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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra



  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    isell_mitsus1 said:

    "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

    Wait a minute. I did not say that the resale value of an Elantra is just as good. What I said was that it is becoming average. I do believe that the Civic does hold its resale value better than the Elantra. I would not buy an economy car with the idea of selling it down the road. So this is not an issue with me. Even so, the Elantra's below average resale value is becoming fiction.

    The numbers you stated, are they for Civic SI? What service did you use to check, Edmunds? Kelly's? As it has already been pointed out; who would buy a used Civic for 16K?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    Forget what the "book" say. Just try to sell one, or worse yet, get a Hyundai dealer to pay you anywhere near wholesale book for one.

    They are "back of book" cars...big time!

    I am NOT saying they are *bad* cars. I am saying that they are an absolute DOG on the used car market. Few people will buy one and they sell for thousands BELOW book!

    It's not fiction but pure fact! Who knows, maybe someday that could change?

    Andes links were amusing. I have NO IDEA how this rating system happened. In my experience, the 91-93 Civics were bulletproof reliable, and really no worse than the current models.

    I'm sure the opinion of another publication would differ. The current issue of Consumer's Reports give 1/2 red dots for Civic Engines in the years 92-93, and full red dots for 94's and newer.

    So, I guess they disagree with Car Point.

    And Consumer's Reports didn't even bother to rate Hyundai. Almost like they don't even exhist!

    Probably not enough on the road for a sampling?
  • andes11andes11 Posts: 62
    AIS reliability ratings are based on sophisticated statistical analyses of actual repair data gathered from automotive technicians. These numbers are cold, hard facts.
    They are not based on someone's opinion or experience.
    If you keep talking about opinions, then I have
    to question your intelligence.
    Consumer Reports do not rate reliability of cars.
    They just publish the results of subscriber survey. Ask them why a rating system is not in place. They'll tell you that it's not fair to
    rate cars reliability without actual repair data.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    Favor your opinion, then you like them. Consumer's Reports must get these ratings from somewhere! Sorry you don't like them.

    And, I stand by my statement that 1991-1993 Civic engines are VERY reliable. That's why I was surprised by the data you provided.

    And, yes, that's my opinion which is based on quite a bit of front line experience.
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    For a vehicle with supposedly very poor reliablility, there are plenty of pre-90 Hyundai EXCELS out there on the road. That is why I am wary of people's opinions or reputations of automobiles. I would take AIS's statisical sampling over Consumer Reports voluntary user surveys any day.
  • dryfusdryfus Posts: 20
    Thanks for the Car Point link stats on reliability ratings. It certainly has been valuable. Now there is the same "all Korean cars are no good" debate in the Daewoo Leganza 3 forum, in the last couple of days. And Hyundais are being mentioned quite a bit. I urge anyone who wants get in on the hot debate that's going on there, just go to Daewoo Leganza forum and click forward to the last couple of days.

    It's March 22 today.
  • Okay... let's read the fine print of these links. If you just go by initial impressions you may think the Hyundai is just as reliable. But if you look at the problems that the Civic had they are all insignificant and relatively inexpensive to fix compared to the car's value. The Hyundai on the other hand has costly repairs that cost more than the car is worth.

    Example: 1991-1993 Honda Civic's had problems with the distributor, main relay, and fuel ignitor. If you have all three of these fixed it comes up to a total of $200. The Hyundai on the other hand exhibited problems with premature timing belt failure, engine valves (as a result of the timing belt) and the ECU. These items together total approx $2,000. You do the math. Let's see would I rather have a car that is worth $4,000 that I have to do $200 worth of repairs on or would I rather have a car that is worth $600 and do $2,000 worth of repairs... I don't know.. I may have to consult my psychic on this one.

    Which brings up resale. You doubt my numbers here ya go. All of these are verifiable at and

    2000 Honda Civic EX with automatic transmission price = $16,341 resale = $15,235
    (kbb for 1999 15k in exc. condition)
    $1,106 depreciation = 7% value drop/93% retained value

    2000 Elantra GLS w/ automatic tranny and equivalent EX Civic options price = $13,264 resale = $10,440
    (kbb for 1999 15k in excellent condition)
    $2,824 depreciation = 21% drop/79% retained value

    So thanks for offering but I will be eating my baked chicken and cherry cheesecake, not my words.
  • sirradsirrad Posts: 7
    The nice thing about having a 91-93 Civic with a dead engine is that the Teg GSR engine or the Si B16A engine just bolts in place, to get a real sweet kick butt machine. Try asking for an implant from any Hyundai sibling.
  • andes11andes11 Posts: 62
    I see you're trying hard to distort the facts.
    Where does the report say the Elantra timing belts fail prematurely? It says it's a periodic problem.
    The reason the belt failures are described as periodic failure is that the indy shop techs who don't know how to tension the belt properly keep changing them until they decide to ask for help.

