Now Reading: Toyota Corolla vs. Honda Civic vs. Hyundai Elantra – Which Car is the Best Bang for the Buck?
Only two vehicles have dominated the compact sedan segment, or C-segment, of the Pakistani automotive market for the longest time: the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic. Nonetheless, vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sunny, Kia Spectra, and Chevrolet Optra, among others, have tried to compete in this segment over the last two decades but have failed to attract the same level of interest as the Pakistani automobile industry’s veterans.
The 6th generation Hyundai Elantra, which was unveiled for the first time at the PAPS auto show 2020 in February and received a positive response from the public with its modern looks, has finally arrived in the C-segment. The Elantra made its debut on March 21 and went on sale on March 22, but is it a strong enough player to compete with the established players?
Let’s compare the three and see what we can learn:
With the 6th generation Elantra, Hyundai appears to have attempted to strike a balance between sporty and elegant. The car’s wedge-shaped headlights, front bumper, front grille, and taillights complement its smooth and round silhouette, giving it a fairly attractive appearance.
To improve the front, the headlamps are Dynamic LED Quad Projectors with sharp, triangular Daytime Running Lights. The Elantra has a large hexagonal front grille that gives it some assertiveness, as is the current trend among automakers.
While the Elantra has side-mirrors with integrated turn signals, the chrome door handles are the most noticeable aesthetic element, giving it a regal appearance. Lights embedded in the door handles give the car a high-end feel while also providing illumination in the dark.
The back has a futuristic tail light design, as well as neat, checkmark-shaped reflectors at the bumper’s bottom. In addition to capturing better radio signals, the car has a glass antenna on the roof to give it a more elegant appearance. Overall, the Hyundai Elantra 6th generation is a solid-looking sedan that, despite its age, exudes a sense of modernity.
The 11th generation Toyota Corolla has been available in Pakistan for quite some time and has always been regarded as an average-looking car, owing to its widespread availability and pedestrian design.
It comes with a set of modern LED projector headlights with DRLs that are extremely effective in low light. A chrome grille spans the headlights in the front, giving the car a stylish appearance. Aside from that, the design is fairly straightforward.
16-inch alloy wheels, body-colored door handles, and smoothly-designed doors contribute to a clean appearance on the sides. The back has a smooth design that contributes to the overall subtle appearance, but the chrome trim piece on the trunk lid and the new taillight design make the back stand out.
An ‘X’ appearance package is available for the Corolla, which includes bumper extensions and a few interior upgrades that add flair to the overall design. One could argue, however, that the X package compromises the clean and subtle look and character of the X package.
Unlike its Japanese rival, Honda went in the opposite direction with the Civic’s design, and the car is brimming with sharp lines and sporty styling cues that are meant to appeal to a younger crowd. The front features a bold front grille, a distinctive bonnet design with sharp lines all across, and a sharp pair of projector or LED headlights (depending on the variant).
With a swooping tail and sleek profile, the sides have a sportback-like design that is made even more aggressive by the sharp line that runs across them. The design’s sportiness is further enhanced by the 16-inch alloy rims.
The sharp design continues at the back with a pair of sharply designed taillights, an aggressive bumper design with a pair of reflectors and fake vents, and a short tail that gives the impression of a sporty 4-door coupe, all of which contribute to the Civic’s sporty and cutting-edge appearance.
Despite its many features, the interior design appears to be quite old, especially when compared to the 7th generation Elantra, which was just released globally. Aside from that, the Elantra has a roomy and modest interior with plenty of tech features and clean aesthetics such as silver trim, cream and black leather panels and seats, a smart instrument cluster, and a simple and user-friendly centre control stack.
The Hyundai Elantra has a decent amount of interior space. However, because it’s a compact sedan, there’s plenty of room in the back for two fully grown adults. Three passengers can be accommodated in the back, but only for short distances. It has a trunk capacity of 407 litres, which is adequate given the car’s overall size.
The interior is clean and attractively laid out, but it contains far too much plastic for its price point. The interior is given a slightly more stylish look by silver and piano-black trim pieces around the centre control stack, on the steering wheel, and elsewhere.
Leather upholstery is used on the seats, and the seating position is angled sharply up. The cabin is large enough to comfortably seat a young family of five (two adults and three children) or four adults, but passengers over six feet tall may struggle with the rear seat’s lack of headroom. The boot space is 470 litres, which is less than the 476 litres of the Yaris.
