Hyundai Elantra vs Audi A3 Comparison Review

Audi A3 vs Hyundai Elantra Comparison:

"For starters, the Elantra does look like an Audi! But that’s not the only reason why we are comparing these two cars. The reason why we made this comparison, is to see how far the Hyundai Elantra, and with it the entire C-segment has progressed, compared to the entry-level, so-called-luxury cars sold in the country today."

Audi A3 vs Hyundai Elantra Video Comparison:

Why are we even comparing these two cars?
For starters, the Elantra does look like an Audi! But that’s not the only reason why we are comparing these two cars. The reason why we made this comparison, is to see how far the Hyundai Elantra, and with it the entire C-segment has progressed, compared to the entry-level, so-called-luxury cars sold in the country today. We wanted to evaluate whether there is any tangible benefit offered by Audi, over a Hyundai, or is it just the four rings on the grille, for which Audi demands exorbitant sums of money, over the Elantra.

Pricing & Features:
The base variant of the Audi A3, called the '40 TFSI Premium’, having the petrol-automatic power-train, retails for 31.6 Lakh Rs. on road, Delhi. A3's range-topping, ’35 TDI Technology’ diesel-automatic, goes up to 42.2 Lakh Rs. which is almost twice that of the Elantra’s top-end, diesel-automatic variant, the ‘SX O’, costing 22.7 Lakh.

 For a 42 Lakh rupee car, the A3 ‘Technology’ variant, is disappointingly devoid of many features, especially compared to the feature-filled Hyundai. The Elantra ‘SX O’, has extra Push Button Start & Smart Key, Automatic Tailgate Opening, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Ventilated Front Seats, Automatic Front Windscreen Defogger and Automatic Light Sensing Headlamps. While the A3 ‘Technology’ only has extra Electric Park Brake and Front Parking Sensors.

Pricing of other Variants: Elantra ‘SX O AT’ (petrol-automatic) costs 20.90 Lakh Rs.

Common Features:
Front, Side & Curtain Airbags, ABS, ESP, Hill Assist, AC, Automatic Climate Control, Power Steering, Power Windows, Parking Camera, Parking Sensors, Xenon HID Headlamps, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors, Dual Zone Climate Control, Fog Lamps, Rear Defogger, Height Adjustable Seatbelts, LED Daytime Running Lights, Alloy Wheels, Leather Upholstery, Electrically Adjustable Seats, Rear Ac Vents, Telescopic Steering Adjust, 8” Touchscreen, Navigation, Infotainment with FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers & 2 Tweeters, Steering Wheel Switches, Adaptive Cruise Control, Auto-Up Anti-Pinch Driver Window, Auto Dimming Inside Mirror, Electric Sunroof, Cooled Glovebox

Extra Features in Elantra (SX O):
Push Button Start & Smart Key, Automatic Tailgate Opening, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Ventilated Front Seats, Auto Front Windscreen Defog, Automatic Light Sensing Headlamps

Extra Features in Audi A3 (Technology):
Electric Park Brake, Front Parking Sensors

Performance & Drivability:
Hyundai biggest oversight, in the new Elantra is probably the absence, of a turbocharged petrol engine. Audi’s fantastic TFSI power-plant, is leagues ahead of the Elantra’s, in terms of performance. The A3 cracks the 100 kmph marker, from standstill, in just over 7 seconds, which is genuinely quick. The Elantra takes almost 11 seconds to get there. But it is not just about the outright acceleration. The A3’s turbo, spools up at a lowly 1250 rpm, and once it does, it just surges ahead, on a meaty wave of torque, transmitted to the wheels, via the ultra-smooth and quick-shifting, dual-clutch transmission. Elantra’s mid-range though good in isolation, feels completely lacking and its transmission feels a tad bit jerky and lethargic, when compared to the A3's.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Elantra – 117, Audi A3 – 137 (difference 17%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Elantra – 148, Audi A3 – 193 (difference 30%)

Power (PS@rpm): Elantra – 152@6200, Audi A3 – 178@5100
Torque (Nm@rpm): Elantra - 192@4000, Audi A3 - 250@1250
Kerb Weight (kg): Elantra – 1295, Audi A3 – 1295

Elantra’s diesel mill is not far-off, compared to one in the A3. The A3 is still comprehensively superior than the Elantra, in terms of drivability as well as outright performance, but by a fairly small margin. However, in terms of refinement, both cars are simply impossible to fault. Diesel clatter, is non-existent at idle and even on revving hard, their engines never feel excessively harsh or noisy. Even the road noise, tyre noise and wind noise, have been strictly prohibited, from entering the cabin.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Elantra (diesel) – 96, Audi A3 – 105 (difference 9%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Elantra (diesel) – 195, Audi A3 – 238 (difference 22%)

Power (PS@rpm): Elantra (diesel) – 128@4000, Audi A3 – 141@3500
Torque (Nm@rpm): Elantra (diesel) - 260@1900-2750, Audi A3 - 320@1750
Kerb Weight (kg): Elantra (diesel) – 1335, Audi A3 – 1340

Space & Comfort:
The Audi A3 has an unexpectedly cramped cabin. Rear seat simply doesn’t have enough knee-room and head-room, even for normal sized adults. Accommodating three passengers in the rear is simply out of question, given the excessively obtrusive transmission tunnel. It is so cramped, in fact that even the sub-4 meter sedans like Amaze, Xcent, Aspire etc. have more room inside their cabins, than the Audi A3 does! Even its 425 litre boot, is roughly the same size as an Amaze or an Xcent. The Elantra’s cabin, in contrast, feels like a welcome relief after the A3. It has more than sufficient room, in all possible directions for five adults. Its 475 litre boot is also slightly bigger than the A3’s.

But that’s not all, what had us floored, was the impeccable build quality and the stately ambiance of the Elantra’s interiors. They most certainly feel more cossetting and mature, than Audi’s deliberate attempt, at giving a more youthful flavor to the A3’s cabin, which hasn’t quite worked out as expected. The quality of materials and the fit and finish, inside the Elantra is just as good, if not better than the A3’s. It is a testament to the fact, that bespoke interiors are no longer a prerogative of snobbish brands.

Boot-space (lit):
Elantra – 475, Audi A3 – 425

Length (mm): Elantra – 4570, Audi A3 – 4456
Width (mm): Elantra – 1800, Audi A3 – 1796
Height (mm): Elantra – 1465, Audi A3 – 1416

Ride Quality & Handling:
The Elantra, though much improved over its predecessor, is no match to the rock solid dynamics of the A3. The sheer grip and composure of the A3 around the bends, is eons ahead (pun intended) of the Elantra. A3’s steering, weighs up nicely and is quite precise, if a little bit lacking in terms of feedback, compared to its rivals from Bavaria. However, it is still way better than the over-assisted steering setup, found on the Elantra. The A3’s 17-inch rims and stiff suspension setup, don’t help its cause over the pothole riddled Indian roads. There’s a stiff edge to its ride, especially at low speeds, causing sharp undulations to be felt, inside the cabin. The Elantra, in contrast, flattens the bumps and ruts with far more ease and composure, and yet doesn’t feel excessively soft or wallowy, like its stablemates.

Ground Clearance (mm): Elantra – 167, Audi A3 – 165

Tyre Size:
Elantra – 205/60R16
Audi A3 - 205/55R17

Wheelbase (mm): Elantra - 2700, Audi A3 - 2637

Fuel Efficiency:
The Audi A3 diesel-automatic has an ARAI certified mileage of 20.8 kmpl, which is 2.6 kmpl more than the corresponding Elantra’s mileage of 18.23 kmpl. In our real world tests, the A3 was just over 1 kmpl more efficient than the Elantra.

