VW Jetta vs Hyundai Elantra Road Test Comparison Review By Ecardlr Expert

Launch of 2015 Jetta has reignited its age-old rivalry with Hyundai Elantra as both have staked claim for segment crown. We pit these segment contenders against each other to find which won and which loose in this latest bout.

VW Jetta vs Hyundai Elantra Road test comparison R

Arrival of new 2015 VW Jetta has brought luxury sedan segment back into limelight once again. Owing to indifference shown by customers and manufacturers, this D-category had been out of action for last half decade. While consumers remained hooked to more value for money offerings, manufacturers spent most of time in exploring new territories and segments. However, inception of new VW Jettaseems to have reanimated the sleepy segment from its rather long period of hibernation. We have already detected early signs of rising fury as Hyundai Elantra started readying itself for head-on fight with this latest iteration of Jetta. Elantra currently holds crown of luxury saloon segment and in fact, sales of this Hyundai remained largely unperturbed even during worst phase of market depression. Elegant styling, well-equipped interiors and large Hyundai dealership supported Elantra to remain on top though now for retaining segment crown, this Hyundai has to brave challenge of new Jetta. Whether Elantra can get through this challenge successfully or VW Jetta emerges as new segment leader? All this and much more in this road test comparison review. 
Matter of looks 
Both VW and Hyundai are master drawers as their respective propositions in question here are cunningly beautiful and elegant. Hyundai deserves a special mention here as it has shown tremendous flair for design in recent years. On the other hand VW has always been tastefully selective while drawing its silhouettes and new 2015 Jetta is no different. With its stunning elegance and sharp demeanour, Jetta turns up as one of the sleekest beauties in town. 
VW Jetta: Executive Looks
DRLs adorned headlamps, sharp grille, and subtle bulge on bonnet make VW frontage even more attractive than before.  Profile has sharp streaks, and in combination with alloy wheels, lends satiny looks to the car. Rear too follows suit of glossy and polished design as wrap-around tail lamps and a little inflated bumper do their duty without any fuss.
Hyundai Elantra: Curvaceous Beauty 
Hyundai’s design approach towards Elantra is a bit zingy which contrast sharply to elegance approach of VW. Elantra has littered with criss-crossing of character lines, power bulges and curvaceous elements. In fact it won’t be aggregated to say that Hyundai has gone overbroad with its fluidic-sculpture technology while using it on Elantra. Low-slung nose, rising profile and stout rear although gel well and turn up into great looking car, we suspect this design won’t stand onslaught of facelifted Jetta avatar. 
2015 VW Jetta: 4/5                                                 Hyundai Elantra: 3.5/5
Cabin Opulence 
VW Jetta: Luxurious interiors 
VW’s polished interiors falls exactly in line with its refined exteriors. There is quality all-around ad it’s virtually impossible to fault this cabin for almost anything. Fit-finish is of top-notch though only area where one could possibly grouse is cabin’s Spartan lay-out. VW should have added some more flair to justify high price of Jetta though this observation is not big enough to qualify as deterrent to sales. Space is available in plenty and with wheelbase of 2648 mm; Jetta offers enough on all kinds of room usually get purchase consideration. 
That said, real space champion here is Hyundai’s Elantra that offers class-leading 2700 mm of wheelbase. There is enough space at rear of Elantra to even fit your office, and this is especially significant as in overall length, it is Jetta which dwarfs Elantra by over 100 mm. width of both cabins are almost similar though Hyundai proves miles ahead in headroom. Advantage shift back to VW on boot space as it boasts capacious 510 litres compared to 420 litres of Elantra. 
Hyundai Elantra: Swoopy Dash with chunky controls
