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Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra



  • elantra00elantra00 Posts: 225
    Give it another year or sales will catch up to honda sales. one more year and it will be considered a "reliable car" (although it already is) just needs to prove it over past years of unreliablity with the excel...WHICH IS LONG GONE LET ME REMIND YOU. Conumer reports says that it will be recommended next year as a car to buy for reliability. If you are happy with your civic, GREAT. But ease up on the sarcasam
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    "Conumer reports says that it will be recommended next year as a car to buy for reliability."
    Did they ever say that? Which issue?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Perhaps what elantra00 was referring to was this quote from the Consumer Reports April 2001 Annual Auto Issue, p. 15, which states:

    "The manufacturer with the most-improved vehicles is Hyundai. Its small Elantra sedan holds its own with the best in its class, including such stalwarts as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla (see our test in the February 2001 issue). And the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV also did well in our road tests (see our test in the March 2001 issue). If these Hyundais show good reliability in our next annual survey, we will be able to recommend them." [italics mine]

    In typical CR fashion, they are waiting to put their "Recommended" checkmark on the Elantra (and Santa Fe) until their reliability is proven. The same issue reported that the '00 Elantra has above-average reliability so far, while the '99 got a below-average ranking (a black mark on the transmission the main culprit). So in another 11 months we'll see if Elantra gets added to CR's Recommended list. If that happens... watch those Hyundai sales figures soar even more.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Yes. There's a big difference between if and will. I hope the Elantra turns out to be a reliable vehicle.
  • otis12otis12 Posts: 169
    plus NJ sales tax and tags. The list price was $16,250. You can get Honda dealers to come way down from list price. In fact, this dealer had 20 or so LXs for this price.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    That's $1,239 under invoice. What's the catch?
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    THERE IS NO-WAY ANY DEALER WOULD SELL Civic or Accord for 1000 below Invoice. If this is a case Honda would put some financing & they will sell like 30K per month. Without any financing they are selling 27-28K per month. So forget about getting it for 200 below invoice, 1000 is way off.
    Our dealer is not ready for less than 200 over invoice
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I've seen the Accord DX VP advertised for 14,700 plus freight. Is that under invoice? This one did not have the side air bag option. If you can muscle up enough strength to crank the windows and reach over to pull up the door button, it sounds like a heck of a lot of car for the money.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Much has been said here and elsewhere about Civic's higher fuel economy vs. Elantra. So I began to wonder--what if Honda bumped up the power on the Civic to match the Elantra? Would they be able to maintain their mpg advantage? Hard to say, since no current Civic model has more than 127 hp. But the '00 Civic Si has 160 hp, with EPA ratings of 25/31. The '01 Elantra, about the same weight, gets 25/33. Let's look further: the '01 Accord DX, at 150 hp, has EPA ratings of 25/32. Same for the 135 hp Accord DX. So it looks like at a certain power level, even Honda has trouble maintaining super-high mpg ratings. In fact, if we look at sample mpg ratings for cars with 130-150 hp there is a definite pattern:

    Celica GT, 140 hp, 28/33
    Neon, 132 hp, 27/33
    Elantra, 140 hp, 25/33
    Focus ZTS, 130 hp, 25/33
    Protege 2.0, 130 hp, 25/31
    Golf 1.8T, 150 hp, 25/31
    Sentra SE, 145 hp, 24/31

    From this sample, it appears that there may be some threshold for 4-cyl. cars, around 130 hp, over which it is very difficult to get fuel economy higher than the low 30s. (Any engineers out there who can verify that?) That could explain why Honda limited the '01 Civic EX to 127 hp--their primary goal was fuel economy and low emissions vs. power. And now that gas is back over $2.00 US a gallon in some spots, who's to question that strategy?
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Good theory but consider these examples, all with a 5-sp manual:

    Golf GL 2.0/115 hp/2767 lbs. 24/31
    Golf GTI 1.8T/150 hp (170 hp soon?)/2860 lbs. 24/31
    Passat GLS 1.8T/150 hp/3043 lbs. 24/31
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    The engines, you mentioned are oddities and can't be compared to the modern naturally aspirated 4 cylinders.
    Golf 2.0 is an 8-valve dinosaur.
    The other too are turbocharged.

