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Wow! Gotta say these guys hated on our car big time. The supreme insult?

"...I’d recommend the Elantra specifically and Hyundai in general to anyone looking at a base Corolla, Focus or Jetta."

Ouch! It's as if they and I drove different cars...

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport review: Everything you need to know
I am not sure what leads journalist to compare this directly to the big hot hatches. I think the Elantra was made to compete with the Civic Sport and Sentra SR. The GTI and Focus ST are great cars. But they start at a higher price and come with less features at that base price. If the ES started at 25-26k then I could understand. But at that point I would have expected an LSD, more power and more time spent perfecting the handling/steering.

The Civic receives praise but I drove one and was not blown away. The steering felt the same, numb and light, and acceleration wasn't breathtaking. I drove a Sport CVT because there was no manuals available. It was nice but I could not get over the "boy racer" styling with the big fake plastic vents and center exhaust. The EX-T sedan was what I would have went with, but it wasn't as sporty. The Elantra fit perfectly in between and I ended up getting in below my budget. So I am super happy! I think the fuel economy ratings also steer people away, since they are low. But I have yet to average below 32mpg and have got up to 36mpg in mixed driving (70% highway/30% city).
 

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I owned a Focus ST, when they first came out December 2012, and had it for 4 years(upgraded to the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid :) ), did a fair amount of upgrades. My good friend had the GTI around the same time period, largely stock. The ST and GTI always get mentioned in regards to the ES. I really can't say the ST or GTI were greatly superior in any regards, nor is there a dramatic performance gap,
I don't feel my current ES is lacking, and I've been rather hard judge on it, reminiscing about my love of the ST.
I'm rather pleased with the ES, especially the much kinder price tag. At no point, have I gotten inside the ES, and thought I made a wrong move.

On a side note, now the ST has flooded the used market, you got a lot of kids, ricing them up, so it kind of nice to have the less common ES, that offers a more grown up look.
 

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I owned a Focus ST, when they first came out December 2012, and had it for 4 years(upgraded to the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid :) ), did a fair amount of upgrades. My good friend had the GTI around the same time period, largely stock. The ST and GTI always get mentioned in regards to the ES. I really can't say the ST or GTI were greatly superior in any regards, nor is there a dramatic performance gap,
I don't feel my current ES is lacking, and I've been rather hard judge on it, reminiscing about my love of the ST.
I'm rather pleased with the ES, especially the much kinder price tag. At no point, have I gotten inside the ES, and thought I made a wrong move.

On a side note, now the ST has flooded the used market, you got a lot of kids, ricing them up, so it kind of nice to have the less common ES, that offers a more grown up look.
Glad to hear you're happy! I had a 2014 ST3 and loved it, except for the uncomfortable Recaro seats and lackluster build quality. I am happy with the subtle styling on the ES as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not sure what leads journalist to compare this directly to the big hot hatches. I think the Elantra was made to compete with the Civic Sport and Sentra SR. The GTI and Focus ST are great cars. But they start at a higher price and come with less features at that base price. If the ES started at 25-26k then I could understand. But at that point I would have expected an LSD, more power and more time spent perfecting the handling/steering.

The Civic receives praise but I drove one and was not blown away. The steering felt the same, numb and light, and acceleration wasn't breathtaking. I drove a Sport CVT because there was no manuals available. It was nice but I could not get over the "boy racer" styling with the big fake plastic vents and center exhaust. The EX-T sedan was what I would have went with, but it wasn't as sporty. The Elantra fit perfectly in between and I ended up getting in below my budget. So I am super happy! I think the fuel economy ratings also steer people away, since they are low. But I have yet to average below 32mpg and have got up to 36mpg in mixed driving (70% highway/30% city).
Very nearly my exact analysis and conclusion! Cross-shopped the Civic Hatchback Sport 6MT and every time I drive the ES I'm happy with my decision - and that's not even taking into account the thou$and$ saved due to Hyundai's generous/desperate incentives. Had the Hatchback Sport come with the EX-T interior/feature set, I will admit the decision would have been much more difficult.

