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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra



  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Just quick scanning this forum as my son may be interested in an Elantra. A few pages back there was a give & take on trade in value of Elantra vs Civic.

    Trade in value is probably the original scam in the car dealing game. If you're satisfied with wholesale on your trade you'll get a lower price on the new car. If you want top $ for your trade you'll pay a higher price for the new car. The net price comes out the same.

    But then there's the old trick of trading in one brand for a different brand. The new brand salesman knows you want to change brands so he'll trash the brand you are trading in and low ball you. Likewise, trade within the same brand and the dealer will make it look like your trade is worth more to reinforce your decision to buy that brand again due to it's high resale value.

    When my 05 Sonata was 9 months old I saw the dealer I bought from had the exactly same equipped car, even same color, with 18K miles on his lot for $1K less than I paid for mine new. Dealers often make more $ on used car sales than they do on new.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    w00t! :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I would think you'd be pleased about that. Not much respect for the IQS?
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    w00t = yahoo! or whippee!

    The link, by the way, has changed; they moved it from the server to the jdpa server. The new link is now
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Oh ok. I thought with the "pblt" emoticon you weren't too happy about it.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    No, it just looked like a more gleeful expression than the grin or smile.
  • bevandjimbevandjim Posts: 1
    My husband and I are looking for a new 4 dr sedan. We have narrowed it down to a Honda Civic LX or a Hyundai Elantra, both 2006. My husband bought me a new Tiburon in 2000 and I love it. I have read a lot of posts on here and am a little reluctant about the Civic for the difference in the price. Anyone else have a Hyundai Elantra or any advice? We got a quote on the Civic of $17,700. not inc. tax, title, etc. There is currently a $1000. rebate on the Elantra plus $500. customer loyalty since we own one Hyundai. We don't purchase cars often and don't do a lot of driving. Only looked at the Honda because of gas mileage and resale value.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I think the 2006 Civic is a very nice car. I own a '04 Elantra GT 5-door (fully loaded including AT) and owned a '01 GLS for 5-1/2 years before sellling it recently to my sister (she loves it). At the time I bought my Elantras, I thought they were very competitive with the Civic, and it was no contest for the GT because Honda doesn't offer a Civic hatch and I wanted a hatch at that time. So if you really would like a hatch, it makes your decision much easier.

    The 2006 Civic is much improved over the 2001-05 Civic. I think it is a superior car in most respects to the current Elantra. The Civic shines in fuel economy (although I am happy with what I have received on my two Elantras), safety (IIHS "Gold" rating), powertrain (smooth engine and transmissions), and refinement. I think the Elantra has perhaps the most comfortable driving position in its class (thanks to the 8-way seat), a very smooth and comfortable ride for the class (esp. with the GLS and Limited sedans), very good quality (the 2006 Civic has had some teething pains, the Elantra is an old and tested design), and of course is an excellent value.

    What it boils down to I think is if the advantages of the Civic are enough to justify its price premium over the Elantra, assuming you like driving both cars. Also, be very tough negotiating on the Elantra. It's an old, outgoing model (all-new Elantra due shortly) so there's no reason to pay over invoice before rebates.
  • jlemoinejlemoine Posts: 25
    For overall value and quality you can't beat the Elantra. Right now looking at competitive models the Civic will run you arounf 18K , the Elantra around 14K. Big Difference. The better warranty goes to the Elantra, I know I've heard it all "The Civic will never break!!! Tell that to anyone with a big repair bill when they still have years of payments left and no warranty!!! I own a 2002 elanta GLS and with 60K on it not even a rattle. Handling is fine for me but I'd guess the Civic would have superior handling at high speeds if that is you thing. Bottom line is both cars are fun to drive and both are a quality product. Question is does owning a Civic justify a 4K premium, not in my book and especially with all the first design year issues that are popping up.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Personally I don't like the looks of the new Civic, and I wanted a hatchback, so those were two strikes against the Civic right there.

