Head to Head

Hyundai Elantra vs Honda Civic

Stylish, well-equipped and dynamic, the modern compact sedan is a far cry from what it was in the past. Now more upmarket, these cars have a tough job of having to appeal to more demanding consumers, as well as fight the wave of crossovers. Up to the task are two sedans from Honda and Hyundai: The Civic and Elantra.

In this edition head to head, we pit two compact sedans from Japan and Korea with the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra. Both may start with the letter H but the two are distinct in their own way. Let's get started by taking a look under the hood.

We begin with the Honda Civic and it is available with two engine options. The first is a 1.8 liter i-VTEC engine with Earth Dreams Technology. It produces 141 PS and 174 Nm of torque which powers the front wheels. Powering the top of the line model is a smaller but more powerful turbocharged 1.5 liter i-VTEC engine, also with Earth Dreams Technology. The result of this turbocharging is 172 PS and 220 Nm of torque.

Also with two engine options is the Hyundai Elantra. The range starts with a 1.6 liter Gamma engine with 128 PS and 154 Nm of torque. As for the top of the line model, it is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0 liter Nu engine, bumping power up to 152 PS and 192 Nm of torque. Like the Honda, it too is front wheel drive.

The two differ when it comes to transmissions. In the Elantra, it is available with a six-speed manual but only for the entry-level model. Move up the range and a six-speed automatic becomes the standard transmission. As for the Honda Civic, it only comes with a continuously variable transmission and gains paddle shifters on the top-spec model.

Inside, the two take different approaches when it comes to cabin design. In the Elantra, it bases its look on the Sonata, its bigger sibling. It adapts Hyundai's T-Shaped Fascia for its dashboard which is tilted towards the driver for a driver-centric layout. All Elantra variants get fabric trimmed seats, as well as soft touch materials for its dash. Manual air-conditioning is standard on the entry-level and mid-range model while the top of the line variant gets automatic climate control and rear vents. Push-button start is standard in the range topper while the rest use a key.

Moving to the Honda Civic, it follows a sportier look. The dashboard and the door panels wrap around the driver and front passenger. Silver inlays can also be seen throughout the cabin of the car and instead of piano black trim, the Civic gets faux aluminum. Entry level Civics come with fabric seats while the Turbo models get leather. The turbo model also gains power seats for the driver and all models get automatic climate control. Honda went for a digital display for the all-new Civic and integrates vehicle status all in one screen.

Standard on all Honda Civics comes is a 7-inch Display Audio Touchscreen. It serves as the infotainment system and packs, wireless telephone connectivity via Bluetooth. The system also supports mirror linking with a mobile device. Along with that, it can also show the car's fuel economy status, as well as the trip computer. Sound is channeled through six speakers throughout the cabin.

Depending on variant, the Hyundai Elantra has three audio systems available. The base model gets a 2-DIN stereo with CD player while moving up the range upgrades that stereo to accommodate USB and Aux-in features. Only the top-level model gets a 5" Monitor with, CD, USB and Aux-in. It gets four speakers in the base and mid-spec trims while the 2.0 liter variants come standard with six.

The tenth-generation Civic breaks away from the traditional family sedan look. Featuring the "Solid Wing Face" design, it gets an aggressive front fascia with the sharp LED headlamps. The new Civic is shaped now more like a fastback with a roofline that merges into the trunk. The aggressive look of the new Civic is further highlighted by contoured front fenders, sculpted hood and a sporty bumper. Breaking traditional sedan looks, the rear section gets C-shaped taillights that now extend over to the trunk, a new rear bumper and revamped trunk design. 16-inch wheels are seen on the entry-level model while the turbo variants are upsized to 17-inch rims.

Moving to the Elantra, it features the brand's current design language. Dubbed Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, it is said that it focuses on aerodynamics with its swooping lines and upswept styling elements. The signature hexagonal grill defines its front fascia and defined edges. Aiding in aerodynamics are the C-Shaped intakes that lets air flow through to the wheels. The side is defined by two character lines, one near the window and the other by the bottom of the doors. At the rear, it retains the signature long, wraparound tail lights as seen in its predecessor. The entry-level Elantra rides on 15-in alloys and the mid-spec model is one 16-inch alloys. Top-spec Elantras get 17-inch alloy wheels.

Both cars pack a comprehensive list of safety equipment. Base models come equipped with dual airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard. On top of those, the Civic also adds Vehicle Stability Assist, hill-hold assist plus a reverse camera. Top-spec models then gain side airbags and side curtain airbags. As for the Elantra, the 2.0 liter model adds the Rear Park Assist System and rain sensing wipers.

A wide variety of models can be chosen for the Civic and the Elantra. For the Hyundai, there are four variants to choose from starting with the 1.6 GL 6M/T which then moves up to the 1.6 6GL A/T. More equipment can be found in the 1.6 GL 6A/T Limited and serving as the range-topped is the 2.0 GLS 6A/T. Moving on to the Civic, there are two main variants to choose from with the 1.8 E CVT and the 1.5 RS Turbo CVT. Both the 1.8 E and 1.5 RS Turbo can be optioned with Mugen or Modulo kits.

Prices for the Hyundai Elantra starts at Php 908,000, all the way to Php 1,158,000. As for the Civic, it can be yours for a base price of Php 1,103,000 while the top-spec turbo with the Modulo Sport pack is at Php 1,525,000.

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