2013 Honda Civic Coupe vs. 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

By Emme Hall.

The Honda Civic has long been one of the champion sellers in the car world, but recently brands like Hyundai have been eating into their bottom line. Today we’ll look at the 2013 Honda Civic Coupe and the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe.

The Honda Civic gets a 1.8L four cylinder engine, good for 140 horsepower and 128 lb/ft of torque. Power goes to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 5 speeds automatic. EPA fuel ratings for the automatic transmission are 28 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway, and 32 combined. The manual returns 28/36/28. You’ll get to 60 mph in about 9 seconds. There is an Si version available, offering a more robust 2.4L engine, but as the Elantra doesn’t have a corresponding model, we’ll save that car for another day.

2013 Honda Civic Coupe

The Civic coupe comes in three trim lines: LX, EX, and the EX-L The base LX comes with 15” steel wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, power accessories, automatic headlights, a rear view camera, Bluetooth, a 5” display screen, iPod connectivity, and Pandora radio.

Upgrade to the EX and you’ll get 16” alloy wheels, a sunroof, a seven speaker sound system, rear disc brakes, and 60/40 split folding rear seats. The EX-L gives you a little more with heated mirrors and front seats, leather upholstery, and foglights. A navigation system with voice controls, satellite radio and real-time traffic updates is optional on the EX and EX-L trim lines.

2013 Honda Civic Coupe

The 2013 Civic has some suspension changes from 2012, with a quicker steering ratio, and firmer springs and anti-roll bar. Although the steering is quicker, it remains too light for my tastes. However, the ride is comfortable and the handling is reassuring. In a nod to fuel economy, the automatic wants to upshift early, which can be frustrating in high traffic situations.

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe is powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder engine, producing 148 horsepower and 131 lb/ft of torque. Power is put to the front wheels via the standard six-speed manual, and a six speed automatic is optional. 60 mph comes in about 8 seconds, and EPA fuel ratings for either transmission are 28 mpg in the city, 38 mpg out on the highway, and 32 mpg combined.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

You’ll get your choice of two trim levels with the Elantra: GS and SE. The base GS comes with 16” alloy wheels, power accessories, cruise control, air conditioning, heated front seats, Bluetooth, foglights, heated mirrors, satellite radio, and iPod connectivity.

2013 Hyundai Elantra

The SE will add 17” wheels, a sport tuned suspension, leather upholstery, rear spoiler, sunroof, leather wrapped steering wheel, and oh so sporty aluminum pedals. There is an available Technology package for the SE trim line that includes keyless entry and ignition, navigation, automatic headlights, a backup camera, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, and a premium sound system.

Like the Civic, the Hyundai Elantra drives just fine. It won’t blow you out of your seat, but neither will it frustrate you. It’s comfortable and composed enough to satisfy drives, but is far from impressive. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but is sometimes hesitant to downshift, no doubt to maximize fuel economy. Coupes are usually the “sporty” alternative to four-door sedans, but the Elantra coupe handles pretty much just like the Elantra sedan, which is to say it’s unremarkable. The overall balance of handling and ride quality is still quite good, though.

2013 Hyundai Elantra Showcase

The Honda Civic Coupe starts at $17,965 for the LX, and the EX-L with navigation can be had for $23,765. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe starts at $17,575, and the SE with the Technology package is yours for $22,245. The winner here is the Hyundai. It has more standard features, the slightly higher horsepower and torque gives you a better 0-60 mph time, and it’s less expensive to boot.

(Note: All vehicles provided by manufacturers for comparison test purposes. Photos provided by Honda and Hyundai.)