    And while the Civic gets great reviews, the fact is that the Elantra is still a fine car. And, I drive a lot, so I like the longer warranty, and the 5 years of roadside service that's included (although Honda may have something similar. triple who?).

    If you feel you can wait a couple of months, the 2007 Elantras should be out soon, and at that point you can have the fun decision of choosing between a 2007 Elantra, a Civic or, likely, a 2006 Elantra for a really reduced price.

    You likely won't go wrong with any of those choices. Sorry to be of no help in the decision making process here... :P
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    we own both a 05 civic ex-se and a 05 elantra GT 4-door with manual transmission. The elantra is a better riding car with more standard equipment at a lower price. I do not know about the 06 civic but I like the looks of my 05 civic better.We do not get that much more mpg on the civic. we average 25,000-30,000 miles a year.The civic does shift better.
  • cjgtcjgt Posts: 28
    I have to say the more I drive my Elantra GT the more impressed I am with it. That's saying alot when you consider my GT is almost 5 yrs old, has over 100,000 miles on it and has been in an accident with a Dodge 1500 pickup at 40 mph. One tough little car. I rode in my friend's 06 Civic and it's pretty nice but I can't see spending more money for it over the Elantra if you are looking for the best bang for the buck. The current Elantra is a little long in the tooth now but still competitive. I think that alone is a testament to how good the car is. :D
  • i've been driving my GF's civic lx lately, and i'm thoroughly disappointed with MPG. we avg. so far around 24.6mpg(50/50) the best was 28mpg(30/70), and the worst was 22.5mpg just my last pump. she bought the civic mainly because of the looks and MPG, but 22.5 is very disappointing.

    here is my brief review of civic(1200miles so far)

    1. i'm not too satisfied with fit and finish. it's honda and i expected better from them. a panel below the steering wheel is misaligned, windshield wiper makes noise, and the back seat window seal(rubber thingy) sticks out a little. also rear pumper on the right sticks out more than the left side. i would say 7.5 in build quality.

    2. vibration, and A/C noise too often too loud.
    3. radio-sound quality is not as good, and AM is very very bad. our focus zx3 had much better radio quality.
    4. noise when i drive backward. sounds annoying and very loud.
    5. tan cloth. although it looks very good, i'm little worried that it would be very hard to take care of it. both driver and passenger side is getting dirtier, and stain is very hard to remove. we should've bought the grey interior. we were forced to put an aftermarket car seat over them.

    6. i don't like the location of the parking break. my right thigh is leaned against it often, and it's very uncomfortable.

    7. i hate openinig the trunk manually. wish i had the keyless trunk open button like all other cars.

    8. the last 2 fuel bars are acting very weird. the orange indicator comes on when you are down to 2 bars. few miles later suddenly the both bars disappears for awhile. 10-20 miles later 1 bar comes on, but it kinda freaks me out because i ran out of guess alot with my old firebird(guage didn't work properly)

    well, it's a nice little car with good looks but there are many room for an improvement. just my 2 cents.
  • jlemoinejlemoine Posts: 25
    I'm buying another Hyundia Elantra!!! Own a 2002 Elantra and test drove the Civic. The new Civic is a nice car had as much pick up as my 2002 Elantra and was just as much fun to drive. It came down to giving the Honda dealer 5 more grand or taking the wife on a nice vacation and buying another Elantra. I keep my cars forever so resale value means little to me. I still can't see all the fuss over the Civic I honestly don't see any better quality in the Honda's than the Hyundia's so my choice was easy. I really believe that if Honda believed all the hype as much as some consumers they could offer a equal warranty. They won't because it would cost them money because even Hondas have problems. I really like to see some statisics percentage wise as to how many Civics vs Elantras are still on the road with 100K miles or more, I'd bet percentage wise their in the same ballpark. Hey! it's your money!
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    Regarding Honda and longer warranties, here's a comment made by a Honda official in response to Ford offering a longer warranty:

    Some automakers worry that long warranties send the wrong message. "We see it as a sign of weakness," Honda Executive Vice President Dick Colliver says.

