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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    C&D is entertainment I like reading it but would more likely use Consumer Reports if I used magazine testing to find a choice of cars.

    I take both magazines. They're both entertaining. But C/R doesn't tell you a lot about brand new cars generally, and C/D does. C/R is more useful for older cars to measure their performance and durability.

    Better than both, is personal experience, which I have, since I buy a fair amount of them each year. The Hyundai seems to have their crap together now, finally. But driving it is still not as sporty as the Accord, nor as smooth and easy to drive as the Camry. They offer a bargain, and you get what you pay for. The warranty is great - but they hold up well these days.

    Get what you like, and drive them all to see, that's what I recommend.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Please don't turn this into a discussion about how the Elantra has better reliability than the Civic. You don't have the numbers and I don't have the strength

    JD Power has the numbers

    Well, in initial quality, Hyundai is at least equal to Honda. But in the feel of the drive, the car quality, and long term performance, it is not yet established that Hyundai is as good. It isn't.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Have you owned Elantras for over 6 years, as I have? Then maybe you can give first-hand testamony to the "feel of the drive", the quality, and the long-term performance of Hyundais vs. Hondas (which I have owned also).

    Back in 2000 I could have purchased the all-new 2001 Civic instead of the all-new 2001 Elantra. In fact the Civic was my top choice "on paper". Just based on the cars themselves, I'm really glad I didn't. The fact I saved over $6000 in buying the Hyundai was icing on the cake.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Backy, as you know from my other posts, I too have previously owned Hondas and Toyotas. Resale value "still" is a problem with Hyundais, but I think this may be slowing changing. The point is, I seriously considered a new Civic when I bought my 2006 Elantra last December. But, the price differential for comparably equipped models - actual delivered price including TTL - was $6,500 in the Elantra's favor.

    There's no doubt the Elantra will depreciate faster than the Civic - but, I already have a positive $6,500 cash flow differential. Sometimes, I don't think this initial differential is taken into account. And, not a single quality or warranty-related problem with the Elantra after 11 months. By that time with my last Civic, I already had 3 warranty repairs.

    Since I keep my cars at least 10 years, sometimes 20, residual value and/or depreciation rate is somewhat a moot argument anyway.
  • moparbad, THANK YOU!!!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    This is a bit off topic...but I figured a little real life survey I did, though not mathematical, but a random sampling could give a real life clue into the buying preferences of middle class Americam workers. Here goes...and I apologize if the hosts deem this post wayyyy off topic.
    I work as a letter carrier, though recently injured, at a small annex with about 80 employees. We're all middle class workers with hourly wages. I did a quick survey recently and found about a 60/40 split of foreign brands versus American automobiles. Chevy & Dodge/Chtysler amount for over 50% of the American brands. But Honda/Toyota account for just over 75% of the foreign brands with 5 new '06 Civics on the lot. The rest of the foreign brands have some Nissans & 2 Hyundai/Kia models.
    Not a very scientific sampling here & I know that I'll get ripped to shreads here, but I have to say that I was not surprised at all by my finding. It just proved to me that "in this sampling" of middle class working folk, the benefits of a longer warranty and lower price of the "Korean brands" still haven't changed their market share all that much & they still have a ways to go against the other major foreign players.
    Like I said, this is just an unscientific random sample of my office and the kind of cars my co-workers choose to own. The one major conclusion that I came away with is that the reputation & perceived superior quality still influences people's buying decision, especially automobiles. Just thought I'd share this little experiment I did!