    Here's one example of a smart tech who asked fellow techs about the correct timing-belt installation procedure in advance on the iATN mailing list.
    1993 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 L

    Trans: Automatic
    Mileage: 130,000 mi
    VIN: KMHJF22R6RU55003X

    Misc Data: engine family 1.6GJVGAEA
    Affected Item: Timing belts


    I learned,from Paul Baldassarre, administrator, tech.assistance line,of Hyundai Motor America, and several others, that some early production (before 6/8/92)1.6's came without ballance shafts.After that they have them & the proceedure is the same as the 1.8's. I mention the 1.8 because Mitchell,Autodata,& possibly others don't give info. on the ballance shafts of any year 1.6! Because the rear shaft is
    driven by the oil pump sprocket,and not at a 1 to 1 ratio,it is not enough to simply line up the index mark.Remove the 14mm hex bolt found on block, behind tail end of compressor(or starter), and ensure that a #2 phillips screwdriver will insert aprox. 60mm while indexed.Be aware that two special tools are specified for tensioning the
    main t-belt.All of this is in Mitchell & Autodata but you need to look at text for 1.8! I also believe that their labor times are incorrect for the 1.6.The ballance shafts makes it worth a few extra tenths,and more if you change the (2 extra)seals!Thanks to everyone who responded! There are some sharp Hyundai guys out there!

    ____________________ORIGINAL MESSAGE:__________

    Dear fellow members, Am doing t-belts on engine that has complaint of vibration & has had belts replaced before. I remember doing a similar Mitsubishi engine in the past & learned about the indexing hole/pin arrangement to ensure proper timing of rear ballance shaft. My concern this time is that Mitchell only refers to doing this on the 1.8 engine,not the 1.6! I am hoping that information is correct( because the A.C. compressor is mounted low on the back of the block ,where I would guess the inspection hole would be). Don't want to find out the hard way that this information is wrong! Can anyone confirm the proceedure on the 1.6? I have checked the archives,but only found reference to other engines. Thanks greatly,in advance,
    Sincerely, xxx xxxxxxxxx

    xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
    Colonial Foreign Car Service, Inc.
    Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

    iATN Sponsoring Member

    About the ECU and ISC motor in early 90s Elantras
    ,do you know they were made by Mitsubishi Electric?
    Ask an experienced factory-trained tech in your dealership how common the failures of these two parts are in old Mitsubishis.

    92-93 Civics got 4 out of 5 in the reliability rating and you can't change the number by saying the problems are insignificant.
    You say distributor, main relay and oxygen sensor failures are insignificant, but it's your personal, uneducated opinion that nobody cares to listen and doesn't hold water when the ratings are based on statistical analyses of the largest repair database in the nation.
    And lastly, why are you quoting car prices?
    I'm not buying a car from you. :P
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Special financing on Honda's in my region. Is this a sign that Honda sales are slipping?
    The Civic is a good car, that fact is other car manufactures have caught up and surpassed Honda in quality/reliability/value. It was bound to happen, its called economic evolution. The Civic is a has been.
  • bri70: How are you getting less car for the money? A Civic EX comes with CD player, Cruise, Power Sunroof, ABS brakes, Power windows, locks, Keyless, Tilt wheel, Folding rear seat, map lights, front and rear double wishbone, etc. Looks pretty comparable optionwise to me.

    As for performance, according to Edmunds the Civic EX does 0-60 in 8.5 and the Elantra is 0-60 in 10.5. So where's the beef in the Elantra? Yes it has 13 more HP... but where's it at?

    Vince8: I don't see how anyone can say the Civic is a "has-been". "Has-been" the best selling small car on the market maybe, "has-been" one of the highest rated small cars on the market in reliability and drivability maybe. Please tell me what make/model has surpassed the Civic in reliability/value/quality.

    Special financing is not a sign that Civics are slipping, if that were the case all makes/models are slipping. I don't call 3.9% interest for 36 months giving the car away, do you?

    andes: What facts have I distorted? I simply explained the Carpoint rating system and listed the costs that THEY said an owner would incur to fix it.

