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I just bought my electric blue Elantra Sport 6MT w/Premium package on June 11, 2017 so thoughts I would share some quick thought on evaluating the ES against the Civic Hatchback Sport.


  • Looks - Subjective. LOVE hatchbacks and my first car was a Honda Civic Hatchback. However, the ES is more stealth and refined looking while the Honda sorta screams "look at me I'm no longer boring!"
  • Interior - Overall Honda is a bit nicer in terms of consistency. The ES is more traditional in a very real sense which I liked much better than the too digital Civic. Seats were comparable but if you like leather, then decision is made. The hard plastics on the ES were a bit of a turn off, but as many have said, don't touch them. Civic was bigger, which is nice. LCD screen in Civic Sport is laughable at best. Steering wheel on the ES won me over as did the totally traditional analog tach and speedo. Then there's the sun/moon roof, Infinity audio, LCD (again), cleaner design/less 'gimicky'...
  • Height Adjustable seats - ES felt more solidly constructed mechanism. TWO separate Civics I drove had very loose height adjusters and click/knoked badly at the bottom of the stroke. Really a huge turn off and made me strongly dislike the car. A third Civic I tried was fine. Lastly, non-adjustable height passenger seat made my 5'3" wife feel like a child trying to look over the dash. She was not a happy Civic Sport Hatchback passenger.
  • Handling - Civic was Honda nice, but really just still a Civic. Cornered with some roll, but quite well and controlled. ES felt MUCH sportier and in touch with the road. Flatter cornering.
  • Suspension - Civic was Honda nice, meaning very good. ES felt more European. Liked its damping characteristics. Firm yet compliant.
  • Noise at Hgwy speeds - Civic was quieter; but that's what the Premium audio is for!
  • Braking - ES all the way
  • Acceleration - I tried the CVT because it was so difficult to find a test driver on the Honda. Honda CVT is prolly the best in class, and frankly it sucks. ES FELT faster. It may be equivalent, but the experience of the 6MT over the Civic CVT was no contest.
  • Value - Hyundai deals because they have to. Best bang-for-the-buck period. Honda dealers offered me, well, nothing. Didn't even SUGGEST to order me a 6MT. Instead tried to tell me to get an Si, when I VERY clearly and emphatically stated I did not like either the Coupe or Sedan design. Slimy.


So that's it. Purchased my ES on Sunday and am super pleased not only with the car outright, but the value as well.
 

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I was in the same boat. Really liked the styling of the Civic Hatch, but was let down by the lack of features that could be had with a manual. No height adjustable passenger seat was big, the fact the intermittent wipers only had one speed was just weird, etc. I ended up with an elantra sport as well because of the availability of it, Honda was willing to look for a manual sport hatch for me but there weren't any for 500-700 miles outside of Denver while Hyundai found the exact spec of Elantra I wanted and got it for me in two days even though they had two other sports in stock.
 

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I see people say that the hard plastics inside are a turnoff, but I don't feel that way. Detailing cars for a living, I've seen that every single car that has soft armrests on the doors and by the windows has the leather or cloth stretch out over time and just look like doo doo.
 
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