Hyundai Elantra

2017 Hyundai Elantra

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is all-new, an attractive compact sedan with impressive quality creds and a strong value proposition. Elantra competes with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Like any major makeover, the 2017 Elantra sports new sheetmetal. Its also a bit bigger than the previous generation. But perhaps its most impressive upgrade is structural. Thanks to a higher percentage of high strength steel and increased use of structural adhesive, 394 feet of industrial glue, according to Hyundai, the new unitbody is 30 percent stiffer.

Theres new under the hood as well, specifically, two new engines, and one new transmission.

As with the previous version, the sixth-generation Elantra comes standard with a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder, available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic. However, output of the 2.0-liter has been reduced, from 173 horsepower to 147, an adjustment presumably made in the interest of fuel economy.

Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 26/36 mpg City/Highway for the Elantra SE with manual transmission, 29/38 mpg with the automatic, an improvement of several miles per gallon over pre-2017 Elantra models.

The optional engine, propelling the Elantra Eco, is a turbocharged 1.4-liter (128 hp, 156 pound-feet of torque). It sends power to the front wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. At this writing, Hyundai was awaiting official EPA fuel economy ratings for the Eco, but anticipates 32 mpg city, 40 mpg highway. Also, with the official Eco on-sale date slated for May, pricing was yet to be announced.


2016 Hyundai Elantra

For 2016, Hyundai Elantra gets new front and rear styling, with LED lighting on 2016 Elantra Sport and 2016 Elantra Limited models.

We think the Hyundai Elantra is better than the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in some ways. The Elantra offers more value than most compacts. The Elantra is good looking, grown up, well liked, pleasant to drive in traffic, and it has a good safety record.

Elantra comes in two body styles: Elantra SE, Sport and Limited models are four-door sedans. Elantra GT models are five-door hatchbacks (see separate New Car Test Drive review). Elantra is called a compact but its interior says mid-size.

The Elantra is an above-average compact. Its as big as a Volkswagen Jetta and drives as well as a Toyota Corolla, but isnt as energetic or engaging as a Ford Focus, and it falls short of the performance of the Jetta and Mazda3.

The standard engine, found in Elantra SE and Elantra Limited, is an efficient 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque, and gets an EPA-estimated 28/38 mpg City/Highway. The 1.8-liter offers respectable smoothness and acceleration (after a slow throttle response). Theres a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.

Elantra Sport comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque, and it is also available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg Combined, compared with 32 mg Combined for the 1.8-liter automatic.

The 2016 Elantra gets five stars from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick from IIHS, with Acceptable in the overlap test and Good in all other tests.


2014 Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra remains one of the best choices in the compact segment, combining unique design and practicality in a fuel-efficient package. Elantra comes in three basic body styles: four-door sedan, two-door coupe, hatchback GT.

Refreshed for 2014, the Elantra lineup debuts redesigned front and rear styling, interior changes and a new Sport trim level for the sedan.

Elantra Sport gets an all-new 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine good for 173 horsepower (25 hp more than the previous generation 1.8-liter model) and 154 pound-feet of torque, along with retuned steering and stiffer suspension. Standard features on the Elantra Sport include 17-inch alloy wheels, aluminum pedals, projector headlights and LED tail lamps.

Elantra LE and Elantra Limited are powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 145 horsepower.

Elantra Coupe and GT models are also powered by the new 2.0-liter engine. Coupes get sport-tuned steering, a new rear spoiler and a standard blackout front grille. One well-equipped trim level now replaces last year's two trim level choices. GT models now come with optional LED taillights. As before, Elantra GT offers three selectable steering modes, which offer heavier or lighter steering feel depending on preference.

We have found all the Elantra variants enjoyable to drive. The Elantra sedan's smooth ride and responsive handling make for a plush, but not numb, driving experience. Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT models feel more connected to the road, without sacrificing road-trip comfort. We drove an Elantra Sport and found the new 2.0-liter engine had plenty of power and pull, even while climbing up steep mountain ranges at highway speeds. However, the stiffer suspension made for some fatigue after a long road trip on less-than-smooth surfaces, and we found the new engine's direct injection quite noisy at idle and at slower speeds.

Inside, the 2014 Elantra gets subtle tweaks, including new air conditioning controls and vent placements, and a repositioned center armrest. We found the standard air-conditioning system with manual knobs easy to use, though it has only four fan speeds.

A new 7-inch touchscreen is optional on top-of-the-line Elantra Limited trims, along with a retooled interface that includes improved voice recognition and Pandora integration. Unfortunately, this screen, along with navigation, is not available on base trims. Instead, the only option is a smaller, 4.3-inch touchscreen (standard on Sport and Limited trims), which displays audio, phone and vehicle information, and serves as the display for the rearview camera.

