Comparison Test: 2016 Honda Civic and 2017 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai took a unlucky respect of following Honda onto a redesigned compress automobile theatre tiny weeks after a redesigned 2016 Civic won a North American Car of a Year award.

Overshadowed by a thespian advancements Honda done with a new Civic, a new and softened nonetheless partially regressive 2017 Elantra has landed in showrooms with a practical thud. Automotive News reported that by a initial 4 months of a year, Elantra sales slipped 34 percent, a automobile now outsold by a Civic and a contingent of comparison designs in a Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, and Toyota Corolla. In response, Hyundai is sweetening deals to tempt customers.


The new Elantra can’t utterly competition during a same turn as a 2016 Civic, nonetheless that doesn’t meant it isn’t a challenging charity in a compress automobile segment.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Consumer detachment toward a redesigned Elantra is unwarranted. Though a pattern errs on a side of conservatism, it is a superb automobile that provides unmatched assent of mind by a class-leading roadside assistance and guaranty programs. However, a Civic exhibits transparent supremacy when it comes to engineering sophistication.

To establish that of these dual appealing tiny sedans is a best, we spent a week examining entirely optioned examples of each. The outcome competence be predictable, nonetheless even nonetheless it does not win this competition we cite a Hyundai in many respects.

SECOND PLACE: 2017 Hyundai Elantra


Though comparatively tame, a grown-up pattern of a 2017 Elantra has a turn of sophistication good above that of a 2016 Honda Civic.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Total Points: 153/190
Overall Rating: 8.1

Hyundai, I’m confused. Half a decade ago, it seemed like we had finally strike on a right styling formula, a multiple of thespian elocution and visible change that done your cars conspicuous and noted in further to an unusual value.

Now, a play is gone, transposed by snooze-worthy sensibility, and that can’t be assisting a new 2017 Elantra even if regressive pattern ages better.

Still, I’ll take your purify flanks and Genesis Jr. sum over a gawky, anime-inspired Civic any day. Especially in Limited trim with incomparable 17-inch aluminum wheels, a Elantra has a tailored, grown-up, and worldly demeanour unmatched by a Honda.


Inside, a Elantra’s infotainment complement is elementary and discerning interjection to a simple, well-laid out set of buttons and knobs.

(Christian Wardlaw)

This thesis continues inside of a car, where a Hyundai’s no-nonsense and roughly Germanic proceed to tones, textures, displays, and controls is preferable to a Civic’s busy, layered, and infrequently incompatible cabin.

Clear and transparent orchestration total with elementary buttons and knobs for primary infotainment complement controls make regulating a Elantra elementary and intuitive. The Clean Air ionizing filter for a meridian control complement is also a good touch. Though it competence not demeanour as complicated as a Honda inside, a Hyundai is friendlier to users.


The Elantra’s Blue Link infotainment complement includes a broader array of facilities than a Civic’s HondaLink system.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Take, for example, a Elantra’s Blue Link touchscreen infotainment system, that competence not demeanour utterly as sharp as a tablet-style shade in a Civic nonetheless that includes knobs and buttons for some-more discerning operation. we also felt as nonetheless a Elantra supposing a some-more healthy voice approval system, and Blue Link subscription services includes a broader array of facilities than does a Civic’s HondaLink technology. Highlights embody involuntary collision presentation service, that is also accessible for a Civic, as good as teen pushing reserve facilities like speed, curfew, and geo-fenced range alerts.

Like Honda does for a Civic, Hyundai offers brazen collision warning, involuntary puncture braking, and a line depart warning and line gripping support complement for a Elantra. The disproportion is that Honda creates these facilities some-more widely accessible in a Civic lineup, while Hyundai pot them for a top-of-the-line Limited model. Unlike a Civic, a Elantra gets a blind mark warning complement for both sides of a car, a aloft setup to what Honda supplies.


Though a behind chair is not as ample or gentle as that of a Civic, a Elantra feels wider and some-more spacious.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Sitting in a Elantra’s wider and agree driver’s seat, you’re positioned aloft in a car, that helps to make entrance and exit easier and improves external visibility. The Elantra also feels wider and some-more atmospheric inside, even if a behind chair is not as ample or as gentle as a Civic’s. Neither automobile offers front chair ventilation, nonetheless both are offering with exhilarated behind seats. Only a Elantra reserve a front passenger’s chair tallness adjuster.

Hyundai provides rather reduction case space compared to a Honda, during 14.4 cubic-feet compared to 14.7 in a Civic Touring. That’s a immaterial difference, and a fact is that a Elantra’s case is some-more usefully made and includes an inside squeeze hoop for shutting a lid nonetheless dirtying fingers on a outward of a trunk.

Sounds flattering good so far, doesn’t it? Indeed, a Hyundai is an considerable small car. Where a Elantra mislaid adequate points to trip into second place is with courtesy to pushing dynamics and fuel economy. It simply is not as powerful, as efficient, or as beguiling to expostulate as a Honda.


With 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, a Elantra is brisk nonetheless not zippy or energetic.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Equipped with 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, a Elantra is brisk nonetheless not zippy and energetic, and when driven back-to-back opposite a Civic on my customary exam loop, a Hyundai returned 31.8 mpg to a Honda’s conspicuous 34.1 mpg.

