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Available in six models, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra has been significantly improved from the previous year. Offering an eight-trim lineup, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is much better than its predecessor. Both compact sedans offer an array of active safety technologies, such as autonomous braking and alert systems for potential accidents. These vehicles are also available with 8-inch infotainment systems and premium smartphone integration.
Generating up to 147 horsepower, a 2.0 L gasoline engine is standard under the 2020 Elantra's hood. Utilizing multi-point fuel injection and the D-CVVT technology for combustion, this I-4 powertrain whips out 132 pound-feet of peak torque at 4,500 RPM. Running on gasoline direct injection, the 1.4 L turbocharged engine delivers 128 hp and 156 lb-ft at 1,400 RPM. Also powered by a turbocharger and the GDI technology, the 1.6 L engine yields 201 hp and 195 lb-ft at 1,500 RPM.
Displacing approximately 1.8 L on a full combustion stroke, the 2020 Toyota Corolla's standard I-4 engine produces up to 139 hp and 126 lb-ft at 3,900 RPM. All 16 valves in this naturally aspirated powertrain are governed by the VVT-i technology. Operating on the proprietary Valvematic function, the 2.0 L engine unleashes up to 169 hp and 151 lb-fr at 4,400 RPM.
Equipped with the Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission, the Elantra runs on optimum gear combinations. Engineered to minimize delays in gear shifts, the all-new IVT is paired with the 2.0 L engine. The turbocharged powertrain works in tandem with the EcoShift transmission system that has dual clutches. With on-demand assistance from the exclusive SHIFTRONIC technology, the driver can easily cycle through seven preset gear sequences.
Creating six fixed gear ratios, the Intelligent Manual Transmission is available for the 2020 Corolla. The all-new iMT system gives the driver precise control over the gear sequences in real time. A continuously variable transmission with the Shift Mode is optional for this compact Toyota car. Also making its debut on the market, the CVTi-S generates a wide range of gear speeds. Additionally, a CVT with the Dynamic Shift nameplate is tuned for even sportier handling.
An electronic CVT system is exclusively installed under the hood of the hybrid Corolla models. The ECVT is engineered to create efficient gear ratios for common driving conditions. By pressing the Power Mode, the driver can optimize the performance of this electronic gearbox and other critical parts in the hybrid system. The EV Mode completely stops combustion in the hybrid powertrain. The Normal Driving Mode provides a good combination of power and efficiency for urban travel.
The 2020 Elantra boasts an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 41 MPG from regular unleaded gasoline. This compact Hyundai sedan also offers up to 33 MPG in the city. Such impressive gas mileage ratings are achieved by the Eco model, which has been precisely tuned for maximum efficiency. This mid-level trim comes with the Idle Stop & Go technology that partially manages combustion when the car slows down or comes to a complete halt.
However, the lowest EPA ratings on the Elantra's lineup are 33 MPG on the highway and 26 MPG in the city. These specifications are given to the powerful Sport model that runs on the 1.6 L turbo engine block. This high-tier Hyundai trim is tuned for swift acceleration and dynamic cruising instead of efficient driving.
The largest fuel tank that's available in the Corolla holds up to 13.2 gallons of unleaded gasoline. However, the hybrid trims come standard with a fuel reservoir that stores a maximum of 11.4 gallons. All Elantra models have a 14.0-gallon fuel tank with a traditional cap.
When powered by the hybrid system, the 2020 Corolla gets up to 53 MPG in the city and 52 MPG on city roads. The non-hybrid trims offer a maximum fuel economy of 40 MPG on the highway and 31 MPG in urban traffic. The ECO Mode should be manually activated by the driver to achieve the best possible gas mileage. However, the Sport Mode will drastically decrease the car's fuel efficiency.
The Elantra's all-new Drive Mode Select gives the driver access to three different settings. When the S Normal Mode is on, the tachometer readings remain steady during a drive. By activating the Smart Mode, the driver will get maximum fuel economy on highways and in cities. Designed to boost acceleration and cornering, the classic Sport Mode appears once again from the previous years.