    Honda and longer warranties

    Maybe just a little arrogant? :confuse:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Not so much arrogance as typical marketing B.S. If you don't have something the competition does, you try to make it sound like your competitor's advantage is a disadvantage.

    I suppose Honda thinks that the longer warranties offered by many of the luxury makes are a sign of weakness, too. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    In addition... did Honda think it was a sign of weakness when they increased their powertrain warranty to 5/60k not that long ago? Then it was probably a testament to the great quality of their products. :)
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    i'm not too satisfied with fit and finish.

    vibration, and A/C noise too often too loud

    When I was shopping last year, I went to a Honda dealer expecting great things, and I was rather disappointed in the fit and finish and the road noise in the car. I really wanted a hatch with an AT which was not offered in the Civic, but even if it would have been available, there's no way I would have bought one.

    In pictures, the new Civic looks downright awful to me. But when I see them on the road, I find myself doing a double take and saying "ooooooh!" quietly to myself. They look much better in person.

    But if the fit and finish and road noise is still not too hot, I don't think it's worth the money.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Love my Civic and admit I did like the Sonata that I rented for a week. But found the Elentra just awful in so many ways. The seats were like rocks, similar to my '03 Sentra. The gadgetry just didn't have the preciseness(?) that all Hondas have, that certain feel that the big 3 Japanese companies have with their switch gear & ergonomics. The mileage of the Elentra is closer to that of the Sonata, which wasn't acceptable. Lastly, there's still that Korean stigma that can't be denied. Seems like the Korean cars are still behind their Japanese the last generation of their cars.
    Was impressed with the Sonata, but wouldn't want to buy one. The quality just isn't there. I'd rather pay a bit more for the quality and precision of the Japanese brands. But that's just my personal opinion, not trying to offend here.

    The Sandman :) :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Just shows we all have different taste in cars. The Elantra's seats are firm--like a Volvo's. I find them very comfortable, even for all-day trips. All the adjustments, including dual height adjusters and lumbar support (are those available on a Civic?) help to configure a just-right driving position.

    Not sure which gadgets you didn't like on the Elantra. The HVAC controls are not all push buttons as on the Civic, but there are two electronic buttons and three dials with rubber grips that are as smooth as anything I've found in this class. The cruise control is the same as that used on some Lexus models. The turn signal is solid and smooth also. The only major control that I think is better on the Civic than on the Elantra is the stick shift--Civic's is smoother, with shorter throws.

    Real-world fuel economy of the Elantra is better than that of a Sonata. I get high 20s to low 30s in around-town driving (depending on weather and how much stop-and-go there is) and high 30s to low 40s on the highway (depending on speed and transmission choice, stick vs. automatic). I don't think you will get those numbers on a Sonata, and from what I've read on the Civic discussion they are pretty close to what the Civic returns.

    As for the stigma--some of us don't let that bother us. We'd rather take the big $$$$ savings up front and drive cars that have features, comfort, and room that Honda owners can only dream of. :)
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Lastly, there's still that Korean stigma that can't be denied.

    If you think a great car for an affordable price is a stigma, then, yeah, Korean cars have a stigma. :P
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Better stigma than stigmata.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Considering the sales figures of Civics compared to Elantras, I think us Civic owners have had our dreams fulfilled...and then some!

    The Sandman :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    If the biggest seller can better fulfill your dreams, better buy an F-Series truck. ;)
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    But I chose the Civic!!!!

    The Sandman :) :) :) :) :)
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Sheesh, if that Honda guy thinks a longer warranty is a sign of weakness, maybe Honda should reduce their warranty to 12/12K just to show everybody how good Honda is.

    Stupid me, all these years I thought a longer warranty meant the manufacturer was saying that their car was good quality and that they would back that up with a long warranty.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Is that anything like "Keeping up with the Jones'es" ?
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I'm able to buy what I want...and I did. Loved my Sonata rental, & if it had fit on my side of the garage, I probaly would've ended up with a 4 cylinder Sonata. The seats were even more comfortable than my Civic actually.
    Never quite understood that "Jones thing" anyways. We live within our means and have no debt whatsoever, always driving economy cars. I just chose the Civic because nothing else in this class was right for me.
    Don't quite understand the latent hostility in here...?