    BTW, in my opinion, the only reason Honda kept the hp numbers for the Civic unchanged, is 'cause it's basically the same engine with some very minor changes for the '01 model. New engine development is an extremely costly process.
    Check out this numbers:
    Toyota Avalon, auto - 3450 lb car:
    HP 210; Torque 220; 21/ 29

    Toyota Corolla, 5-speed 1.8 L engine (more torgue than in the Civic and look at the mileage figs)
    HP 125; Torque 125; 32/ 41 !!!!!!!
    30/39 with auto.

    And don't forget about gearing. Higher geared cars like the Protege offer very quick response and very good highway passing power. But it makes fuel economy suffer. Also creates some extra engine noise at cruising speeds.(very high rpm cruising is not for everybody).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    hkchan and vadp, your examples are other proof points in my theory that there is some mpg threshold for small 4 cyl engines when horses gets up around 130. All of hkchan's examples topped out at 31 mpg (BTW, I did include the VW 1.8T engine in my list; I agree VW should be ashamed for getting only 31 mpg out of 115 hp). There are several examples out there of excellent mpg ratings between 120-130 hp: Corolla, Civic, and Sentra XE/GXE are three. But get up over the high 120s and mpg goes to heck. It's just a weird phenomenon that puzzles me. If they can make 2-ton cars (Avalon, some large GM makes) that get around 30 mpg highway, why can't a small 4 cyl with 150 hp or so get way over that? If I had more time on my hands (ha!) I might research it.
  • otis12otis12 Posts: 169
    Like you, I too said 'what's the catch?' I was waiting for the old, "we sold that one, here's another kinda like it with more equipment for only XXX more." The dealer I bought from is a high-volume outfit, don't know if that has something to do with the price. On the subject of mileage, I wish Honda would offer the CVT tranny on a sedan model, not just the Civic HX coupe and Insight.
  • After reading through all the topics here at townhall regarding compact cars, I test drove the Civic and the Elantra. As my id testifies, I bought the Elantra.

    I had very lax requirements:

    1. price of the car including tax must be less than $13,500

    2. roomy enough for me ( 5 ft, 10 inches with wide shoulders)

    3. minimum option of air conditioner and a CD player

    Here's my very simple personal comparison:

    1. my shoulder touched the door - too narrow
    2. felt all the road bumps
    3. even with 5spd, car felt heavy pulling myself and the sales person

    What I liked:
    1. gas mileage

    1. booming engine noise!!!
    2. felt all the road bumps
    3. low gas mileage compared to Civic.
    4. clutch engages a lot further out than Civic.

    What I liked:
    1. roomy interior
    2. preppy pickup when accelerating with 2nd and 3rd gear

    I guess I am not too demanding of the cars at this price range, but when I compared the Civic with Elantra at the same price range, I felt the Elantra offered more for the money. So here I am, a new Elantra owner. Will post my experience with the car as I rack up miles on it.
  • txrosetxrose Posts: 7
    Hi, I have had my 2000 Elantra for a year and it has been a good car, recently had to give it to my son, so am in the market for another Hyundai because the price is what I have to look at. I have not been pleased with my dealer where I live and we only have one, so I am stuck with them. I had problem with paint early on with my 2000 and the dealer would not give me the time of day. I contacted Hyundai Has and they paid to have the panel re-painted. I was/am very pleased with overall Hyundai and Has, just not my local dealer. I will have to go to them to buy a new Accent or Elantra and hate giving them the business, but don't have a choice. Anyway, just wanted all to know that I love my Elantra, am a single mom, on a tight budget, but need something dependable/reliable so the Elantra has been great.
  • griffey2griffey2 Posts: 6
    You all may already know this, but Edmunds is doing the long-term road test on the '01 Elantra. Here's what they have to say:

    "How much does the editorial staff like its new Hyundai Elantra GLS? So much that its role as the BMW 3 Series replacement for the long-term fleet is making more and more sense all the time." and

    "'If this thing holds up, there won't be reason to buy a Japanese economy car anymore.' That's what Editor-in-Chief Christian Wardlaw offered after two weeks behind the wheel of our new Pewter 2001 Hyundai Elantra GLS long-term test car."

