Honda has been the gold standard of quality and safety for many years in the automotive industry. They didn’t start there, in fact, they once had a reputation not unlike that of the Hyundais we think about from the ‘90s. Times do change and so do car companies; a testament to that Consumer Reports ranking the Hyundai Elantra SE and Honda Civic EX Manual with exactly the same rating—82 out of 100 on the overall road test score.

Angular Front Exterior View - 2010 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX-S

Angular Front Exterior View - 2010 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX-S

The overall test score isn’t the only place Hyundai is competing with Honda these days, they also have the same predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, ownership cost and safety rating. That is a long way from the Excels of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s that shared parts and platform with the Mitsubishi Precis. That all said, the Honda Civic EX Manual does still win the fuel efficiency category and takes home the prize for being about $1,500 more than the Elantra SE.

C/R aren’t the only people who rate these cars, we have our own ratings right here as a part of TheCarConnection.com family. If you take a look at our Civic and Elantra reviews, you will notice that we rate the Elantra at 7.2 out of 10 and the Civic at 8.6 out of 10. Where does the team at TheCarConnection.com think the Elantra has slipped compared to the Civic? Style, Performance and Features. So if you are looking for a recommended, affordable small sedan and style and performance aren’t the driving factors, but you budget is, then you might check out the 2010 Hyundai Elantra SE.