But then there's the fact that my wife really likes the way the ES looks and generally hates on the Civic Hatchback, so that does count for quite a bit and all is good! She somehow finds an excuse to frequently drive the ES instead of her Outback... :cool:
 

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I am not sure what leads journalist to compare this directly to the big hot hatches. I think the Elantra was made to compete with the Civic Sport and Sentra SR. The GTI and Focus ST are great cars. But they start at a higher price and come with less features at that base price. If the ES started at 25-26k then I could understand. But at that point I would have expected an LSD, more power and more time spent perfecting the handling/steering.

The Civic receives praise but I drove one and was not blown away. The steering felt the same, numb and light, and acceleration wasn't breathtaking. I drove a Sport CVT because there was no manuals available. It was nice but I could not get over the "boy racer" styling with the big fake plastic vents and center exhaust. The EX-T sedan was what I would have went with, but it wasn't as sporty. The Elantra fit perfectly in between and I ended up getting in below my budget. So I am super happy! I think the fuel economy ratings also steer people away, since they are low. But I have yet to average below 32mpg and have got up to 36mpg in mixed driving (70% highway/30% city).
I agree with the comparing the ES to a gti or st. More money should produce more. If they would, as I said in a earlier post, compare the gti and st to a Porche GT3 then so be it. But they don't. The GT3 cost more and you expect more.
 

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Comparing it to a Sentra and hatchback Civic won't get clicks and people reading. Plus, controversy (not saying there is any in this article) sells.

At the end of the day this car is a Hyundai Elantra. I mean no disrespect by that as I really liked our 2013 Elantra Limited and absolutely love my Sport, but it is a name from a brand that is still getting there and doesn't carry the weight of Honda and Volkswagen. Most outlets have had a lot of great things to say about the car. You can't please everyone.

For the record I have owned a 2013 Ford Focus ST (ST1 - base model) and a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Autobahn. The Focus, while fun to drive, had issue after issue after issue and Ford service was absolutely abysmal. I took a loss on the car after arbitration told me there's nothing wrong with the fact that my car shuts off in traffic while I'm slowing down to a stop (they later issued a recall and then a recall for the recall on this issue). It also lacked rear seat room but certainly felt more refined than the Elantra Sport in many ways. The Jetta was a good car let down by pretty crappy response over bumps (which gave a jolting sensation in the cabin) and a plastic interior that even Hyundai would be ashamed of. In a $30,000 car it was unacceptable how much plastic there was. It also had a ton of rattles that Volkswagen stated were normal and wanted money to fix. The long gearing did not take full advantage of the powerband of the car so it felt pretty slow too. Gas mileage was incredible for a 2 liter turbo and I averaged 28-30 out of tanks with no issue at all. The Elantra is worlds more fun to drive than the GLI, has better clutch feel, and has the same amount of room in the back for my toddler. Having owned the Elantra Sport now I'm not sure how Volkswagen can justify the price of the GLI.
 

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So, Hyundai is most definitely not "still getting there". The only reason that it doesn't carry the same weight as Honda and VW is because people are too prejudiced to realize that Hyundai has actually surpassed both in quality (check out JD Power reliability ratings for proof).


The Jetta was a good car let down by pretty crappy response over bumps (which gave a jolting sensation in the cabin) and a plastic interior that even Hyundai would be ashamed of. In a $30,000 car it was unacceptable how much plastic there was. It also had a ton of rattles that Volkswagen stated were normal and wanted money to fix.
I tried to explain this to people here a few months back and basically got told I was out of my mind. VW interiors are garbage.
 

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The price of the Elantra Sport is on par with the price of the Civic Sport hatchback and I'm sorry but there is a pretty noticeable quality difference between the two once you hop inside. Not only in interior product quality but in road noise as well. The Civic "feels" more upscale than the Elantra even though the Elantra is in the same class and price range. Another thing to keep in mind is that from the base Civic to the Civic Si they all drive nice. I'm not fully convinced that's the case with the Elantra lineup as the rest of the lineup is still using a torsion beam in the rear. This car is an amazing deal for $18,000 but at the MSRP of $22,000-$23,000 things start to get a little more troublesome IMO.