A 6-speed involuntary delivery is customary for a Elantra Limited, and provides both an Eco and a Sport pushing mode as good as a primer position with discerning change action. Choosing Sport mode enlivens a powertrain, nonetheless it also jacks adult a electric steering with an assumed turn of synthetic heft. Therefore, we kept Sport mode incited off in sequence to suffer a Elantra’s light and pleasing, if not as unaffected or responsive, steering.


The doing is secure, nonetheless 2017 Elantra is not fun to drive. This compress automobile is in apocalyptic need of a some-more worldly behind suspension.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Hyundai inaugurated to save income when engineering a latest Elantra, tucking a torsion-beam cessation underneath a behind end. It’s upgraded over a prior Elantra, nonetheless compared to a Civic it feels too bustling and unbending around city and demonstrates too most additional suit and delight during aloft speeds on curvy roads. This automobile desperately needs a some-more worldly eccentric behind cessation design.

The Elantra also isn’t as most fun to drive, displaying some-more physique hurl and reduction reason when tossed into turns. Handling is secure, and no more. Similarly, a brakes are effective, nonetheless don’t punch with as most management and pedal response is not as healthy as in a Honda. Plus, all nonetheless a Elantra Limited are saddled with defective behind drum brakes as opposite to discs.

Had Hyundai invested some-more bid into a Elantra’s engineering, a automobile could have warranted a win over a Civic. Instead, when entirely loaded, a Elantra Limited is some-more costly than nonetheless mechanically defective to a Civic Touring.

Summing Up


The 2017 Elantra brings a lot to a table, nonetheless still leaves a most to be preferred in terms of pattern and pushing performance. 

(Christian Wardlaw)

Pros: Tastefully conservative, function-over-form proceed to design; useful, simple, and discerning controls and technologies; roughly guaranteed to final forever

Cons: Dynamically stunted; reduction fit with fuel; smaller behind chair than Civic

Conclusion: In a 2017 Elantra, Hyundai has built another good small automobile but, as it did with a current-generation Sonata, left styling aptitude and pushing impetus off of a menu.

Vital Stats

Test Vehicle: 2017 Hyundai Elantra
Price as Tested: $27,710
Drivetrain: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine; 6-speed automatic
Power Rating: 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque
Fuel Economy Rating: 31.8 mpg on exam loop
Safety Rating: Not tested by NHTSA or IIHS (as of May 12, 2016)

FIRST PLACE: 2016 Honda Civic


The 2016 Civic is not a ideal car, nonetheless Honda continues to be a customary dispatcher for a compress automobile segment.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Total Points: 162/200
Overall Rating: 8.5

Every decade or so, Honda reinvents a compress automobile with a redesigned Civic that sets new standards in terms of design, engineering, pushing dynamics, fuel efficiency, and safety. In 2016, Honda’s all-new Civic is ostensible to be that car, a 4-wheeled series following a model’s evolutionary 2012 redesign. In some respects Honda has altered a bar higher. In others, not so much.

Perhaps in response to critique that a Civic hadn’t altered adequate in a prior redesign, a new automobile is distended and flared and creased roughly to a indicate of caricature. When looking during a 2016 Civic, I’m reminded of a classical Festivus part of “Seinfeld,” in that Jerry is dating a lady who looks superb usually in certain light. From some angles, we adore a new Civic’s styling. From others, yikes.


There’s a lot going on inside a 2016 Honda Civic, and that can be possibly a good or a bad thing.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Inside, a love/hate pattern continues with a layered dashboard, a core console that is too high for comfort, suddenly vast row gaps, and a rumble of textures and tones that furnish a adorned nonetheless bustling appearance. Seating positions are low, creation entrance and exit some-more formidable than in a Hyundai, nonetheless a Civic’s behind chair is incomparable and some-more gentle than a Elantra’s once passengers have depressed down into it.

Storage is in abundant supply. From a outrageous glove box and 2-level core console with a configurable bin to a vast 14.7 cu.-ft. trunk, a Civic is clearly designed to reason people and things. In fact, this automobile is vast adequate to make anyone second-guess spending some-more for a midsize sedan. Honda needs to offer a hoop on a inside of a case lid, though, so that owners need not reason a unwashed outward lid to impact it shut.


Inside, a 2016 Civic is atmospheric adequate to be confused with a midsize sedan, generally when it comes to behind seating and a vast 14.7 cubic-feet trunk.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Busy orchestration and a distracting tablet-style infotainment shade together paint a decrease in Honda’s normal ergonomic mastery. Reflections on a fuel sign can make reading it difficult, and a miss of radio knobs and buttons can infer frustrating. Funny how we have laws restricting a use of smartphones while driving, nonetheless regulating an infotainment complement that looks and works usually like a magnified smartphone is apparently A-OK.

Honda needs to revisit a Civic’s infotainment complement user interface. Tuning to a specific hire is a hassle, a slider volume control is inaccurate, and when other screens were displayed we kept selecting a “Audio” symbol to lapse to a radio arrangement nonetheless instead close off a stereo system. Pairing to a system’s Bluetooth bond was easy, nonetheless a voice approval complement was not as modernized as expected.