    The Sandman :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Statistically small sample, but still valid . . . I agree that reputation and perception is practically everything. It took the Japanese cars a decade or two to convince most consumers, and it will take the Koreans at least that long, perhaps longer. This is one of the primary reasons why many continued to buy Detroit iron in the '70s! But, those who bought Japanese cars ahead of the curve and against conventional thinking were the winners. Some could argue the same is true for those who are now buying Korean cars.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I just wonder if similar results would be seen with a more affluent sampling which has greater disposable income to spend on transportation. Would be interesting to see these results.
    On a side note, I did have the opportunity to sit in a new Azerra and was totally blown away by what I felt & saw. Excellent ergonomics, great fluidity in the controls and the feeling that everything fell to hand...everything felt to be in the right place with that tactile (?) feel that the foreign brands naturally have. Didn't get any road time, but was duly impressed. And the bang for the buck variable is definitely there. I also really enjoyed my Sonata rental almost as much, but I've stated that numerous times in these forums. The mpg's on these models just need to get closer to the Honda/Toyota duo & watch out world.
    Also, I did happen to see a couple of new Elantra's this week on the road and was very intriqued with the car from the C pillar back. Looks like a more upscale & larger car than I would have imagined. The photos on the Hyundai website do an injustice to this car. It's much nicer in person and if it indeed drives and has the quality that it needs in this highly contested market, Hyundai just might of hit a bullseye. Just like the rest of the lineup, Hyundai needs to get the mpg numbers up about 10%, and I have no doubt that this will happen within a few year.
    I really do wish Hyundai luck in this endevor. They've finally come into the 21st century as an automaker, and dare I say it...I might even consider a Hyundai within the next 5 to 7 years!

    The Sandman :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    I know of at least two families who drive a Hyundai, and one that drives a Kia (Sedona), and all of these families have incomes in excess of $150,000. For these families, they always pay cash for the cars and choose to invest their money in real estate and bonds, and not automobiles. I know they're certainly in the minority, and really skew the statistics as to who typically purchases a Hyundai or Kia, but it's an interesting observation nonetheless. Conversely, I wonder how many folks who drive a BMW, M-B, etc., are heavily levered, and deeply into debt??

    I agree on the new Elantra. The pics on the website do not do it justice. I drove a 2007 yesterday, and the interior is a big step up from the previous generation. MPG's do need to improve to be competitive with Honda and Toyota however.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Actually, the Elantra gets better fuel economy than the Honda of comparable (interior) size--the Accord. Remember, the Elantra is mid-sized, not a compact like the Civic or Corolla. I think it is the top-rated (EPA) non-hybrid mid-sized car for fuel economy.
  • I have owned Hyundai's since Aug of 1999.
    Here's what we owned:
    1999 Sonata GLS-V6(at the time, the top of the line model) Had it from Aug 99-Sept 04. 118,000+ miles.
    2001 Tiburon, base model(June 01-Sept 04) 103,000+ miles.
    2004 GLS V6 Sonata( still have it) Sept 04- current.
    Miles: 36,000.

    Problems: 99 Sonata:
    Needed new alternator @88,000
    Needed new turn signal stalk(yes, you read correctly)at 93,000
    Needed new raditator at 103,000.
    Needed new water pump at 115,000.
    Went in 3 times for "computer chip-module" for the "fuzzy logic" shifting.
    Evap- flap(forgot what it's call, recircualtion valve , by gas tank, to collect gas fumes, and put 'em back into the tank?).... at 85,000.
    Nice car, BUT IRRITATING.
    2001 Tibby
    New fron axles and bearings at 99,303
    103,000+ auto tranny needed replaced, so we dumped the car for the Sonata(Unfortunately).
    2004 Sonata;
    Both back window gaskets and motors(power windows) needed replaced. One in July, One in Sept of this year, between 32-34,000 miles. Got harrassed about fixing it, so I threatened to call the District Factory Rep for ameeting at the dealership, they suddenly became co-operative again.

    Another gripe? We have cloth, and it is already wearing prematurely :mad: :surprise:
    The armrest, center console? and where you open and close the door, from the inside, is wearing, badly.

    We will never buy another Hyundai again in my household.

    As for Honda: well, my father in law(2 years ago) went to buy an Element, but they refused to knock off 1 red cent(were actually Arrogant when he spoke to them in person).
    December of 2004, they sent him an e-mail, saying" 1,399 off all Elements!" :mad:
    he relied" you are 3 months too late". he would have been glad with 1K off msrp in Sept.
    He now has a new SX4, Suzuki(*his 3rd Suzuki, really, if you inclulde th e90 tracker with 217,000 , and the 97 with 97,000, NO PROBLEMS, except the Trackers are like farm implements, the SX4? Excellent!).

