When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.

Hyundai Elantra vs. Honda Fit vs. Volkswagen Golf

Times are tough for the economy, which means times are also tough for consumers, especially if those consumers are on the hunt for a new car. Today we will compare three vehicles that can prove to be great cars for buyers for a rather sweet price tag.

The mid-sized 2016 Hyundai Elantra will face off against a pair of compacts in the 2016 Honda Fit and the 2016 Volkswagen Golf.

Despite being the largest of the three, the Elantra’s weight is almost a non-factor when the numbers for its fuel economy are compared to the other two. Right in the middle of the pack, the Elantra consumes an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway in its base Sedan Manual SE trim.

The Honda Fit, which is the smallest out of the three cars, has the best fuel economy rating, consuming an estimated 29 mpg driving in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Volkswagen Golf trails the competitors in city driving economy numbers, but not by much. The compact consumes an average 25 mpg in the city but manages to keep up with the other two on the highway, consuming an estimated 37 mpg.

While it loses the fuel economy battle, the Golf does make up for it in the performance department. A 1.8 Liter Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4 that can make 170 horsepower and 184 torque gives the Golf the lead on that spec.

Once again the middle man, the Elantra can make 145 horsepower and 130 torque behind its 1.8 Liter Regular Unleaded I-4 engine. Lastly but not least, the Honda Fit trails the pack with its 1.5 Liter Regular Unleaded I-4 engine that can provide the driver with 130 horsepower and 114 torque.

The real advantage the Honda Fit has over its competitors doesn’t hide inside of its engine. It lies in the Fit’s safety and space. With good ratings in almost all surveyed categories, the Fit earned a Top Safety Pick spot from the IIHS. Among the features that undoubtedly aided the Fit in getting excellent ratings, two particular ones catch the eye. The Honda Vehicle Stability Assist, which “helps adjust brake pressure and engine power in the event of oversteer or understeer,” according to Honda.com and the ACE™ Body Structure, which helps increase occupant protection by distributing frontal crash energy more evenly.

Regarding its advantage in the space department, most of it is due to Honda’s Magic Seat. According to Honda, the Fit has enough room on the back to fit a bike or even a small couch when the Magic Seat is folded down.

While drivers will find the difference maker for the Elantra to be in this comparison to be it being the best of both worlds when it comes to fuel economy and performance, it will take them only one look at the difference maker for the Golf to understand its advantage over the other two.

The Volkswagen compact has a wide variety of powertrains and trims for customers to choose from. Four doors, two doors, exclusives, turbo, there are six different Golf for customers to choose from, including the order only Golf SEL.

Prices for these three vehicles stay roughly within the same range. The base 2016 Hyundai Elantra Sedan Manual SE is priced starting at $17,250 while the Elantra Sedan Automatic PZEV Limited has a starting price tag of $21,700.

The Honda Fit has the cheapest model of the three, with the 2016 Honda Fit HB Manual LX starting at $15,890. Its most expensive trim is the 2016 Honda Fit HB CVT w/Navi EX-L starting at $21,165.

Starting at $18,495, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf HB Manual TSI is the most expensive starting trim out of the three. The most expensive Golf is the HB Automatic TSI SEL starting at $27,425.