For as prolonged as we can remember, a Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have been sealed in a conflict for compress automobile supremacy. Only, these days, they’re not so compress any more. Model year stand has inch-by-inch stretched and magisterial them until they’ve grown into midsized sedans right underneath a common noses.
Meanwhile, a pretender Hyundai Elantra has also crossfaded into a midsize sedan range. It, too, is make-up some-more interior space than ever, notwithstanding progressing a comparatively compress footprint that seems to work good in American civic environments. Plus, Hyundai’s unequivocally stepped a diversion adult for this generation, make-up in some-more reward facilities than ever before, aiming to give us a loyal aspirant for, rather than an choice to, a unequivocally best this category has to offer.
We’ve dull adult a new, a and a and array them conduct to conduct to see that of these former compacts is a best city car. Our battlegrounds for this showdown are a swarming streets and high hills of San Francisco, California.
Third place: Toyota Corolla
The Corolla is both a smallest and a oldest automobile in this midsize compress shootout. It’s also, a editors unanimously agreed, a many boring.
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At usually 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, a Corolla’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder is a slightest absolute engine of a bunch. It managed to broach decent opening and economy, yet d potency on a highway and around city interjection to a invariably non-static transmission, yet we could feel struggling a Toyota struggling on a ascending stand apportionment of a competition.
With a miss of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or any modernized driver-aid systems (ADAS), a Corolla continued to loiter behind a competition. Available Entune infotainment program gets a pursuit finished good enough, yet valid to be reduction manageable than possibly of a competitors’ systems. Also, yet MovieTickets.com and Open Table app integrations are nice, we didn’t find them to be utterly useful while on a road.
However, a Corolla isn’t yet a charms. We congested a 3 editors into a backseats of all 3 sedans and were astounded to find that a smaller Corolla seemed to offer a best peculiarity of comfort. The wider Civic should have felt better, yet a Corolla somehow offering improved shoulder and hip room and improved opening to a second quarrel for opening and egress.
Starting during $17,300 and maxing out during an as-tested $20,635, a Corolla is a many affordable of this contingent — though, admittedly, it offers many reduction calm and amenities for that price. And with an EPA estimated 29 mpg in a city and 37 mpg on a highway, a Toyota usually hardly edges out a Hyundai for second best fuel efficiency.
Second place: Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra snags a china medal, yet wow was it a tighten call between this sedan and a Honda. No longer calm to be a low-cost alternative, general code of this class, Hyundai is targeting a tip with this new Elantra and it’s got a Honda Civic precisely in a sights.
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The Hyundai comes out overhanging with some of a best ADAS in this conflict royale. As equipped, we had forward-collision alert, adaptive journey control, lane-departure impediment and a blind-spot monitoring complement with startling sensitivity.
Next adult is a utterly good BlueLink infotainment smoke-stack that facilities an engaging mix of connected telematics features, manageable inputs and solidly behaving navigation software. Hyundai was also on a initial brands to strike a highway with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, so smartphone users have even some-more options for navigation, communication and audio playback app integrations.
On a opening side of things, a Elantra fell brief of a bar set by a Civic. Like a Corolla, a Hyundai was a plain adequate performer in a possess right with decent potency from a lean-burning, Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter engine. None of these are unequivocally driver’s cars, yet even a Hyundai’s doing valid to be utterly good during a low boundary of city driving. However, a 147 horsepower engine seems to concede torque for potency and creates use of a usually fixed-ratio six-speed involuntary transmission, that finished a 132 pound-feet feel reduction manageable around town.
we mentioned that Hyundai was finished being a low-cost alternative, so you’ve gotta compensate for all of those facilities a automaker has congested into this small, midsize chassis. At $17,150 to start, a Elantra carves out a good center of a highway niche for value. However, as tested, and tighten to entirely loaded, a instance weighs in during $27,710. That’s a few hundred bucks some-more than a entirely installed Civic Touring. Our editors determine that a Elantra is a plain automobile for that price, yet it’s a tough sell when cross-shopping with a some-more powerful, some-more fit Honda.
First place: Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is a opening aristocrat of this plea with some-more power, improved doing and usually some-more pushing fun both in a city and on twisty roads.
Okay, I’ll acknowledge that bringing a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine to a celebration was substantially overkill. At 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, a Civic Touring flattering many blows a foe out of a water. In a defense, even a bottom 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated engine is some-more absolute than anything a Hyundai or Toyota can muster, so because not go a bit overboard with a power? What’s even some-more considerable is that a turbocharged Civic also earnings a best estimated fuel economy during 31 mpg or 42 mpg in a city or on a highway, respectively.
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In further to being some-more powerful, a Civic’s doing felt significantly some-more manageable than possibly a others’ and a steering some-more communicative and accurate. Despite roving on a tautly tuned suspension, a Hondas still manages to feel gentle in daily driving.
The Civic is a largest of a trio, so it’s got a best interior volume and a many saturated trunk. We were means to squeeze 64 tiny (12-inch) inflatable balls into Civic’s boot, 62 in a Elantra’s and 60 for a Corolla. Admittedly, that’s not a whole lot of difference, yet it is an advantage that is certain to matter during slightest to inflatable round enthusiasts with unequivocally vast collections. However, a on-paper distance advantage didn’t work out for a Civic in a backseat comfort test, that a Honda mislaid to a Elantra due to a reduce roof tallness and to a Corolla for a tiny back doorway opening that finished removing in and out of a Civic’s second quarrel an acrobatic feat.
The Honda also puts a best feet brazen with technology, even yet that feet has one tiny peculiar feature. In a dashboard, we’ve got HondaLink infotainment, that isn’t accurately as manageable to inputs as Hyundai BlueLink, yet does exaggerate higher navigation and maps program powered by Garmin. Like a Hyundai system, a Civic does support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, that is a torpedo underline for smartphone users.
The Civic boasts a apartment of accessible ADAS that rivals that of a Hyundai. There’s adaptive journey control that works in stop-and-go traffic, lane-keeping support that actively steers to keep a automobile between a line markers and involuntary collision-mitigation braking. I’m not a fan of Honda’s uncanny LaneWatch camera complement and have never unequivocally found it to be as useful as a standard, sensor-based blind-spot monitoring complement like a one offering on a Elantra.
The 2016 Honda Civic also boasts a tip starting cost during $18,640. However, in tip tier, turbocharged Touring trim a Civic’s $27,335 seeking cost is indeed a few hundred bucks cheaper than a Elantra. Offering some-more smiles per dollar is always a good thing, creation value a cherry on tip of a Civic’s cut of feat pie.