There are always some cars that will thrill you in every aspect, be it in terms of the power delivery or the design. Among the present days premium sedans, we are going to speak about two of the most fascinating ones. The ones that will surely keep your heartbeat rising as the accelerator pedal is pressed on and on.
The Honda Civic has been around for some time now and has always been considered to be a premium sedan with a powerful heart, much more than the Honda City. The car has impressed many with its great driving dynamics and outstanding performance. However, all of this failed to show on the numbers in the sales chart.
But then, the Elantra, which is Hyundai’s answer to the Civic, has been able to put up a decent show right from the first generation in India. The Elantra has been a very able elder sibling to the Verna, the car that shares the same platform in the latest generation. Sturdy to its core, the Hyundai Elantra is much more than just a car.
So how would the battle pan out to be if these two stalwarts are placed head-to-head against each other, on the road and on the track?
The designing cues
Much hasn’t changed in the new Honda Civic 2017 compared to the previous generation. The front portion still holds the sleek and outstretched headlamps and the thick chrome strip running horizontally across the front grille. However, things will start shaping up to be different once you notice closely that it has now bulged from every angle, almost in arage. The front spoiler and the bumper are rougher than before.
The new Hyundai Elantra looks like a next-generation sedan. The styling is cleaner, with each of the portion complementing the other perfectly. The headlamps are sleeker and flow into the large hexagonal grille to make it more in-line with the present trend. There is some black plastic material added to the fog lamps area (also housing the DRLs). All of this flows smoothly into the rear picture that is complete with wraparound split LED tail lights and a sharp boot lid.
The interior and features
This is where the Honda Civic punches back hard. It packs much more features than the Hyundai Elantra and holds a higher percentage of utility. The Civic is loud, and the interiors are the perfect example. Storage spaces, super spacious interiors, etc are just a few parameters that the Honda car thrives on. It has similar settings on the infotainment system alright, but an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto isn’t everything that it has got. The extra features come in the form of lane departure warning and forward collision warning. And guess what, nothing can beat Honda’s lane watch camera.
The Hyundai Elantra is ever-so conservative. If you are purist, you will like the way everything is placed, but drive a couple of miles and the weaknesses will start to show. Firstly, the Elantra has a limited number of storage spaces around the entire cabin, very limited. Secondly, it is not as spacious as the Civic. The headroom is ample but the legroom isn’t. It lacks lane depart warning and forward collision sensors. It also has a very modest boot space and you can fill in much more of the cargo in the Civic. Pretty impressive.
The powerful engine
At the end, everything boils down to what lies under the bonnet. The Honda Civic has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine which thrusts out a maximum power of 174 bhp and a peak torque of 220 Nm. The transmission is handled by a CVT (continuously variable transmission) unit. However, this will make you feel too low on the power production. Even the Mercedes CLA, which is the entry-level Mercedes car in India, makes more power.
And then comes the Hyundai Elantra. The new Hyundai Elantra international model gets a 1.6-litre engine which is capable of producing a humongous power of 201 bhp along with a peak torque of 265 Nm. The transmission duties are handled by a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT automatic unit. It feels much more at home for the people who love speed. It is fun to drive and is very responsive to the throttle. Churn up the full throttle and you can hear the grunt, the engine not to die for.
The fun factor
The Honda Civic may not be as fun-to-drive car as the Hyundai Elantra but is superior in fuel efficiency due to the lesser engaging engine. However, the Hyundai car is not very laid back at this too. The independent multi-link suspension setup is better. The higher spring rates make the car sportier without being too stiff.
What do we think?
The Honda Civic has had its own share of popularity and we know the reason why. It definitely appeals to a wider mass with its easygoing dynamics and excellent fuel economy in the segment. The Indian market is yet to realize the full potential of the Civic and everything it has on offer.
On the contrary, the Hyundai Elantra, the more popular of the two, is truly made to be a completely sporty car with outright power and amazing throttle response. Not only is it better in terms of the design but has the grunt. In fact, it has all that is needed for you to hit the track at the word go. And guess what, the engine note is there to bring about the mood.
The Civic is easy to drive, is great on fuel efficiency and has a more spacious interior. But at the same time, is more expensive than its counterpart. The Elantra is great to drive, has superior handling and suspension and sounds great. However, it bows down modestly to the Honda car in terms of the cargo space, overall cabin leg and shoulder room and other utility spaces. Not to forget the absence of lane departure warning and the forward collision warning.