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2007 Hyundai Elantra vs 2007 Nissan Sentra



  • v_dv_d Posts: 89
    In my experience Nissan has never engineered their engines for fuel efficiency.

    For the third time: THE 2.0l ENGINE IN THE SENTRA WAS DEVELOPED BY Renault ABOUT 3 YRS AGO! Not by Nissan.

    Europe=high gas prices ==> therefore this engine WAS developed for fuel efficiency, trust me, when an European goes to a Dealer his first question is not "how many horses how many horses???", but "And the fuel consumption?".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I got my December C/D today. It's a curious review in a number of ways. Here's some odd things about it:

    * It complains that the Mazda3 they tested might be too sporty. When was the last time you saw C/D say that about any car? Also, which Mazda3 did they choose for the comparo? The Mazda3i, which has less-aggressive tires/rims and would have easily fit under their self-imposed $18k price limit? No. They chose the Mazda3s, s as in "Sport". :confuse:

    * The Mazda3 took top honors in braking, roadholding, lane change, 1/4 mile acceleration, performance, steering feel, brake feel, handling, and ride. But it was ranked below the Rabbit in "fun to drive." :confuse:

    * The Civic was top-ranked for ride, even though the review complains about the suspension being "surprisingly noisy over road impacts" and a "crisp" ride.

    Anyway, back to the subject, Elantra vs. Sentra...

    It appears they suffered the same fate. C/D is not looking for a car to do what most of us do with cars--drive around town or cruise on the interstates. No, they want a car with sporty ride (read firm) and handling so when they carve those canyons, they can have fun. And that's fine. But it's something to consider when reading the review.

    Here's what C/D said about the Elantra:

    * "Scores high on value" with the lowest price of the group
    * Nicely styled interior with "top-quality materials and details" with "sophisticated use of texture and sheen" and "sit-all-day" seats and lots of storage compartments
    * Front buckets have a "plush feel"
    * "Top marks" for space and comfort
    * Light controls and a slick shifter and clutch.
    * Smooth ride; "at metro traffic speeds the car feels agile and trusty. Grab it and go, like you're old friends."
    * Tested fuel economy was 3rd best in the test, 28 mpg (behind Civic and Corolla)
    * Noise at idle and at 70 mph cruise were lowest in the test
    * 5-60 mph (more useful in real world than 0-60) was quickest in the test

    Sounds like a car that would make an excellent commuter (especially if carrying a carpool) or family hauler. Which is what economy sedans are tasked to do by most of us. If you want sporty, there's the Mazda3--as long as you don't want too sporty! ;)

    The Sentra similarly was praised for its interior room and denigrated for lack of "driving fun." The knocks on the shifter were curious though. They said the clutch was "heavy" (although they knocked the Elantra's as maybe too light, hard to know what they like) and the shifter is limp. I found the Sentra's clutch firmer than, say, a Civic, but acceptable. The shifter was anything but limp--it was actually a little notchy, but seemed crisp to me. And the ride was if anything too firm, not "tippy" and "plush" as noted by C/D. They harped on the small door pockets (they are) but begrudingly noted all the other storage space in the car, including the HUUUGE glove box.

    The illegibility of the Sentra's gauges with polarized sunglasses was a good catch though--that could be a real problem for many drivers. I am amazed that got past Sentra's engineers.

    They like to harp on styling too, calling the Sentra's "tortured". I don't happen to like the Sentra's styling, but I think "tortured" is over the top. Besides, styling is completely subjective, so why include it in the scoring? (Other publications e.g. CR do not.)
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Correction. I only forgot one thing that the Mazda and Sentra got the same mpg on C/D's 550 miles of testing.

    1st Civic/Corolla 33 mpg
    3rd Elantra 28
    4th Mazda3/Sentra 27
    6th Rabbit 24
  • spmrebelspmrebel Posts: 130
    Was that 550 miles a lot of highway or city mileage? The mileage that C/D got is on the low side of the Elantra's EPA rating of 28/36. I would have expected around 30 or maybe equal to Corolla/Civic. Was this with stick? If this is stick, it doesn't bode well at all for Elantra for its mileage.

    On Mazda was this with the 2.3L engine? Stick or auto? If auto this is pretty good considering Mazda 3 has a bigger engine, more power and low end torque.

    Still waiting for my C/D issue.
  • I believe the Mazda was the 3s 5M 160HP rated at 26/33. Returning 27MPG is pretty darn good. The Elantra's mileage isn't exactly impressive for a car that has only 138HP and rated at 28/36. Though it is inline with the 25-26 MPG I get with my 2004 Elantra rated at 26/34.