This compact Hyundai sedan gets good traction on wet roads thanks to leverage from the Traction Control System. If the wheels slip, the Electronic Stability Control kicks in. Additionally, the Vehicle Stability Management keeps this lightweight car centered in a single lane.
When it comes to reliability, the Elantra offers class-leading warranties in multiple categories. This model is covered by a limited powertrain warranty that's valid for the first 10 years of ownership or 100,000 miles. The New Vehicle warranty expires after five years or 60,000 miles. This Hyundai sedan is covered by an anti-perforation warranty for seven years and without any odometer limits. With access to 24/7 roadside assistance for the first five years, Elantra owners will have peace of mind for any trip.
The warranties for the 2020 Corolla's powertrain and restraint systems expire after 60 months or 60,000 miles. This compact Toyota sedan comes with a basic warranty that's valid for 36 months or 36,000 miles. There aren't any mileage limits on the corrosion/perforation warranty, which is active for the first 60 months of ownership. Limits for the car's hybrid system include 96 months and 100,000 miles. Engineered for long-lasting performance, the Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery is protected by a 150,000-mile warranty, which has a 10-year expiration from the date of activation.
Equipped with 10.8-inch front disc brakes that have a power-assisted design, the Corolla comes to a uniform stop on dry or wet pavement. The rear disc brakes on this compact Toyota sedan receive leverage from the Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) technology. The Electric Parking Brake (EPB) is another standard mechanical hardware on this updated model. Thanks to the Hill Start Assist Control function, the driver will not have to depress the brake pedal with maximum force on steep roads.
The 2020 Elantra has a passenger volume of 95.8 cubic feet. Up to 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space is available inside the car's trunk. This compact Hyundai model has a total interior volume of 110.2 cubic feet. Other important interior dimensions include 42.2 inches of legroom and 56.2 inches of shoulder room in the front row. The driver has up to 38.3 inches of headroom and 53.4 inches of hip room.
The 2020 Corolla offers up to 88.6 cubic feet of passenger volume. This compact Toyota sedan has a trunk that stores up to 13.1 cubic feet of cargo. The driver can enjoy 38 inches of headroom, 54 inches of shoulder room and 53.9 inches of hip room. Additionally, up to 42 inches of legroom is available in the cozy front row.
This Toyota car is available with a curb weight of less than 3,000 pounds. A drag coefficient of 0.28 makes the vehicle easy to handle on the highway. Clearing the ground by 5.1 inches, this athletic sedan maintains a stable position at high speeds. Measuring only 70.1 inches wide, the Corolla can make sharp turns without much trouble. Additionally, this agile car has a standard length of 182.5 inches.
Most of the 2020 Elantra models also weight slightly less than 3,000 pounds. Some of the car's significant exterior dimensions include a 5.3-inch ground clearance, 70.9-inch width and 181.9-inch length.
Designed to inform the Elantra's driver about key information in real time, the monochromatic cluster display is available in 3.5 inches or 4.2 inches. The TFT interface generates crisp graphics for optimum viewing during the day and night. This Hyundai model also offers an 8-inch touch screen inside the center part of the dashboard. Thanks to voice-recognition technology, the driver can interact with the multimedia console without significant distractions.
Measuring 7 inches, the Corolla's Multi-Information Display is much more sophisticated than the Elantra's instrument cluster. More than a dozen different parameters might appear on the TFT display in this Toyota model. For example, the ECO Mode and average fuel economy are shown on the premium instrumentation panel. Warning messages from the active safety systems might also appear on the 7-inch cluster.
Powered by the Audio Plus technology, the 2020 Corolla's infotainment system comes with a maximum display size of 8.0 inches. Siri Eyes Free and Apple CarPlay provide superb utility for anyone inside the cabin who has an iPhone. With access to Amazon Alexa and Android Auto, the driver will be productive behind the steering wheel. Advanced voice-recognition technology guarantees a pleasant experience with any of the digital assistants that are available in this Toyota sedan.
