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Toyota Corolla vs. Hyundai Elantra: Comparison

Aug 11, 2021

Looking for a dynamic vehicle? The Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra have been available on the Canadian market for decades, with good reason. The 2021 models are back, both with exciting new technology and the same great fuel efficiency you expect.

2022 Toyota Corolla Family Model Lineup

The 2021 Toyota Corolla family brings drivers 3 distinct vehicles: Hybrid, Hatchback and Sedan, each with their own personality and unique features.

When it comes to Corolla vs. Elantra, why does the Toyota Corolla outshine the Hyundai Elantra?

Let us tell you why.

A Corolla for Everyone

The Corolla family has a vehicle available for every need. The Sedan is the best of both worlds: solid performance and great value. This is a great family vehicle for those on-the-go. From city to country, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is the ultimate driving experience.

The latest member of the Corolla family is the Corolla Hybrid. This vehicle stands out with its fuel-efficiency in comparison to other compact cars in Canada. For those looking for an extra sleek design, the Corolla Nightshade Edition is available in both Hatchback and Sedan.

The Corolla Hatchback turns it up a notch. This vehicle takes the same edgy style and versatility and adds the extra value of more cargo space. Fully loaded with the best technology such as Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, and Connected Services.

Coming soon, the Corolla family will be welcoming the Corolla Cross into the lineup. A sub-compact SUV with big attitude. This new vehicle clearly exemplifies that great things can come in smaller packaging. Built on the new TNGA-C platform and available with dynamic Torque Control AWD, the new Corolla Cross will be sure to impress when it is made available in Canada.  To learn more be sure to register for updates to get the latest information on the upcoming Corolla Cross.

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is available in 3 gasoline models: Essential, Preferred and Ultimate. The Elantra Hybrid is also available in Preferred or Ultimate trims. Both the Corolla and Elantra have similar price tags; while the Elantra’s slightly lower cost may seem tempting, keep in mind its trim options and packages are more limited.

If you’re looking to customize your vehicle with the best technology, safety and performance, the Corolla allows you more ways to do so.

Toyota Corolla vs Hyundai Elantra

Designed for Real Life

The Corolla’s interior is both comfortable and convenient. Drive farther and see the world from a larger point of view. With a wider instrument panel, you see more while driving. Equipped with soft-touch panels, experience a more exhilarating ride.

The XLE CVT, XSE CVT and Hybrid Premium Package offers 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat for optimal convenience. Corolla LE and Hybrid feature cloth, SE models feature Sport Cloth and Hybrid Premium Package Corollas are cloaked in SofTex Leather. The XSE is a mixture of the two, with SofTex/Fabric.

The Hyundai Elantra’s interior changes depending on the trim. The Essential features cloth, Preferred has premium cloth and Ultimate comes standard with leather. A downside here is that all Elantra seats are 6-way manually adjustable, 8-way (like the Corolla), is only available as a factory-installed option, not standard to any of the trims.

Toyota reintroduces two newer editions this year: Nightshade and Apex. The Nightshade Edition, available in both Hatchback and Sedan offers drivers black exterior accents (grille surround, 18” alloy wheels, side rocker, rear spoiler, etc.) This striking edition has an adventurous edge you will love. No surprise it won DoubleClutch.ca’s 2020 Best Sedan of the Year.

With only 150 available in Canada, the limited-edition Apex Edition takes Corolla SE’s sporty style and elevates it even further. Experience a new body kit, power moonroof, 18” black flow-formed alumni alloy wheels, black rear spoiler, and black badging. This vehicle exemplifies fun to drive with sport-tuned exhaust, performance-tuned front and rear stabilizer bar, and performance-tuned coil springs.

The 2021 Corolla has a stylish, dynamic, and athletic exterior. If you love a sporty look, the performance-focused S Line is perfect for you. The SE and XSE include a honeycomb grille and J-shaped bi-beam LED headlamps that add an edgy touch to the vehicle. The Corolla’s wheel size ranges from 15”-18” depending on the model.

The 2021 Elantra, with angular lines and a bold front grille, 16” alloy wheels on the Hybrid, Essential and Preferred models and up to 17” on the Ultimate. While the Elantra boasts a standard sunroof on Hybrid Preferred and Ultimate models (with the option to factory install it on Preferred), the Corolla features it on multiple models and packages including: LE upgrade package, XLE, SE Apex Edition and XSE.

2021 Toyota Corolla Safety

Safety: Smarter and Safer Drive

All 2021 CVT powertrain Corolla models come equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This system is fully loaded to include Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams and Lane Tracing Assist.