Interiors of Elantra are quite catchy in their overall presentation. Quality and lay-out have got more flair and though these lacks Jetta’s elegance, most of folks will favour this design much more interesting than VW. Like outside swoopy design, interiors of Elantra follow curvaceous theme with minimalistic controls that opens up loads of space at front.  On feature front, both cars are generously equipped though VW seems to have an upper hand on safety front. It has got 6 airbags including side and curtain, brake assist, projector headlamps and traction control in addition to features like ABS, EBD and ESP shared by Hyundai Elantra. Both cars have got goodies like cruise control, leather seat upholstery, electrically adjustable OVRMs etc. 
2015 VW Jetta: 4/5                                                                              Hyundai Elantra: 3.5/5
Power and Performance
In power-train department, Jetta commands considerable edge over Elantra owning to its bigger 2.0-litre engine putting out 138 PS and 320 Nm. In comparison, Elantra uses 1.6-litre oil-burner with output of 126 PS and 259 Nm. Hyundai’s engine is incredibly refined as one will be hard-pressed to believe that oil-burners could be as silent as it is. Same is not case with VW as Jetta rumbles to life with quite a sound. It settles then in smooth idle though initial expressions are loud enough to signal diesel engine doing duty under VW hood. It’s ironical to witness VW not putting its best technology to use in Indian vehicles as Jetta’s global variants have far more capable motors. 
VW Jetta:2.0-litre TDI oil-burner
Jetta hesitates a bit on lower rpm but picks up speed well adequately once turbo kicks in.  There is enough power from then onwards for all city and highway manoeuvres as Jetta cruises comfortably over entire rev range. Same is true for Hyundai Elantra which also feels equally comfortable to drive in both city and on highway. In fact this Hyundai feels no less eager than VW on highway and its lower outputs is nowhere perceptible anywhere. 
Hyundai Elantra: Incredible refined power-train 
Not perceptible in engine, difference can be clearly felt in transmission front with VW scoring quite high on gearbox efficiency and slickness. Shifts are ultra-smooth and gates are defined with cunning preciseness. After feeling such a high preciseness, using Hyundai gearbox is a bit downer. Elantra lacks surety feel which is quite abundant in Jetta. 
2015 VW Jetta: 4/5                                                                              Hyundai Elantra: 3.5/5
Road Manners
VW Jetta: Brilliant dynamics
Jetta has always been an inspiring car for drivers and in updated version, its appeal has been stepped up. Ride and handling of VW is impressively capable as Jetta rides with absolute certainty. In every sense of word, Jetta is far more accomplished car dynamically than Elantra. 
Hyundai Elantra: Horrible soft ride
Hyundai’s sore point is its excessively soft ride quality that makes it quite prone to tossing and pitching while cruising on highway. High speed stability is poor as Elantra get unnerved easily with similar behaviour shown at also in question and so is case with handling. Hyundai is now improving upon its dynamic abilities and we hope to see next-gen Elantra to feature better dynamics than what it offers in its current form. 
2015 VW Jetta: 4/5                                                                                 Hyundai Elantra: 3/5
Overall Verdict
Pricing is where VW gets heavy beating from Hyundai as Elantra trades at much less retail price than Jetta. This price difference accounts for Rs 2.5 lakh and could easily turn tide into favour of Elantra. For price sensitive buyers, Hyundai Elantra makes much more sense as it offers almost same equipment level and features as of Jetta but at quite lower price. That said, in an ideal case with money being not a constraint, we uninhibitedly recommend VW Jetta. This German flair has so much opulence and elegance to its credit that it’s impossible to substitute this car for anything else. It looks upmarket, has quality interiors, and comes with power and dynamics that is second to none. Most of the time this VW is chauffer driven though owners are sure to find excuses to drive this by themselves. Such is driving pleasure and dynamism of the Jetta that it will win you many times over. Attention to detail is intoxicating and despite of being shorter wheelbase, Jetta will unwind you more competitively owing to its better ergonomics and seating comfort. Hyundai here has done a good job by offering tough fight to Jetta though it could not halt winning streak of VW. 
2015 VW Jetta: 4/5                                                                                 Hyundai Elantra: 3/5

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