2022 Toyota Corolla vs 2021 Hyundai Elantra

2021 Hyundai Elantra
2021 Hyundai Elantra
$19,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2022 Toyota Corolla
2022 Toyota Corolla
$20,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Hyundai Elantra
$19,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Toyota Corolla
$20,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is 8.8 out of 10, while the 2022 Toyota Corolla scores 7.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is the clear winner, offering a more distinctive design, a variety of powertrain options, and advanced safety features. If you’re looking for a compact sedan that stands out and provides a high-tech, enjoyable driving experience, the Hyundai Elantra is the better choice.

Overview

MSRP

$19,650

MSRP

$20,425

Average price

$18,280

Average price

$20,464

Listings

1333

Listings

2163
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.8 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Impressive technology
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Interior materials feel cheap
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Manual transmission available
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Sluggish performance

2021 Hyundai Elantra Reviews Summary

Compact cars are no longer compact. Cheap cars are no longer cheap. And it is no longer necessary to buy a luxury vehicle for performance, technology, and sophistication. The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra proves it.

2022 Toyota Corolla Reviews Summary

The Toyota Corolla needs no introduction. With 12 generations spanning over five decades of production, the Corolla is the bestselling nameplate in automotive history. And it continues to be a popular choice for new car buyers looking for a reliable and sensible compact car, competing against other established names like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, and Volkswagen Jetta for sales.

The only significant change for 2022 is the addition of two new colors: Ruby Flare and Windchill Pearl. What hasn’t changed are the number of other choices buyers get. Toyota offers sedan and hatchback body styles, manual and automatic transmissions, and multiple powertrain options—including a hybrid. The Corolla Cross SUV also launched for 2022 but, while it shares a basic platform with the Corolla sedan and hatch, it’s effectively a different vehicle.

Finally, you get the expected array of trim levels. The Corolla sedan is available in L, LE, XLE, SE, and XSE grades, plus Apex Edition and Nightshade Edition versions of SE and XSE, with more limited options for the Corolla hatchback and hybrid (both of which will be covered separately). For this review, we tested the Apex Edition sedan in its lower SE grade. The Apex is the sportiest Corolla variant, at least until the GR Corolla hot hatchback arrives for the 2023 model year.

No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

2.0L 147 hp I4

Engine

1.8L 139 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

FWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

Horsepower

MPG City

31

MPG City

30

MPG Highway

41

MPG Highway

38
2021 Hyundai Elantra
2021 Hyundai Elantra
$19,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Toyota Corolla
2022 Toyota Corolla
$20,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Hyundai Elantra
$19,650MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Toyota Corolla
$20,425MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is 8.8 out of 10, while the 2022 Toyota Corolla scores 7.2 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is the clear winner, offering a more distinctive design, a variety of powertrain options, and advanced safety features. If you’re looking for a compact sedan that stands out and provides a high-tech, enjoyable driving experience, the Hyundai Elantra is the better choice.

Overview
MSRP
$19,650
$20,425
Average price
$18,280
$20,464
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
5.0
4.1
Expert reviews

8.8 out of 10

Read full review

7.2 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Impressive technology
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Interior materials feel cheap
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Manual transmission available
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Potentially polarizing design
  • Sluggish performance
Summary
Compact cars are no longer compact. Cheap cars are no longer cheap. And it is no longer necessary to buy a luxury vehicle for performance, technology, and sophistication. The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra proves it.

The Toyota Corolla needs no introduction. With 12 generations spanning over five decades of production, the Corolla is the bestselling nameplate in automotive history. And it continues to be a popular choice for new car buyers looking for a reliable and sensible compact car, competing against other established names like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, and Volkswagen Jetta for sales.

The only significant change for 2022 is the addition of two new colors: Ruby Flare and Windchill Pearl. What hasn’t changed are the number of other choices buyers get. Toyota offers sedan and hatchback body styles, manual and automatic transmissions, and multiple powertrain options—including a hybrid. The Corolla Cross SUV also launched for 2022 but, while it shares a basic platform with the Corolla sedan and hatch, it’s effectively a different vehicle.

Finally, you get the expected array of trim levels. The Corolla sedan is available in L, LE, XLE, SE, and XSE grades, plus Apex Edition and Nightshade Edition versions of SE and XSE, with more limited options for the Corolla hatchback and hybrid (both of which will be covered separately). For this review, we tested the Apex Edition sedan in its lower SE grade. The Apex is the sportiest Corolla variant, at least until the GR Corolla hot hatchback arrives for the 2023 model year.

Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
2.0L 147 hp I4
1.8L 139 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
FWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
147 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG City
31
30
MPG Highway
41
38
Look and feel
2021 Hyundai Elantra
9/10
2022 Toyota Corolla
7/10
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra stood out in the compact sedan market with its Sensuous Sportiness design language and Parametric surfacing. Its sharp creases and dramatic angles created a distinctive and appealing look. The Z-shaped dent in the car’s doors, a controversial design cue, was intended to help the Elantra stand out and break conventional automotive design rules. The Elantra came in SE, SEL, N Line, and Limited trims, with a hybrid powertrain option for the SEL and Limited. Prices ranged from $19,650 to $25,450, excluding destination charges. The high-performance Elantra N, debuting early in 2021, was expected to cost less than $34,000. Inside, the Elantra featured a driver-focused dashboard and center console, with higher trims offering a more upscale and high-tech cabin. The Limited or Hybrid Limited in Gray was particularly favored for its modern and upscale look, with light gray seats and trim contrasting against the black cabin. The Elantra SEL with the Premium Package, however, had a drab black interior with glossy black plastic that was less appealing. The 2022 Toyota Corolla, having been around since 2019 in hatchback form and 2020 as a sedan, aimed to counter Toyota’s reputation for boringness with extroverted exterior styling, including scowling LED headlights and a wide grille. However, it couldn’t out-weird the latest Hyundai Elantra, nor was its design as cohesive as the Honda Civic. The Corolla offered different styling elements for certain trims, with the SE and XSE models featuring an aggressive front fascia, and the Nightshade and Apex Editions adding unique touches like blacked-out trim and bronze accents. The Corolla’s interior was less imaginative than its exterior but had an appealing, simple look. The fit and finish were up to Toyota’s usual standards, though the piano black plastic trim attracted dust and smudges. The SE Apex Edition had essentially the same interior as the standard SE, with light gray upholstery that looked prone to stains. Cloth upholstery was standard, with SofTex leatherette available on some trims.
Performance
2021 Hyundai Elantra
9/10
2022 Toyota Corolla
7/10
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra offered a range of powertrain options. The Elantra SEL featured a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, paired with a CVT. It returned 35 mpg in combined driving according to the EPA, though real-world testing yielded 31.4 mpg. The Elantra Hybrid combined a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with an electric motor, producing 139 horsepower and achieving 50 mpg in combined driving. The Elantra N Line, with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine making 201 horsepower, offered a sportier drive, while the high-performance Elantra N, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine generating 276 horsepower, provided an exhilarating driving experience. The 2022 Toyota Corolla sedan offered two engine options. The Corolla L, LE, and XLE models had a 1.8-liter engine producing 139 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque, while the SE and XSE models featured a 2.0-liter engine with 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Apex Edition versions of the SE and XSE had the same engine with a sport exhaust system. The manual transmission available on the SE and SE Apex Edition models enhanced the driving experience, making the Apex Edition more nimble and fun in corners. However, the Apex Edition’s suspension changes negatively affected ride quality, and the engine lacked power for quick acceleration.
Form and function
2021 Hyundai Elantra
7/10
2022 Toyota Corolla
6/10
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra, classified as a midsize car by the EPA, offered a roomy interior with a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. The rear seat provided ample legroom and foot space, though the backrest shape and angle lacked upper back support. The Elantra’s trunk measured 14.2 cubic feet, with a 60/40-split folding rear seat for added utility. However, the lack of a height-adjustable front passenger seat and hard plastic upper door panels were drawbacks. The 2022 Toyota Corolla’s interior felt decently roomy, with a low beltline aiding outward visibility. However, the steeply raked windshield and deep dashboard made forward visibility challenging. The driver’s seat positioning was optimized, but long-legged drivers might find knee space lacking. The Corolla’s 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space was less than competitors, though a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat was standard. The sleek interior design limited storage space for smaller items, with a thin center console and shallow cupholders.
Technology
2021 Hyundai Elantra
9/10
2022 Toyota Corolla
6/10
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra featured an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on SE, SEL, and N Line trims. The Limited trim offered a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation and a 10.25-inch digital instrumentation screen, though it lacked wireless smartphone integration. The Elantra also offered a Bose premium sound system and Hyundai Digital Key for Android-based smartphones. The 2022 Toyota Corolla’s infotainment system lagged behind competitors. A 7-inch touchscreen was standard on the base model, with an 8-inch touchscreen on higher trims. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, WiFi connectivity, Amazon Alexa integration, and SiriusXM satellite radio were standard. A nine-speaker JBL audio system was available on higher trims. The interface was easy to use, but the graphics looked dated, and wireless smartphone integration was not offered. The Corolla also lacked novel features like the Hyundai Elantra’s Digital Key.
Safety
2021 Hyundai Elantra
9/10
2022 Toyota Corolla
9/10
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra was built on a new platform with multiple structural collision energy pathways. It came standard with Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of advanced driving assistance systems, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, lane-centering assistance, automatic high-beam headlights, and a driver attention warning system. Additional safety features included blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, Rear Occupant Alert, and Safe Exit Warning. Upgrades included cyclist detection, junction turning assistance, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking, and Highway Drive Assist. The 2022 Toyota Corolla received an IIHS “Top Safety Pick+” award and a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. Standard safety features under Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 included forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, Lane Tracing Assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic-sign recognition. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert was available but not standard on all trims.
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