It competence demeanour nicer than a reflection in a Elantra, nonetheless functionally, a Civic’s infotainment complement is in need of a critical overhaul.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Like a Hyundai, a Honda supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection technologies. Honda also offers HondaLink service, that is giveaway and operates on a interconnected smartphone’s information plan, nonetheless aside from providing involuntary collision presentation it is not transparent what a advantages are aside from “seamless integration” of “an owner’s digital lifestyle” and “access to a universe of cloud-based information.” Ooooh, so Silicon Valley!

Brilliantly, Honda offers a Honda Sensing complement of motorist assistance and collision deterrence technologies on each Civic trim level, including a bottom LX model. You contingency compensate extra, of course, nonetheless a association gives we a choice, distinct Hyundai and other competitors that need buyers to compensate for a aloft turn of trim in sequence to entrance a reserve features.

Honda Sensing includes a brazen collision warning complement with involuntary puncture braking, a highway depart slackening complement that is designed to assistance forestall a automobile from unintentionally regulating off of a road, and a line depart warning system. Additionally, Honda offers a LaneWatch record for a Civic, nonetheless we like to call this complement LameWatch.


Honda’s LaneWatch complement usually uses a right mirror-mounted camera to guard a car’s right blind spot, nonetheless there’s no identical complement for a left side nor is does a complement support a behind cross-traffic warning system.

(Christian Wardlaw)

With LaneWatch, a camera mounted to a right counterpart shows what’s in a car’s right blind mark on a infotainment display, while zero nonetheless a parabolic driver’s side counterpart helps a motorist to see in a car’s left blind spot. Why Honda thinks this is aloft to a normal blind mark monitoring complement with warning lights on both side mirrors is a genuine mystery. Plus, LaneWatch does not support a behind cross-traffic warning system, giving Hyundai and other competitors a position of technological superiority.

There’s no arguing opposite a Civic’s superb crash-test results, though. The Civic earns tip outlines opposite a board. This automobile is facilely fuel efficient, too, returning 34.1 mpg on my exam loop, usually a bit brief of a EPA’s 35-mpg rating in total driving. Reliability is approaching to be a clever point, too, given a Civic’s superb chronological opening in this regard.

Where a Civic racked adult a poignant advantage over a Elantra was in a pushing dynamics department. In fact, aside from advancing a automobile a indicate or dual for rather complicated low-speed steering bid and occasional justification of delivery drone, we gave a Civic a tip series of probable points opposite all enterprising evaluations.


A turbocharged and direct-injected 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine underneath a hood of a 2016 Civic creates 174 horsepower during 6,000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,700 rpm to 5,500 rpm.

(Christian Wardlaw)

In all Civic models solely for a LX and EX, a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine creates 174 horsepower during 6,000 rpm and 162 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,700 rpm to 5,500 rpm. The outcome is a extended energy rope that produces sharp-witted responsiveness and enterprising acceleration.

A invariably non-static delivery (CVT) is customary for a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, one versed with “G-Design change logic” that gives a delivery a some-more informed sound and feel, and a infancy of a time it is successful. Both Econ and Sport pushing modes are available, nonetheless a infancy of a time we used neither, confident with both a car’s energy and fuel efficiency.


With top-notch handling, cessation and brakes, a Civic provides an glorious pushing experience.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Aside from a car’s rather complicated steering bid turn during reduce speeds, a Civic was always pleasant to drive. Honda’s engineering wizards have ideally tuned a MacPherson strut front and multi-link behind cessation to yield an model change between float quality, handling, and communication, a Civic excelling in all 3 areas. The car’s 4-wheel-disc brakes, customary apparatus on a Honda nonetheless offering usually for a tip trim of a Hyundai, achieved beautifully, too.

More than anything, Honda’s investment in aloft engineering and a Civic’s considerable pushing dynamics acquire it a win in this contest.


Honda takes some risks stylistically, both inside and outward a new Civic, nonetheless a finish outcome still sits on tip of a chosen drivetrain that has distant a line from competitors in a compress automobile shred for years.

(Christian Wardlaw)

Summing Up

Pros: Fun to expostulate and fuel-efficient; lots of room for people and things; rock-star crash-test ratings

Cons: Funky styling; injured control layout; low seating creates it harder to enter and exit a car; LaneWatch motorist assistance complement should be renamed LameWatch

Conclusion: Brilliantly engineered nonetheless wrapped in resolutely unusual bodywork, a Honda Civic creates a clever evidence opposite shopping a bigger and some-more costly car.

Vital Stats

Test Vehicle: 2016 Honda Civic Touring
Price as Tested: $27,335
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine; CVT
Power Rating: 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque
Fuel Economy Rating: 34.1 mpg on exam loop
Safety Rating: 5-star rating from NHTSA; “Top Safety Pick” from IIHS

2016 Honda Civic and 2017 Hyundai Elantra nose to nose
Tags: automobile reviews 2016 honda county honda county 2017 hyundai elantra hyundai elantra sedans

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