg is 8-10 miles lesser for the Hyundai. When it comes to resale ur car again u'll get hit by depreciation or virtually buyer-less as nobody want to buy 4-5 year old used Hyundai as such....
  • elantra00elantra00 Posts: 225
    That record you gave of durability and reliability of the cars is not very accurate. Why i say that? well, i have a chyrsler product...a 96 jeep cherokee with 100,000 miles on it. not ONE problem with the car since new. my friend has an 87 mercury cougar with 235,000 miles. It just died, but it just goes to show you that any well maintained car can go over 150,000 miles.

    Yet, I had an old 86 toyota corolla that i bought used. The engine went on it at 65,000 miles. But wait....they are suppose to go above 150,000 miles and be the one of the most reliable cars around? and i took good care of it. obviously the previous owner didnt since i got it at 50k miles.

    My point is, it all depends on the owner. How you care for the car will determine its life span. Not so much the manufacturer but more of the owners end. you dont change the oil for 30,000 miles, constantly peel out, floor it, do a "transmission drop", etc. expect problems.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Of course it's not accurate. It's an estimate and an average based on previous experiences. The way you put it, it's all due to the treatments these cars receive. Then there's practically no difference in reliability and durability among all cars. Someone can cite a study that says someone with a college degree earns on average $15,000 (or whatever) more a year than someone without. You can always name a multi-millionaire who dropped out of high school.

    And just to make myself clear. Yes, the '01 Elantra is a compelling choice.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    are in for the '01 Elantra and, guess what, it bested the '01 Civic head-to-head (4drs with side air bags). Both got 4 stars in the rear. Elantra got 5 stars (highest rating) for the front, Civic got 4 stars. Frontal crash ratings should be out soon. I'd hope the '01 would do at least as well as the '00, which got 5 stars driver, 4 stars passenger.
  • kymcampkymcamp Posts: 51
    I'm impressed with those crash test scores. I read the glowing review Consumer Reports wrote about the Hyundai. Probably the best hint they liked the car is that they called it "to new to rate for reliability", and didn't base it on the manufacturer's history like they did with the also brand new Civic.

    Still, I've decided to go with Mazda. I ruled out the Golf as just too much of a budget stretch at this point, but if I had the money I would. I revised my opinion on the Civic after looking at the Si coupe, the sport seats are much more comfortable than on the DX sedan. The location of the power mirror controls is bizarre though. Still, at 9% financing, no new grad rebate and a price higher than the Mazda and Hyundai I won't pick it.

    Between Mazda and Hyundai it was right down to the wire, both cars offer 4.8% financing for 60 months, and Mazda Canada lowered (yes you read right) the price of the 2001 Protégé by about $1500. There's only about a $3000 Canadian (about $1800 U.S.) difference between the two cars. Tough choice. The basis for my decision? The power moonroof is standard on the Protégé GT and I can get a manual transmission. Hyundai Canada doesn't have any moonroof or sunroof equipped Elantra's and I'd have to go to an automatic. If I could get these features I'd probably be driving a Hyundai off the lot next week instead.
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    Civic Coupe got 5 Front 5 side carsh. i.e all around 5 stars !! Civic sedan 5 frontal & 4 side carsh. So the crash test scores for civic are not lesser than Elantra. I have yet to see carsh test results for Elantra for 2001, will comment when I get to read.

    Regarding Xmissions: Those figures were based on millions of vehicles of 90s. Apart from Xmission Hyundai's mail problem was Electrical problems.
    yes, the warranty should help but it means likelyhood of ur car being out of service is more for Hyundai.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Sobers, as Ronald Regan used to say, "Well, there you go again!" It is not a fair comparison to compare a coupe's crash scores with those of a 4dr sedan--they have totally different body structures. Just as it would not be fair for me to compare the crash scores of the Elantra, with its standard side air bags, with the Civic without its optional side air bags (although we will be able to do that soon with the NHTSA publishes its results for the Civic sans airbags). I know it pains you to see the Elantra get better crash test scores than the comparable Civic models, since you had fun earlier touting the '01 Civic's scores vs. the previous generation Elantra's scores, but it's hard to dispute facts--which by the way can be found at:

    Once the frontal crash scores are posted for the Elantra, we will have a full comparison. May the better (stronger?) car win!

