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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra

taurus2taurus2 Posts: 63
edited June 2014 in Honda
I'm considering a second car. It's between Hyundai
and Honda. I know that Honda is more reliable but
Hyundai has a better warrenty. I need help.


  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    After considering both cars, I went with the Hyundai. The Civic is a nice automobile but the Hyundai gives you more car for the money. The Civic is somewhat more refined, the ride is a tad more smooth. The Hyundai though has a more powerful engine (except for the Civic SI) and holds the road better. At highway speeds passing other cars with the Elantra is not a problem. For around 13K you get power mirrors, power door locks, power windows, map lights, AC, auto trans, rear def. You can also add ABS and a moonroof.

    As for reliability, Hyundai is believed to have improved considerably. I do not know if this is the case since I have owned my vehicle for all of six months. I did develop a minor problem with my horn that was promptly fixed by the dealer. You would be covered for 5 years/60K bumper to bumper.
    I believe that the car has a solid feel to it. Closing the doors greets you with a considerable thunk and the fit and finish is fine for a car in this class range. Overall, I am very satisfied with my vehicle.
  • before i bought my elntra i was also deciding on the civic but I had already owned one, I didn't need two civics at one time. I do notice on hiways that slight gusts of wind would make the civic unstable and hard to control. The elantra is more stable, possibly because of wider tires and stiffer suspension. But it means you'll get a stiffer ride. Elantra also takes turns better.
  • taurus2taurus2 Posts: 63
    Is the elantra reliable?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I quoted some months back some very impressive data about Hyundia and reliability. Hyundia sales have jumped considerably in the last 3 years, right along with their customer satisfaction and reliability ratings. I put these numbers in a Hyundia vs....?? room. I am sorry I don't remember which room. What I do remember was the numbers were impressive and gathered by an agency that was not affiliated with Hyundai, totally independent. I too was one of those folks who bashed Hyundia and thought they were second rate, until I read the article that is. Frankly, test drive, test drive, test drive.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    Hyundai went with the 10 year warranty as a desperate act. They were frantically trying to restore confidence since they had such a dismal repair record.
    Read the fine print on these warranties!

    The best warranty is the one you never have to use!

    Also, please consider the resale down the road. Hyundais are almost impossible to unload as used cars. They are almost as bad as Kia!

    It's the total long term cost of ownership that really counts in the long run!
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Here we go again, resale. Don't forget a Hyundia also sells for Thousands, and Thousands less than a comparable Honda/Toyota for the same options. Now, I am not defending Hyundia, I don't own one. But after reading the data and the article showing how reliability/quality/customer satisfaction has jumped considerably, my whole attitude towards Hyundia changed.
  • boltguyboltguy Posts: 94
    Please notice that the post about Hyundai's "desperate" act was written by someone named "isellhondas". There is nothing wrong with liking Hondas, I had a CRX that I really liked. But bashing a company for providing an outstanding warranty is uncalled for. I would conclude that he/she is the desperate one. Hyundai is and has been the fastest growing car company in the U.S. over the last year and is poised to overtake Mitsubishi's U.S. sales figures. BTW, I am not affiliated with Hyundai, just a happy owner of 3 new Hyundais.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    I think almost everybody would agree that the earlier Hyundais were pretty sad. The ten year warranty is a marketing tool and nothing more.

    I agree that they are probably better than in the past. Still, for the money, I would much rather buy something used with a better record., it doesn't have to be a Honda either. I just think there are MUCH better choices but, that's just my opinion.

    the terrible resale values speak for themselves.
  • boltguyboltguy Posts: 94
    And so does your name.

    Maybe this buyer would like to hear from someone who has owned a Hyundai. Not someone spewing propaganda about the cars they sell. Early Hyundai's were crap, most everyone can agree on that. And the warranty is partially to ease the mind of potential buyers who only remember the late 80's - early 90's Excels.

