Which is better between Cruze and Elantra

Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze, two great cars, each trying to appeal to different sensibilities and personalities of premium cars buyers in India. No wonder their buyers are so different from each other,

Cruze and Elantra - Battle For Top Honour

Equipped with drop-dread gorgeous look, Hyundai’s Elantra enjoyed an eye-popping dream debut. In its flesh, Elantra seems to be brimming with confidence and initial sales numbers are reason enough for this confidence. Elantra has won the battle for luxury saloon; at least for now. But then, there are many worthy contenders which are equally competent and capable to stake claim for their share of the D-segment pie, All of them have only upped their ante and are battling hard for leadership position. 

Chevrolet’s Cruze is one worthy such contender. Cruze has in it all that it takes to woo and convince premium sedan buyers in its favour.  Cruze's aggressive masculine stance and style, interiors and powerful legs has ensured that it continues with its dream sales run for Chevrolet, it's maker. Chevrolet too, didn't rest on its laurels and gave the Cruze another steroid shot by pumping additional horses under its hood, along with noise deadening material thus reducing one more area of concern for the car, its high NVH value. 

Equipped with more responsive motor, Cruze seems more confident in taking the fight to the doorsteps of  Elantra. But then will it be successful in claiming its superiority over sleekly styled Hyundai’s horse? Will Cruze be able to bear and stand-up to Hyundai’s Elantras for leadership in premium sedan category?  These and some other questions like them made us pit the established and new contender head-to-head through a test drive to decide the likely winner. Read to know more..


Let's start with a plain simple fact; both Cruze and Elantra will have their set of die-hard fans for their looks / styling. On any given day either of them can give the other a run for its money.

Though the design languages used differ in their fundamental approach; end result of both the attempts has ensured to deliver looks to die for each car. Both Elantra and Cruze are drop-dead gorgeous though the hints of sophistication tilts the needle towards Elantra’s design. While Elantra carries forward Hyundai Fluidic Design, Chevrolet with Cruze has decided to give the car a more masculine styling. While Elantra’s design bristles with sophisticated touches, Cruze tries to lure the customer with its aggressive and intimidating looks.

Profile of both the cars share the similarity of coupe-ish look as the roofs tapers downward with a bite. Both have the sharp rising lines though in Cruze these are straighter and edgy when compared to somewhat roundish profile of Elantra. 

Rear of both the cars features wrap around tail lamps, though in Elantra these are curvier than the squarish profile adopted by Cruze. Windscreen of both the cars is heavily raked, though the acuteness is more noticeable in case of Elantra than Cruze. 

Dimension wise Cruze dwarfs the Elantra in the parameters of length, width and height.  Elantra however, offers more of the all important feature of wheelbase, which means more cabin space. Elantra with the wheel base of 2700 mm vs Cruze's wheelbase of 2685 mm offers the crucial 15 mm more cabin space. This edge though not very comprehensive; still gives the advantage to the Elantra when it comes to one of the critical decision areas of purchase i.e. interior comfort. We will take more detailed look on inside comfort in following section.  

ELANTRA  : 4/5                                          CRUZE : 4/5


If outer dilemma of choosing the better looking car wasn't enough, inside proved even more difficult to pick the better one of of the two cars. Both cars’ interiors have similarity in terms of novelty and quality though differentiation do exists.

Talking in terms of layout, Cruze has an upper hand in terms of innovation as it talks more explicitly about cockpit design by clearly differentiating the cabin into two parts. Elantra though takes the leaf from the Cruze but does the same in a more subdued manner. Both cars have followed the water-fall like centre console but intuitiveness of none is great. Also the air con vents in Elantra are somewhat oddly shaped though they work very effectively.

Basis fit-finish it's the Elantra that wins hands down and quite easily. It has soft grains, more consistent quality and top –notch fit-finish; thereby giving it a lead over Cruze. Though Cruze also has good quality bits; their consistency is under clouds of doubt. Similarly fit-finish of Cruze could also be better. 

In terms of comfort also, we find Elantra a bit more comfortable than Cruze especially in terms of leg and knee room at the back. Front seats of both the cars are equally spacious and there is hardly any perceptible difference at the front. 

ELANTRA :   4/5                                       CRUZE : 3/5


Diesel Cruze is driven by a big 2.0 L heart, while Elantra is driven around by  1.6 L diesel engine. Both engines are powered by double overhead cam featuring different valves for breathing in and out mechanism. The difference in displacement of about 0.4 L proved decisive as Cruze takes clear lead over Elantra in terms of drivability and performance.  

There is glaring difference in the manners in which both heart delivers power to their respective wheels. While Cruze starts building the power surge in a linear manner, Elantra on the other hand is quite lazy till 2000 rpm post which one gets a distinct power surge. Drivability of Cruze is in its own league and Elantra is no match to it. You can trundle along with traffic easily in Cruze, while Elantra would necessitate frequent gear shift is the same traffic situation.

After taking the advantage in low end rev range, Cruze again surpasses Elantra in mid-range with its brisk progress. Cruze is quicker than Hyundai Elantra and retains its edge throughout the rev range. Clearly Elantra’s performance gets dented due to its small heart and it would have competed better had it been endowed with a bigger heart. 

ELANTRA : 3.5                                         CRUZE : 4/5


Both Cruze and Elantra shares their tyres’ specification with 14” alloy wheels shrouded with 205 mm rubber. Similarly both the manufacturers have chosen McPherson struts as an up front suspension while at rear Elantra features torsion beam which in Cruze is a crank type coil spring. 

Dynamically both cars are as different as chalk and cheese. Taking the traditional approach of it being a chauffeur-driven car, Elantra has pro-ride suspension settings giving a more comfortable and soaking ride than Cruze. In fact so comfortable is the ride that back seat passenger hardly notices any sort of intrusions and jerks. In comparison, Cruze is bit jittery and feel nervous on the ride front. It is far from being comfortable and suspension often crashes out at potholes.

On handling front, Cruze claws back its lost ground as it edges out Elantra with a huge margin. None of the car here is enjoys being cornered; Cruze shows better poise during the twisting manoeuvres. Taught chassis and stiffer suspension helps the Cruze in edging out Elantra in this round of bout.

ELANTRA : 3/5                                         CRUZE : 4/5


Hyundai has priced Elantra diesel within the price bracket of 12.95 - 15.89 lakh while Cruze retailing starts from 13.85 lakh and extends all the way up to 15.67 lakh. VFM of both the cars are almost same and so is the list of equipment. Both cars are closely matched on dimensions of exterior, interior and dynamic. In totality though we find Elantra better than the Cruze by few notches. It has the sophisticated styling, user friendly cabin with wee bit of more comfort and convenience and the overall package is further complemented by the better ride comfort which is one of the critical areas of concern for this segment. Therefore in totality Elantra triumphs over Cruze. 

Elantra however has no answer to the aggressive and blistering performance of the Cruze’s power plant. With its cracking performance and capable handling, we are sure it will continue to win hearts of the enthusiastic drivers. 

Finally Elantra will appeal and emerge as first choice for sensible and practical buyers. Cruze will be owned by sporty and adventurous.  It’s not a bad thing for Cruze because it is actually different and does what it promises. 

ELANTRA :  4/5                                       CRUZE : 3/5

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