    Why do you need to resort to name calling? Uneducated? Let me tell you one thing, calling names, insulting people, and being obnoxious will not help you get your point across. It makes YOU look like the one that is "uneducated". Strength of argument doesn't lie in who can call the most names or get the most insults in, strength of argument comes from knowing the facts, which you don't seem to know. It clearly shows that there were problems for more than 1 year with the Hyundai timing belt, not just the models produced before 1992.

    You have shown ONE link that AT FIRST GLANCE would appear to show that the Hyundai is just reliable. But as I showed.. would you rather pay $200 for repairs on a $4,000 car or $2,000 in repairs on a $600 car? Answer seems pretty obvious even to my uneducated brain. I could show link upon link upon link showing how reliable the Civic is. Read Consumer Reports, look at IntelliChoice. What makes the Carpoint link any more believable than CR or Intellichoice?
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    "Looks pretty
    comparable optionwise to me."

    You are paying 3 thousand dollars more for those comparable options. There is nothing in the Civic that the Elantra lacks.

    "As for performance, according to Edmunds the Civic
    EX does 0-60 in 8.5 and the Elantra is 0-60 in
    10.5. So where's the beef in the Elantra? Yes it
    has 13 more HP... but where's it at?"

    The Elantra's low-end torque is poor (though my car does better than 10.5), but at highway speeds; forget the Civic EX, the Elantra will have little problems passing a Civic EX.
  • That's not true. The Civic makes most of it's power at high revs. So the higher the revs the better the Civic's advantage.

    Also, I remember racing a kid in a lime green Elantra with a purple stripe and a Folger's can exhaust. I was in a 1998 Civic EX sedan w/ manual transmission. It was closer from the start and I started pulling away with every shift. But that's subjective so I will stick with what Edmunds has to say.

    Yes you are paying $3,000 more for the Civic but isn't a Hyundai more than a Kia? Does that mean you should buy the Kia? A car's value and dependibility are not just measure by initial cost. You have to take other factors into consideration.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    Sorry, but I have no desire (or ability) to post links, service bulletins etc, just for a stupid argument.

    Instead, I talk to the techs in our shop. Yes, they tell me, some early 90's Hondas had distributors that wore out prematurely. Big deal!

    Was it 10%, 20% 25% ?? I don't know and neither do they. They tell me it wasn't that big of a number. Most never failed.

    A bad distributor is NOT a bad engine! They will cause the engine to misfire, and I guess if a person were able to ignore these symptoms for a long time, the car could probably stop running.

    Vince...You think the Civic is a "has been" ?

    Think again, and wait a few months when the totally new Civic hits the market!

    I guess that would make a Hyundai a "never was" ?

    Isell mitsu...I think you for bring sanity to this forum. You have more patience than I do, and you do a good job of setting the record straight!
  • bill11770bill11770 Posts: 29
    isell mitsu.... do the resale cars and the carsdirect price have the same options??
  • bill11770bill11770 Posts: 29
    plus..... you sell cars... you should know those numbers aren't all that correct. The trade in value/resale value is determined by what the market can bear..... it can work in your favor or not....
  • Thanks for the encouragement Isellhondas. I enjoy your posts as well and you seem to do a pretty good job of straightening facts out as well.

    bill1170: Yes they do. I optioned them out with the same equipment using and listed all options accordingly on

    You are right, the numbers aren't perfect. But it will give you a good idea of the market for the car. It does depend on what the market will bare but I can't think of any market where the Hyundai would do as well as the Civic.

    I know our company shies heavily away from the Hyundais and Kias because of warranty issues, desirability, and overall reliability. Actually one of our finance companys refuses to finance Hyundais due to the overwhelming % of repossessions that occur with that make for one reason or another. I have been working for my company for almost 2 years now and have yet to see a Hyundai for sale on our lot. I have seen a few on some of our other lots but I think I could count them on one hand.