    But that "marketing tool" will help resale values as it carries over to used Hyundai buyers also. Do you remember when early Honda's were being bashed for poor quality and reliability? I sure do. Hyundai has grown up and learned from early mistakes (like Honda).

    Hyundai Elantra's have more horsepower, a longer warranty, more standard features, and are a few thousand less than a Civic. Now that speaks for itself.

    I'm sure this person plans on test driving both makes. Why don't you give it a try? We won't tell any of your co-workers. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  • This topic sounds a lot like the Leganza topics. A lot of satisfied owners, and a doom and gloom Honda sales person or two. From what I can see, the Elantra is a cute little car. I can't speak for it's quality since I've never driven nor owned one, but if my Leganza's quality is any representation of Hyundai's, I'd say go for it. I can't see spending thousands more for a Civic and get a less fortified car. As a rebutal about the best warranty is one you never have to use, I think a warranty you have to use when needed is better than a warranty you don't have when you need one. If Hondas were that fool proof, what possible loss could Honda encounter offering a 200,000 mi warranty? What a concept, I don't think a 200,000 mi warranty is covering up for, nor indicating any weaknesses, do you?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    The fact is Hyundia/Kia/Daewoo have had record sales in the last 2 years with no end in sight. Fact is their quality/reliablity/customer satisfaction has skyrocketed. FAct is they sell these cars for thousands and thousands less than a comparably equipped Honda/Toyota. Seems like the Japanese have had their sights set on over taking Ford/GM/Dodge and forgot to look back once in a while, if they had they would have seen a screaming Korean auto industry on on their tail. Man, I wish I would have kept that data showing and supporting my attitude change for Korean vehicles. Granted I don't own one, but now they are on my future list to look at as an option.
  • dawinnerdawinner Posts: 1
    I was coming home last night from work and the engine siezed on my '92 Hyundai Excel. Funny, as I have been bragging lately that for such a "crappy" car, it has actually been quite good to me for almost 8 years.
    It has had its share of problems, but mostly cosmetic and annoying (the glove box latch broke after 2 years, the dimmer switch fell out shortly after, the overhead light never worked right, the gauges could never be trusted - and after 5 years, the odometer/speedometer died - I think I had almost 120k on it before the engine died last night. But overall, no major problems. The only money I ever put into was for normal stuff - tires, brakes, oil, etc.
    But I bought it right out of college because it was all I could afford at the time. I was never truly enamoured of it, but it got me from point A to point B ok. My wife hated it because it was "unsafe."
    I am now eyeballing the Hyundai Elantra as 1) A good value; 2) In my budget and 3) Reliabe.
    That is the key thing. Not only do I expect it to be as mechanically sound, but if things like knobs start falling off after a year or two, I would rather pay a couple thousand extra for a solid make.
    Has this gotten better all around?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    And giving my opinion for what it's worth.

    I have driven late model Hyundais and find them to be a vast improvement over the earlier models.

    Sti,, I think they are pretty lackluster. I guess if a person is determined to buy a new rather than a used car, and initial price is the most important thing, they may not be a terrible choice.

    Still, we cringe when a customer wants to trade one in. As a used car, they simply don't sell!

    And, THAT is not my humbel opinion, it is reality!

    When we call the local Hyundai dealers for buy bids, they either don't want them or bid thousands of dollars below book. Same applies with Kias.

    I'm not here to bash anything, nor am I here to promote my own product. I am simply stating things from my perspective.

    I do respect Hyundai for surviving against all odds!
  • csmarmotcsmarmot Posts: 1
    A year ago I bought a 1999 Elantra base model, and is is a terrific car. I have 10,800 miles, have done some major road trips, and I'm completely satisfied.

    When I bought it, I wanted a Civic. But my realistic choice was between a *used* Civic or a new Hyundai. The price on my Elantra was $10,600, and that was with zero miles, air conditioning, AM/FM cassette, and the 60/100K warranty... that's all standard.

