2020 Hyundai Elantra vs 2021 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra
2020 Hyundai Elantra
$19,300MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Hyundai Elantra
$19,300MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is 8.3 out of 10, while the 2021 Honda Civic scores 7.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra emerges as the better choice, offering a balanced mix of style, technology, safety, and performance. The Elantra's advanced features, user-friendly technology, and superior safety systems give it the edge over the 2021 Honda Civic. While the Civic remains a solid contender with commendable performance and interior space, the Elantra’s comprehensive package makes it the recommended choice in this comparison.

Overview

MSRP

$19,300

MSRP

$21,250

Average price

$15,452

Average price

$21,296

Listings

0

Listings

1560
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.3 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10
Pros
  • Spacious
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
  • Poor fuel economy
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple body styles
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap

2020 Hyundai Elantra Reviews Summary

Hyundai isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to the compact car segment, where value is of utmost importance. And though a completely redesigned 2021 Elantra is coming soon, the automaker bestows several value-enhancing improvements upon the outgoing 2020 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan. They include free scheduled maintenance, improved fuel economy ratings, and new standard safety features.

2021 Honda Civic Reviews Summary

Honda is ready to retire the 10th-generation Civic, one of the groundbreaking versions in the nameplate's long and storied history. From its polarizing design and three body styles to the arrival (finally!) of the Type R performance variant in the U.S. market, this version of the Civic made its mark. And even though the design is now six years old, and the car is ubiquitous on American roads, the 2021 Honda Civic remains worthy of consideration.
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 147 hp I4

Engine

2.0L 158 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

Horsepower

158 hp @ 6500 rpm

MPG City

31

MPG City

30

MPG Highway

41

MPG Highway

38
2020 Hyundai Elantra
2020 Hyundai Elantra
$19,300MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Hyundai Elantra
$19,300MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Honda Civic
$21,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Hyundai Elantra is 8.3 out of 10, while the 2021 Honda Civic scores 7.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Hyundai Elantra emerges as the better choice, offering a balanced mix of style, technology, safety, and performance. The Elantra's advanced features, user-friendly technology, and superior safety systems give it the edge over the 2021 Honda Civic. While the Civic remains a solid contender with commendable performance and interior space, the Elantra’s comprehensive package makes it the recommended choice in this comparison.

Overview
MSRP
$19,300
$21,250
Average price
$15,452
$21,296
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.4
4.9
Expert reviews

