2019 Honda Civic Sport vs 2019 Hyundai Elantra
With the Canadian-built 2019 Civic, Honda proves it’s possible to pack desirable features into every nook and cranny while still offering a spacious interior that doesn’t skimp on cargo capacity. On top of that, it’s gorgeous to look at. Complementing its restyled front end, its aggressive stance, sleek lines, and low-slung body invite drivers in with hints of the top-shelf performance ready to be unleashed. The 10th-generation Civic comes to life with a choice of two 4-cylinder engines: a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre i-VTEC® and a 1.5-litre turbocharged option that tops out at 205 hp on the Si trim. In addition to the 6-speed manual transmission, trims featuring Continuously Variable Transmission also boast G-Design Shift Logic and are outfitted with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for engaged driving no matter which Civic buyers choose. Inside, Civic’s multitude of features will leave driver and passengers alike feeling that every need is satisfied. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™? It’s got that. Display Audio System with HondaLink™? It’s got that, too. Touring and Si trims offer even more: a 10-speaker sound system with subwoofer, SiriusXM™, and heated rear seats. Add in plenty of cargo space and innovative storage options, and customers are primed and ready for an extra-long road trip or intense trip to the grocery store. Whatever Civic drivers are up to, they’ll feel safe and secure with the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the many active safety features of the standard Honda Sensing™ suite1. With so much driving enjoyment to unlock, it’s little wonder that Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car 21 years running.
THE 2019 CIVIC SPORT: A CLOSER LOOK
ADDING SOME SPICE TO THE MIX
The new-for-2019 Civic Sedan Sport trim lends Canada’s best-selling car an inspired, more aggressive look to reflect its engaging driving dynamics.
Here’s a look at some key features and attributes that help the Sport trim stand out.
2019 HYUNDAI ELANTRA
Essential, Preferred, Luxury, Ultimate
The first look at the 2019 Hyundai Elantra will be a long one, as its radical redesign adds a strong dose of visual excitement to the compact-sedan segment. Hyundai’s latest design language lends the vehicle a bolder, more upscale presence. A curved hood flows into a new front end that integrates sharply defined headlights into its all-new grille for a look that stands out among its class. Under the hood, the 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual mode that provides drivers with a deeper connection to the pavement and plenty of driving fun.
Elantra’s interior affords passengers relatively spacious accommodations, as well as a sizeable trunk space. On the technology front, higher trims offer Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, a wireless phone charger, and the BlueLink® connected car system. Occupants can also feel at ease with the available Hyundai SmartSense™ suite of safety technologies. From the SUPERSTRUCTURE™ to available features like Driver Attention Warning, safety is a major part of the Elantra, from its very core to how it interacts with the driver. Plus, on the top-spec Ultimate trim, there’s the segment-exclusive Safe Exit Alarm that will warn occupants of approaching vehicles before you open your door to the street. The result is a compact sedan that customers will feel confident driving through any road conditions.
HONDA CIVIC SEDAN SPORT VS HYUNDAI ELANTRA LUXURY
Model shown with optional accessories.
SPORTY, PREMIUM LOOK
Civic certainly raises the exciting possibilities of what a compact sedan can be. Its low, wide stance sends a message that this compact sedan has performance to spare. By comparison, the 2019 Elantra boasts a thorough refresh that plays up its compact sporty character and projects a sense of nimbleness, ideal for winding through city streets.
Though Civic may be a compact sedan, its aluminum-alloy wheels are anything but, measuring 18 inches. These wheels showcase a split-spoke design and dark finish that draws the eyes of onlookers, while conveying swiftness with their aerodynamic design. As far as size goes, Elantra’s alloy wheels aren’t too far behind at 17 inches, though its design is relatively flat and conservative.
CAPLESS FUELING SYSTEM
Civic makes filling up at the pump simpler with its capless fueling system. The innovative capless mechanism opens and closes as you insert and retract the nozzle, so there’s no more need to fumble with a dirty fuel cap or worry about inadvertently emitting harmful vapours. You won’t find such a thoughtful fueling system on Elantra, which features a conventional fuel cap.