    If you do not care about resale value (or what your friends think about you) maybe the Hyundai is a good bet for you. But for me, I like a known entity and there is just a subliminal stigma in my brain attached to Hyundais. I don't care how long their warranty is, anytime I see a new Hyundai I can't help but think about the used one I just saw with a cloud of blue smoke spewing out of the tailpipe, or the one I saw before that deserted on the side of the road.
  • genes555genes555 Posts: 10
    will conk out prematurely if not taken care of. in the past, many owners of hyundais didn't take care of the cars and that was a major reason that those cars were lackluster.
    i think that the koreans can put some pressure on the japanese.
    oftentimes i find the japanese cars to be over-priced or under-equipped or both.
    korea is an economic powerhouse and the products that are coming out of that country are starting to reflect that.
    give 'em some credit.
    the beneficiaries will be us americans.
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    Do I care what people think of what I'm driving?Trust me Isell_mitsus1, I know, I get some flak. It just shows how profoundly ignorant many people are. It is one thing to say "I do not want to drive a Hyundai because..." Quite another to say "Hyundai's are crap," without ever sitting inside a recent model. More than a few times someone has asked me if what I'm driving was the new Toyota or Honda model. Invariably the questions are preceded with a comment on the vehicle looking attractive.

    But this will change. A few years ago, few people would have considered a forum topic of "Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra." Not only are people beginning to ask this question, but as you can see many people actually would pick the Hyundai.

    Around eight thousand Elantra's are being sold a month. A 100% sales increase over last year. Who is buying these vehicles? Sure some may be more of a credit risk. My neighbor with a Sonata lives in a 275 thousand dollar house. Another neighbor a few blocks away has two Elantra's in his driveway. I can easily afford an Accord, Camry or even a BMW 3 series. I don't drive everyday so I fail to see the need for a more expensive vehicle.

    Isell_mitsus1, I'm willing to bet that within 5 years not only will you be seeing more Hyundai's during your travel's (including an SUV and a near luxury model this year) but few people will be looking at them with derision. Your name may just be isell_korean. :-)
  • I have never said that the new Hyundais models were crap, I said that the old Hyundai models were crap and the new ones still aren't as good as Honda.

    Sure they may sell 100,000 Elantras this year but the Civic still sells 3 times that not to mention all of the used Civics that are sold in a year, and with a new model on the way it's sales will increase even more.

    As I said, I may view Hyundai differently in a few years but right now I think the Accord/Civic are 2 of the best, most reliable sedans in their respective categories. Maybe the next generation of car buyers will not attach the same stigma to the Hyundai name and Hyundai will be regarded as more reliable than Honda, who knows? But by the time that happens my walker will be a little hard to navigate around the lot so I doubt I'll be selling them.
  • george00george00 Posts: 81
    There really is an issue of underequipped Japanese cars compared with Hyundai. I felt that a bit when comparing Elantra with a Civic but it was glaring where Toyota was concerned. A Corolla mid-level model (SE) not only did not have power sideview mirrors, as does the Elantra, the Corolla's mirror assemblies were immovable, meaning that in a brush-by the mirrors would not bend but would rip the door off. The Corolla 5-speed also lacked a tachometer. It was offered to me, after considerable bargaining, at just under $14,000. I paid $11,500 for my Elantra and that even included a Clifford security system. I realize the Toyota would hold value better - though even that's in question as Hyundais become more popular, and I see more and more of them. Meanwhile, I have many amenities I would not have with a Japanese car, and $2,500 extra in my pocket. As for Consumer Reports, which several posters mention, it is not your father's CR. Although Hyundais are becoming increasingly popular, CR has not tested one since January 1997 and includes no frequency-of-repair information on any Hyundai model. CR's recommended small car, the Mazda Protege, sells (according to CR) for $17,000 - half again as much as an Elantra, double an Accent.
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    "I realize the Toyota would hold value better -"

    Yes, I would hope so considering it would have cost you more. So in the end it evens out.

    "CR's recommended
    small car, the Mazda Protege, sells (according to
    CR) for $17,000 - half again as much as an Elantra,
    double an Accent."

    The Protege is an excellent car, but with that price it is hard to justify. The Protege is not 4 to $5,000 dollars better than the Elantra!
  • dryfusdryfus Posts: 20
    With some research, here's what I found on Hyundai;

    The Accent has been out since 1995.
    The newly designed Elantra has been out since 1995.
    The Sonata has had different model changes, each step with vast improvements, since 1989.

    Yet, all the Hyundai models have "insufficient data".

    Even still, Consumer Reports only do "predictable reliability rating".

    Thus Consumer Reports is not a good source to find reliability data on Hyundais or any other models for that matter.