    P.S. Maybe those 200 extra pounds on the Elantra are good for something other than bringing down its fuel economy after all. Come to think of it, maybe they also help contribute to the quiet ride that CR raved about.
  • kymcampkymcamp Posts: 51
    Looking at the NHTSA crash tests, it appears that the three safest cars in this market are the Hyundai, Honda, and Volkswagon. Of course, the front crash test scores aren't in yet, but it's likely to duplicate the 2000's 5 stars. My Mazda choice is more midpack along with the Toyota Corolla and Ford focus. Of course, in Canada I can't get an Elantra with side airbags, so the side crash test score would probably be lower. Still, with the Elantra it appears Hyundai has finally achieved what it's been trying to do for the last two decades. It's finally a car in the top of its class along with the Civic, Mazda, Focus, and Golf/Jetta. The 1st generation Elantra was decidely subpar, the second generation was midpack, but the third generation is finally ranked with the best. Consumer reports called it a "quantum leap" from the first generation, and now mentions the Civic and Elantra in the same breath without laughing. Oddly enough as Hyundai has climbed up, Toyota has fallen down to midpack. They just don't seem to be trying anymore with the Corolla. I guess they're too interested in their more profitable SUVs and the Avalon. If the car proves as reliable as it promises, then the Elantra will be secure in its top-class ranking.
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    Somebody said it pains me that Elantra got good carsh test results. Boy, it is always pleasing to see very good carsh test scores of any vehicle. Consumers are entitled to nothing less. So it is very good that Elantra got ver y good crash scores
    50 pounds though seem to be a big figure is nothing when comes to car-weights. 50 pounds is mere 22 Kgs guys. It is not going to make car more quite or safe.

    Civic's popularity in the past is not due to its quiteness or best power in the class. It was due to proven reliability, performance, competent handling, it's wide range(Civic for everybody), great fuel consuption & rediculous returns when it comes to resale. That will continue to happen.
    Given Civic is improved by a significant factor for 2001.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    OK, maybe the 270 pounds (Civic EX 4dr 2610, Elantra 2880 per Consumer Reports 2/01) the Elantra has over the Civic has nothing to do with the Elantra's superior crash scores or ride quality. Then I guess we just have to attribute those features to superior engineering.

    I agree that Civic's popularity is not due to power or quietness but reliability, competent handling, fuel economy, and resale value. The "Civic for everybody" thing that has been mentioned by "somebody" several times is puzzling, though. Comparing Civic to Elantra, Civic has a 2dr coupe and a 4dr sedan. Elantra has a 2dr coupe (which Hyundai chose to name the Tiburon, but it's the same platform and engine as the Elantra) and 4dr sedan. Elantra doesn't have three different levels of 4dr sedans like the Civic, because it doesn't need to. Instead, Elantra offers lots of standard equipment, over and above what's in the Civic LX, for $461 less than a Civic DX. And if you want features available on the Civic EX like moonroof and ABS, you can get them on the Elantra. So I really don't see what value the DX/LX/EX models offer to consumers, other than to provide Honda with a loss leader in the DX and a profit leader in the EX. How many DXs are sold vs. LXs and EXs? I don't see many DX 4drs on the road. If a buyer had the choice between power windows, locks, and mirrors or manual ones, and A/C or no A/C, for the same or lower price, which would they choose? The car with the power features and A/C, of course. So again the DX doesn't really give the consumer a choice except a way to get into a Civic, with its excellent fuel economy and reliability, for a lower price but with bare-bones features. Now Civic does have a couple of powertrain options not available on the Elantra, namely the HX with CVT and GX with natural gas, which will appeal to a few people. But the Elantra will soon be available in a 5dr hatchback, a model that Civic has nothing to compare to (since Honda dropped the Civic hatchback, alas). A turbodiesel engine is coming for the Elantra also, which should please people looking for high fuel economy. So where is the Civic's real advantage in model choices?
  • backy: When do we get that turbodiesel and what kind of specs for milage? I like everything about the Elantra but would like the extra milage. After driving the Elantra and pretty much everything in the compact class I am just stunned to say that I like it the best. I was very much prejudiced against it but I've test driven three of them now and have to say job well done. Much better car than our 98 Civic LX from the standpoint of road noise, comfort/room and power. Quality of build is right there with the Civic in my mind. I don't know what the long term prospects are going to be but the cars will either last, or Hyundai will go out of business. If you don't build a good vehicle and then offer that kind of warranty, then your company is history. I have to say that if they are willing to stand behind the vehicle, I'm willing to give them a chance.
  • bob343bob343 Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 Elantra, (which I absolutely love), and have changed the oil twice since my purchase in June '00. On both occassions, I brought my car to Jiffy Lube where the filter and oil with the Pennzoil brand.
    I noticed however, that when the oil is changed, the dip sticks reads about 1/2 of an inch above the full line. My manual states that I should not fill above the full mark. Jiffy Lube assured me that I should not worry abount a 1/2 an inch reading on the dip stick and that no harm would be done to the engine. For some reason, I can't help but feel that a strictly constructive interpretation of the manufacture's reccommendation is best.
    Am I simply being overprotective of my new car?.....
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    Go with ur manual, if something happens tomorrow, warranty will work only if u have followed it. Don't give any excuse to the dealership.