HONDA LANEWATCH™ BLIND-SPOT DISPLAY
Civic drivers can drive more confidently thanks to LaneWatch™. A camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror allows the driver to view hard-to-see areas by displaying a video feed on the Display Audio System. LaneWatch provides added peace of mind when switching lanes or making right turns, and Elantra offers nothing like it
Civic makes itself seen more clearly at night with dazzling LED taillights, standard across all trim levels. These lights offer several advantages over conventional incandescent bulbs, including reduced power consumption, longer life, and improved environmental friendliness. Hyundai customers must step up to the top Elantra trim to enjoy the benefits of LED taillights.
Civic’s sporty looks are all-encompassing, with a centre exhaust outlet that perfectly complements the athletic aesthetic of the dynamic face. In rather stark comparison, Elantra’s purely functional exhaust outlet is tucked out of sight, signalling its less sporting intentions.
UNDER THE HOOD
CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT)
Civic’s CVT features an infinitely variable ratio range to ensure the optimum pulley ratio for a more natural feel. Its dedicated Sport mode uses aggressive transmission mapping for better pep, and the G-Design Shift Logic offers more immediate acceleration response than conventional automatic transmissions, including Elantra’s 6-speed.
INDEPENDENT REAR SUSPENSION
The sporty demeanour of the Civic is derived in large part from its independent rear suspension, helping create a smoother, more refined ride that provides better traction and stability. Hyundai outfitted Elantra with a more traditional torsion-beam rear suspension setup that results in diminished comfort, agility, and stability, and can also contribute to more noise, vibration, and harshness in the cabin.
AGILE HANDLING ASSIST
Agile Handling Assist adds turning control and helps amp up the driving on the Civic. This system applies more braking force to the inside wheels to generate greater turning force while reducing understeer. The result is better initial turn-in response, and there’s no equivalent to Agile Handling Assist on the Elantra.
Civic’s Variable Ratio Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion (EPS) can modify the steering ratio for improved steering feel and manoeuvrability. It determines the appropriate amount of assist to dish out based on the driver’s physical steering input and adjusts accordingly using an electric motor. Compared to Civic’s low 10.93:1 steering ratio, Elantra’s is locked in at a higher 12.7:1, leaving its steering feeling relatively light by comparison.
The Elantra isn’t as youthful or fun to drive as a Honda Civic
“Premium” is the watchword of the Civic cabin. The thoughtfully designed interior outfits its space with the choicest materials to strike a seductive balance that’s both attractive and durable. While Elantra’s interior certainly looks the part of a more upscale vehicle, a closer inspection reveals various hard plastics and trim pieces that betray the overall impression.
SIMULATED LEATHER/FABRIC SEATING SURFACES
Civic occupants settle comfortably into seating surfaces made from simulated leather/fabric for an ideal blend of luxury and sportiness. Plus, their rugged design was made for longevity, which makes for a perfect complement to their heated capability. Elantra’s leather seats are attractive yet hard to the touch, and the jury’s still out on whether their materials will hold up to years of wear.
DRIVER INFORMATION INTERFACE (DII)
Civic drivers enjoy the customizability of the bold, 7-inch colour centre meter display with Driver Information Interface. Using the steering wheel-mounted controls, it’s simple to scroll through all sorts of relevant information, including fuel gauges, vehicle temperature, and navigation. Unfortunately, Elantra’s gauge cluster doesn’t compare favourably, with a much smaller 3.5-inch colour LCD that lacks the vibrancy and information capacity of Civic’s screen.
STEERING WHEEL-MOUNTED PADDLE SHIFTERS
Civic sports steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to give the driver more complete control over gear selection. They not only keep the driver’s hands on the steering wheel, but they also keep the engine in the sweet spot of the rev range. While Elantra offers a somewhat similar feature with SHIFTRONIC® mode for its automatic transmission, it’s not as engaging as Civic’s paddle shifters, requiring the driver to remove their hands from the steering wheel and manually
HONDA SENSING™ SUITE
Civic drivers enjoy the peace of mind provided by the robust Honda Sensing™ suite of active safety features. These driver-assist systems include such useful technologies as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), and more. Elantra offers a similar suite of safety tech with SmartSense, but it lacks some of the same features found on Civic, such as Road Departure Mitigation (RDM).
vibe we’ve come to expect from Hyundai.
