Hyundai Elantra GT vs Toyota Corolla

luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
edited March 2014 in Hyundai
Let me start off by saying that I do recognize that one is a hatchback and the other is not. However, this is the choice I (actually, my mom) am currently faced with.

She has narrowed down her choices two these two cars due to price, comfort and ride. Actually, the Hyundai was an after-thought. She had narrowed her choice to a Corolla...we overlooked the Hyundai.

* Price: wants to get a decent car, but would like to keep cost to a miminum. When her financial position improves in three years, she will trade up.
* Comfort: my mom has problems with her hips and so the flatter the seat, the better (Corolla is best in this category).
* Ride: She wants a car that rides well and does not transmit every road imperfection to the seat or steering wheel.

She has not test driven the Hyundai Hatchback yet, but will be doing so today. Therefore, she cannot confirm the ride of the Hyundai, rather, we have based our judgement on reviews etc that indicate that the ride is good on the Elantra. Personally, I like the Hyundai better than the Corolla for looks and the additional features it offers over a similarly equipped Corolla, and in Canada, the Hyundai hatchback is $100 cheaper!

Features the Hyundai has over the Corolla (CE with "C" package):
-alloy wheels, alarm, fog lamps, hatch (extra space), power and heated mirrors, leather steering and shift, larger more powerful engine. Not sure about the US, but in Canada, the warranties are the same.

Granted, the Corolla has better fuel economy and its tough to argue with its good reliability history. Both are offering competitive financing although Hyundai is offering 2.8% vs Toyota's 3.9% for four years.

Aside from the fact that the Hyundai is a hatchback and therefore offers more cargo space, does anyone have any comments about either/both of these two vehicles?

Thanks in advance.


  • cjaccettacjaccetta Member Posts: 236
    I bought an Elantra GT back in June. At that time I cross-shopped against the Corolla, Civic, Focus, Echo, Jetta/Beetle and Sonata. Since I live the USA I can't comment on the trim levels in Canada but the Corolla we drove was the mid-level trim (S, formerly CE). Standing alone the Corolla is a fine car; but when you compare it to other cars available in the same class the Corolla loses it appeal. Here's why we thought so:

    1. The interior is cramped and uncomfotable. I am 5'9" 160 lbs. I set the drivers seat in my preferred position and I was unable to fit my size 10 shoes into the rear passenger footwell. Unacceptable.
    2. Lack of standard features. A/C, CD player, PW/PL all extra on Toyota but standard on many competitors.
    3. Price was too high. The price of the CE/S model was almost $3,000 more than what we paid for our Elantra, which is a better-equipped car.
    4. For some reason, the 2001 Corolla (with A/T) felt far more sluggish than the 1999 Corolla LE I rented two years ago. This may have been a problem with my tester, though. But in general the ride of the 2001 model did not feel as nice as the previous models.

    Given your three criteria above and the fact Toyotas hold their value well, the Corolla might be a better choice if your mother wants to trade in after three cramped years. As for the ride of the two cars we felt the Elantra's standard 15" wheels gave a much nicer than ride than the Corolla's 14" wheelset.

    You might actually want to investigate purchasing the Elantra GLS as opposed to the GT because the GLS has a softer suspension that should deliver a cushier ride and GLS also has a softer front seat with less aggressive bolsters.

    I won't go into detail about the Elantra GT as I have done so before in the GT thread. Though there were a few things we didn't like about the GT, we still felt it offered more for the money than the Corolla. I understand Toyota is set to redesign the Corolla for 2003 so you may want to wait a year before you purchase. IMO, it's about time. If you must own a Toyota econocar, then buy your mother the ECHO. She'll probably be happier with it.
  • mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
    The only thing the 2 have in common is that their names both end in an "A". The Corolla is a fine reliable car, but it is dated. The 03 will be much improved with more interior room. I found the Corolla seats mushy and lacking support, not to mention no height adjustments or lumbar support. The Elantra has very comfortable seats and excellent leg room. Drive them both...some people have problems with rear visibility in the GT...the GTS might be easier. For the price, you might even be able to get a Sonata.
  • csandstecsandste Member Posts: 1,866
    I have owned three Toyota/Geos in the past and had been well satisfied, but was shocked by how decontented the Corolla had become. IMHO the best of the Corolla platforms was the 93-97 Prizm. The present car was far less comfortable and roomy than the Elantra. I'm also disturbed by the corporate "stick it to 'em" culture that Toyota has recently displayed in dealing with sludging incidents (seen Engine Sludge posts in Maintenance and Repair or put Toyota and sludge into Google--you'll get an eyeful) even though the Corolla seems to be relatively sludge free.

    I have 6K+ miles on my Elantra and it's been a wonderful experience. Best car I've ever owned.
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    My mom drove the GT yesterday with a friend. She loved how the car drives, looks, all the features etc. However, the ride and the seats were far to firm for her liking. With her hip problems, it would become too uncomfortable to sit for any extended period of time. As a result, she has eliminated it from her list.

    She also test drove the sedan and the ride was much better (for her). However, she is concerned about resale. With plans to only hold the car for 2 or 3 years, she will probably lose the $2K she saves by buying the Hyundai over the Corolla in the resale value. Personally, I do not like the is DATED as you say and the interior is just....well...blah. But, its not for me, its for my mom who is over 60, and seat comfort and low risk (re: reliability) are important to her.

    Thanks to everyone. I certainly do appreciate your feedback.
This discussion has been closed.