Battle of the Execs

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SummaryFirst introduced globally in 1966, into its eleventh generation now, produced in 15-odd countries, the best-selling nameplate in history with close to 39 million units sold in over 140 countries till date—this car is a hero.

easily. The diesel Elantra hits the ton in just under 11 seconds! The engine is fuel-efficient too, and returns a good figure of 15 kmpl. The Corolla diesel is, unarguably, underpowered, and after you have driven the Elantra, the car feels underwhelming. The engine, though, has a decent low-end torque and this ensures you don’t feel frustrated by the lack of power, at least while driving in the city. But once you are on the highway, the difference shows. The Corolla goes from 0-100 kmph in a lazy 15 seconds. On the positive, the engine is highly fuel-efficient and, driven sensibly, can give you an amazing mileage of 19 kmpl in the city and 20-plus on the highway.

Hyundais are not known to be amazing riders and this you feel in the Elantra also, despite massive improvement over the previous model. The Elantra is very comfortable when you are driving it within city limits, and the slick steering response ensures you don’t get tired even after you’ve spend hours in that horrible traffic jam; the steering is so light that you can literally operate it with your index finger! But the same responsive steering gives you an almost minimalist feel when you are driving at high speeds, so you have to be a little more careful while changing lanes at high speeds. The suspension, too, feels wallowy at high speeds.

No such problems with the Corolla though. It’s comfortable, feels planted, is quiet and rides much better than probably all the cars in its segment. It feels much more composed than the Elantra at higher speeds. Also, better headroom space at the rear means that back-seat occupants in the Corolla sit more comfortably.

Verdict

Traditionally, the executive segment in India always meant luxury, value and image. It wasn’t really about performance or the feel-good factor. The Corolla, traditionally, might still score some brownie points over the new Elantra, but as far as the feel-good factor is concerned, it is Elantra all the way.

Of course, until the eleventh generation Corolla enters India …

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