For its economical platform, the 2020 Corolla offers great ergonomics and utility for daily travel. The patented SoftTex upholstery protects the front seats, which are available with a heating function. Leather trimming is also optional for the car's three-spoke steering wheel, which comes with electronic controls for the Bluetooth system, speakers and various active safety functions.
Heated front seats with a leather trim are also optional in the 2020 Elantra. Leatherette door inserts and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are some other premium features inside this compact Hyundai car. All models are fitted with a standard six-way driver's seat with adjustable height positions.
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When it anticipates a possible crash, the 2020 Elantra's Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist automatically slams on the brakes. Scanning the projected path for any pedestrians, the Pedestrian Detection feature is available for the FCA. Similarly, the 2020 Corolla's standard Pre-Collision System is paired with a system that monitors the road ahead for any pedestrians. The PCS w/PD technology is one of the main highlights of the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite.
The Driver Attention Warning is another standard driving aide in the Elantra. When it detects a lack of attention behind the wheel, the DAW issues text alerts and loud chimes in the instrument panel. Such a comparable driving aide isn't available in the Toyota rival. However, the Corolla boasts the Road Sign Assist that improves the driver's awareness of local speed limits or other traffic laws.
Equipped with the Adaptive Front-Lighting System, this 2020 Toyota model offers best-in-class driving assistance at night. This state-of-the-art technology automatically syncs the front headlights with the front wheels. Therefore, the driver can navigate tight corners and curved paths with extra confidence in low-visibility conditions. The Road Edge Detection is another all-new driving aide that's standard in this compact Toyota sedan.
Also part of the TSS 2.0 group, the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control readily responds to unpredictable traffic patterns on freeways. If necessary, the DRCC will decelerate or accelerate the Corolla based on the the movement of other vehicles. The Steering Assist is another amenity that may help the driver navigate wide highways with heavy traffic. This function supplements the Lane Departure Alert from the previous year.
The Elantra has several features that match the TSS 2.0 bundle, like the Smart Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist. This sporty Hyundai model also offers the Safe Exit Assist, which controls the child safety locks in the rear doors. Designed with the safety of kids in mind, such a technology isn't available in the Corolla. Both sedans offer high-resolution cameras that record rear views in real time.
Which Has the Best Value
The 2020 Elantra SE base model has a starting retail price of slightly more than $19,000. Dominating the highest level on the lineup, the Sport trim costs just over $24,000. The 2020 Corolla L base edition starts at slightly more than $19,500. Having an MSRP that exceeds $25,500, the XSE model claims the highest price tag on the roster.
In the digital technology department, the 2020 Corolla offers much better value through the Audio Plus infotainment system. Delivered by the Verizon company, the Wi-Fi Connect is readily accessible to all five occupants in this sedan. The Safety Connect and Service Connect are some other services that are at the driver's fingertips. Unfortunately, the Hyundai Blue Link portal isn't quite on par with some of the connectivity technologies in the Corolla.
To get the best possible technologies for the Elantra, consumers will have to buy the optional Ultimate Package or Premium Package. Each package significantly increases the retail price of this Hyundai model. By contrast, buyers won't have to spend as much money to get Amazon Alexa, the JBL sound system and other premium technologies.
Which is Better?
When it comes to raw power and sporty handling, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is the clear winner over the 2020 Toyota Corolla. Available with a hybrid powertrain, this Toyota offers much better fuel economy on the highway and in the city. The updated Corolla is also a better choice for smartphone users who want class-leading technologies, like Amazon Alexa, Siri Eyes Free and Wi-Fi. Both compact sedans have comparable price tags, but the Elantra's optional packages might discourage buyers who have strict budgets. Additionally, the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 technology appeals greatly to drivers who want lots of assistance behind the wheel.