    Regarding Civic DX, it is not intended to sell in large #s, but many will want that to save a few bucks when economy slows down. 99/2000 saw consumers not hesitating costly purchase due to strong economy but it is changing now. I have seen many DX on the lot with manual which saves few more bucks for buyers. DX is a must for an economy sedan & it has worked very well to Honda since early 90s.

    Regarding 280 pounds. Civic's crash score as is as good as Elantra, so 280 punds is an excessive weight for Elantra I guess !! :))

    2001 Civic is remarkably quite. The way engineers worked on the flat floor is marvel of engg.

    Happy Motoring Guys.
  • kymcampkymcamp Posts: 51
    It's not going to damage your car if you slightly overflow the fill line, but you may end up burning some oil.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,675
    Be careful...some posters here can get VERY nasty and even personal if they don't like your comments about Hyundais!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    According to post #373 in Hyundai Elantra 2 by bluewinds on Jan. 6, 2001, Hyundai will launch the turbo intercooler diesel Elantra this summer. That's all the info I have on this--maybe bluewinds or someone else can provide more details?

    Re the humpless Honda Civics--that's a great design. Kind of amazing it took so long for someone to figure that out. The Elantra's rear hump is quite special, however: it's filled with 270 pounds of lead.
  • elantra00elantra00 Posts: 225
    On behalf of hyundai owners in this forum, I'd like to welcome you back to the Elantra vs. Civic forum. Long time no see :)
  • darpin1darpin1 Posts: 49
    These guys at Jiffy Lube don't seem to care so I'd be careful of them in the future...!/2 inch yiks! that is way too much...Check the owners manual I doubt they recommend it...What I've been told is that it is better to ave less oil than too much...Everything is so tight in these engines especially when they are new...get them to reduce it (and should be for free) otherwise you maybe replacing gaskets and seals on a regular basis if you listen to these Jiffy Lube guys.

