We put the D-Segment sedans against each other and measure the competition to see how they fare against each other.
Exteriors – The exteriors of all the three cars carry different styling. The 2019 Civic carries the signature Honda style of design with sleek headlamps and a sloping roofline. The Civic was discontinued in 2013 but it made a comeback in 2019 and also gets a diesel engine option. The Skoda Octavia facelift that was launched in 2017 is still going strong in the Indian market. The manufacturer has introduced special versions like the ‘Corporate Edition’ of the sedan in India. The refreshed Octavia has many design changes that give a fresh look to the car. The Hyundai Elantra is also quite a looker and the styling is attractive. Hyundai is also going to launch the facelifted version of the sedan in the near future.
As we can see, the Octavia measures the largest in length, width and height. The Elantra is the second tallest car following the Civic. In the width department too, the Octavia takes the lead while the Elantra and the Civic follow respectively. The Honda Civic has the highest ground clearance at 170 mm while the Civic and the Elantra have the same wheelbase of 2700 mm. However, the Octavia is the largest sedan in size when the dimensions are compared.
Interiors – Now moving to the interiors, the Honda Civic features good build quality inside but it is not very sporty. The dashboard has a good design and complements the overall interior of the car. It also gets a digital instrument panel and some premium finishing here and there. The Skoda Octavia got a very minimal touch to its interiors after its facelift in 2017. It has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and smartphone connectivity. The Octavia also has the best interior quality in this segment and things feel really well put together. Coming to the Elantra, it boasts of modern interiors with more features in the top end trim. The Honda Civic has a cargo space of 430-litres with the Hyundai Elantra following up with 420-litres. The Skoda Octavia boasts of a cargo space of 590-litres which surely takes it way ahead of the competition.
The equipment list on all these sedans is more or less similar. They all come loaded with lots of safety features and boast of touchscreen infotainment systems too. The Octavia has a panoramic sunroof while the notchback opening of the boot adds to the practicality and ease of use. The Octavia’s cabin scores high on all fronts but it is a tough call between the Civic and Elantra. All these sedans offer enough space for both front and rear passengers.
Engine and Mileage – The Honda Civic gets a 1.8-litre petrol engine while the Skoda gets 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre TSI units. Meanwhile, the Elantra comes with a 2.0-litre petrol engine. Only the TSI engines are turbocharged here, while the Japanese and Korean offerings come with naturally-aspirated petrol engines. The Civic’s engine is the least powerful here even when compared to the 1.4-litre TSI engine. It also produces the least amount of torque. The Elantra makes a healthy 152 PS but since it’s a 2.0-litre unit, fuel efficiency isn’t really its forte. Both the petrol engines of the Octavia offer good performance, with the 1.8-litre unit being a total blast. These engines offer decent economy too if you feather the throttle. The DSG on the Skoda is way better than the CVT on the Civic and the torque converter on the Elantra.
Talking about diesel engines, both the Civic and Elantra come with 1.6-litre units, the engine on the Elantra is shared with the Verna and Creta. These engines offer nice performance despite being small in size. However, the Octavia gets a larger 2.0-litre TDI unit which produces significantly more power than its rivals. This engine is known for its robust reliability and exciting performance. The Civic diesel is offered with only a 6-speed MT while the other two sedans get MT and AT options with the diesel engine. The Civic diesel delivers the highest fuel efficiency here followed closely by the Elantra and Octavia. While the Octy has a larger engine, it still delivers excellent fuel economy on the highways if you don’t push the car a lot.
Safety and Service – In 2019, buying a car also means buying a lot of safety equipment. The recent safety norms push vehicle manufacturers to incorporate tons of safety equipment like airbags, stability control systems, braking force distribution system and much more. These features make the car safer and cause less damage or casualties in the event of a car crash. The Honda Civic comes with 2 airbags on the base and mid variants and 4 airbags on the top variants while the Elantra comes with 2 airbags on the lower variants and 6 airbags on the top variant. The Octavia also gets 4 airbags on base trim, 6 on the middle trim and 8 airbags on the L&K variants.
In terms of service, Hyundai and Honda have excellent service and relatively lower maintenance costs. These companies also offer a wide service network across the country. Skoda isn’t really known for its service reputation with owners reporting inconsistent service quality levels. The company’s network also isn’t as wide as that of Hyundai. However, don’t expect spare parts of the Civic and Elantra to be considerably cheaper than the Octavia, these cars belong to the premium segment so parts’ prices are expected to be high.
Price and Verdict – In the price department, the Honda Civic is priced from Rs. 21.09 – 25.15 lakhs for the petrol models and Rs. 24.96 – 27.13 lakhs for the diesel variants. The Skoda Octavia is priced from Rs. 18.95 lakhs to Rs. 22.46 lakhs for the 1.4-litre TSI engine and Rs. 24.74 lakhs to Rs. 28.28 lakhs for the 1.8-litre TSI petrol engine variants. The diesel variants of the Octavia are priced from Rs. 21.85 lakhs to Rs. 31.65 lakhs. The Hyundai Elantra price starts from Rs. 16.44 – 22.42 lakhs for the petrol-powered variants and Rs. 18.36 – 24.43 lakhs for the diesel variants (all prices on-road, Mumbai).
The Elantra and Octavia feel the most value for money here. The Elantra is the cheapest amongst the 3 and yet offers a lot while the Octavia is the most pricey but the stellar build quality, powerful engines and fun to drive nature make it worth buying. The Civic feels a bit pricey and the major negative of the Jap sedan is the fact that the diesel engine doesn’t get an AT.
Now which one to buy? Well, if budget isn’t an issue then we’d totally recommend the Skoda Octavia because it is the best all-rounder in this segment and there aren’t any major flaws with the car apart from Skoda’s service. However, it does come with a 4-year standard warranty now. If you’re on a budget, get the Elantra because it is a well-rounded car too but not as fun to drive as the Skoda. Also, it makes sense to wait for the facelifted version. People looking for no-nonsense ownership, resale value and fuel efficiency should consider the Civic. Its killer design is like a cherry on the cake and this car won’t disappoint you.