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If you think that the compact sedan segment is going away any time soon, think again. Stalwarts like Honda Civic are still going strong and worthy contenders, like the Hyundai Elantra, continue to improve with every generation. Speaking of the Elantra, it was just completely redesigned for the 2021 model year and now it’s poised to possibly be a threat to the aging Civic. In fact, here are five ways in which this new 2021 Elantra makes the Honda Civic look dated.

Sharp, “Parametric Dynamics” design

Think what you want about the 2021 Hyundai Elantra’s styling, but we think it will actually withstand the test of time, much like the Civic’s styling did. However, the Honda Civic’s styling is a little long in the tooth and is badly in need of a redesign. Hyundai’s answer to that was to give the new Elantra a sharper design language, which the automaker calls “Parametric Dynamics.” However, we like to call it “sheet metal origami.”

A silver 2021 Hyundai Elantra poses at dusk
2021 Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

Luxurious Interior

You wouldn’t think that the word “luxury” and “Elantra” would really go together in the same sentence, but take a seat in the top-trim Limited version and you’ll be convinced. In addition to leather seating surfaces and heated front seats, you’ll be treated to soft-touch materials, a futuristic-looking two-spoke steering wheel, and a Bose premium sound system so you listen to the built-in “Sounds of Nature” in classy style.

an interior shot of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra
2021 Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

Dual 10.25-inch displays

Have you seen the interior of the Honda Civic lately? It was cool back in 2016, but now in 2021, it’s looking a little old. The virtual dash in the Civic used to look really cool and the 8-inch touchscreen in the middle was high-tech, but now, the 2021 Elantra has it beat.

In the higher Elantra trim levels, you’ll get dual 10.25-inch displays – one for the infotainment, the other for driver information – that look they belong in a Mercedes A-Class as opposed to a Hyundai.

2021 Hyundai Elantra 10.25-inch gauge displays
2021 Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

Better fuel economy

While the turbocharged 1.5-liter option in the Honda Civic does get better fuel economy than the gasoline engines available in the Elantra, Hyundai does have a little trick up its sleeve for buyers that want to save money at the pump.

That trick is the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, which is powered by a 1.6-liter engine mated to an electric that produced a combined 139 hp. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for what it lacks in power, it makes up for it in fuel economy. As such, the Elantra Hybrid is able to return an EPA-estimated 49 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway.

a rear shot of a red 2021 Hyundai Elantra
2021 Hyundai Elantra | Hyundai

Lower price point

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has a starting price of $19,650 (before the destination charge) and the 2021 Civic starts at $21,250, which is a $1,600 difference. As you can imagine, the pricing doesn’t that much better as you move up the trim levels for the Civic as the top-trim Touring is priced at $28,300.

On the other hand, the Elantra Limited starts at $25,450, which is almost $3,000 less than the Civic Touring. However, the Elantra is similarly equipped and even has a better-looking interior. For our money, we know which one we would choose.


Skip The Mazda3 And Buy The Hyundai Elantra Instead