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2019 Hyundai Elantra

Starting Price: $17,985 | Price yours

Above Average: Great warranty; lots of luxury; packed with technology; everything from a sport model to the fuel-efficient Eco; Qi wireless phone charging in upper-level trim; roomy

Below Average: Not as fun to drive as some others in its class; some models lack driver-assist features

Consensus: After a redesign a scant two years ago, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra gets an extensive makeover, and continues to improve. It’s comfortable, luxurious, a great value, and extremely roomy inside, with sophisticated features and lots of tech. The Elantra is offered in a variety of trim levels and packages, from sporty to fuel-efficient Eco, and its legendary 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty remains the standard-bearer in its class.

 

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2019 Toyota Corolla

Starting Price: $19,620 | Price yours

Above Average: Comfortable interior, lots of features for the money, excellent build quality, top-notch safety features, Eco model gets 40 mpg highway

Below Average: Plain driving dynamics, lags some competitors in infotainment offerings

Consensus: In the last 50 years, Toyota has sold 40 million Corollas. They’ve had a lot of practice at the compact sedan formula, with the 2019 Corolla blending value, quality, and good fuel economy. While not a thrill to drive, it’s comfortable, with quality interior materials and lots of standard features. There’s a new 5-door hatchback for 2019 that’s reviewed separately.
 

For many years, there were two kings of the compact sedan class: the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. The Corolla has fought hard to maintain its place in the segment, and has been a huge seller for years, due to its combination of value, good fuel economy, and quality. But Hyundai is no baby player in the category. The Elantra has been on sale in one form or another for nearly 20 years, and Hyundai has worked very hard to constantly update and improve its compact offering. So, while the Corolla is essentially unchanged for 2019, the Elantra, after a complete redesign only two years ago, has already undergone a significant makeover for this year. It’s more luxurious, extremely roomy, and very comfortable. The Toyota, predictably, does everything well, but nothing really stands out.

Similarities

Both offer a hatchback variant; comfortable ride in both the city and on the highway

Hyundai Elantra Advantages

More luxurious, more power, lower entry-level price, outstanding warranty

Toyota Corolla Advantages

Better fuel economy; every model comes with advanced driver-assist features; excellent resale value

Final Recommendation

Neither the Elantra nor the Corolla is the most exciting or sporty variant in the category, but they’re both very comfortable city cars and road trip companions. In terms of performance, the Elantra’s a little more fun in the curves, and its styling is a little sharper and modern, whereas the Corolla has maintained its place in the segment by being the safe choice. And it shows. While Hyundai started out by backing up its quality claims with a class-leading warranty, it’s continued to improve its quality, luxury, and fuel efficiency. The Corolla is more of a set-it and forget-it kind of car that does everything demanded of it, the Elantra is a little sharper, a little bigger, a little less expensive, with a little more horsepower, an entry-level price that’s nearly $2,000 lower and a better warranty, and for that reason, it gets our vote.

  2019 Hyundai Elantra 2019 Toyota Corolla
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter I4 1.8-liter I4
Horsepower 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm 128 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd continuously variable
Fuel Economy 29 mpg (26 city, 36 hwy) 32 mpg (28 city, 36 hwy)
Also Available 1.4-liter I4, turbo; 2.0-liter I4 (GT); 1.6-liter I4, turbo, 6-speed automatic, 7-speed automatic 6-speed manual
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 4 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 181.9 inches 183.1 inches
Width 70.9 inches (w/ mirrors) 69.9 inches
Height 56.5 inches 57.3 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 35.6 feet
Headroom, Front 38.8 inches 38.3 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.3 inches 37.1 inches
Legroom, Front 42.2 inches 42.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.7 inches 41.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.2 inches 54.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.3 inches 54.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 95.8 cu. ft. 97.5 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 14.4 cu. ft. 13.0 cu. ft.
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