    For S10,600, I was looking at '96 model Civics with 30-50K miles! Hondas do hold their resale value, for sure, but if the choice is between a 3-year-old car with 30K and no warranty, or a new car...

    As far as considering a *new* Honda, a base 3-door with air ($1000 option) and radio ($250 aftermarket) would have run almost $11,500. A 4-door would run over $13,000. By that time, you might as well consider an DX/EX for $15,000+, which brings it into base Camry, Tarus, etc. range. If you're going to pay $16K for a new small car, why not go for a recent used BMW 318ti?

    The point is, nobody makes a base model car that comes remotely near the $11K Hyundai Elantra, period. If you were to debate the merits of the $14K GLS Hyundai vs. the $15K Civic DX/EX, then you've got a debate.... but that's no choice at all.

    Hyundai sells a base model that you can live with, Honda doesn't.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    And provided they have solved the reliability issues of the older ones, and assuming you plan to hold on it it long enough so that the resale isn't a problem, they might be a good choice.

    But, just thinking, why not do one better, and buy a used Hyundai instead? These things take such a terrible depreciation beating in the first couple of years, that a 1 or 2 year old can be bought for a pittance! Now, that, in my opinion would be a much better value!

    Some dealer would probably be tickled to sell a slow mover at a distressed price.
  • bozsebozse Posts: 1
    I had one of those "old Hyundais" you all are talking about. A 1989 Hyundai Excel. It was a great car. It's true that little things would go wrong, thermostat, rubber valve failing. But overall, a very reliable car. I went cross country twice in it, from New York City to Seattle and back. The "back" trip the long way, loaded down with a Sears carrier on top and my bike on back. I was so loaded down, I was only a few inches from the ground, and my car was so full inside I could only drive with my seat straight up. But we climbed several mountains, went through the desert through Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah Colorado, and on to Ohio. 4500 miles and no trouble. And would you like to know about safety?? The end came for my dear car when a 1964 Chevy Impala, coming toward me at 70mph on a 35mph street, spun out, hit me and totalled my car front to back on MY SIDE and I walked out of the accident without a scratch.

    Now I have a Honda Civic, 1990. True, it has more power than my old car, but the reputation for Honda's lasting forever is overrated. I have had to spend at least a couple thousand dollars in repairs, and it's on it's last legs at 160,000 miles. I'm going to let the old girl die with dignity, but my new car will be an Elantra. Frankly, I just can't afford a Honda. True it may be a better car, but you can't always afford the best. Hyundai's are a very good second choice, especially since you get so much for the money. Look at Saturns too. They won't even give you air conditioning unless you buy the highest S model. If Hyundai's have improved since 1989, that's good enough for me since I was happy with my old car.

    And by the way I have a theory about the old Hyundai's. They were cheap cars, so people treated them as throw away cars. I treated mine like a Cadillac, so it treated me back the same way.
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    You mentioned that the Hyundai you drove was "pretty lackluster." How so?

    As for Hyundai surviving against all odds. It is doing more than surviving it is breaking its own sales records. Some months sales increases have been 100% over last years.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197

    I'm glad you had good luck with your Hyundai. I'm sure many others would agree with you. I don't think they were horrible cars. I think though they reflected the low prices they sold for. In 1989, they were pretty crude when compared to other cars. Consumer Reports blasted them for poor reliability and listed them as a car to avoid.

    You made a good point, though. Maybe the low price attracted buyers who skimped on oil changes and skipped important service visits.


    Yeah, I think lackluster sums it up pretty well. They just don't do much for me. If you can please forget the fact I sell Hondas, I would MUCH rather spend the same amount and buy a used car I really like instead.

    I feel the same way about Saturns. Buyers pay full MSRP for a car that isn't much more than a glorified Cavalier.

    Please folks, I'm not here to promote Hondas or to slam Hyundais. I'm only stirring the pot by stating my opinions.

    Given past reputation and the fact that they are SO hard to sell used, I just think there are better choices.