    I'm car shopping, test drove the Elantra yesterday, and was quite enamored myself. Will test the Civic also, though I can't afford it, just to compare.

  • I bought an Elantra VE silver auto here in Canada 2 weeks ago. So far I love it and have no problems. I test drove the civic and liked it also but I could not afford the big payments that came with it. My Elantra is fully loaded and a smooth highway driver.
  • lheardlheard Posts: 2
    I recently purchased an immaculate 2000 Civic DX automatic with 14200 miles on it for $13171 I/out tax and tag. I was divided on purchasing the the 2000 and 2001. The best the dealer would do on a comparable '01 was $15,000. I've read lots of reviews about how the '01 is a better vehicle, but I honestly could not feel a difference in the performance. I liked the styling of the 2000 much better and felt that the $2000 dollar difference was worth the 14k miles. I would have had a 1% better interest rate on the '01. I wonder if I made a wise decision. What do you think?
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Just DX automatic with no other options? What's l/out? The MSRP on a 2001 Civic DX auto (including freight but without side airbags) is $14,200 and the invoice is $12,885.
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    We just purchased a new Elantra GT automatic with 26 miles on it for $14,500 w/out taxes and tags. Car came complete with leather seats, side airbags, 15" alloys, four-wheel discs, fog lamps, AC, CD, PW, PL, trip computer, 2.0 litre engine with 140 HP, indigo instrument lighting (not really a feature but kind of cool) and the nice warranty with roadside assitance.

    We looked at the Civic LX, too. No contest...the Hyundai was roomier, quieter and offered more feaures for the dollar. We plan to keep the car until it evaporates so trade-in value did not concern us.

    Civics are very nice, but they aren't the Kings of Compact any more. Go to the dealerships with a open mind and test-drive both. People stop and ask us what kind of car have (there are very few Elantra GTs on the roads where we live). No one believes us that it's a Hyundai. And no one chuckles, either.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I also looked at both and think the GT is the nicer car. But don't pooh pooh resale. Suppose your car is wiped out in an accident? You will get book value and if you financed, you could be upside down on your loan. The Elantra also costs more to insure, according to my insurance company (USAA). Otherwise, Civic has much better mpg and better crash test ratings, in addition to the long term Honda reliability. But I am still leaning toward the GT, although I remain concerned about when Hyundai will bring the 02 out. If they do it in the Fall, they are short changing all of the 01 buyers.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    If an Elantra buyer is concerned about an insurance settlement not covering the loan, one solution is gap coverage that pays the difference. It's pretty cheap (mine cost $250 for 60 months), and some policies not only cover the balance due on the loan after the insurance settlement but also pay your deductible. I got this on my '01 Elantra because of the issue mpgman raises, and also because I was able to raise the collision deductible up to $500 and save quite a bit on insurance, about enough to pay for the policy.

    Re insurance rates, I'd love to be able to get USAA rates but alas many of us do not have the Service connection. My insurer, Farmers, charges almost the same for a '01 Elantra as for my former car, a '97 Sentra, so I didn't think that was too bad. And that was last fall, before there was any crash test or accident data to factor in. Also, my agent told me that currently there is no discount for the side air bags, but there may be in the future. If I wanted the lowest possible rates, I'd buy another Caravan like my wife drives--twice the MSRP but lower rates.

    Re Hyundai "short-changing" all 2001.5 GT buyers with the 2002 model: how is that? It's clear that what you are buying is a 2001.5 model, right? And you have the privilege of owning one of the first GTs in North America, right? Anyone who wants to avoid this problem can wait a few months and buy a 2002. Who really understands the marketing mind, anyway?
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Backy---Good post and good info. Bought a silver Elantra GT hatch tonight with the ABS and traction control, unfortunately bundled with the roof I didn't need. Should be fun. As to the 01.5, the dealer told me the 02 GTs probably won't be out until February. There is technically no such thing as a 01.5,---as I understand it from corporate HQ, this is really a 2001.
  • mauvasmauvas Posts: 18
    Hello to everyone here. I am new to the forum. Just to share with you about the all new sonata, that is supossed to be on windowstores at the end of August. If you want to nkow more about it, just go to the oficial Hyundai inernet site:

    I was planning to buy the 2001 VE elantra here in Canada, but when I saw the pictures/features/especs of this new car I decide to wait longer in order to have a look at the real thing. Probably my debt will be 3.000 canadian higher, but I am sure on the long run it will pay off. People form CarandDriver magazine have some spy pictures and it really look like a mercedes C-class.

