2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. Its Competition

2012 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

We're in a new golden age of compact cars, and nothing says it more succinctly than pointing out how good the Elantra is compared to today's Honda Civic.

The Elantra's imaginative and a leader in economy--while the new Civic suffers from a cheapened interior and a stark lack of imagination in design.

The new leaders in the class include the Elantra and the latest Ford Focus, TheCarConnection's Best Car To Buy 2012, for its sleek design and its crisp handling and its MyFord Touch next-gen infotainment controls.

We also strongly recommend both the Chevy Cruze for its refinement and fuel economy, and the Mazda3 for its road manners and 40-mpg highway rating.

Even Kia's Forte eclipses the old standards with a spacious interior and lots of standard features, not to mention a handsomely Euro-influenced design.

2012 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Hyundai Elantra
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2012 Chevrolet Cruze 4-door Sedan LTZ Angular Front Exterior View2012 Chevrolet Cruze
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2012 Ford Focus2012 Ford Focus
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2012 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda Civic
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2012 Kia Forte 5-Door 5dr HB EX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Kia Forte
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2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra has officially left the Civic and Corolla in the dust, thanks to a 38-mpg gas mileage rating, a sleek look, and tremendous value for the money.
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a practical, comfortable, fuel-efficient, and a strong value, but it does lack the nimble, tossable feel that some small-car fans appreciate.
With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.
The 2012 Honda Civic is a little more spacious, comfortable, and economical, but it's now one of the blandest of the bunch.
The 2012 Kia Forte family of vehicles manages to feel more eager, comfortable, and sophisticated than its sticker price might suggest.
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 44 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Midsize carsMidsize CarCompactCompactCompact CarsCompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant)4-Door Sedan LS4-Door Sedan S2-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i SV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2012 Chevrolet Cruze2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2012 Ford Focus2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2012 Honda Civic2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2012 Kia Forte2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA3