Honda and Hyundai are both well-established automakers in the global auto industry. Vehicle models that are designed and produced by either of these two automakers are—generally speaking—safe, reliable, comfortable, and perform well on the road. The Civic and the Elantra are two popular compact cars that are designed and produced by Honda and Hyundai, respectively. They are both high-performing compact cars that seat up to five passengers and are both considered to be among the most popular models within their vehicle segment. 

The Elantra has been a part of Hyundai’s vehicle lineup since 1990, whereas the Civic has been a member of the Honda family for almost half a century—it debuted on the mainstream auto market for the 1973 model year. Both of these vehicles are well-established models from their respective automakers. 

So how do the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra compare to each other? If you’re in the market for a compact car but aren’t sure whether the Elantra or the Civic is the best option for you, keep reading to learn more about how the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra perform in five key areas. 

Trim Levels 

Both the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra are available in six different trim levels, which offers drivers of either of these models plenty of room for customizing their Elantra or their Civic to meet their needs, preferences, and driving habits. 

The 2021 Elantra is available in SE, SEL, Blue Hybrid, N-Line, Limited, and Limited Hybrid trims and the 2021 Civic is available in LX Sedan, Sport Sedan, EX Sedan, EX-L Sedan, Touring Sedan, and Sport Touring Hatchback trims. 

Drive Performance 

The 2021 Honda Civic comes standard with a 2.0-L four-cylinder engine that generates 158 horsepower and 138 lb.-ft. of torque on the road. The standard engine for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is a 2.0-L four-cylinder engine that delivers 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque on the road.

While these engines offer similar performance on the road, the standard engine for the 2021 Honda Civic is notably more powerful than the standard engine for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. 

Cargo Space 

The 2021 Honda Civic wins out over the 2021 Hyundai Elantra when it comes to the available room for cargo.

cargo space in the new Honda Civic

cargo space in the new Honda Civic

While compact cars are not known for their cargo space, the 2021 Civic offers an impressive 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The 2021 Elantra, on the other hand, offers only 14.2 cubic feet of room for cargo. 

Safety Features 

The advanced safety features of the 2021 Honda Civic and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra are similar. Both of these compact car models come standard with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. 

However, the 2021 Civic comes with adaptive cruise control as a standard feature for all models whereas adaptive cruise control is just an available add-on feature for the 2021 Elantra. 

Affordability 

The starting price for the base model of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is notably more affordable than the base model of the 2021 Honda Civic. While the base-level 2021 Elantra has a starting price of $20,655, the 2021 Civic has a starting price of $22,265—both of these prices include destination charges. 

The price differences between the 2021 Elantra and the 2021 Civic are less significant for upper trim levels of these two models. The top-tier Sport Touring hatchback trim for the 2021 Civic has a starting price of $29,615 and the top-tier Limited Hybrid trim for the 2021 Elantra starts at $29,105, which means there is only about a $500 difference in the prices of the top-tier trims for the 2021 Civic and the 2021 Elantra. 

Plus, considering the excellent reliability of the Honda Civic and how slowly the value of Honda vehicles depreciates, the 2021 Honda Civic is arguably more affordable than the 2021 Hyundai Elantra despite its slightly higher starting price due to its higher resale value on the mainstream auto market.

If you’re in the market for a compact car, you can’t go wrong with either the 2021 Honda Civic or the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. These two models are both among the best and most popular compact cars that are currently available on the mainstream auto market. 

However, the 2021 Honda Civic comes out on top of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra in several key areas. The 2021 Civic offers better value and reliability than the Elantra as well as a more powerful standard engine and more storage space.

Schedule a test drive and get behind the wheel of a new Honda Civic today!