2019 Hyundai Elantra vs Honda Civic
A compact sedan is a great option for budget-savvy car shoppers. The 2019 Hyundai Elantra and the 2019 Honda Civic certainly deserve some serious thought. Both are among America’s best sellers. While the Civic has often dominated the segment, various updates have made the latest Elantra nearly just as appealing. However, does one of these compact sedans stand out from the other? Let’s find out.
Three different powertrains are available for the 2019 Hyundai Elantra. Its base four-cylinder is the most popular choice. Total production stands at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. For drivers seeking maximum fuel savings, Hyundai offers the Elantra Eco. This trim’s smaller turbocharged engine develops 128 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque.
The performance-focused Elantra Sport comes equipped with a stronger turbo engine, which churns out more than 200 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Aside from the automatic-only Elantra Eco, all of the other trims can be fitted with either a manual or an automatic transmission.
The 2019 Honda Civic comes standard with a 158-horsepower engine. Rated to develop 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, Honda’s available turbocharged engine gives the Civic an extra fun factor. Driving enthusiasts will want the Civic Si’s turbocharged engine, which generates 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Remember, Honda only offers the Civic Si with a manual gearbox.
These cars offer a similar level of performance at the base level. Turbocharged Civic models really elevate the driving excitement. Performance-hungry drivers will be looking at the Civic Si and the Elantra Sport. Expect both of these fun-to-drive models clock a 0-60 mph time in around 6.5 seconds. However, some people will prefer the Elantra Sport’s more aggressive exhaust sound.
Neither of these cars is a great choice for folks living in a cold-weather state. The absence of an AWD system limits their ability to maintain traction in the snow. Only a few cars in the segment currently offer all-wheel drive.
If fuel economy is a top priority, the 2019 Honda Civic won’t disappoint. It can deliver a combined 36 mpg. Even the more powerful Civic Si can return up to 38 miles-per-gallon. Meanwhile, expect the 2019 Hyundai Elantra Eco to deliver a combined 35 mpg. While the Elantra Sport isn’t a gas guzzler, efficiency does drop to a combined 29 mpg. Opting for the manual transmission will really cause fuel economy to suffer.
Many people decide to buy a Honda Civic because of its reputation for being reliable. However, the Civic is no longer head and shoulders above the competition. In terms of dependability and build quality, Hyundai has really stepped up its game. Owners can expect the new Elantra to offer a relatively problem-free performance.
When it comes to warranty coverage, the Hyundai Elantra takes a big leap past the Civic. Aside from covering the powertrain for 10 years/100,000 miles, Hyundai also includes 5 years/60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage. Civic buyers must settle for a 3-yr/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-yr/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Some car shoppers will appreciate the peace of mind that comes with Hyundai’s longer warranties.
The 2019 Hyundai Elantra is easy to drive on a day-to-day basis. It’s a great car for commuting to school or work. Expect the 2019 Honda Civic to be just as practical.
In regard to road handling, the Honda Civic is the clear winner. It takes corners like a car that has a far more expensive price tag. Even extremely tight curves don’t upset the Civic’s great balance. Drivers will also appreciate the Civic’s excellent steering feel. Both cars are easy to whip in and out of cramped parking spots.
Although the Hyundai Elantra isn’t clumsy, it simply can’t match the Civic’s athleticism. The only exception is the Elantra Sport, which benefits from an upgraded rear suspension. This model does a great job of keeping pace with the Civic Si. This is a big advantage for drivers who spend a lot of time in the city.
Superior ride comfort gives the 2019 Honda Civic yet another advantage over the 2019 Hyundai Elantra. When cruising around in the Civic, it’s easy to forget that you’re driving a budget-friendly car. Its suspension system absorbs impacts with ease. Don’t expect the Elantra’s ride to be as refined. While driving over rough pavement, passengers will feel a few bumps.
Overall, the Honda Civic is the more comfortable car to drive on an everyday basis. This is especially true when equipped with a power driver’s seat, which makes even tall people feel right at home. Although the Hyundai Elantra is perfectly fine for commuting, it’s not quite as relaxing on long highway trips.
Whether you choose the Civic or the Elantra, there will be plenty of space in the front. However, the Civic provides more legroom for passengers sitting in the back. This could be a factor for some families. While the Civic provides a bit more cargo space, its trunk is not significantly larger.
Technology lovers will be interested in which car has the better infotainment system. In the past, some automotive reviewers criticized the Civic’s infotainment system for not being as user-friendly. Fortunately, Honda has updated the Civic’s interface. New buttons and an actual volume knob ensure easier operation.
Despite the Civic’s much-improved Display Audio interface receiving some good reviews, Hyundai’s Blue Link infotainment system is better. Even first-timers will have no trouble using the system. Drivers will also appreciate the touchscreen’s excellent placement on the dash.
