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2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Honda Civic

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2021 Hyundai Elantra vs Honda Civic
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2021 Elantra vs Civic - What is the Difference Between Them? Which is Better?

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If anyone is looking for a new sedan that's affordable but still has plenty of advanced technology, the search will turn up several good options. It's a good time to be in the market for a new car since there's a lot of competition and companies have been working hard to incorporate high-tech features into their vehicles. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic are perfect examples of cars that are practical yet also stylish and modern. Sedans don't have to be boring; in fact, these two models both have a bit of an edge to them.

Since they are so similar, it could be difficult for a prospective buyer to decide which one would be best. This comparison should hopefully provide enough details so that people can be confident in their choices.

Before this overview begins, it's necessary to mention that there are many types of 2021 Hyundai Elantras and Honda Civics. A complete overview of every option could start to get confusing, so this guide will just stick with the basic Elantra and Civic. In case anyone is curious (as they would likely be if they're preparing to buy a new car), there are two trims of the Elantra Hybrid, which can both get more than 50 miles per gallon. With the Civic, the other options are a Civic Hatchback and a Civic Type R. The Hatchback provides extra cargo capacity, and the Type R has a much more aggressive look and more than 300 horsepower.

The Powertrain

Three out of the four Hyundai Elantra trims use 2.0-liter engines with four cylinders. One of these engines can generate 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. This is somewhat comparable to what the base engine of the Honda Civic can do. The first two trims of the Honda Civic have 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines as well, and the Honda engines comes with 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque.

With both models, there's the option to get a turbocharged engine. The Elantra N Line is the trim that's powered by the more advanced engine. It uses a 1.6-liter turbo engine that has 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The top three trims of the Honda Civic use 1.5-liter turbo engines that can make 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque.

When just looking at the engines alone, there's a lot to think about. The lower trims of each model have about the same level of capability, though the Civic has the slight edge. When taking into account the turbo models, the Elantra is going to be the faster and more exciting model.

With the Hyundai Elantra, front-wheel drive is the only option for the drivetrain. The trims with the standard engines use Smartstream intelligent variable transmissions. The N Line has a six-speed manual transmission as the standard component, with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with SHIFTRONIC being optional. The SHIFTRONIC feature means that a driver can take manual control over shifting whenever he/she would like to. Note that the N Line has special wheels and a multi-link rear suspension to enhance its athletic nature.

All of the Honda Civic trims use continuously variable transmissions and front-wheel drive. Some models have paddle shifters to give people manual control over shifting. It can be fun to use these on occasion, and some types of drivers really enjoy using them when accelerating.

In terms of fuel economy, these models do well, as expected given their compact frames and relatively small engines. With the standard engine, the Elantra can earn up to 43 miles per gallon on the highway and 33 miles per gallon in the city. With the turbo engine, it can achieve up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway and 28 miles per gallon in the city.

A Civic with the non-turbo engine can have an estimated fuel economy of 38 miles per gallon on the highway and 30 miles per gallon in the city. Interestingly, the turbo versions do better in this regard. Turbocharged Civics can achieve up to 42 miles per gallon on the highway and 32 miles per gallon in the city. The bottom line is that either model, with any type of engine, would appeal to those who want to conserve fuel.

Drivability

It can be fun to drive compact cars around town. They're lightweight and agile, and they can fit in almost every parking spot. The Hyundai Elantra has a length of 184.1 inches and a width of 71.9 inches. It sits a little over five inches off the ground. The Honda Civic is about an inch and a half shorter than the Elantra, and it's a bit narrower as well. However, it has a slightly greater ground clearance, and this may matter to some people who drive over uneven terrain on occasion.

The Hyundai Elantra is going to have a more comfortable cabin from a size perspective. It has 42.3 inches of front-row leg room and 38 inches of second-row leg room. There's a similar amount of front-row leg room in the Honda Civic, but there's less space in the back seat. Rear-seat passengers won't be too cramped with 37.4 inches of leg room, but every inch (or half-inch) could be important if three adults are sitting together in the back.

Some people may initially be concerned with packing all of their cargo into the trunks of these cars. In most situations, it shouldn't be a problem. The Elantra's trunk has as volume of 14.2 cubic feet, and the Civic's trunk is even bigger, with a volume of 15.1 cubic feet.