Despite recent controversy over Hyundai's fuel economy ratings, the 2014 Hyundai Elantra still achieves very good fuel economy figures for its class, even after the EPA adjusted its numbers downward for Elantra models. Elantra sedans achieve 27/37 mpg City/Highway with the 6-speed manual and 28/38 mpg with the 6-speed automatic. Elantra Sport sedans are rated at 24/34 mpg with the manual and 24/35 mpg with the automatic. Elantra Limited sedans are rated at 27/37 mpg City/Highway, and only come with the automatic transmission. While driving these cars, we achieved better fuel economy than the EPA figures.

Elantra Coupes are rated at 24/34 mpg City/Highway with the automatic transmission. GT models are rated at 24/34 mpg City/Highway with the 6-speed manual and 24/33 mpg with the 6-speed automatic.

Competitors to the Elantra sedan include perennial favorites like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. The Elantra Coupe takes on the Honda Civic coupe and the Kia Forte Koup, along with larger, more expensive two-doors such as the Honda Accord. The five-door Elantra GT goes up against popular hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and the recently redesigned Volkswagen Golf.


2013 Hyundai Elantra

One of the best compact cars on the market, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra continues to be a winning combination of compelling styling, able performance and interior comfort. For 2013, there are more variants to love.

The 2013 Elantra Coupe two-door and 2013 Elantra GT five-door hatchback join the Elantra sedan four-door. With unique styling cues and driving characteristics, the Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT are positioned as sporty alternatives to the traditional sedan.

The Elantra Coupe is fun yet practical, and fits between the Elantra sedan and the more enthusiast-oriented Genesis Coupe. The Elantra GT replaces the old Elantra Touring model. The GT offers versatility and plenty of cargo space with European-inspired features and styling.

In addition to differences in dimensions and styling, the new Elantra Coupe and GT use unique suspension components for a stiffer ride. A V-beam rear suspension, instead of the torsion beam found on the sedan, gives the coupe and GT a firmer, more planted feel, and helps to reduce body roll around corners. Suspensions are tuned differently between models with standard 16-inch and optional 17-inch wheels, with the larger wheels receiving an even sportier treatment. The GT also offers three selectable steering modes, which offer heavier or lighter steering feel depending on preference.

Meanwhile, trims and pricing have been restructured slightly for the 2013 Hyundai Elantra sedan. Although the base 2013 Elantra GLS model starts at more than $1,000 over the 2012 model, it gets more standard features including air conditioning, a telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, and 16-inch (instead of 15-inch) wheels. On GLS models equipped with the automatic transmission, heated front seats are included with the optional Preferred Package.

We found all Elantra variants enjoyable to drive. The sedan's smooth ride and responsive handling make for a plush, but not numb, driving experience. The Coupe and GT models feel more connected to the road, without sacrificing road-trip comfort.

Inside, the Elantra sedan is roomy all around, especially by compact standards, with interior measurements comparable to those of a small midsize car. The coupe and GT, however, suffer from a lack of rear headroom due to the steeper rake of their rooflines. All Elantras offer top-of-the-class cargo space.

All models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Like most compacts, Elantra is front-wheel drive. Using lighter materials such as aluminum and plastic on engine parts helps to keep the Elantra family relatively lightweight, around 2,700 pound for the Coupe and a bit more for the GT. The sedan weighs in at around 2,900 pounds, which is good for a compact sedan. These lower curb weights help Elantra achieve solid performance and excellent fuel economy.

EPA ratings for all Elantra variants are some of the most competitive in the industry. Sedans are rated at 28/38 mpg City/Highway with both manual and automatic transmissions. That's better than the Ford Focus (26/36 mpg), Chevrolet Cruze (26/36 mpg), or Honda Civic (28/36 mpg). The Elantra Coupe is EPA-rated at 29/40 mpg with the manual and 28/39 mpg City/Highway with the automatic. The Elantra GT gets 27/39 mpg with the manual and 28/39 mpg with the automatic.

The Elantra four-door competes in the crowded compact sedan segment against the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, and Mazda3 sedans. The Elantra Coupe takes on the Honda Civic coupe and the Kia Forte Koup, along with larger, more expensive two-doors such as the Honda Accord. The five-door Elantra GT goes up against popular hatchbacks such as the Mazda3, Ford Focus and Toyota Matrix, as well as the Subaru Impreza hatch and Volkswagen Golf.

 

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