It’s the battle of the D-segment sedans and this time around the new boy is the 2016 Hyundai Elantra which has entered its third generation in the Indian market. This is a segment where the numbers have been rapidly eroded by competition at both ends thus becoming more of a showcase for manufacturers. It allows them to display the best of what they have to offer when budget is not the main criteria and that is the focus of our comparison today.
Straight away off the line, the Hyundai Elantra is the smallest car of the trio as it is 4.57 metres long while the Toyota Corolla Altis is 4.62 metres and the Skoda Octavia is 4.65 metres. However, the wheelbase, which is a more realistic test of the spaciousness of the car is evenly matched for all three vehicles. In terms of looks, the Octavia and Corolla are a bit plain looking as compared to the sharp lines of the Elantra but given that the Toyota is the oldest and most well-known, it is easily the most identifiable of all the three cars.
Firstly, these are cars of the D-segment which means that climate control, touchscreen infotainment system and leather upholstery are a given on the top-of-the-line models. We need to poke around deeper in the feature list to get a sense of what separates these cars. The Octavia holds strength when it comes to driver aids as it comes with a traction control system as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system. However, the Elantra makes up in luxury as it gets ventilated front seats with 10-way adjustment as well 4-way lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat. It is also the only car to get separate climate zones at the front and rear. The Corolla manages to gain back some ground in this tussle as it gets a hill-hold function and 2 12V power sockets which might not be much but in this age of smart phones the latter is a boon, especially if the car is being used with a chauffeur. Given the significantly higher price, the Octavia does bring a lot to the table but lacks in the navigation department which is an optional extra.
Engine and gearbox
First the petrol engine options and their gearboxes.
The Hyundai Elantra is being offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 150bhp/192Nm of torque while the Corolla Altis gets a 1.8-litre mill that produces 138bhp/173Nm. Finally the Octavia too gets a 1.8-litre engine but its output is 177bhp/250Nm. The Corolla Altis and Octavia get seven-speed units while the Elantra gets a six-speed unit both for AT option. Manual options on other hand are all six-speed units. In terms of numbers, the Octavia has the highest power and torque and they come in at a much earlier rpm than the rivals.
Now the diesel engine options
The Elantra is offered with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 126bhp/259Nm while the Octavia’s 2.0-litre diesel engine outputs 141bhp/320Nm. The Corolla gets a puny 1.4-litre unit that brings out 87bhp/205Nm of torque. Both the Elantra and the Octavia get six-speed AT and manual units while the Corolla is only offered only with a six-speed manual. Once again the Octavia is the most powerful as it has the highest figures and both come in at rpms lower than the competition. However, it loses out on ARAI efficiency as it has a figure of 19.3kmpl as compared to the Corolla’s 21.3kmpl and the Elantra’s 22.54kmpl.
Prices (ex-showroom Delhi)
The new Hyundai Elantra’s price range is from Rs 12.99 lakh to Rs 19.19 while the Skoda Octavia with a lesser number of variants is priced in the range of Rs 16.58 lakh to Rs 22.41 lakh. The Toyota Corolla Altis has a price range of Rs 13.79 lakh to Rs 18.67 lakh. The Elantra has a lower starting price than the Corolla and the same number of variants but gets the option of a diesel AT in the top-of-the-line SX (O) AT variant.