Of course, technology is going to be an important factor when deciding which trim would be the most ideal. The good news is that both companies have worked on integrating advanced equipment into their vehicles, even the most affordable ones.

The first three trims of the Hyundai Elantra have eight-inch touchscreens, with the premier trim having a 10.25-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation. Every model has Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and HD Radio, with most of the trims having SiriusXM Satellite Radio as well. The top two trims have wireless charging, and the top trim has a Bose premium audio system with eight speakers, one of which is a subwoofer.

An available feature that the Elantra has is Hyundai Digital Key, and that allows a smartphone to be used as a digital key fob. It takes the smart entry system one step further. Best of all, it's quite simple to set up.

Out of five trims of the Honda Civic, four of them have seven-inch touchscreens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The entry-level model only has a five-inch LCD screen with Bluetooth, and it doesn't have smartphone compatibility. Many trims have SiriusXM and HD Radio to provide people with additional entertainment options. The Touring trim, which is the most premium model, has navigation and a ten-speaker sound system.

Buying Tip:

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Safety

It's clear that safety has certainly been a priority for the Hyundai and Honda companies. In recent years, they've pushed themselves to put in many driver-assist technologies in their vehicles.

In the Hyundai Elantra, the standard list of driver-assist systems includes pedestrian section, frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping and lane following assist, automatic high beams, and driver attention warning. Plus, every trim has blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning and avoidance assist. That means that the Elantra can take corrective measures if a driver is about to change lanes or back up at the wrong time.

Higher trims can have smart cruise control, which allows the Elantra to adjust its speed if the leading vehicle adjusts its speed. This way, safe distancing is maintained. Additionally, a higher trim of an Elantra can have an enhanced forward collision-avoidance assist with cyclist detection. One final benefit of getting the Limited trim of the Elantra is that it has parking collision-avoidance assist that can prevent fender benders.

Every model of the Honda Civic has driver-assist technologies as well. A Honda Civic has collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning as standard components. Notably, every trim has adaptive cruise control. This is different than what's seen in the Elantra, as the Elantra only has this feature on its top trim.

The top three trims of the Honda Civic have something called Honda LaneWatch. This program uses a camera embedded in the side mirror to show the driver what's in his/her blind spot when the turn signal is on.

Which Has the Best Value?

People on tight budgets will be intrigued by the Elantra and Civic because of their competitive pricing. The SE trim of the Elantra is priced under $20,000, and this makes it a bit unique in a market where things can be expensive. The SE only costs $19,650. The SEL costs $20,900, the N Line is priced at $24,100, and the Limited tops things off with a price of $25,450.

With the Honda Civic LX, the starting price is $21,250, which is still really reasonable. The Sport ($23,050), EX ($24,400), and EX-L ($25,600) are the mid-level trims. The Touring is the most upscale Civic available, and it costs $28,300.

It can be argued that the top trims of the Elantra have a few more high-tech features, like the Hyundai Digital Key. Also, it's hard not to notice that the base model of the Civic doesn't have smartphone connectivity or a touchscreen. The mid-level trims are going to be pretty evenly matched with features like heated front seats in both the Elantra and Civic. Both models also have an available sunroof and available leather seats. Only the Civic has available heated rear seats, but its Sport trim doesn't quite match up to the N Line in terms of performance or style.

Which is Better?

In some ways, the Elantra feels like a newer vehicle. Its design is a little more fresh and youthful, and it can come with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and many kinds of extra high-tech features. Its turbo models are fun to drive and efficient at the same time.

That being said, the Honda Civic has a sleek style, too. Many people are comforted by the idea that Honda has been a leader in the industry for decades, and they may lean towards the Civic instead of the Elantra for this very reason. The Civic is well appointed in terms of safety systems and convenient amenities, and because it has two available engines, it can appeal to a wide audience.

It may come down to the details when deciding whether to get a Hyundai Elantra or a Honda Civic. If someone wants the larger trunk, the stronger standard engine, and some higher end features, then the Honda Civic may win the battle. If someone wants to save a thousand dollars or so, have slightly more second-row leg room, and have a few more advanced technological components, then the Hyundai Elantra may be the best choice.

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