    A note about the Civic 2001...We have a show up here in the Great White North (Canada) called Auto-Stop (it's in french) and they reviewed the Civic and found it to be a step backward...They review the car top to bottom...When on the hoist they showed us viewers what Honda has done underneath the Civic...Very little protection for the engine compartment brake lines and of course suspension....They didn't understand why Honda went to such a cheap suspension system in the back dropping the double wishbone suspension that many Honda purists have screamed "stupid". Probably to lose weight to get better gas mileage. I think making comparison engineering wise should include examining the underside of a car too. Take a look at how well protected an Elantra vs. Honda and you'll be surprised...Honda's seem to heading to "Less for more $".
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Congrats on your pick! In four door land, the Protege is arguably the best looking four door economy car out there! Classy and sporty at the same time! I understand the 2001's are even better. If only Mazda could get on the ball with MPG's they would have an all around BEST CAR in my opinion, four door wise.
  • kymcampkymcamp Posts: 51
    It wasn't an easy decision, since I really liked all three cars, and even now I'm still wavering a little. Now I just have to finish my job search so I can pay for the thing :)!
  • Yesterday I drove the Honda Civic 4 door LX 01 with side-air bags as the only option. Really tight, typical Honda build quality. My family has several Honda's so I know how they age and their manufacturing skills seem to be unmatched. I like the looks of the car better than the Elantra and it is put together really tight (am I repeating myself?). I didn't like the ride quality and noise. At 65-75mph on the highway it is doing over 3000rpm and it is noisy compared to the Elantra. Also the steering is twitchy making it harder to doze during my long highway jaunts. :) I really like driving the Elantra more than the Civic. Of couse the Civic has the better ergonomics and the interior looks like a swiss watch. But the Elantra is so smooth and the engine is wonderful when compared to the buzzy Honda engine. My bottom line though really...I could live with either one. So I look at safty. The Elantra looks like it will hold the edge ever so slightly (assuming the 01 front crash scores come in at least as good as last year). Cost of ownership... I've run the numbers. Looking at up front cost, insurance, fuel cost and financing the Civic will cost me $40 more per month for 48 months in payments. Over four years that comes to about $2000.00 more. I'm not considering maintenance. I don't have a crystal ball but the I would bet on the Honda being cheaper but the Elantra warranty goes a long way to erase that factor. I drive about 20,000 mi/yr and I calculated the gas cost at $1.60/gallon. Called my insurance company to check differences in insurance (The Elantra is cheaper). If you consider that the resale value, the Civic just smokes the Elantra, the Civic is the cheaper car to drive when taking everything into consideration. I reached this conclusion without any joy since I do like the Elantra better in many ways. Anyway, thought I would air my thoughts. Let me know if I'm missing anything.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,675
    Well the results for the Civic are in.

    It's five stars front and rear, and four stars for the side, five stars for the coupes.

    And that's without the side air bags.

    Hard to do much better than that!
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    Given Civic's mpg in City more than elantra by 8mpg. which means for 20000 miles Civic gas 20000/32(epa city) = 625 * 1.6 = $1000
    Elantra assuming 24 is $1333. So the actual diff is $2000-333 = around 1670$. Yes Elantra has more power due to large engine which may miss. We are not yet talking about resale here. So overall cost of ownership is better for Civic if u take resale into account. Now decide for urself whether u want Honda or Hyundai. oNe is established & other trying very hard to establish itself with very good products everyday.
    You can save 800 bucks by optinf manual in Civic.
    As such you drive on freeway u won't need to play with manual too often. Just a suggestion.
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    I guess, getting Civic Lx in manual transmission would be a very good decision if u travel more on freeways & u will be able to have fun/more control & better usage of engine power.

    Think over it.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    get the EX Civic automatic, and don't look back. It is not buzzy. Quite the opposite - my 2000 Elantra was the king of loud and buzzy. I guess they have improved it this year. The Civics have always been smooth, but pretty gutless unless you have the VTEC.

    This year the HP is the same, but the torque is increased, and it is geared to be more punchy at the lower end. I LOVE that the coupe has five starts front and side. That is great!
  • liufeiliufei Posts: 201
    Sobers, some correction is due on your post.
    First of all, you're comparing a manual civic vs an auto elantra. Auto Civic vs Auto Elantra the difference
    is 7mpg.
    We also need to straighten your math:
    civic number: 20000/32 * 1.6 = $1000
    elantra number: 20000/24 * 1.6 = $1333
    $1333-$1000 = $333 NOT $1670

    Considering that average drivers drove around 12-15K miles/year, the above difference will be even lower (in the range of 250).
    Not to mention that the combination of highway driving (where civic's mpg advantage is reduced to 5mpg), the difference will drop down to around $180-200 per year ($15/month).

    Yeah, you can save $800 by opting for a manual in Civic, same case with the Elantra as well.
This discussion has been closed.