    But...That is my humble opinion and I respect the fact that some will disagree with me!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,197
    It's a good thing their sales have improved. They came close to extinction awhile back. ANY increase would be a big improvement.
  • I agree with isellhonda's sentiments. Hyundais are better than they used to be but still can't compare to Hondas. Some may disagree with that. So be it. But I would take a used car that I knew was going to be reliable and that I knew would hold it's value before I would take a new car that may or may not live up to it's old reputation.

    isellhondas is also correct on the resale value. People don't want them used. It is a car to buy if you want a NEW car but don't want to pay that much, just like Kia and Daewoo. It holds no water in the used car market.
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    isell_ mitsus1, with all due respect I think that view is becoming dated. I'm thinking about purchasing a second Hyundai and have been looking at Kelly's Blue Book retail prices.

    I paid 12.5K for my 2000 Elantra GLS. Kelly's list a 1999 Elantra GLS from 10,700 to 14,330. In fact when I compare the exact car that I bought, plug in the mileage I expect to do in a year (15K), I get a suggested retail value of $12,050. The 2000 Elantra depreciated all of $450 from the 1999 model. Not bad at all. Worse than average resale value I think is fast becoming another obsolete view of Hyundai.
  • scrufscruf Posts: 1
    The credibility of the maker is truly @ issue here. Honda builds a wonderful (if souless) automobile, and has for some time. It has not always been that way.
    Hyundai build an unforgetably cheap car a few years back, and this has had an effect on thier image (rightfully).
    Yet, the current models, if not market leaders, appear to be "ready for prime time".
    Let me bring you back to '73-75. A Japanese motorcycle maker was beginning its importation of cars to the US. It quickly bacame known that these cars were practicaly undriveable while cold. This was bad for that fledgling automaker, now the #2 imported vehicle, of course this is Honda. Those vehicles were pretty undesirable used, too.
    Is the Hyundai less desirable than the Honda? Right now, YES. But it is also 10% less, and if I had the choice of a stripped Civic, or an Elantra w/ AC, power goodies, and the warranty, well, I'd stop to think...
  • taurus2taurus2 Posts: 63
    Which car is more reliable and will last longer with no problems? A Hyundai Elantra or Honda Civic?
  • umchand2umchand2 Posts: 7
    I own both and they both have their share of problems. However, the civic has had a few major problems. Thank goodness for warranties.
    The elantra i just got and it had some minor problems. Just treat them right and they'll last atleast a decade
  • andes11andes11 Posts: 62
    I get a good chuckle when these people tout Honda's "proven" reliability.
    The thing is that Elantra is as reliable as Honda Civic.
    In fact, early 90s Civic's AIS reliability rating is lower than the Elantra's and its reliability has been widely exaggerated by the owners over the years.
  • andes: I would like you to find ANYTHING that backs up your statement that the Elantra is just as reliable as a Civic. I don't think you will find anything that comes even remotely close to saying that.

    And to the person who said resale value was just as good for the Elantra...yeah right. I checked the trade for a 99 Elantra with 15k in excellent condition with all options (auto, roof, alloys, power pack, etc) and the trade was $10,---, a comparable Civic was worth $16,---.... you do the math.
  • andes11andes11 Posts: 62
    This is like dropping an A-bomb on the Civic Nation, but you asked for it, so,
    here you go:
  • dryfusdryfus Posts: 20
    Isellmitsu says:

    "I would like you to find ANYTHING that
    backs up your statement that the Elantra is just as reliable as a Civic. I don't think you will find anything that comes even remotely close to saying that."

    Looks like you have to eat your words.
  • bill11770bill11770 Posts: 29
  • bill11770bill11770 Posts: 29
    anyone that pays 16,000 for a used civic has some screws loose. You can get a new one for that price.

    isell_mitsus1.... don't you think that those numbers are a little incorrect?... say one is wholesale (elantra) and the other is retail (civic).

    The way i see it is that those numbers seemed to be doctored up....
This discussion has been closed.