    All cars I have owned had some issues:
    77 camaro: rusted like crazy, stalled alot thansk to the carb on it.
    87 "chevy" Spectrum: needed brakjes every 18,000 miles(pads), new master Cylinder @ 14,000 miles( back then, a warranty was 12,000, or 1 year), just a pain.
    90 sentra xe: stalled out at 7000 due to timing not set properly at factory or dealership. New stereo at 9000 miles, and re-glued door protection strip back on at 9,700 miles.
    Pitted badly once we moved back up North(was in military )due to road cinders on snowy roads... like sand blasting the door panels.
    97 200sx: 66K.... died due to timing chain jumped one notch, and needed starter rebuilt, ignition coil, new timing gear, etc... big pain.

    The rest is above, in the Hyundai comments, except for our 2004 Scion tC automatic. Great Little car, except it needed the wiper blade arm, passenger side, fixed, 2 times, in 6 weeks, in 2005. Also, 1 recall for sunroof .
    nearly 70,000 in 26 months.

    I just don't get into dealerships that act like you should pay them for being opened and selling you a car, lol.
    Toyota and Honda are good, btu i knwo Many people working 2 jobs now, or PT, etc, and can not afford more than maybe 10-12K, and they buy Accent or Elantra's on sale, due ot warranty(most people I know only drive maybe 10,000 miles a year, too).
    Or they buy a (on sale) Cobalt, or new Aveo.
    it has 5/100K on these.

    If people had the cash to throw around, yeah, they might buy a Accord or Top Of The Line(nearly 20K) Civic.

    relative who got the SX4 paid less than 15,000.
    AWD or FWD, flip of a switch.
    30 MPG.
    7/100K warranty.

    Most people who I know own Honda get them used, because they can't afford new, and loaded up like they want.
    Fit? They don't want one. they want a "normal" sized car, in case, well, one of these 8 tons SUV's hit them.
    take care/not offense.
  • Let me start by stating I have a history here for being too ah, controversial. With that in mind I'll say that most, if not all the problems you encountered on the Hyundai products were more or less normal with regard to the miles at which they occurred. On your first Sonata: An alternator @ nearly 90K miles isn't too unusual. A water pump at over 110K miles? once again not too unusual. You don't state what happened to the radiator. Did a rock puncture it? Most modern cars have an aluminum core and plastic tank construction radiator which I have found to be less that ideal in my experience with Ford products (various Taurus and Sable cars) so I won't comment on the disposition of this one. The turn signal stalk usually controls various functions these days so one of those switches on this multi-function control could have crapped out..somewhat unusual but not unheard of. Fuzzy logic chip failure? I happen to work in electronics so I am aware how flakey they (microcircuits) can be..they will either work forever or die now, and again tomorrow and the day after that but electronics are generally reliable and this may have been a mishandling of the component by the service tech because microcircuits are prone to be damaged by static (ESD or electrostatic discharge).
    On the tiburon: wheel bearings/alxe shafts @ 100K miles? This is a bit premature but the rubber bellows that cover the actual joints (CVJ and DOJ)could have been ripped and not detected/replaced in a timely fashion allowing contaminents to destroy those items early..of course I don't know your maintainence habits I am just speculating here. The transmission?? again after having owned a few Taurus/Sable's I am not unfamiliar with transmission problems, some much earlier than 103K miles so while I won't comment on the fact it died relatively early it isn't unheard of either.
    On the 04 Sonata: having to replace window lift motors at any time is fairly common, they usually have plastic gears and they strip out, additionally you state that window gaskets were replaced at the same time. Could it be the gaskets jammed the windows in some fashion and caused the motors to burn out early?? Fabric seat material wear..that is another item subject to lots of abuse and cannot be said to last X amount of years with certainty. Sure it should be fairly durable but who can predict. All in all the Hyundai products didn't, in my opinion, show any really unusual behavior as far as failures with the possible exception of the transmission and without knowing your maintainence habits that too could have been something avoidable.
    Just a short personal son is driving a 2000 Elantra with 149,000 miles (We are the 2nd owner)and aside from some problems with front rotors(Hyundai replacements seemed to warp early) routine brake pad and tire replacement and 1 alternator @145,000 miles it has been trouble free. So for every person who says as you do "We will never buy another Hyundai again in my household" I can counter with how great our experiences have been. By the way,why are you so negative about Hyundai? Most of these failures are normal for any brand auto and not at unusually low mileages.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "Most people who I know own Honda get them used, because they can't afford new, and loaded up like they want"

    I was having a hard time deciphering this, but I think you were trying to say that most people that you know that buy Hondas, buy them used because they can't afford new ones.

