Honda Civic LX or Hyundai Elantra GLS?

I’m considering a new car, but not looking to buy for another 5 months or so when dealers start their year end clearance. I seem to have it narrowed down to either the Civic LX, or the Elantra GLS with the Popular Equipment package. Any recommendations? Even though it’s more money, I’m leaning towards the Civic because of the ratings and reputation of Hondas.

Sorry, I meant model year clearance instead of year end clearance, and if this makes any difference, I currently drive a 2001 Ford Focus with about 108,000 miles on it, but it’s becoming quite expensive to maintain.

Don’t be too over-confident about Honda’s - particularly Civic’s and Odyssey’s. I have both - a 98 Civic and a 00 Odyssey. I’ve had problems with both of them. If you look at Consumer’s Report findings on for Civics, you’ll see that up-thru the 2005 model year, you’ll have problems with wiring harnesses, EGR problems, transmissions, etc. They’re not “bullet-proof” like a lot of people think. And they’re hard and expensive to fix. Not saying a Hyundai would be any better. I have a new “philosophy” on cars - I used to keep them “forever” until they were 12 - 15 years old. No more ! I think whatever you buy - pay it off (for me, 4-5 years), drive it one more year, then get rid of it, and buy a new one. Best of luck.

It depends on your ownership period you anticipate. A Civic LX will be more $$$ to purchase however in the end cost far less over 5 years of an Elantra that will cost thousands more in depreciation.

If your ownership goes out to eight-ten years that difference becomes less over time.

Your theory is quite expensive as depreciation cost of a 5 year old vehicle. There are no bullet proof cars it just takes decent luck and little outlay of money to keep it going. $1000/year on an older car for maintenance/repairs is a drop in the bucket compared to depreciation.

From Consumer Reports of average car over 5 years from brand new assuming fuel $3.2/gallon:

IF you’re really worried about cost of maintenance, check to see how much maintenance you can get for the price of one of these cars(~$15k?) on a vehicle that’s already(I hope it is anyways) paid for.

CJC0201: What kind of problems have you had with your civic? my 99 coupe hasn’t given much trouble in the 6 years I’ve owned it. The only real problem it’s had is the infamous hood latch problem, which I replaced to the tune of a couple hundred at the dealership

If you’ve test driven both of these cars on the same day I think your choice should be obvious. Honda makes nice well put together cars, from a base Fit to a loaded Accord. Hyundai is still playing catch up. Cheap materials and poor ergonomics are Hyundai’s biggest pitfalls. Both of these cars would be reliable, as in not breaking down as long as they are cared for. But in the end the Honda is just a higher quality vehicle, I think.

I purchased a Honda LX in 1998 and put 400,000 KM on it. I have since moved on to a 2006 Civic but my son is still driving my little beauty.
and it is now up to 465,000 KM and really going strong! I believe that Honda’s engineering is a huge factor in the longevity of my car but there is something else. I followed the maintenance schedule to the letter. The oil is changed every 6,000 KM and has been since 1998. When I remove the oil filler cap the components down there are completely clean. You can even see the slots in the screw heads. Mechanics are amazed when they see it. No matter what you buy, CHANGE THE OIL REGULARLY. It’s quite simply the life of your car.
Buy the Honda. If you plan to keep it for a long time, consider springing for a few nice options (ie: power windows auto locks). I didn’t and 3 or 4 years into the life of my car I longed for those options and most certainly would not have missed the extra money I would have spent!

I agree with you bobby . . . I have an 89 Accord since new and have over 450,000 miles on it . . . and change the oil (and other maintenance stuff in the owners manual) under the sever schedule . . . and it runs great! Change things on time, but I believe that Honda does a good job engineering these cars. My 89 Accord has 450,000 miles and has NEVER been back to the dealer for ANY problems . . . never any major problems. My 05 RX-8 has 35,000 miles (runs great, too) but has been back to the dealer 5 times for recalls. Rocketman

Thanks everyone. I think you all just about confirmed my decision to go with the Civic. Again, I’m probably not going to by for another 6 months or so when Honda does their model year clearance event (I believe they call it the "Mr. Opportunity sales event, or is that another sales event that they have?)

how did you get that pie chart in here??? thats awesome!!!

and from my point of view, if you were looking at a short term 3 to 6 years, i would go with the Hyundai. if you are thinking long term, stick with the civic.

I’m thinking long term more than six years, preferably closer to 8 years.

QUOTE: I purchased a Honda LX in 1998 and put 400,000 KM on it. I have since moved on to a 2006 Civic but my son is still driving my “little beauty”.

I’m writing this from Canada so not sure if you have “Rust Check” where you live. If not … I’m sure you have an equivalent. As mentioned in my previous submission, my Honda is now 10 yrs old. The other key to it’s longevity is the annual "“Rust Check” application. An old car will rust from the inside out regardless of how carefuly you take care of the exterior surfaces. Obviously, this won’t apply if you don’t get salt applications to your roads because of winter conditions but will stand as great advice for anyone who does.

Thanks for your advice everyone. I may be getting a new car sooner than I thought, and a new contender has emerged besides the Elantra and the Civic, and that is the new 2009 Toyota Corolla LE. I’ll be honest, my family has owned quite a few Toyotas over the years, and I don’t recall having any major issues with them. I may buy before the end of this month, as we are not only approaching the end of the month, but also the end of the quarter, and am hoping dealers will be more negotiable with price because of this.

I currently drive a 2001 Ford Focus with almost 109,000 miles on it, but have to take it in for the third time this month on all unrelated repairs. The first one was just a routine oil change and tune up ($337), the second was a broken coil spring and strut set (replaced both in the front, $825), and now it’s the check engine light (could be the catalytic converter, as I was told it was starting to fail back in the beginning of this month which would be about $820 parts and labor).

Regardless of what I get, I definitely do want power windows and locks, as well as A/C and cruise control, and remote keyless entry.

You can find an aftermarket converter for a good deal less from an independent muffler shop. Also, it could be a faulty O2 sensor that’s causing the error code to come up

I thought you were claiming it was recalled 9 times, Rocketman…

Thanks again for your advice everyone. The check engine light actually went off without needing any repairs, so it could have been a temporary malfunction of some sort, which Ford says that could be resolved after three drive cycles, which is exactly what happened. Anyway, that was enough to trigger a serious search for a new car, and I ended up with the Hyundai Elantra GLS with the Popular Equipment package. We negotiated a good price, and it was rated pretty well right up there with Honda and Toyota. I still can’t believe that I bought it today! Without going into specifics, I will say that I put a down payment on it, and the trade in value of my Ford, and will finance the rest over time. So far I’m very happy with it.