Hyundai Elantra vs Honda City Comparison Review

Honda City vs Hyundai Elantra Comparison


"There's a world of difference in the sheer ambience, inside both these cars. The Elantra's interiors exude sheer opulence and class, making the City's cabin feel spartan, dated and cheap. Which is ridiculous, since the City itself, has quite a decent cabin, compared to other cars in its segment."

Honda City vs Elantra Video Comparison:


Why are we even comparing these two cars? 
Over the last decade or so, the City has become a symbol of having reached the upper echelons, of Indian middle-class. The C-segment segment sedans have always been a bit out of reach for the City buyers. But now, with the advent of the all new Elantra, thanks to its killer starting price, the next generation of middle managers, might just have an elusive shot at looking down upon their Honda City driving peers.

Pricing & Features:
The top-end manual variant of the Honda City, the ‘VX O’ retails for 13.00 Lakh Rs. on road, Delhi. Elantra's entry-level, manual geared ‘S’ variant powered by the petrol mill, retails for 15.00 Lakh Rs. which is 2 Lakh Rs. i.e. around 15% more expensive than the City ’VX O’. That translates to a difference of around 3200 Rs. in the EMI, for a standard 5-year loan. (85% down payment, 10.5% interest rate)

The top-end City obviously has more features than the base Elantra like Fog Lamps, Automatic Climate Control, Navigation, Cruise Control, Push Button Start & Smart Key, Parking Camera, Electrically Folding Mirrors, Electric Sunroof & Leather Upholstery, but hardly any of them are really crucial except for the Parking Camera. Surprisingly even the Base Elantra has quite a few extra features over the top-end City like Projector Headlamps, Auto-Up Anti-Pinch Windows, Height Adjustable Seatbelts, Automatic Light Sensing Headlamps and Cooled Glove-box.

Pricing of other Variants: 
City ‘VX O’ (diesel, manual) costs 14.6 Lakh Rs.
City ‘VX CVT’ (petrol, automatic) costs 13.75 Lakh Rs.

Elantra ‘S’ (diesel, manual) costs 17.15 Lakh Rs.
Elantra ‘SX AT’ (cheapest petrol-automatic variant) costs 18.45 Lakh Rs.
Elantra ‘SX O AT’ (one and only diesel-automatic variant) costs 22.2 Lakh Rs.

Common Features: 2 Airbags, ABS, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking by Remote, Rear Defogger, Alloy Wheels, Height Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Rear AC Vents, Infotainment: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers & 2 Tweeters, Steering Wheel Switches, 5/6” Touchscreen, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors

Extra Features in Elantra (S): Projector Headlamps, Auto-Up Anti-Pinch Windows, Height Adjustable Seatbelts, Automatic Light Sensing Headlamps, Cooled Glove-box

Extra Features in City (VX O): Fog Lamps, Automatic Climate Control, Navigation, Cruise Control, Push Button Start & Smart Key, Parking Camera, Electrically Folding Mirrors, Electric Sunroof, Leather Upholstery
 
Reliability & After Sales Service: 
Both Hyundai and Honda have proven that they are more than competent, in providing great Service experience in the past 2 decades in India. Both have excellent product reliability backed by an equally good After Sales network in the country. Honda is slightly ahead of Hyundai when it comes to affordability of service, while Hyundai is slightly ahead of Honda when it comes to the spread of its service network. But overall, it is no wonder that cars from both brands hold outstanding resale value in the market, thanks to their stellar reputations for After Sales Support.

Fuel Efficiency:
The Elantra Petrol has ARAI certified mileage of 14.6 kmpl, for both the manual as well as automatic variants, which is 2.8 kmpl less than the City petrol manual and 3.4 kmpl less than the City petrol-automatic. In our real world tests, the manual City was just under 2 kmpl more efficient than the manual Elantra, while the City automatic was over 3 kmpl more efficient than the automatic Elantra. The Elantra diesel-manual has an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 22.5 kmpl, which is 3.5 kmpl less than the City. However, in our back-to-back test, the difference was just over 1 kmpl.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl):
Elantra (petrol, manual) – 14.59, City (petrol, manual) – 17.4 
Elantra (petrol, automatic) – 14.62, City (petrol, automatic) – 18 
Elantra (diesel, manual) – 22.54, City (diesel, manual) – 26 

Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (in Lakh):  
Elantra (petrol, manual) – 4.35 Lakh, City (petrol, manual) – 3.65 Lakh 
Elantra (petrol, automatic) – 4.65 Lakh, City (petrol, automatic) – 3.55 Lakh
Elantra (diesel, manual) – 2.40 Lakh, City (diesel, manual) – 2.10 Lakh

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh):  
The City is bound to depreciate slightly lesser than the Elantra, thanks to better fuel efficiency, its legendary nameplate and due to the robust demand it has, in the used car market.