    The Sandman :) :)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Goofycat, your post is better suited for the Honda Civic 2006+ discussion, so I moved it there. Just click on that link. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Now that the all-new Elantra is available, this comparison should get more interesting. Here's a start:

    PROS: excellent fuel economy (one of the best for Small Cars per EPA, and hybrid is even better), excellent crash safety ratings, excellent standard safety features, class-leading 5AT, available hybrid and Si, high resale value, historically strong quality and reliability, good power, nav available.
    CONS: small interior (smaller than an Accent!), odd dash layout, numerous quality issues in current model, high prices with no rebates and few discounts, low feature content for the money, options like leather, Bluetooth, and stability control not available, no hatchback available (in U.S.).

    PROS: very good fuel economy (class-leading for a non-hybrid Family Sedan per EPA), excellent standard safety features, class-leading interior room (EPA midsize), roomier trunk, smooth and quiet ride (from reviews, needs to be confirmed), best-in-class interior design (from reviews e.g. MT), lot of convenience and comfort features, low price, good power, best-in-class warranty, XM and nav available (soon), hatchback coming (early 2007?).
    CONS: Resale value and public perception on quality haven't caught up with current reality, Bluetooth and stability control not available (in US anyway), XM/nav and hatchback not yet available, crash test scores not yet available.
  • I previously owned an Elantra (one up from the accent) and now own a 2006 civic ex. there is NO way the interior space is smaller than an accent. The 2006 civic has more interior room than the civic. Honda's overall have been proven to be a better investment. There resale is higher.
  • oskwioskwi Posts: 88
    The 2007 Hyundai Elantra is considered a "mid-size car" per the EPA with a length of 177.4 inches and a width of 69.9 inches. However, the Mazda 3 is considered a compact with the same exact length (177.4 inches) and a width of 69.1 inches. I'm curious as to why this is.

    I am still driving my '01 Protege and considering both for possible replacements. (The A/C issues in the Mazda 3 have me concerned but my current service dept. is excellent; not very familiar with Hyundai "issues" but my local service department is rather lacking) Luckily, I'm not desperate for a new car...yet!

    Please enlighten me regarding the different size designations.

    Thank you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    there is NO way the interior space is smaller than an accent.


    Interior Volume
    Civic EX: 88.4 cubic feet (DX and LX have 90.9 cubic feet)
    Accent GLS: 92.2 cubic feet

    The Accent even has a bigger trunk: 12.4 vs. 12.0 cubic feet.

    IMO cars make pretty poor investments--even Civics. They all depreciate, with the exception of rare classic cars.

    Anyway, to try to get back on topic, the interior room of the Elantra is WAY bigger than that of the Civic--you don't dispute that, do you?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    The EPA puts cars into different size classes based on interior volume, not exterior size.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Ever been inside both of the cars? Usable space is more evident in the Civic; the Civic takes a hit because of its rakish design, but I felt that the car was a lot roomier than the Accent. The Civic has more usable space, where the Accent has a more upright windshield, and higher roofline, boosting EPA numbers (I'm not saying that was Hyundai's purpose, but it happened as a side-effect).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Yes, I've driven both cars. I agree that the Accent's space is more vertical than the Civic's. The seating position is higher in the Accent, which is a plus for some people. Usable rear seat room is about the same from my observations, except center leg room as the Civic has no hump. The Civic has more horizontal leg room in back, but because the Accent's rear seat is more chair-height, the seating comfort is quite good (at least for this 5'10" person sitting behind himself), and is helped by the center armrest (available on the Civic only in EX trim).

