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Like the title says, I am a Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician. In 2015, I got an unbeatable lease on a 2016 Corolla S for 0 down and $99 a month for 24 months. The car has been great from day one. 22,000 miles with zero problems. So why didn't I buy it or buy a 2018 Corolla?

If I had purchased the Corolla, it would have cost me almost $16,000. We have similar cars on the used car lot for $15,000, so that didn't make sense. So now I needed to go car shopping.

I used the 2018 Corolla as my benchmark for value in a car. It comes with the Toyota Safety Sense, power windows/locks/fob, and bluetooth standard. I do my own maintenance (obviously), so the 2 years free maintenance is not that big a deal to me. They are reasonable with a cost of $22,000 "loaded". Loaded is in quotes because there are a lot of things that are available on other cars that are dealer installed accessories (remote start) or just not available on the Corolla (Android Auto).

Next, I looked at the Honda Civic. It is a bit more expensive for a base model, but can be optioned out very nice for a good price. Honda makes a quality product, a wonderful engine, and has great resale. I could get a loaded Civic Touring for $24,500 (and promotional .9% financing). My major problems with the Civic was the goofy camera based blind spot monitor and no built in garage door opener. I am not a huge fan of the styling.

What I decided on is the Elantra Limited (with Ultimate package). I have found only two downsides to this car. First is the lack of leg room behind the driver. Second is that it lacks true remote start, but came with 3 years of Bluelink. Other than that, I love how the vehicle is optioned. I prefer a traditional gear transaxle to a CVT found in the Corolla and Civic. I love that it looks more upscale than the competition (at least on the outside, the Civic interior is nicer). I paid $23,500 with 0% financing for 72 months (went with a long loan because of the 0%, I'll take a free loan as long as I can). This equaled about $2000 savings over the Civic.

Some other factors:

1. Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds have a cost of ownership tool. Including depreciation, maintenance, fuel, etc., the Elantra is the better deal.

2. I picked a vehicle with a lot of bells and whistles. I appreciate the 5/60 warranty on things like the radio head (new car radios can cost up to $5000 if a remanufactured unit is not available).

3. There are other cars in this segment, but I did not give them any serious consideration.

Focus- every one that comes in as a used car at work has a warning light of some sort on. Trans problems.

Cruze- Worked for GM for 7 years (2000 to 2007). That was enough to know better.

Mazda3- The sporty suspension can be harsh when new, and rattle when old.
 

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Welcome and good luck with your new car. Soooooo,may we ask you technical/parts questions about Toyota/Lexus ?.....:grin2:

What part of the country are you in?
 

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corollas are underpowered, old tech engine but people like Yotas reliabilty and resale value, hence your low lease deal with a high residual.

I recall at one time the Corolla S was a fairly fast car but if think they don't offer that engine anymore, so pretty boring car . At least in Elantra Civic Mazda and so on turbos are now offered.

Same goes for the RAV4 but it sells big.
 

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Was Toyota Master till mid 2002... Missed MDT at time by couple question... still have boxes of materials sent from Toyota on shelf, to include VHS training videos, and was in first class of 8 in my region for Hybrid when Prius come along
 
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I don't want to sound like Toyota isn't a great car. My Corolla would have lasted 200,000 miles easy. The problem for me is Toyota, like most manufacturers have a crush on small SUV's. Within the next couple of years, the Rav4 is expected to be the number one volume vehicle for Toyota. When you can sell a two wheel drive, four cylinder SUV for $30K, or a two wheel drive, four cylinder compact car for $20K, which are you going to put more advertising money and R&D into.

What they don't get is that some people like smaller cars, not because of price but it meets their needs. I don't need anything bigger than the Elantra, but I want to have the features that are often reserved for larger cars. Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Mazda, and VW move a lot of small cars. They make try to make up for this by letting you option out a small car without worrying that it will cut into truck sales.

Airforce1, I am in Ohio and am more than happy to help if I can.
 