The petrol powered Audi A3 (automatic), has an ARAI certified mileage of 16.6 kmpl, which is 2 kmpl more than the equivalent Elantra. However, in our back-to-back test, the Audi A3 was almost 1 kmpl more efficient than the Elantra.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl): Elantra (diesel, automatic) – 18.23, Audi A3 (diesel, automatic) – 20.38
Elantra (petrol, automatic) – 14.62, Audi A3 (petrol, automatic) – 16.6

Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (in Lakh): Elantra (diesel, automatic) – 3.15, Audi A3 (diesel, automatic) – 2.80
Elantra (petrol, automatic) – 4.60, Audi A3 (petrol, automatic) – 4.05

Reliability & After Sales Service:
Audis, or for that matter any of the German Luxury Brands, are notorious for providing heart-wrenching, Ownership Experience to their customers. Nobody knows, if its the ever increasing complexity, or the challenging Indian conditions, that makes them, surprisingly unreliable vehicles, despite their stratospheric price tags. What makes matters worse, are their politico-mafia owned dealerships, who are already quite comfortable with their unfriendly reputations among the masses, to even care about the sub-standard service, being provided to their customers. Audi themselves are to blame, for not intervening like the Japanese or Koreans do, to ensure Customer Satisfaction, at their touch points.

Even if you are doubly lucky, to have gotten a reliable piece of machinery, and a good dealer in your vicinity, Audi’s service costs can bring the most loaded of their customers, to tears! In comparison Elantra’s service costs feel like peanuts, given that they are one of the lowest in its segment. Hyundai also runs a tight ship with its service network. Hyundai’s cars themselves, are far more reliable, especially in terms of big-ticket failures, unlike Audi’s infamous DSG transmission. Hyundai’s service reach, with its 800+ touch points, is also far more widespread than Audi’s 100 odd outlets.

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh):
Luxury cars are known as white elephants for a reason. Five to seven, year old Audi A4s, sell for nothing more than 12 Lakh rupees, today. Expect the A3 to fetch similar value when you decide to part ways with it after a usage of 5 to 7 years. Elantra’s tend to depreciate far lesser in the used car market, and if you buy one today, you are bound to get at least 9-10 lakh of your hard earned money back, when you sell it.

Elantra SX O AT (diesel, automatic) – 10.00, Audi A3 ‘Technology’ (diesel, automatic) – 14.60
Elantra SX O AT (petrol, automatic) – 9.20, Audi A3 ‘Premium’ (petrol, automatic) – 11.05

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
Overall, the range-topping A3 ‘Technology’ diesel-automatic works out to be twice as expensive i.e. roughly 15 lakh rupees more than an Elantra ‘SX O AT’ diesel, in terms of total cost of ownership.

Even the base A3 petrol-automatic works out to be over 8 lakh Rs. more expensive, than the top-end Elantra ‘SX O’ petrol-automatic.

Elantra SX O AT (diesel, automatic) – 15.90, Audi A3 ‘Technology’ (diesel, automatic) – 30.50
Elantra SX O AT (petrol, automatic) – 16.30, Audi A3 ‘Premium’ (petrol, automatic) – 24.60

The Hyundai Elantra is the clear winner of this test, no two ways about it. This time around, Hyundai has more than caught up to the entry-level Audis. Technically, the A3 is still a superior automobile than the Elantra, but the gap has shrunk down to a point, where even an interim power-train update in the Elantra, might be enough to turn the tables in its favor. In terms of practicality, the Elantra is already far ahead of the A3 considering its abundant space and comfort. Amazingly, the Elantra is no less competent than an A3, in terms of refinement, build quality and gadgetry either, which were supposed to be those sacrosanct areas, in which pretentious brands like Audi, would always have an advantage, over the run-of-the-mill brands, like Hyundai. But all that is nothing, compared to A3's biggest drawback over the Elantra, which is the preposterous amounts of money it charges, over the Elantra. Logically, there is simply no reason left anymore, for an entry-level Audi to cost a rupee more than an Elantra. And regardless of whether Audi mends its ways, Hyundai is quietly gearing up to unleash a Genesis (pun intended) upon the old hags of the Luxury Car Market.

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