POWER DRIVER’S SEAT
The power Civic drivers enjoy isn’t limited to vehicle performance. It also plays a role in the comfort and convenience of an 8-way power driver’s seat. Elantra drivers are stuck with less convenient seating, being forced to adjust their throne with 6-way manual controls.
ELECTRONIC PARKING BRAKE (EPB)
The Electronic Parking Brake makes it easier than ever to engage and disengage the parking brake. Effectively functioning as a traditional mechanical parking brake, it can be released simply by applying the accelerator. This saves real estate on the centre console, helping make the area less cluttered. In comparison, Hyundai Elantra’s parking brake doesn’t offer this level of convenience.
MULTI-ANGLE REARVIEW CAMERA WITH DYNAMIC GUIDELINES
Civic drivers will appreciate the utility of their Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, which features dynamic guidelines that pivot based on the steering-wheel angle to aid reversing manoeuvres. Not only does it allow easier observation of hard-to-see areas, its multi-angle configuration affords drivers more comprehensive sightlines and increased safety. Elantra offers a rearview camera and dynamic guidelines, too, but lacks the multi-angle capability.
MULTIFUNCTIONAL CENTRE CONSOLE
Civic’s multifunctional centre console offers drivers abundant storage space that’s also easy to access. With an overall capacity of 7.2 L and a reconfigurable console designed to meet a variety of owner needs, the Civic provides no shortage of storage conveniences. The centre console on Elantra is a bit farther back and harder to access, and also lacks the ample storage capacity Civic’s console provides.
Civic outfits its owners with a generous 428 litres of trunk space, and its large opening helps facilitate loading and unloading of cargo. Meanwhile, Elantra’s trunk capacity only manages 407 litres. Even though it’s not considerably smaller than Civic in terms of overall volume, there will be times when Elantra owners have too much cargo to pack away and feel the pinch of their smaller trunk.
In-cabin storage is decent, but there are cars that do it better in the class, especially with the lack of anti-tip design for the cupholders.
Though it sounds impressive, the Atkinson cycle is simply an efficiency play, which is why it’s primarily used on hybrid vehicles. When it comes down to the real meat of an engine’s capability, Civic surpasses Elantra with more horsepower and more torque. As an added bonus, Civic’s engine is more fuel-efficient, too.
Elantra occupants enjoy multiple conveniences like a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and a hands-free Smart Trunk.
Elantra boasts connectivity features like Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™, wireless charging, and BlueLink® connected car system.
Like Civic, Elantra offers Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ capability to maximize smartphone connectivity. Elantra’s wireless charging is only on the Ultimate trim, which Civic matches by offering it on the Touring trim. And, while Elantra’s BlueLink® is a fully featured system, its functionality is limited to Luxury and Ultimate trims, whereas HondaLink™ is included on Civic LX and up.
With the available SmartSense™ suite, plus helpful safety tech like Parking Distance Warning and Blind-Spot and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Elantra occupants are well-protected.
SmartSense isn’t available on the base Elantra trim, unlike Honda Sensing which is standard on every Civic. Even the SmartSense system itself falls short, as it still lacks the Road Departure Mitigation featured on Civic. SmartSense is also missing some innovative systems that are exclusive to Honda, such as Civic’s LaneWatch™ blind-spot display.
Impressive though Elantra’s cargo hold is for a compact sedan, Civic’s trunk outdoes it at 428 L. Unlike Elantra, which features a puzzling “hump” between the trunk’s cargo load floor and the base of the rear seatbacks, Civic enhances storage convenience by offering a flat load floor for easier cargo loading and unloading.