So yeah, I still think Hyundai has work to do. Given the unbelievable leap in quality they've taken in such a short period of time I think their next lineup might be the one that changes that perception. Regardless of the faults I think the cars have, I'm a fan of them. I just hope they shy away from the lame styling they're starting to introduce and go back to being bold like they did with the previous generation Elantra and Sonata.

Edit: You know, when I remove Honda from the equation and compare it to a Corolla, Dodge Dart, Nissan Sentra/Versa, etc., all of the sudden it's a completely different scenario. I need to take the blinders off apparently!
 

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I thought the Civics were some of the most boring drives I've ever had. And I owned a 1983 Dodge/Mitsubishi Colt. There is nothing in that car that feels "upscale". It's a giant pile of "meh commuter".

Hyundai hasn't taken a massive leap in quality in a short time. They've been some of the most reliable cars as per JD Power for about 15 years or more. People have just caught on in the last 5 years. They only leap they've made in a short period of time is in aesthetics. Their entire fleet is exponentially more attractive than they were even over the last 5 - 7 years.
 

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The price of the Elantra Sport is on par with the price of the Civic Sport hatchback and I'm sorry but there is a pretty noticeable quality difference between the two once you hop inside. Not only in interior product quality but in road noise as well. The Civic "feels" more upscale than the Elantra even though the Elantra is in the same class and price range. Another thing to keep in mind is that from the base Civic to the Civic Si they all drive nice. I'm not fully convinced that's the case with the Elantra lineup as the rest of the lineup is still using a torsion beam in the rear. This car is an amazing deal for $18,000 but at the MSRP of $22,000-$23,000 things start to get a little more troublesome IMO.

So yeah, I still think Hyundai has work to do. Given the unbelievable leap in quality they've taken in such a short period of time I think their next lineup might be the one that changes that perception. Regardless of the faults I think the cars have, I'm a fan of them. I just hope they shy away from the lame styling they're starting to introduce and go back to being bold like they did with the previous generation Elantra and Sonata.

Edit: You know, when I remove Honda from the equation and compare it to a Corolla, Dodge Dart, Nissan Sentra/Versa, etc., all of the sudden it's a completely different scenario. I need to take the blinders off apparently!
Disagree with pretty much all of this. But to each their own. ;)
 

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The price of the Elantra Sport is on par with the price of the Civic Sport hatchback and I'm sorry but there is a pretty noticeable quality difference between the two once you hop inside. Not only in interior product quality but in road noise as well. The Civic "feels" more upscale than the Elantra even though the Elantra is in the same class and price range. Another thing to keep in mind is that from the base Civic to the Civic Si they all drive nice. I'm not fully convinced that's the case with the Elantra lineup as the rest of the lineup is still using a torsion beam in the rear. This car is an amazing deal for $18,000 but at the MSRP of $22,000-$23,000 things start to get a little more troublesome IMO.

So yeah, I still think Hyundai has work to do. Given the unbelievable leap in quality they've taken in such a short period of time I think their next lineup might be the one that changes that perception. Regardless of the faults I think the cars have, I'm a fan of them. I just hope they shy away from the lame styling they're starting to introduce and go back to being bold like they did with the previous generation Elantra and Sonata.

Edit: You know, when I remove Honda from the equation and compare it to a Corolla, Dodge Dart, Nissan Sentra/Versa, etc., all of the sudden it's a completely different scenario. I need to take the blinders off apparently!
I agree that the Civic (Sport) did feel pretty nice. The cup holders are awesome since they are sunk into the console and do not obstruct at all. Plus there was tons of space and the huge console was comfy as an armrest. The radio, keyed ignition and lack of heated seats was the only negatives.

The car didn't feel or sound as sporty, although the chassis felt nicer. The car felt a little more fluid when driving spiritedly. Lack of manuals is what led me to the Elantra. I did not want to special order a manual and be disappointed when it came in. The rev hang is supposedly terrible and I do not want to risk my warranty with a tune to fix it. Plus the fake plastic vents in the bumpers were meh. Otherwise it is a handsome car and a hatch which I typically prefer. I still do not regret not getting the Civic but I cannot say it is a bad car.
 

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I've been a Honda fanboy for over 20 years and have owned 4 of their products.

I didn't even test drive the new Civic.

#1. There were zero manual transmission turbos available for test drives out of 5 large Honda dealerships in my area.

#2. Even if they had been available, they would have had to drive like the best car ever made in the entire universe ever for all time to make me overlook the hideous styling.

#3. No discount, and possibly a markup for the Si model.

On top of all that, the new Civic gets dinged by Consumer reports, the Elantra Sport is available under $20K, has a much better warranty, and gives you more options.

You're not getting $4K more of anything choosing a Civic sport over the Elantra sport.
 
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I've been a Honda fanboy for over 20 years and have owned 4 of their products.

I didn't even test drive the new Civic.

#1. There were zero manual transmission turbos available for test drives out of 5 large Honda dealerships in my area.

#2. Even if they had been available, they would have had to drive like the best car ever made in the entire universe ever for all time to make me overlook the hideous styling.

#3. No discount, and possibly a markup for the Si model.

On top of all that, the new Civic gets dinged by Consumer reports, the Elantra Sport is available under $20K, has a much better warranty, and gives you more options.

You're not getting $4K more of anything choosing a Civic sport over the Elantra sport.
It is rather crazy that dealerships are terrified to stock a manual transmission Civic. I had the same exact issue here and ended up having to drive a CVT as a result. It wasn't horrible, but it's certainly not my cup of tea. I thought comfort and noise wise the Civic was a nicer place to be than the Elantra Sport, but in terms of driving enjoyment it wasn't. Material quality on the doors was a lot nicer than my Elantra and, frankly, they look like a design afterthought on the Elantra. The model I test drove was the EX so it's not as sporty as the Si or Sport model. To order a Sport with a manual from another dealership I'd have to pay MSRP. No thanks. "We aren't even considering selling an Si for under MSRP currently" so no thanks on that either. Neither look all that nice anyways. As I said in my intro post, I don't see any way the Si is $7,000 more car over the Elantra Sport. No freaking way.

Another thing I mentioned in my intro post is that the Elantra Sport reminds me of my favorite car I've ever owned which was a 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan so I'm with you on the Honda fanboy action. Between the wife and I we've owned two Si coupes, an Si sedan, two regular Civic sedans, and a Fit. I bought my car in the closest color to my Si sedan as well. This is the first time I've driven a car and I can honestly say there's not a single thing I say "Oh I miss that the Civic did this" in comparison to it. It drives friends nuts but the heart loves what it loves.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree that the Civic (Sport) did feel pretty nice...I still do not regret not getting the Civic but I cannot say it is a bad car.
I was 100% sold on the Civic Hatchback Sport until I sat in one. The Honda dash is, for me, a taste I have no wish to work at acquiring. Very happy with the Hyundai dash's simplicity. Everything I expect in a car and nothing more.

Obviously biased, but I drive the Hyundai everyday and after three weeks continue to be SUPER happy with the design. Every time I see a Hatchback Sport, I think, "Man that's not gonna age well." And then I re-tally the amount I would "need" to spend to bring the Hatchback Sport to feature parity with my ES Premium and just laugh all over again. Lessee the short lis is...leather upholstery $1500, audio system/Android tablet $1200, height adjustable passenger seat $???, new exhaust $1000, and coilovers $1500! And since dealers aren't dealing at all on the 6MT Hatchback Sport, using TrueCar pricing for my zip, we're at $26,700 and counting. In other words, go buy a Civic Si!
 

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Another thing I mentioned in my intro post is that the Elantra Sport reminds me of my favorite car I've ever owned which was a 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan...
Mine actually reminds me of my Mk5 GTi. Drives very similar. But I'm hoping it's a lot more reliable in the long run. :eek:
 
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