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I was looking for a new urban commuter and also seriously considered the Civic Touring and E Limited/Ultimate (similar US MSRP's). Drove both sedans several times extensively over the same Midwest US roads (smooth to rough broken pavement). I liked the more precise steering of the Civic, and the acceleration of the 1.6 turbo is best in class. The CVT was just OK, but did not seem to get the most from the engine (rubber band feel). Road noise (at cruise) was just OK- better than the Mazda 3 or Corolla but higher than others in the class. The overall 'coachwork' of the interior was nice, although the interior felt smaller than its specs suggest. The audio & HVAC controls were a pain. Most everything was routed through the center touchscreen and needed multiple touches to do even simple things like change HVAC fan speed. There are some controls on the steering wheel, but oddly there is no volume control knob for the audio. I also found the Civic to be short on available features, even in the top Touring trim level. Like no Homelink garage door opener. And no side blindspot detection (oddly not part of the HondaSense package in the Civic). And no driver's seat adjustable lumbar support nor passenger seat height adjustment. And strangely the seat leather is perforated in front but not in the rear, which is rather odd looking. Over the roads I drove I never could get a Civic's lane watch to work right.
The E was not on my radar screen when I started car shopping, and I test drove one on a whim because the local dealer was next to a Honda dealer. The '17 E is a HUGE improvement over the prior generation. Enjoyed the more open feel of the cockpit (vs the Civic) with the lower center console & passenger dash sloped slightly away. The seats were comfortable with a power driver's seat with power lumbar support & memory (!!!), and a height adjustable front passenger seat. Rear seat leg room is slightly less than the Civic, but it is wider (more hip room). There are some hard plastic door trim bits that could be nicer, but overall the E's cabin materials are decent for the class. The E's controls are outstanding. I really like the combination of a logical touchscreen interface for audio & nav, with well lid out buttons & knobs for HVAC, heated seats, and some audio/nav functions. As with other cars in the class, the steering wheel has its own set of audio/instrument panel controls. To my ear, the E's Infinity stereo had a more balanced and pleasing sound than the Civic's 450W top unit (which I found somewhat bright and harsh). The E's 2.0L (pseudo) Atkinson cycle engine has plenty of usable power for daily driving, although lacks the top end power (and complexity) of the Civic's turbo. The 6sp transmission shifted smoothly and always seemed to be in the right gear. More pleasing than the dead feel of the Civic's CVT. At cruise the E Limited is the quietest car in the class, although there is some engine noise on hard acceleration. Handling at the limit is similar to the Civic, although there is somewhat less road feel to the steering. The E handles well, but the Civic is noticeably sharper. OTOH- Braking is notably better in the E than the Civic, both in feel and stopping distance. E's turning circle is slightly smaller (I work in a downtown urban area when parking can be tight). The E's lane watch function actually works rather well. I don't use adaptive cruise control. but E's the blind spot detection feature is useful (I have it on my other vehicle).

So for me it came down to the Civic's speed and handling vs the E's features. In my urban commuting I'm generally stuck behind the bumper in front of me, so speed and handling would not mean as much as if I drove mostly curvy country roads. And since DW & I are rather different in height, the memory driver's seat and pass seat height adjust would be used a lot. And although DW preferred the Civic's exterior styling, she really likes side blind spot detection. At this point- leaning towards the E. Got quotes from local dealers for both cars at model year close out time :) Street price for the 17 E Ultimate was roughly US$4,000 (yes, $4k!) less than the 17 Civic Touring. With the E's 5 year (vs 3yr) bumper-to-bumper warranty (and better reliability ratings from both Consumer Reports and JD Power surveys), buying the E was a no brainer.
(Wow- this post somehow turned into War and Peace)
 

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1989 Celica 5speeder.. 355,000 6yr ago (original clutch look like new, machine marks still on flywheel and plate),, couple burnt exhaust valves called me for a go through over Christmass,, misc expendibles, and machine shop gave me head they had (90 or 91),, drove another 22,000 till weather got at tail lamp wiring adjacent to fuel fill area,, been sitting since 2012.. Put battery in it about 2 month ago, needed ride,, drove through neighborhood to gas station, filled it up,,, popped brake line down the street here, looked under for line leak, and fuel tank dribbling out fuel from neck at tank..

Now to part the car out I guess ??
 

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1989 Celica 5speeder.. 355,000 6yr ago (original clutch look like new, machine marks still on flywheel and plate),, couple burnt exhaust valves called me for a go through over Christmass,, misc expendibles, and machine shop gave me head they had (90 or 91),, drove another 22,000 till weather got at tail lamp wiring adjacent to fuel fill area,, been sitting since 2012.. Put battery in it about 2 month ago, needed ride,, drove through neighborhood to gas station, filled it up,,, popped brake line down the street here, looked under for line leak, and fuel tank dribbling out fuel from neck at tank..

Now to part the car out I guess ??
C'mon, man, you're an ace!

New fuel tank ~$350, pretty easy to install. Brake line should be easy too. You can get another 100,000 out of it!

(What size are the wheel lug holes?) ;)
 

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Jfunk, welcome! I really respect a Tech. I always wanted a Corolla or a Civic. Ended up with a Saturn, followed by the Elantra. Both cars were getting more of what I needed for less cost. It is nice to know a pro has a nice review of the Elantra.
 