    I am not sure what you mean by "usable" space. I think that depends on how you use the space. For example, there is a LOT of space in the Civic under the rakish windshield. That creates the illusion of spaciousness for the front passengers as they look out over the dashboard. Just how one would use that space escapes me. You can't sit there (legally anyway). Meanwhile, the Accent's taller profile provides more room for higher seating positions and more headroom. These could be very usable features for many people, and the tallness does provide a spacious feeling to the cabin, albeit in a different dimension from the Civic. Additionally, the Accent includes a standard 60/40 rear seat (which only the Civic EX has), which provides more usability options for the rear seat than the one-piece seat in the Civic DX and LX.

    How does the more upright profile of the Accent help boost its EPA numbers? I would think that would have the opposite effect, and that the more rakish profile of the Civic was an obvious strategy to boost fuel economy.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    By usable space, I realize that space under the windshield isn't usable... but the legroom afforded by the extra length is certainly more usable. At 6'4", I felt like the Civic was obviously the more roomy car, but even that was too small (I ended up in an Accord). I also agree that the tallness makes the car feel bigger (the Accent, also seen in the Honda Fit) but I couldn't get past how cramped my limbs were (again, 6'4"!). I had enough headroom in the Civic, but I have longer legs and a shorter torso.

    I wish Honda WOULD get with it as far as split folding seats are concerned, as neither the Civic or Accord has the split seat feature, it is just one bench! (except for EX Civic).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Oh, they get it all right. They want to give buyers more reasons to spend the extra bucks on an EX. :) I like the fact that a 60/40 seat is standard on even the least expensive Accents--and Elantras.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    Backy, where did you get your info that Nav is going to be offered on the 2007 Elantra? I haven't heard of this. Only thing I heard is that they are working with Garmin to offer a Hyundai branded Garmin Nav unit. This is not integrated into the dash and is either attached to the windshield or dash.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    From a sales rep at the Hyundai dealership where I saw the 2007 Elantra. He pointed to the covered bin on top of the dash and said the space is a placeholder for the near-future nav option. So it's not official, but encouraging. Also, nav was already offered on the previous-gen Avante (Elantra in other lands), so it's not a stretch to see Hyundai bring it here to compete with the likes of the Civic EX.
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    Actually that top bin is not used on 07 KDM Elantra for Nav. Nav is located in center stack where radio is located just like the gen 3 version (ie. XD2). I would think nav is a lower priority on 07 Elantra than other cars such as Azera, Sonata, Sante Fe and Entourage. I would expect the ealeriest that Hyundai would introduce nav on the Elantra would be when they do the next mild refreshing (2 to 3 years from now). I would actually expect automatic climate control to be introduced before nav.
  • I don't think it is fair to compare an Elantra to a Civic. The Civic is a much superior automobile in all respects.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    They don't even OFFER it on any Accords!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I don't think it is fair to compare an Elantra to a Civic. The Civic is a much superior automobile in all respects.

    And here is where you cite all your information leading you to that conclusion...

    Without it, it is an empty claim that will just get you laughed off the board, I'm afraid...
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Just ignore carfanatic I don't think it is fair to compare an Elantra to a Civic. The Civic is a much superior automobile in all respects. Past posts have as little merit as this baseless inflammatory post.
  • oskwioskwi Posts: 88
    Finally had a chance to log back in...thanks for the info.

  • I have the same problem, fitting behind the steering wheel that is, and im still growing! i can only imagine my problem getting worse as at 15 i am already 6'4. The honda civic sedan felt too cramped but the coupe felt a little better. I also love the new mazda M-X5 but i am afraid for our family to get it as i may outgrow it by the time i get behind the wheel. I just need a cheap car that can fit me and i think that the elantra would be perfect, i am talking my dad into going to testdrive one with me. Him doing the driving. I am just along for the ride. :D
  • I had a test drive in the new Elantra today. It did not impress me. Acceleration not nearly as good as the Civic. Interior quality seemed cheap compared to civic. Outside it looked nice, better than the old Elantra by far, but far inferior to the Civic. I'm sorry, I just cant get excited about it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    What did you think of the shifter, if it was a stick? I've heard others compare the stick on the new Elantra favorably to that on the Civic.

    How did you find the driving position and interior room/comfort compared to your Civic?
This discussion has been closed.