    Comparing mileage costs between the Elantra and Civic, you'll be saving roughly $200 at $2.50/g for 15K miles a year. Over a 5 year period, factoring in depreciation savings with the Civic, any difference in cost between the 2 cars will evaporate quickly. Basically, since it's pretty much a wash, buy the car that you like the most.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    You are forgetting about discounts and, eventually, rebates that will be available on the Elantra. For $1000-1500 difference, I agree, it's really a wash. But for $4000 difference? And then there's the little issue of the polarizing styling of the Civic, and lack of room--if those are important.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    What do you mean by "polarizing style"? The only thing a little on the odd side is the short overhang of the Civics hood and longish dashboard inside up to the windshield. I personally like the look and am glad I got the sedan instead of the coupe. If I didn't have the spine problems that have been getting much worse since my accident, I would've jumped on the coupe. But the longer & heavier doors plus the somewhat claustraphobic back seat area made me go for the sedan.
    I did sit in the Elantra before I bought, but the seats for me were a deal breaker. I couldn't get comfortable and my spine really hurt just sitting in the showroom. I did my "sit test" and the only cars that passed it were the Corolla & the Civic. The Sonata seats were great for me, especially with the power function, but the size knocked it out of contention, as well as the mpg's.

    The Sandman :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    C/D called the Civic "hugely polarizing" in their December comparo. Two quotes from their editors:

    "I dig the futuristic, artsy look."

    "I hate everything but the way it drives."

    Did you sit in the 2007 Elantra before buying your Civic?

    BTW, there is a Civic vs. Elantra discussion...
  • It really does have very polarizing style. Most people go into the love it/hate it category, but I'm in the middle. I think the front/side/most of the interior looks really sharp, but I think the taillight design is horrible. It's all opinion, though. It's at least an interesting enough design where I don't make fun of people who drive them. I save that for all the Five Hundreds, Tauruses, and Sebrings I see. :D
  • I think whatever highway noise the people are talking about is only with the Elantra manual, probably. It's still a strange comment. If you read Consumer Reports' review of the '07 Accent, they say the same thing - engine noise is very pronounced due to the gearing of the manual. I don't really understand how that works myself, but they didn't have any complaints about the automatic version. Maybe that's the case with the new auto Elantra, then.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Yes, I think that's it. But what is really odd about C/D's comments on engine noise on the Elantra is that it was the quietest car in the test at 70 mph cruise. It is actually as quiet as the 2007 Altima that they tested in the same issue. So go figure... maybe going from 70 to 72 mph triggers the screaming banshees in their cages in the engine bay, so the noise is a lot greater ;) .
  • Hi,

    I have driven all of the cars discussed in this thread many times, just recently.

    Elatra- very noisy as it goes faster, and especially with the manual at high speeds (and rpm). Automatic has a "hole" in its third gear power. Suspension hadles concret section bumps that recurr reguarly very poorly- the car bobs like a basketball being bounced fast at three feet- the stick does not have the power freeze in third gear.

    Sentra- A better engineered car than Elantra- quieter, plushish ride with good handling- less taut than my Corolla-
    suprisingly smoothe and quet ride in the Sentra- feels a bit too plush to corner well, but it does- seems to be a better seat/leg fit to use pedals than Corolla, but neither car has tilt telescope steering; the Elantra does.

    Corolla- My Corolla LE averages 31 to 34.5 mpg. depending on AC use, etc. But unlike the other cars, it does not have active head restraint system- stability control is an option but there were only three cars produced this way and I think that two of them are in Bosnia (tisk-tisk) The ride is a bit noisy and taut, but it is comfortable compared to a Mazda 3 or 6 THe Corolla is an amazing 1.8 engine driven car. Only the Civic can match its MPG.

    Civic- annoying reflection in winshield of dashboard- rough riding car on bumps- you can hit the ceilng on bigger ones!
    I am tall.... So-so acceleration, Good MPG. HMM, the Civic might not have active head restraints??? Not impressed by the Civic at all. Ride is not very good- too taut, stiff, nervous...............

    Gas prices are going to rise again, and low mpg. cars will become more and more unattractive- in Britain they may be heavily taxed soon....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    ... the car bobs like a basketball being bounced fast at three feet...

    That was an exaggeration, right? Like the Corollas in Bosnia?

    So you are saying the Elantra is "very noisy" even with the automatic? At what speed does the automatic Elantra get "very noisy"?

    FYI, the Civic does have active front head restraints.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Strange observations on your Corolla as all auto reviews have always said soft suspension and rather poor handling. The 1.8 is smooth gets great mpg, but is not a performer when compared to the Civic. A person may not like the looks (exterior or dash) of the Civic, and may think the road noise a bit much, but otherwise it dominates the Toyota in every other way. Much better handling, manual shifter is better, modern less fluffy interior, better seating position, better standard safety equipment, cruise/stereo controls on steering wheel, and auxillary input. It also has better resale value.

    Wonder why the Civic is selling for near sticker and the Corolla is going for under invoice? No wonder Toyota delayed the new 2008 Corolla to make sure they can get it right as even the new one may not be much of a competitor for the present Civic.

    So from the reviews so far it looks like the Elantra may outdo the Corolla as it is more luxurious, spacious, with a soft ride even if it is noisy at higher speeds with lower mpg. The Sentra it appears can't compete well even with the old veterans in this segment.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    you folks are probably looking for the Economy Sedans (~$16k-$20k) discussion.

    We're comparing the 2007 Elantra and Sentra here.