Elantra S (petrol, manual) – 7.05 Lakh, City VX O (petrol, manual) – 6.10 Lakh
Elantra SX AT (petrol, automatic) – 8.40 Lakh, City VX CVT (petrol, automatic) – 6.25 Lakh 
Elantra S (diesel, manual) – 8.60 Lakh, City VX O (diesel, manual) – 7.30 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)  
Overall the Elantra ‘S’ petrol works out to be 1.8 Lakh i.e. around 15% Rs. more expensive than the City ‘VX O’, in terms of its Overall Ownership Cost, over a usage of 5 to 7 years. Similarly, the diesel powered Elantra ‘S’ works out to be just over a lakh and a half rupees more expensive than the City ‘VX O’ diesel. The Elantra ‘SX AT’ petrol-automatic though, works out to be a whopping 3.7 Lakh rupees more expensive than the City ‘VX CVT’.

Elantra S (petrol, manual) – 12.30, City VX O (petrol, manual) – 10.50
Elantra SX AT (petrol, automatic) – 14.70, City VX CVT (petrol, automatic) – 11.05
Elantra S (diesel, manual) – 11.00, City VX O (diesel, manual) – 9.40

Performance & Drivability: 
Petrol:
The Elantra petrol really impresses on paper. It seems way more powerful and torquey than the City. However, it also 250 kg heavier than the City, bringing its power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratio almost down to City levels. It is high time that cars in this segment start offering turbocharged petrol engines, especially given the fact that they are already being offered, in much cheaper cars, like the Bolt, Zest, Linea, Polo etc. Regardless, both cars have excellent performance across the rev-range as well as decent drivability around town. The Elantra impresses with its remarkably noise-free cabin, but when the revs rise, the engine does get a bit raucous. The City’s famous i-VTEC mill though, remains refined and free revving right till the redline and sounds fantastic while doing so!

Power (PS@rpm): Elantra – 152@6200, City – 119@6600
Torque (Nm@rpm): Elantra - 192@4000, City - 145@4600
Kerb Weight (kg): Elantra – 1295, City – 1049
 
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Elantra – 117, City – 113
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Elantra – 148, City – 138
 
Diesel:
The diesel powered City has much better driveability around town compared to the Elantra. Elantra suffers from turbo-lag, anywhere below 2000 rpm, while the City's turbo spools up from as low as 1500 rpm. Hence the City does not require the constant gear-shifting in traffic, the way the Elantra does. But the City loses out to the Elantra in terms of refinement and sound deadening. There is quite a bit of engine noise, filtering into the City's cabin while the Elantra's engine can hardly be heard inside the cabin. Once the road opens up, the Elantra easily outpaces the City, thanks to the dollop of mid-range torque propelling the car forward without much effort.

Power (PS@rpm): Elantra – 128@4000, City – 100@3600
Torque (Nm@rpm): Elantra - 260@1900-2750, City - 200@1750
Kerb Weight (kg): Elantra – 1335, City – 1150
 
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Elantra – 96, City – 87
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Elantra – 195, City – 174

Space & Comfort:
There's a world of difference in the sheer ambience, inside both these cars. The Elantra's interiors exude sheer opulence and class, making the City's cabin feel spartan, dated and cheap. Which is ridiculous, since the City itself, has quite a decent cabin, compared to other cars in its segment. Both cars are equally spacious and comfortable with acres of space all around, combined with perfectly sorted ergonomics. Elantra has a small advantage, in terms of rear elbow room, which becomes apparent, with three passengers occupying the rear seat. Elantra’s 475 litre boot though, is marginally smaller than City’s 510 litre boot capacity.
 
Length (mm): Elantra – 4570, City – 4440
Width (mm): Elantra – 1800, City – 1695
Height (mm): Elantra – 1465, City – 1495
 
Ride Quality & Handling:  
The City has noticeably well sorted dynamics compared to the Elantra. The City definitely handles better than the Elantra. It is less prone to understeer and has decent grip and balance around the curves. City's steering, though not great, is still much more well weighted and precise compared to Elantra's overtly light and disconnected feeling steering rack. Elantra has a slight advantage in ride comfort, especially at low speeds and is impressively silent compared to the City's suspension. Both cars have excellent stability at highway speeds as well as under panic braking situations.
 
Ground Clearance (mm): Elantra – 167, City – 165

Tyre Size:  
Elantra – 205/60R16
City - 175/65R15

Wheelbase (mm): Elantra - 2700, City - 2600
 
Verdict:
Even today, the City is arguably still the best car in its segment. The problem for the City, is that Hyundai has suddenly offered a car which looks and feels like, it is from several segments above the City, and yet is priced at a miniscule premium over it. What really came as a revelation was the long list of features on offer, in the base variant of the Elantra, is almost as much as the top-variant of the City. This reiterates Elantra's unbeatable value proposition. The superior materials and craftsmanship with which the Elantra has been made can bring some pretty prestigious badges to shame. The City, though one the best, remains a mass market car. The City's owner, though one of the most successful, remains a middle-class guy. The Elantra demonstrates where the 'Luxury' in Luxury cars begins. The Elantra's owner, by his very choice of the vehicle, demonstrates that its his mindset, and not the extra 10% money that he spent on his car is what makes him truly first-class!

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