8 Top Hyundai Elantra Competitors

The Honda Civic and the Mazda 3 offer some stiff competition to the Hyundai Elantra.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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The venerable Honda Civic and the perky Mazda 3 are just a couple of our choice competitors when it comes to reasonably priced compact sedans like the Hyundai Elantra.
Sedans may be a bit of a dying breed these days, but there are still some quality options available. If you’re looking to buck the SUV trend, take a look at these eight competitors to the Hyundai Elantra.
Here to help narrow your options is
Jerry
, the friendly
car insurance
comparison app for car owners. After we’ve gone over some options, we’ll cover how to get the best deal out there on your
Hyundai Elantra car insurance costs
—or whichever car you end up choosing!
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1. Nissan Sentra

Starting price: $21,045 to $23,795
Selling points: Handsome and comfortable
Weak spots: Slow acceleration
Depending on what your priorities are, the
Nissan Sentra
could be a pass, or it could be just what you’re looking for. Does it offer driving excitement? Well, no. With one fairly ho-hum choice of engine, buyers who want a little pep with their sedan will want to look elsewhere. 
There’s no option for all-wheel drive, so if that’s on your list of must-have features, the Sentra’s not for you. 
On the other hand, the Sentra is attractive inside and out, and the ride is incredibly comfortable. A wide array of safety features come standard, and even the top-level trim has a price tag that will be accessible to a big chunk of people. If you want the most exciting compact sedan out there, this isn’t it. 
But the Sentra is a stylish and feature-packed car at a good price, which is nothing to be ashamed of. 

2. Volkswagen Jetta

Starting price: $21,460 to $29,190
Selling points: Surprisingly roomy
Weak spots: Not as stylish as some rivals 
For a compact car, reviewers found the Jetta to be deceptively roomy on the inside, with a comfortable back seat and ample storage space. Plenty of safety features are standard, with the option to add extras like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assists.
Fans of the dying art of the stick shift will be pleased to know that the Jetta offers the option for a manual transmission. While this won’t make the 158 horsepower engine more exciting, it will offer a little more driving engagement.
The
Volkswagen Jetta
has respectable features across the board, but if it has a major flaw, it’s that it lacks the personality and style of some of its snazzier rivals.
MORE: Does Volkswagen have a self-driving car?

3. Mazda 3

Starting price: $22,165 to $34,465
Selling points: High-end feel, great value
Weak spots: Less trunk space than some competitors
Mazda has a reputation for delivering a near-luxury feel and a fun, engaging driving experience at a reasonable price, and the Mazda 3 does not disappoint. There are three four-cylinder engine choices here, and those who want the most ponies possible (and don’t mind paying for them) can opt for the 250-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.5-liter flavor. 
All-wheel drive and a manual transmission are also available options, but be aware that you can’t have both—stick shifts only come in the front-wheel drive version. The Mazda 3 has a bit less trunk space than some, but opting for the hatchback version can fix that. The overall value, peppy driving experience, and high-end feel make the Mazda 3 one to beat, and a Car and Driver Editors' Choice.

4. Honda Civic

Starting price: $23,645 to $31,145
Selling points: Upscale, athletic, and affordable
Weak spots: Best features only available at highest trim levels
The
Honda Civic
has long been an institution when it comes to affordable compact cars, and there's a good reason for that. Honda has stellar ratings for safety and reliability, and the Civic’s outstanding safety tests make it one of the safest cars on the road right now. If you want the safest small sedan in which to cart around kids, it's a rock-solid choice.
But just because it’s safe doesn’t mean it’s boring—the handling is sharp,the styling is refined, and the Civic as a whole has a high-end feel to it that belies the affordable price tag. The 2022 Civic is only offered with front-wheel drive, which might be a sticking point for drivers who need a little more traction in their day-to-day commute. You can get a manual transmission as well here, but only if you opt for the hatchback model.
Overall, the Honda Civic is a strong contender and consistently ranks at the top of the list among reviewers.