  • In my opinion, the Corolla does not handle all that badly. It is a little sporty, and holds the road OK. I was not impressed with the "sportiness" of the Civic- it does not have the power to be sporty, except perhaps with a stick shift???

    I liked a lot about the Elantra manual version. It has a funny problem with floating and choppiness that kind of ruins its otherwise smoothe ride and decent, but not at all inspird, handling (in the non-Sport modlel). I drove a Sport automantic- it may have handled a bitt better. Not sure.

    THe Elantra automatic is a bit quieter than the manual when going over 72 MPH on the highway. THe manjuall gets super noisy abouve that, and if I remember right, the automatic gets almost as noisy as you hit 80. My Corlaa is quieter, in spoite of what you see in the ratings on noise in C ar and Driver's Dec. 06 edition, which I just read.

    I agree with the C&D remark on "New Car Smell" in the Corolla.
    Toyota is into non-toxic interiors, but I doubt if this is the case with the Corolla. Probably on more expensive models there is less toxic plastics and fabrics???

    See for info on toxic car interiors. Your new car is probably more toxic than a new home! Hyundai, as a fleet, has the worst plastic toxin rating, by the way.

    I like the Quiet and plush ride of the new Sentra, but it really does not handle all that well. THe Altima is a nicer and sportier car, just too big and heavy for good MPG. Better MPG ratings for Sentra and Altima in 07 models, but I don't necessarily believe the EPA on this.

    The big reason I got the Corolla was tthe MPG and decent ride- slightly sporty too. I could not hack the Mazda 3s tautness of ride. Same with the Jetta (may be more noise than tautness), and the (bigger) Passat.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Hyundai, as a fleet, has the worst plastic toxin rating, by the way.

    According to the info on, Hyundai leads the auto industry in having the lowest PBDE emissions, but is ranked low on phthalates. So your statement seems like it would apply more to Chrysler, or maybe Toyota, which ranked low in both categories.

    Anyway, do you happen to know the plastic toxic ratings for the 2007 Elantra and Sentra?
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    While the comment of the sentra looking like a previous generation elantra seems to be pulled out of a very ugly hat, I know what nodule is saying; its lines are cury in a undefineable way; like if someone took an eraser and smudged out the edges. Its weird but its the first thing i noticed about it. Oh and the civic does have a trip computer.(more unfounded nothingness.)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Oh and the civic does have a trip computer.(more unfounded nothingness.)

    Nothingness as in off topic?
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Well, if you insist. The statement about no trip computer was made by a Civic owner in a Civic discussion in Town Hall. Also the Honda Civic web site says nothing about a trip computer on the 2007 Civic.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Also the Honda Civic web site says nothing about a trip computer on the 2007 Civic.

    Everthing that is on web sites is true. :blush:
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    thanks moparbad. Well, here is another (ex) civic owner who is telling you that it does.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's let the Civic make a graceful exit from this Elantra vs. Sentra discussion. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Elantra good on details: Upstages Nissan Sentra, VW Rabbit. This is latest Hyundai model to show improvement as carmaker continues to improve its reputation. 18a-a0aa-920d68438b26
  • Hey guys, this is my first post here.

    I just picked up my '07 Sentra 2.0S w/Luxury Package two days ago, and so far, I love it. It is exceeding my expectations in every way possible. If it means anything, I drove much older cars my entire life thus far, and this is my first brand new vehicle. In fact, it's the first vehicle I've owned that is not AT LEAST 10 years old.

    Gas mileage so far is great. I've seen it hit 4.9 L/100km (48 miles per gallon) briefly on the highway. In the city, it is getting probably around 7-9 L/100km (26-33mpg) on average. I haven't been paying too much attention to it. All I know is that it is substantially better than my 1991 Suzuki Sidekick.

    I am overall extremely satisfied thus far.

    Edit- Sorry, I just realized this is primarly an Elantra forum...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome! Glad to have a new member. :)

    Actually, although parts of it may read that way, it isn't primarily an Elantra discussion. It's a head to head comparison of the Elantra to the Sentra.

    Take a look at the Sentra group at this link: Nissan Sentra. You'll see this one, but you'll also see the dedicated Sentra topics.

    Enjoy your new ride! And when you're not out driving around, have fun in CarSpace!! :D
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Congratulations on your new car! Is it a CVT or stick? When you hit 48 mpg on the highway, was it flat or downhill? 48 mpg on a level grade for any distance at all would be spectacular for a 2.0L engine with its power.
  • I bought the manual transmission. Almost entirely because I wanted it, but I also believe it was the only manual in the entire city with a luxury package.

    The 48 that it briefly hit (and that is approximate, because my computer spits out info in litres per 100 kilometres), was on a flat road. I don't think it stayed there for long, so I am not sure how accurate it is. All I know, is that I am so far extremely happy with the mileage it is getting. The difference is massive compared to my old Suzuki.

    And thanks for the welcome. I see how the forums work now, I was a little confused at first.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    don't rely on computer for any meaningful instantaneous miles per gallon figures.
    Average your MPG over 3 consecutive full tanks of gas and let us know what your MPG is. That would be a useful comparison number.
This discussion has been closed.