    If this is what you are saying, I would have to disagree. Most people I know (myself included - I bought a new Honda back in March), buy them new, because people that try to sell slightly used Hondas seem to be under the impression that they hardly depreciate at all, and don't make it worth it to buy a slightly used one versus a brand new one. When we bought our new Honda back in March, we got it for about $1000 more than what I was being quoted for 2 year old models of the same trim level with 20,000+ miles on them. For me, it was a no brainer to drop $1000 more for a brand new version.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    If I may chime in here is what I own in Hyundais.

    2000 Elantra Wagon (still own closing in on 140K miles)

    2002 Accent (still own with 90+K miles)

    Problems with the 2000 Elantra
    Exhaust manifold cracked and replaced under warranty @ 120k Miles

    Problems with the 2002 Accent

    Of course the Elantra is showing her age, she doesn't ride as smooth as she used to, engine is a little noisy and road noise seems to be louder than it was at first. And she doesn't seem to be as fast as she used to be. But then she has survived 6 midwest winters, 1,000's of miles of dirt and gravel roads, several farmers fields, one fording of a creek and 140K miles so I am not complaining.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    But then she has survived 6 midwest winters, 1,000's of miles of dirt and gravel roads, several farmers fields, one fording of a creek and 140K miles so I am not complaining.

    Sounds like the pioneers needed your car when traveling the Oregon Trail! ;)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    Naw I don't think it would have survives that.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Haha... I just liked the part where you mention fording a creek in the Elantra. Just gives me a silly mental picture in my mind. I love it...

    I think I'm gonna go 4-wheeling in my old Accord this weekend, see how she does in some soft clay mud. :P

    I'm proud for you with your successes with your vehicles. Shows that you have maintained them well.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    As I said it was a creek, maybe a few inches deep with a bottom of polished rocks. Really wasn't that hard to cross, we were following an old rutted road (used to be a stage coach trail) now occasionally used by horse back riders, farmers (for their tractors) and more adventurous drivers.

    At this crossing there is a nice paved road with a nice bridge about 100 yards up stream, but at that time it was closed being rebuilt. The detour was about 5 miles or so and all the locals were bypassing that using this little crossing. That was until the state closed off the access.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    As I said it was a creek, maybe a few inches deep with a bottom of polished rocks. Really wasn't that hard to cross, we were following an old rutted road (used to be a stage coach trail) now occasionally used by horse back riders, farmers (for their tractors) and more adventurous drivers.

    At this crossing there is a nice paved road with a nice bridge about 100 yards up stream, but at that time it was closed being rebuilt. The detour was about 5 miles or so and all the locals were bypassing that using this little crossing. That was until the state closed off the access.

    Either way, it still makes a funny mental pic. I'm not knocking you, or your vehicle, please understand that... :)

    I just like the idea of a compact-car turned rugged mountain climber. It would be like Alex Trebek taking Stallone's role in "Rambo." Just a funny mental image.
  • Since this is called "Civic vs. Elantra", I'll make some quick comments here. I have never owned an Elantra, though I have driven them as rentals, and some close friends of mine will buy nothing else, as they are so comfortable.

    However, I have owned 3 Civics, and I'll tell you all about them.
    95 - CX hatch - no air, no power anything, great little car for commuting, sold in '02 b/c I bought my sister's '96 Corolla which had more room and all power, AC, etc. (I still have that car w/175K miles, and it's awesome!)

    01 - DX sedan - added AC to car (it did not come in that trim) we thought it would be as reliable as the 95 was. The manual transmission (something CR has claimed Honda is well known for quality for at least 10 years) failed at 87K miles. Dealer told us $1800 would fix it. (If it had been a Hyundai, this repair would have been free) We did not fix it, as it was only worth $4000 at the time. We traded it w/my dad, who traded our car for an 06 Corolla.

    99 - LX Sedan - this is the car we received in trade from dad. It is probably the least enjoyable car I've ever driven, and that includes some real clunkers. Car squeaks constantly, engine whines, AT shifts strangely IMO, but it runs every day and goes point A to B.

    We are planning to buy a new car in Jan., and will probably buy the Elantra for warranty and features or a Camry for build quality and reliability. We will not consider a Honda this time around. In fact, even though our 99 Honda has 70K less miles on it than our 96 Corolla, we will keep the Corolla and trade in the Honda, as we believe it will outlast the Honda.

    Just a side note, my family and I are maintainance freaks about all our cars. They are kept clean and all fluids regularly changed.

    Thanks for reading!
  • When I bought a 1992 Accord LX in `1994 I bought an extended warranty also. I thought I would never need it since Honda made such great automobiles. RIGHT?? WWRRONG!!! The trannys overdrive went out, the right rear window actuator, the stereo speakers, and the power steering all had to be rebuild and or replaced before the 100K mile warr. expired. The power steering problem re surfaced and Honda refused to fix it since it was 500 miles past their warranty of 12,000 miles or 1 year. After seeing and reading all these comments and experiences that you all are having I don't believe Hondas quality is near what it used to be and I agree that the salesman and management are downright Arrogant. I made the mistake of going to a Honda dealer 50 miles from where I live and test drove the CIVIC and was treated like a floor mat. If this is how they treat their customers its a miracle they sell ANY cars. The car had issues and I definitely would not pay 20K$$ for it. From the pulling to the right and the hesitation in the tranny and the other problems it was a no-brainer!!! I walked!!! :) :D :shades:
  • 6sptl6sptl Posts: 24
    Hyundai makes a good car, even better of late. Don't build up a sweat about single points of experience with A or B brand, they may or may not reflect true brand reliability. Without a doubt Honda builds the best overall vehicles in almost every vehicle category. This is particularly true of the civic, it exudes quality and refinement, mind you, its not perfect and any other car may be better in one category or another. But when you add it all up, safety, performance, fuel efficiency, comfort and reliability nothing really measures up. The hundai is a cheaper alternative which is competitive but still falls significantly short. If price is not an overwhelming factor the civic is a far better choice.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    There have been no crash tests for the 2007 Elantra yet. It has similar standard safety equipment as the Civic, but goes one better with standard 4-wheel disc brakes. So to say the Civic is safer is premature. Performance-wise, it's a toss-up, with the Civic quicker 0-60 but the Elantra quicker 5-60, 30-50, and 50-70, which are all more real-world than 0-60. The Elantra also brakes better (shorter), but the Civic has better skidpad numbers. (All numbers from C/D, December 2006 issue.) The Civic does have an advantage in fuel efficiency. Comfort? Have you driven the Elantra? C/D rated it higher than the Civic for comfort. The Elantra has a LOT more interior room than the Civic, which may be important for some buyers. And as for reliability, the 2006 Civic has had quite a few problems (per reports in Town Hall). The Elantra had a very good reliability record in its previous generation, but it's too new to know how the new model will fare.
  • :surprise: Woah! Was the car two years old when you bought? Or was it older? That's alot of problems for a Honda unless it was older than two years when you bought it, then I can understand. I assume the dealers were arrogant because of the pride they have in Honda cars. That's one of the reasons why I've been researching other manufactures' cars, too. Planning to spend alot of hard earned money on my first car and I don't want to give it to the wrong person.
  • Very informative and will bookmark this as something to think about while I'm car shopping.
  • Somehow I only got the heading for my post in before it got posted so I end up finishing my thoughts here.
    I researched the question and the Rabbit IS assembled in Germany however the engine is Mexican made and the automatic transmission is Japanese. So, in very broad terms it is Mexican made...sort of. German part content is in the 70's % range somewhere, I can't recall exactly.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Might be better if you posted that in one of the Rabbit comparos or discussions. ;) ;)

    (I know we've been talking about it here, but we really need to get back to Civic and Elantra.)
  • I know, but I took a beating about this issue earlier and wanted to clear it more, I'm done with the Rabbit.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
This discussion has been closed.