5. Honda Insight

Starting price: $26,855 to $30,885
Selling points: Hybrid fuel economy
Weak spots: Noisy gasoline engine
The
Honda Insight
is only available as a hybrid, but we were running out of economical compact cars to talk about, so here we are. The fact that it’s a hybrid isn’t a bad thing—quite the opposite, in fact. The acceleration is quick and the fuel economy is fantastic, although several reviewers found the gas engine to be a little rough sounding.
The Insight won’t cost you more than non-hybrid rivals, which is definitely a plus. 
There’s no option for a hatchback body style here, so the trunk space is what it is. But the interior is well-designed and strikes a nice balance between comfort and utility. 2022 is the last year that Honda will be offering the Insight, so get it while you can.
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6. Toyota Corolla

Starting price: $21,520 to $26,625
Selling points: Roomy back seat
Weak spots: Unrefined engine 
The Toyota Corolla is another one that falls in the “more sensible than fun” category, but judging by its perpetual popularity, no one seems to care all that much.
Plenty of driver-assist features come standard, and the rear seats are spacious. Combine that with great safety ratings, and it makes a good choice for a family car. It’s also available in a hybrid powertrain for those looking to save on fuel costs and lower their carbon footprint. 
A hatchback body style is available, but it actually offers less cargo and rear seat room than the sedan, which is a bit of a head-scratcher. The
Toyota Corolla
comes nicely equipped at all levels, but if you’re looking for the most driving fun in a compact sedan, rivals like the Mazda 3 have it beat.

7. Kia Forte

Starting price: $20,185 to $24,585
Selling points: Affordable, well-equipped at all trim levels
Weak spots: Bland driving experience
The
Kia Forte
was the maker’s answer to the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3, and there will be a lot for many people to like here. It’s competitively priced, and its features-to-price ratio is tough to beat. Fuel economy is among the best in its class as well, which makes the Forte a good option for the budget conscious
But even with the upgraded engine, the Forte won’t offer the driving engagement of some of its zestier rivals. There’s no option for all-wheel drive either, so those who need a little more traction will be out of luck. But that being said, it’s a solid car and a great deal for the price. 

8. Subaru Impreza

Starting price: $20,290 to $27,395
Selling points: Standard all-wheel drive
Weak spots: Slow acceleration
Most people think of SUVs and crossovers when they think Subaru, but there are a few sedans in the lineup. True to its sure-footed and crunchy Subaru roots, all-wheel drive is standard on the
Subaru Impreza
. That being said, that’s about all that stands out here.
The cabin is comfortable and the interface of the devices is user-friendly and intuitive, but that can be said of a lot of its competitors. 
Like a few others on this list, there’s an option for manual transmission, but many reviewers found it imprecise and a tad cumbersome to use. The Impreza is a fine choice—it handles well, and Subaru has a great reputation for safety and reliability. But as a whole, it’s not impressive, and several rivals offer more bang for your buck. 

Hyundai Elantra vs. the competition

Just the facts, Jack? You got it. Here are some key specs of the Hyundai Elantra and its rivals laid out side-by-side:
Model
Starting price range
Engine options
Maximum seating capacity
Trunk space
Car and Driver rating
Fuel economy (city/highway/combined)
2022 Hyundai Elantra
$21,245 to $29,645
4-cylinder or hybrid
5 seats
14 cu ft
8.5/10
33/43/37 mpg
2022 Nissan Sentra
$21,045 to $23,795
4-cylinder
5 seats
14 cu ft
6.5/10
28/37/32 mpg
2022 Volkswagen Jetta
$21,460 to $29,190
4-cylinder
5 seats
14 cu ft
8.5/10
2022 Mazda 3
$22,165 to $34,465
Three 4-cylinder options
5 seats
13 cu ft
9/10
23/32/27 mpg
2022 Honda Civic
$23,645 to $31,145
Three 4-cylinder options
5 seats
14 cu ft
9.5/10
2022 Honda Insight
$26,855 to $30,885
Hybrid
5 seats
15 cu ft
8.5/10
51/45/48 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla
$21,520 to $26,625
Two 4-cylinder options or hybrid
5 seats
13 cu ft
8/10
29/36/32 mpg
2022 Kia Forte
$20,185 to $24,585
Two 4-cylinder options
5 seats
15 cu ft
7.5/10
30/40/34 mpg
2022 Subaru Impreza
$20,290 to $27,395
4 cylinder
5 seats
12.3 cu ft
6/10
28/36/31 mpg

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