Big-time music fans likely won’t be satisfied with the standard stereo system in either car. Hyundai offers the Elantra with an eight-speaker sound system. According to testers, the system’s sound quality is so-so for a premium unit. The Honda Civic’s available 10-speaker audio system may be more impressive.
A hands-free trunk is exclusive to the new Elantra. It can be programmed to automatically open up as the driver approaches the vehicle. The Civic’s trunk is not as practical.
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The 2019 Honda Civic rivals the safest cars in the segment. It aced the NHTSA’s crash tests with a five-star overall rating. This is better than the 2019 Hyundai Elantra’s NHTSA four-star overall rating. This organization was especially concerned about the Elantra’s questionable side barrier protection.
Despite not meeting the NHTSA’s benchmarks, the Elantra was actually tagged as a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS. Tests indicate the Civic’s headlights don’t illuminate the road as well. This is likely one of the main reasons why the Civic wasn’t able to receive a Top Safety Pick+ award.
Drivers can take full advantage of the Honda Civic’s exceptional braking system. During an emergency, expect the Civic to stop quickly and smoothly. While the Civic’s braking system delivers an above-average performance, the Hyundai Elantra’s brakes are just average.
Of these two cars, only the Civic receives a standard safety package. This means drivers will enjoy highly sought-after technologies like automatic collision intervention and lane-keep assist. To get similar accident-avoidance technologies on the Elantra, buyers must step one trim above the base model. While the adaptive cruise control is standard on the Civic, the Elantra only offers this feature on its more expensive trims.
According to car reviewers, the Civic’s forward collision system is a tad too sensitive. This could become a pain in the butt for some drivers. Full blind-spot monitoring is also available on the Elantra. It‘s more effective than Honda’s Lane Watch blind-spot camera. All of Hyundai accident-avoidance technologies perform well during real-world driving conditions.
Safe Exit Assist is one feature not found on the Honda Civic. It’s especially beneficial for drivers who have kids. The system helps prevent passengers from opening their door into traffic. Driver attention monitoring is also found on most new Elantras. This feature helps warn tires drivers to take a break.
Which Has the Best Value?
The 2019 Hyundai Elantra is one heck of a value. It has a low starting MSRP of just over $17,000. Meanwhile, Honda has priced the base Civic at $19,450. For some car shoppers, this difference in cost will be enough reason to choose the Elantra.
Not only is the new Elantra less expensive, but it also comes standard with just as many features. Highlights include Bluetooth, a 5.0-inch display, and a USB port. A superb warranty package sweetens the deal. However, keep in mind that the Elantra doesn’t have a standard safety package.
Drivers looking for a sportier ride will be comparing the Hyundai Elantra Sport and the Honda Civic Si. While the Elantra Sport starts at $23,800, the Civic Si demands $24,300. Both of these cars have a driver-focused interior with racy touches like sport seats and aluminum pedals. However, Hyundai does charge extra for a premium sound system and dual-zone automatic climate control. Both of these sport models bring a lot to the table for the money.
Like the Honda Civic, the Hyundai Elantra has a rather low cost of ownership. Oil changes and brake pad replacements will be rather inexpensive. With the Elantra now offering such good long-term dependability, car shoppers shouldn’t hesitate to buy it.
Which is Better?
Before crowning a winner in this head-to-head comparison, let’s first take another look at the facts. There’s no denying the 2019 Hyundai Elantra’s splendid value. It’ll be hard to find a better car for around $17,000. Don’t forget about Hyundai’s best-in-class warranty.
While the Elantra a strong contender, the 2019 Honda Civic may still be the segment’s best model. It offers virtually everything a driver would want. This compact car is good on gas, packs ample performance, and has an impressive number of standard safety features. There’s even enough room for families to travel comfortably.
In terms of styling, the refreshed Hyundai Elantra is possibly the more eye-catching car. Its sleek profile and new front fascia will appeal to many people. Expect the Elantra Sport to draw a crowd of admirers. While the Honda Civic definitely has a modern look, some drivers may find its overall styling to be just a touch too aggressive.
The Honda Civic gives you more fun-to-drive trims to choose from. Honda now offers a new turbocharged Sport trim, which is a notch below the exciting Civic Si. Only the range-topping Elantra Sport really moves the fun meter. While the Elantra’s lower trims won’t put you to sleep, they are also unlikely to get your adrenaline pumping.
Now it’s time to find out which is the better car. While the 2019 Hyundai Elantra’s value is undeniable, the 2019 Honda Civic wins this comparison by coming out ahead in more categories. Drivers seeking a fun and comfortable commute will be happier behind the wheel of the new Civic.