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I'm still currently a Corolla owner, my second Toyota, and in a Toyota owning family for the most part. I even went into a program for T-TEN, but didn't finish (Toyota techs should know this).

Anyway, I helped my cousin last year get into an Elantra. I also got the chance to rent the 2017 Elantra on multiple occasions this year, the last one being a 2018 SEL with the AA/ACP, and it was something that I wish Toyota would offer. I had my eyes on a 2017 SE 6 speed, but the tech like you mentioned sucked. Even owners of the 2018 Camry hate the Entune for the most part, and for me, it is becoming a deal breaker if they are stubborn to offer it.

Right now, I think next year will be when I replace the Corolla, as I don't have attachment to it like I had with my 96 RAV4 that I still regret letting go. Definitely the Elantra Sport is on my radar, because Hyundai made the ideal Corolla, though of course it contends with the new Civic Si which is seemingly good despite not having VTEC anymore. Only thing I wish for Hyundai to do is put HIDs or LEDs on all the Elantras like Toyota did for the Corollas, but the Sport has them so no worries.
 

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Hyundai and Kia reminds me of the Japanese vehicles in the late 70's, the laughing stock in the automotive world, but sure had to put their act together to become successful by offering quality and value. Sure was a wake up call to Detroit, the eutectic piston was only a 15 cent option, US invention, Detroit refused to do this, Japanese did.

Became unpatriotic and went Japanese with a 1985 Honda SEI, darn good runner, 230K miles almost troublefree, but only good for nine years, with road salt, a pile of rust. Not sure how the Elantra will do, sheet metal is galvanized. Was around 1992, the Japanese devalued the US buck, quality was not the same, really cheapened up their vehicles.

Still have my 88 Supra after some odd 29 years, when the road salt is poured, stays in the garage, this car has quality.

My kids were way ahead of me, got me interested in Hyundai, over a year ago, being retired or just tired, really looked around, saw quality and value, I haven't seen for a long time. Just a whole bunch of little stuff, like a radiator cap, neoprene heater hoses, actually came with door sill coverings, a locking gas cap, etc. While other vehicles were dropping the PT warranty to 60K, this one not only at 100K, but ten years as well.

Unfortunately in the US no vehicle manufacturer can make a vehicle the way they want to, the government is the dictating force, DOT, EPA, even auto insurance companies have a strong say. Ha, the unibody became the largest throwaway part. Least they provided TPMS that doesn't require a relearn tool, not using the best ABS module in the world, and traction control is nothing short of being stupid, but can be turned off with a quick tap on that switch. Least they have room for a full sized spare tire, putting a compact spare tire with traction control and ABS is nothing short of being stupid, lose these so-called safety features.

In my search of looking at everything, Hyundai was the best. With this crazy winter gas we are stuck with, finding the window sticker fuel economy to be accurate, was doing far better than this.

Welcome to this board, will be interesting to what you have to say with the technical aspects.
 

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Owners of Elantra that I know don't really complain about their cars much. They are good cars and better than my Sonata. Maintain it and it will run forever.

I wouldn't pay $24k for an Elantra since I don't need any of the silly ultimate options. This price range is in entry level Camry/Accord/6 range. And, with the $8k+ discounts on the leftover '17 SanteFes and '17/18 Sonatas, I could get much more vehicle for the money. 72 months is silly even at 0% because they usually offer a discount/rebate in place of financing which with good haggling/shopping skill, could be more than the $2k saved on interest. The local dealer's incentive/rebates/discount on a new Elantra is about $5k off of MSRP with advertised loss leaders at more than $6k off of MSRP.
 

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Owners of Elantra that I know don't really complain about their cars much. They are good cars and better than my Sonata. Maintain it and it will run forever.

I wouldn't pay $24k for an Elantra since I don't need any of the silly ultimate options. This price range is in entry level Camry/Accord/6 range. And, with the $8k+ discounts on the leftover '17 SanteFes and '17/18 Sonatas, I could get much more vehicle for the money. 72 months is silly even at 0% because they usually offer a discount/rebate in place of financing
Agree 100% that the current big rebates make more sense than the 0% financing. You come out ahead by taking the big rebate and getting your own financing (at least at current universally low interest rates).

As a new Elantra owner, it's good to hear your feedback from other owners. FWIW most major press (JD Power, Consumer Reports) also give the Elantra high marks for reliability. I hope that holds true for my ride too.