The Civic is still on the ‘not-so-modern’ end of the spectrum in this regard. Although the build quality and materials are reasonably well put together, the interior design appears to be a couple of generations old. All of the important elements are in the driver’s and passenger’s direct lines of sight, making the layout simple and intuitive.
Despite the vehicle’s downward-swooping design at the back, the back seats are spacious, even in terms of headroom. Because the back seat has a hump in the middle and the middle seat has been raised, the middle passenger will not be comfortable on long journeys unless it is a small child. The trunk space is 355 litres, which seems small given the Civic’s size.
The vehicle has only one engine option: a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 154 horsepower and 195 Nm of torque, which is quite impressive for a naturally aspirated engine. All four wheels on the Elantra have ventilated disc brakes with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA) system.
It has McPherson Struts in the front and a Torsion bar coil-spring suspension in the back when it comes to suspension. With its naturally aspirated 2000cc engine, it is claimed to have a fuel economy of 12 to 15 km/liter, which is an optimistic figure.
The Corolla is available with a choice of two engines: a base 1.6 litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 120 horsepower and 154 Nm of torque, or a larger 1.8 litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 138 horsepower and 173 Nm of torque. The former can be paired with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, while the latter can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission.
MacPherson struts in the front and a Torsion Bar Coil-Spring suspension in the back make up the suspension system. The front brakes are ventilated discs with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology, while the back brakes are solid discs. The 1.6’s claimed fuel economy is between 12 and 14 kilometres per litre, while the 1.8’s claimed fuel economy is between 9 and 13 kilometres per litre, depending on how the Corolla is driven.
The Civic is available with a choice of two engines: a base 1.8-liter, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder petrol engine with 138 horsepower and 169 Nm of torque, or a more powerful 1.5-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder petrol engine with 173 horsepower and 220 Nm of torque. Both engines are connected to a CVT automatic transmission with seven speeds.
MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link Coil-Spring suspension in the back make up the car’s suspension system. On all four wheels, the Civic has ventilated disc brakes with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology. The 1.8 Turbo’s claimed fuel economy is between 12 and 14 kilometres per litre, while the 1.5 Turbo’s is between 9 and 13 kilometres per litre.
Dimensions and Weight
Because all three vehicles are C-Segment compact sedans, their proportions are similar. What is known about the proportions of these cars is as follows:
Features and Specs
This comparison of the top variants is solely for the purpose of determining the full range of features available. The specifications and features of all three are as follows:
Despite the fact that all of the competitors are fairly evenly matched, the Elantra has a significant disadvantage due to its single trim level. The following are the prices for all three cars’ trim levels:
- 2.0 GLS: PKR 4,049,000
- 1.6 Altis X M/T: PKR. 3,219,000
- 1.6 Altis X A/T: PKR 3,369,000
- 1.8 Altis X M/T: PKR 3,555,000
- The 1.8 Altis X CVT: PKR 3,705,000
- 1.8 Altis Grande X CVT Beige Interior: PKR 3,985,000
- 1.8 Altis Grande X CVT Black Interior: PKR 4,005,000
- 1.8 i-VTEC CVT: PKR 3,729,000
- 1.8 Oriel i-VTEC CVT: PKR 3,979,000
- 1.5 VTEC Turbo Oriel: PKR 4,449,000
- 1.5 VTEC Turbo RS: PKR 4,699,000
In terms of specs, features, and performance, all three cars are nearly identical, implying that they offer comparable value. Hyundai owners enjoy a slightly better warranty than the competition, but aside from that, the decision to buy boils down to which car a potential buyer prefers the most, despite the similarities.
This should also be a source of concern for the Hyundai Nishat, as the new product does not provide a compelling reason to abandon existing products in favor of something completely new and untested.
The new cars that came before the Elantra were either much cheaper or came with more features, which made them extremely popular when they were first introduced. Apart from the fact that it looks different, the Elantra appears to lack none of their appeal.
In a market dominated by Japanese compact sedans that offer nearly the same value, have large dealership networks, are easy to maintain, and are instantly liquefiable due to their much stronger resale values, the Elantra’s fate remains uncertain as long as it does not get more variants that are cheaper than its rivals or offer significantly better value.