Pre-Collision System detects movement of both humans, animals, and vehicles. With enhanced low-light capabilities, movement at night will be clear, even when visibility is at its lowest.[1] The Elantra on the other hand, only has Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian, Cyclists and Junction Turning Detection for its Ultimate grade.

We’ve made nighttime driving in the Corolla safer with Automatic High Beams. These high beams shift between high and low at speeds up to 40 kph.[2] depending on the situation. The Elantra features High Beam Assist technology as well, however, only up to 30 kph.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist helps keep you safe by keeping your vehicle centred. If someone ahead of you is driving slowly, DRCC adjusts your speed to the car in front of you to make sure there’s a safe distance between you.[3] While the Hyundai Elantra does have a Adaptive Cruise Control feature, but you can only access it with their Ultimate grade.

2021 Toyota Corolla Technology CarPlay

Technology: Connected to What Matters

This generation of Corollas has all the latest technology. Designed to keep you connected and make your life easier, vehicles come with a 4.2” TFT Multi-Information Display, Backup Camera, available Smart Key with Push Button Start and 8” multimedia display with embedded navigation.

While the Corolla has a slightly smaller 4.2” touch screen than the Elantra, it more than makes up for it with 6 speakers standard on all models and packages. The Elantra on the other hand, only comes with 6+ speakers on the Preferred and Ultimate models.

Always stay in touch with features such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Connected Services with Qi wireless charging that’s available on certain models.

You will love Toyota’s signature Service Connect which comes standard, and other available options such as Remote Connect, Destination Assist and Safety Connect. Service Connect allows you to receive warning light notifications and vehicle health reports. Remote Connect gives you the option to lock and unlock your doors, straight from your smartphone.

Destination Assist gives you 24/7 exclusive access to a live agent that can help you find your destination and identify the best route to get there. Safety Connect is for emergency assistance, we hope you never need it but we’re glad to assist you for any trouble on the road.

2021 Toyota Corolla Performance

Performance: The Joy of the Ride

Excitement behind the wheel is not new for any Corolla driver.

Experience the impressive performance and power of the 2021 Toyota Corolla. You can look forward to the standard powertrain on the Corolla being a Dynamic Force 2.0 Litre, In-Line 4-Cylinder, with 169 hp. In comparison, the Hyundai Elantra comes standard with a Smartstream 2.0L MPI Atkinson In-Line 4-Cylinder engine with only 147 hp.

One of the best features of the Corolla is its fuel economy. With a combined city and highway rating of 7.1 L/100 km for L and LE grades, 7.3 L/100 km for XLE, 7.4 L/100 km for SE and 7.0 L/100 for the XSE grade.

While the fuel economy of CVT Elantra models is good, the manual models are not on par with a combined rating of 7.8 L/100 km. In this case, while the Elantra has slightly better fuel economy, depending on your needs, you may experience less powerful performance.

The Corolla Hybrid allows you to enjoy the same great power as the gas option, with a 1.8 Litre, In-Line 4-Cylinder engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive. It doesn’t stop there. With 121 hp and combined fuel efficiency of 4.5 L/100 km, the Hybrid does more by using less. In contrast, the Elantra Hybrid is not as fuel efficient, with a combined score of 4.7 L/100 km.

Available on select Corolla models, Sport Mode includes an engine control unit and simulated shift points that adjust to give a more athletic feel for the driver.

Looking to get more out of your Corolla? There are many ways you can upgrade your 2021 Toyota Corolla, making it even better and more powerful. Choose from our special editions (Nightshade), or upgrade packages such as SE or XSE and Continuous Variable Transmission.

You Ever-Ready Partner

After comparing both vehicles, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra stand out as crowd favourites in the Canadian auto market with their 2021 models.

If you’ve got your eye on a sedan or hatchback, you have many different options to choose from. Discover the grade or package best suits your life, but don’t forget to try it out at your local dealership to make sure you’re getting your perfect match!

Book a test drive at a local dealership or build and price the Corolla for you.


[1] PCS with PD is designed to determine if impact is imminent and help reduce impact speed and damage in certain frontal collisions involving a vehicle or a pedestrian. PCS w/PD is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving. System, effectiveness depends on many factors, such as speed, size and position pedestrian and weather, light, and road conditions.

[2] Automatic High Beams operate at speeds above 25 mph. Factors such as a dirty windshield, weather, lighting and terrain limit effectiveness, requiring the driver to manually operate the high beams.

[3] DRCC is designed to assist the driver and is not substitute for safe and attentive driving practices. System effectiveness is dependent on many factors including road, weather, and traffic conditions.