  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    I also bought "gap" insurance for my new GT. Got concerned about the depreciation rate of Hyundai vs. Japanese cars so I figured the few hundred bucks was worth it. Our bank also lower our loan rate by 0.5% if we carried 60-month "gap" coverage. Probably wouldn't have bought it if we chose a Civic or Protege, but Civic doesn't make a wagon anymore and Protege5 was a bit too pricey.

    mpgman, good luck with your new GT. Looking forward to reading your future posts.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Thanks. Just posted on the Elantra 5 door forum under hatchbacks.
  • rgarbacciorgarbaccio Posts: 42
    I am happy to see this dialogue, because without driving, I am totally down to these two cars. Civic EX vs. Elantra GLS (loaded) or GT. The difference is not as great as suggested by elantra00. And the cars are similar in many ways.

    The Civic EX comes with all the options I want - cruise, CD, moonroof, ABS, antitheft. Has 127 hp, gets 31/38. I'm concerned about backseat (two young children) and legroom is 36 in with hip at 50 in. Got excellent/good crash rating, and has 3yr/3yr.

    The Elantra GLS with options to match Civic EX is 14,078 and that doesn't include ABS. The sunroof package overlaps with ABS package, and I can't figure out how to get both. ABS isn't a lone add-on I guess. If you added in ABS at $600, then the Elantra comes in at 14,600 loaded. Elantra back seat is 35in leg, 56 inches hip. ALso got excellent/good crash, and comes with that nice 5yr/10yr. Engine gives 140 hp, and gets 24/33 giving a cost different of $200/year in gas for 12,000 mile year. Trunk is 11 cu. ft compared to 12.9 in the civic (strollers/cribs etc.)

    So - the difference in price is $2000 and doesn't include ABS in Elantra for similarly equipped vehicles. THe GT is only $1000 less, but you get the hatch. Yes - I'm bugged everyone drives a Civic, but the reliability and resale contribute to that. I like the Elantra styling too - but not sure if $2000 less is worth the risk in reliability. Yes the warranty is great - but having your car in the shop is a major pain, as is breaking down.

    So...I'm going to test drive both of course. I want to like the Elantra, because I could use the savings up front. I plan to drive the car for at least 7-8 years, so resale not as big an issue - but admittedly still counts.

    Just wanted to get some facts out there in the hopes of continuing this dialogue.

  • rgarbacciorgarbaccio Posts: 42
    The GT is selling close to MSRP right now - which puts it very close to the Civic EX price. (I admit that I love the way it looks)
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    Good luck in your search. As an Elantra GT owner, I can tell you that the car is plenty roomy inside. We also looked at a Civic (LX) and we liked the GT better. The added hip room offered by the Hyundai might come in handy for child seats and the Hyundai rear doors open VERY wide; a feature I did not notice until I got home.

    Nothing to complain about with the Civic, really...we just thought it was dull and a little noisier. Nice car, though, even if a tad overpriced.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I think you are correct, it is not possible to order the Elantra GLS with both sunroof and ABS. Of course, the GT can have both. But before you buy an Elantra with ABS, check out the Road Test of the Elantra GLS without ABS. They have some nice things to say about the brake action even w/o ABS. I drove my GLS through one of the worst winters in recent memory in Minnesota and did not miss ABS. The car has a smooth brake action that makes it easy to modulate the brakes even on winter roads.

    Also, on your price comparison you should factor in that you can likely get a substantial discount (including $500 rebate) on the GLS, but it will be tougher dealing on the GT until supply is greater.

    One thing I recommend you test thoroughly is the front seat comfort. I've seen several posts on the Honda Civic Sedans forum re uncomfortable driver's seat. The Elantra's driver's seat is, for me, one of the most comfortable I have ever sat in.
This discussion has been closed.