8.3 out of 10

Read full review

7.2 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Spacious
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
  • Poor fuel economy
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple body styles
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap
Summary
Hyundai isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to the compact car segment, where value is of utmost importance. And though a completely redesigned 2021 Elantra is coming soon, the automaker bestows several value-enhancing improvements upon the outgoing 2020 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan. They include free scheduled maintenance, improved fuel economy ratings, and new standard safety features.
Honda is ready to retire the 10th-generation Civic, one of the groundbreaking versions in the nameplate's long and storied history. From its polarizing design and three body styles to the arrival (finally!) of the Type R performance variant in the U.S. market, this version of the Civic made its mark. And even though the design is now six years old, and the car is ubiquitous on American roads, the 2021 Honda Civic remains worthy of consideration.
Video
No video found
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 147 hp I4
2.0L 158 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
147 hp @ 6200 rpm
158 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG City
31
30
MPG Highway
41
38
Look and feel
2020 Hyundai Elantra
8/10
2021 Honda Civic
8/10
In 2020, the Hyundai Elantra retained its look from the previous year's restyle, which gave it a geometric-inspired design. This restyle aimed to set the stage for the upcoming 2021 model's dramatically angular look. Consumers could choose from six versions ranging from the base SE to the Sport trim, with prices spanning $19,300 to $24,150. Our tested Elantra Limited came equipped with the Ultimate Package, totaling $27,630. The Elantra's exterior, particularly in black, highlighted its angular headlight, fog light, and wheel designs. These features contrasted strongly with the chrome grille, beltline, and logo, resulting in a stylish small car, though its appeal varied among different people. Inside, the Elantra embraced a more upscale look with silver trims around the air vents, climate control panel, engine start button, and steering wheel. However, some hard and glossy plastics reminded occupants that it remained a mainstream compact car. The 2021 Honda Civic, a historical trendsetter in the compact car segment, sold in four-door sedan, five-door hatchback, and performance-tuned Type R formats. The current model was polarizing upon its initial release in 2016, and it continued to evoke strong opinions. The Civic sedan came in trims from LX to Touring, with prices starting at $21,250 and topping out at $28,300, excluding a $995 destination charge. Our Touring sedan, painted in Cosmic Blue Metallic, cost $29,690. This Cosmic Blue and the Touring’s 18-inch wheels presented a visually appealing exterior, albeit inconsistently depending on viewing angles and lighting. Interior-wise, the Civic was less dramatic than its launch half a decade ago. Its aging was noticeable, especially with a maximum infotainment screen size of 7 inches, but it still featured quality materials and thoughtful design. The Civic’s interior matched its role as a 10th-generation trendsetter while feeling somewhat dated.
Performance
2020 Hyundai Elantra
6/10
2021 Honda Civic
7/10
The 2020 Hyundai Elantra featured a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This CVT, replacing the previous six-speed automatic, was standard with SE trim and contributed to a $1,100 price increase from the previous model year. Two specialty models were included: the Elantra Eco with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine delivering 128 horsepower and the Elantra Sport with a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine generating 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Our Elantra Limited test car, equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and new CVT, provided a satisfactory driving experience for most people. Hyundai’s CVT, termed the "Intelligent Variable Transmission," simulated gear shifts well, making it less noticeable than traditional automatics. However, in real-world testing, the Elantra averaged 29.3 mpg, falling short of the expected 34 mpg and even lagging behind a 2019 Elantra Limited with the old six-speed automatic. Despite the sophisticated CVT, the simple torsion beam axle rear suspension of the Elantra impacted its ride and handling negatively. The Elantra Sport’s independent rear suspension offered a much more enjoyable drive, but the standard Elantra functioned more as a commuting appliance rather than a source of driving joy. For the 2021 Honda Civic, the LX and Sport trims housed a 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT driving the front wheels. However, the desirable setup included a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine offering 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, standard on EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. This engine, combined with the sophisticated four-wheel independent suspension and adept steering, made driving the Civic quick, composed, and satisfying. Unfortunately, the CVT in the Civic posed issues. Its droning sound and unsophisticated gear lever feel diminished the driving experience. Nonetheless, it excelled in fuel efficiency, with a tested average of 34.8 mpg over a 140-mile loop, surpassing the EPA estimate of 33 mpg.
Form and function
2020 Hyundai Elantra
9/10
2021 Honda Civic
8/10
The 2020 Hyundai Elantra stood out as one of the roomier compact cars, comfortably accommodating four adults, with a fifth in for short trips. Our Limited model boasted power driver's seat adjustments, leather upholstery, and a sliding center console armrest. Notably, Hyundai equipped even the base model with a front passenger seat-height adjuster. The interior storage in the Elantra was well-proportioned, and its trunk offered 14.4 cubic feet of space, nearing the capacity of some midsize sedans. A useful trunk lid grab handle facilitated easy closure. Conversely, the 2021 Honda Civic sedan's low seating position made entering and exiting a bit of a workout. Inside, most trims featured an eight-way power driver's seat adjustment, though the front passenger seat lacked a height adjuster. Leather upholstery was available from the EX-L trim onwards. The Civic provided ample room for rear seat passengers, akin to a decade-old midsize car. The rear seat offered excellent thigh support and a comfortable backrest angle, though rear air conditioning vents were absent. What the Civic lacked in rear comfort, it made up for in front seat practicality. Its center console offered remarkable storage options, with trays, huge cupholders, and a deep central bin, making it easy to stow personal items. The Civic sedan also boasted a large trunk, with 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space, or 14.7 cubic feet in the Touring trim due to the premium sound system’s intrusion.
Technology
2020 Hyundai Elantra
9/10
2021 Honda Civic
5/10
The 2020 Hyundai Elantra came standard with a touchscreen infotainment system featuring Bluetooth and a USB port. The base SE had a 5-inch screen, while the SEL and above offered a 7-inch display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The Value Edition included a complimentary three-year subscription to Blue Link Connected Car and Remote plans. The Limited trim added wireless smartphone charging and a premium Infinity sound system with Clari-Fi technology. The Ultimate Package increased the touchscreen to 8 inches, featuring navigation, Blue Link Guidance service, and SiriusXM data services. The Sport trim had similar upgrades, packaged differently. The infotainment system's design, with a high-mounted screen and accessible shortcut buttons, made it user-friendly, with an agreeable voice recognition system. In contrast, the 2021 Honda Civic showed its age technology-wise. The base LX trim had a 5-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth, and a basic USB port. The Civic Sport offered a 7-inch touchscreen, an eight-speaker system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and HondaLink connected services. The EX trim added HD Radio and SiriusXM, while the Touring provided navigation, digital traffic, and a 10-speaker premium audio system. However, the voice recognition system in the Touring was unsophisticated, requiring specific prompts. Although the premium sound system was a treat, the eight-speaker setup sufficed for most needs.
Safety
2020 Hyundai Elantra
8/10
2021 Honda Civic
7/10
For the 2020 Elantra, Hyundai standardized the Smart Sense package, including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and a driver attention monitor. SEL trims added blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Limited and Sport trims featured full LED headlights with automatic high-beam operation. The Ultimate Package included adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and Safe Exit Assist. With full LED headlights, the Elantra earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. NHTSA awarded it four stars overall, highlighting rear-door intrusion concerns during side-impact tests. In 2021, Honda equipped every Civic with Honda Sensing, featuring adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, Road Departure Mitigation, and a Lane Keeping Assist System. Automatic high-beam headlights and a multi-angle reversing camera were also standard. The Civic offered LaneWatch starting with EX trim, which showed a camera feed of the right-side lane on the infotainment screen when the turn signal was activated. However, this system had limitations, including its susceptibility to damage and a lack of left-side monitoring. Honda Sensing, while effective, felt unrefined and could be abrupt or indecisive. Despite this, the Civic earned a Top Safety Pick designation from IIHS for Touring trim and five-star ratings across all NHTSA assessments.
CarGurus logo

By: CarGurus + AI

At CarGurus, our team of experienced automotive writers remain at the heart of our content operation, conducting hands-on car tests and writing insightful guides that are backed by years of industry experience. To complement this, we are harnessing AI to make our content offering more diverse and more helpful to shoppers than ever. To achieve this, our AI systems are based exclusively on CarGurus content, ratings and data, so that what we produce is both unique to CarGurus, and uniquely helpful to car shoppers.