Since I bought a Limited/Ultimate, I obviously (and respectfully) disagree with your opinion about buying the available options ;) Many other brands offer inexpensive entry-level compacts, but there are simply no other cars in the class that come close to offering the E Ultimate's features. In the end, that is what sold me on the Elantra vs a competitor. (And with rebates/yr-end discounts I paid somewhat less than US$24k).
Spending similar $$ on an entry level mid-size to a loaded compact is a age old argument. Different buyers have different wants/needs. Since I was looking for a fuel-efficient & enjoyable urban commuter, I did not need the size & like the added features in a loaded compact. YMMV.
 

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Another very satisfied Elantra GL owner here who used to drive a Corolla. When I looked for a replacement, the Corolla and Civic were #1 and #2 on my list. However an officemate of mine told me how happy he was with his Kia Rio and it how it has been mostly trouble free for the more than four years he has had it.

The made me look into Korean made cars... both Kia and Hyundai. The Elantra GL Auto ultimately won out at it offered the most bang for the buck among the models I looked into.

I went with the GL auto since in my book the less options the better... That also means less weight. I prefer the simplicity of having basic knob adjustments for the A/C system; no sun roof that can explode, rattle or leak; minimal computer aids that can and will require maintenance or costly replacements down the road. The only assist the GL Auto has are blind spot / cross traffic warning system and the ABS system.

If this Elantra GL Auto lasts at least last half as long as my Corolla which I drove for 21 years, I am happy.
 

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Don't ask me why, had to finance my Limited for $10,000.00 to get another $1,000.00 discount, even at 0% interest. Only hooker I found was a late payment charge, maybe hoping I would be two seconds late. Received the title with a lien on it.

After about 3 weeks, called Hyundai Finance, down in Texas someplace, said we could save each other a ton of paper work if I send you a check for this, said perfectly fine, week later, received a new title, lien free and still got my extra thousand discount.

Still making car payments, but to my savings account, not sure why, the inflation rate is greater than the interest I am earning and have to pay income tax on top of this. Don't like the stock market, Warren Buffett and his buddies, can dump stock in the morning, drop the price, cause a panic, we take a loss, buy it back at a lower price screwing the little guys.

Tried this a couple of times, but waited until it came back to the price I paid for it to break even, they got us where they want us.

Seem to have a lot of store credit cards, same thing, use those and get an extra 30% discount, none if you use your own. But those get paid the instant the bill comes in.

If some idiot hits you, bank is more concerned about getting their money back and becomes the priority, you come in second place. With our last totaled vehicle, stalled for four months and wore the culprits out to get a fair settlement, no banks to deal with.
 

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It just dawned on me: I have never given a review of the Elantra from my own ownership perspective. So, without further ado:

Owned 2011 Limited, 32,000 no issues, Loved it
Owned 2013 Limited, 72,000 no issues, Loved it
Own....2017 Ultimate, 35k, no issues*, Loving it!
*rr power window motor...no biggie...warranty.

Review over. :grin2:
 
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It just dawned on me: I have never given a review of the Elantra from my own ownership perspective. So, without further ado:

Owned 2011 Limited, 32,000 no issues, Loved it
Owned 2013 Limited, 72,000 no issues, Loved it
Own....2017 Ultimate, 35k, no issues*, Loving it!
*rr power window motor...no biggie...warranty.

Review over. :grin2:
Quick, simple, to the point. Well done.
 
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Don't ask me why, had to finance my Limited for $10,000.00 to get another $1,000.00 discount, even at 0% interest. Only hooker I found was a late payment charge, maybe hoping I would be two seconds late. Received the title with a lien on it.

After about 3 weeks, called Hyundai Finance, down in Texas someplace, said we could save each other a ton of paper work if I send you a check for this, said perfectly fine, week later, received a new title, lien free and still got my extra thousand discount.

Still making car payments, but to my savings account, not sure why, the inflation rate is greater than the interest I am earning and have to pay income tax on top of this. Don't like the stock market, Warren Buffett and his buddies, can dump stock in the morning, drop the price, cause a panic, we take a loss, buy it back at a lower price screwing the little guys.

Tried this a couple of times, but waited until it came back to the price I paid for it to break even, they got us where they want us.

Seem to have a lot of store credit cards, same thing, use those and get an extra 30% discount, none if you use your own. But those get paid the instant the bill comes in.

If some idiot hits you, bank is more concerned about getting their money back and becomes the priority, you come in second place. With our last totaled vehicle, stalled for four months and wore the culprits out to get a fair settlement, no banks to deal with.
Your credit score just took a hit paying that loan off within the first year. I can appreciate your perspective, but this is the world, today. You have to know the system to come out ahead. I'm a huge supporter of mutual funds, but not playing the stock market, especially this year, is a poor idea. Now, crypto-currencies are risky. I like risks. I have gotten ridiculously rich of them.
 
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