HYUNDAI ELANTRA: IN SUMMARY
The 6th-generation Elantra presents a compelling combination of attractive looks, competent performance, spaciousness, and advanced infotainment and active safety features. Even with all those positive attributes, Hyundai Elantra fails to live up to its surface appeal. It restricts its more attractive features to higher trims, making base models feel stripped down and leaving customers disappointed. You’ll have to pay for a higher trim to enjoy features such as Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, or a wireless phone charger. But not even the highest trim level can mask the fact that Elantra falls behind in the performance department. It returns excellent fuel efficiency to match Civic, but does so at the expense of driving excitement. Furthermore, while the sheet metal is impressive for a compact car, the overall experience doesn’t elicit the same kind of emotional response as Civic.
A WORD ABOUT THE TOYOTA COROLLA
THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA
Arriving in the spring of 2019, the 2020 Toyota Corolla will look to build on the nameplate’s legacy. While its features and appearance have been consistent and respectable, the vehicle has been outdone by competitors in recent years. Performance has been singled out as a major drawback for Corolla, with sluggish pickup and less-than-par ride quality that leaves Corolla drivers watching competitor vehicles leave them behind on the road. For the new 12th-generation Corolla, Toyota will be making a big bet on their electrification strategy with a new hybrid option. The 2020 Corolla will also address many of the current model’s other shortcomings, giving Toyota a much more compelling entrant in an increasingly competitive compact-car segment.
2019 TOYOTA COROLLA SE CVT XSE PACKAGE VS 2019 HONDA CIVIC SEDAN SPORT
Corolla is light on drivers’ wallets thanks to its fuel-sipping 1.8L 4-cylinder engine.
While Corolla’s engine specs are nothing to dismiss, it’s still less fuel-efficient than Civic’s 2.0L engine. Plus, Corolla’s engine produces less power and torque than the Civic’s, giving the Honda an even greater advantage. Whereas Corolla buyers must sacrifice enjoyment in the name of fuel economy, Civic customers enjoy the best of both worlds: minimum fuel consumption and maximum driving fun.
Corolla’s sporty XSE trim accentuates its more athletic elements.
XSE enhancements are certainly attractive, but their benefits are largely cosmetic. And the few mechanical improvements on Corolla, such as solid rear disc brakes, come standard on every Civic. Besides, Civic Sport is no slouch when it comes to striking athletic appeal. One look at the gloss-black trim, 18-inch darkfinish aluminum-alloy wheels, black-painted decklid spoiler, and centre-mounted chrome exhaust finisher will excite any driver.
Corolla provides niceties like an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, push-button start, and power moonroof.
Indeed, those features are so convenient, Civic features each of them for its occupants, too. Civic takes things even further by adding an Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), multifunctional centre console, and more.
Corolla outfits its cabin with tech like a 7-inch touch panel Display Audio with navigation.
Unfortunately, Corolla’s infotainment interface is conspicuously dated, particularly when compared to Civic’s 7-inch Display Audio System. Corolla also lacks Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. So, while Corolla includes an embedded navigation system, Civic offers its customers the convenience of turn-by-turn directions using apps such as Google Maps or Waze — all on an interface that’s familiar and intuitive to Apple or Android users.
Every Corolla features standard Toyota Safety Sense P.
Civic matches up well with Corolla’s safety offerings by providing standard Honda Sensing™ suite across all trims. But Civic goes one step further by adding Road Departure Mitigation (RDM).
TOYOTA COROLLA: IN SUMMARY
The 2019 Corolla continues the nameplate’s respectable tradition, offering Toyota shoppers supremely practical, reliable transportation at a bargain price. But in its current, 11th-generation form, and amid a profusion of compact-car competition, its allure has faded. It’s simply gotten too long in the tooth, making it ultimately a hard sell in the face of more compelling competitors, particularly the best-selling Civic. Performance can be singled out as a major factor hampering Corolla’s appeal. Sluggish pickup and less-than-stellar ride quality will give Corolla drivers ample opportunity to check out their competition — as it leaves them behind on the road. Corolla provides excellent safety features, but Civic outdoes it. Corolla’s comfort and convenience offerings are perfectly respectable, but the vehicle is simply outmatched by competitors. While not a bad vehicle, the case for buying a Corolla sedan is drowned out by other sedans that provide more features and offer more performance with eye-catching style to boot.