    J.D Powers which put Hyundai ahead of Mitsubishi, and in the territory of Chrysler and GM, maybe a better indication of reliability. But they only measure initial quality. Toyota Corolla tops out the economy class in initial quality, but as Car Point's reliabilty rating link shows, Toyota's quality becomes worse and worse as the cars age, which JD Powers does not measure. That's why you saw millions of Toyota Corollas 5 years ago. But today you only see the new Corollas while the ones built and bought 5 years ago have mysteriously disappeared (probably languishing in nation's many autoshops).
  • andes11andes11 Posts: 62
    Year: 1993
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 94V063000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 191289
    Year of Recall: '94
    A retaining clip that connects the transmission
    shift cable to the shift lever actuating rod can
    have insufficient retention pressure and may
    eventually come off after repeated shift lever
    operation. If this happens, the position of the
    shift lever may not match the actual transmission
    gear position.
    This could result in unanticipated vehicle
    movement and accident.
    Year: 1994
    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 93V208000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 31
    Year of Recall: '93
    The passenger-side air bag modules contain
    incorrect inflators which are out of spec.
    for the passenger side air bag.
    In the event of a collision, the air bag may not
    provide adequate protection to the passenger.
    Year: 1996
    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 96V106000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 160689
    Year of Recall: '96
    A soapy lubricant was used to insert the check
    valve into the vacuum hose which causes the brake
    booster check valve to stick.
    This condition can cause a loss of the brake's
    power assist resulting in a reduction in braking
    performance increasing the potential for a vehicle accident.
    Year: 1996
    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 99E015000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 935167
    Year of Recall: '99
    Equipment Description: Accessory driver-side floor mats used in 1996-1998 Honda Civic vehicles.
    Due to the shape of the floor on these vehicles, a mispositioned floor mat could interfere with the accelerator pedal.
    The floor mat could prevent the accelerator pedal from returning to the idle position.
    Year: 1996
    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 99I002000
    Year of Recall: '99
    The accelerator pedal feels rough or notchy when you press it.
    It may feel like the car is not responding properly when traveling at low speeds and are required to move the accelerator pedal to make slight speed adjustments.
    Year: 1997
    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 97V193000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 9558
    Year of Recall: '97
    The front passenger air bag modules have been improperly assembled. The cloth flaps covering the folded air bag may have been tucked in too far.
    This condition could prevent proper deployment of the air bag. In a crash, an improper air bag deployment could increase the risk of injury to a front seat passenger.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    Now, I'm scared! There terrible recalls!

    I think you will find ALL manufactures have similar recalls. My 1992 Oldsmobile was recalled because the power seat wiring "can" slip out of place and "could" start a fire or something.

    Being a busy person, I looked under the seat, the wiring looked fine and was still fine when I sold the car two years later.

    And...horrors! My 1998 Civic EX Coupe was recalled because the driver's floot mat "could" slip forward and cause the gas pedal to stick!! floormat does not slip, and I've been too lazy to remember to have the dumb pin installed...maybe someday...yawn...

    True, some recalls could involve potentially dangerous situations but most are pretty friviolous. They affect ALL makes and models!
  • andes11andes11 Posts: 62
    > I think you will find ALL manufactures >have similar recalls.

    Has Elanta ever been recalled for poor design of
    retaining clip in transmission? No.
    Has Elantra ever been recalled for defective air
    bag? No.
    Has Elantra ever been recalled for careless assembly of brake system? No.
    Has Elantra ever been recalled for poor design of cabin floor? No.
    Has Elantra ever been recalled for defective throttle cable? No.
  • dryfusdryfus Posts: 20
    Even we have a Honda salesman, by his own admissions, is afraid Honda is losing the quality race.
  • hello25hello25 Posts: 30
    I can't honestly understand how anyone would buy a Hyundai over a Civic. ? You are fooling yourself if you think Civic quality is not light years ahead of Elantra.
    My 97 in fact had the "factory accessory floor mat could move forward causing gas petal to stick" recall. I didn't have the accessory floor mat.
    I thought it was a joke to "recall" a floor mat.
    My car has almost 77,000 miles with zero problem from the day it was driven off the lot. $0.00 in warranty claims charged to Honda and $0.00 in unscheduled maintence. Claiming an Elantra or an Escort or a Metro is equivalent to a Civic will not work unless you are talking to yourselves.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,821
    I have no idea how many, or, if any Hyundais have been recalled for anything. I'll assume you're right and they have had zero recalls. Who cares?

    But, given enough time, I assure you that they WILL have recalls, so don't get too cocky when posting details of recalls of other makes.

    And...most will be frivolous, no doubt, just like the dumb floor mat recall.
This discussion has been closed.