Hyundai Elantra Research

The Car Connection Hyundai Elantra Overview

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The Hyundai Elantra is a sedan that makes efficiency and affordability are its top priorities, although it has turned heads in the last few years with out-there style. 

MORE: Read our 2021 Hyundai Elantra review

With the Elantra, Hyundai has a rival for vehicles such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda 3 as well as the Nissan Sentra, Volkswagen Jetta, and the Elantra's cousin, the Kia Forte.

The new Hyundai Elantra

A new Elantra arrived for the 2021 model year, sporting two new entries in the lineup: a Hybrid and an N Line.
 
The latest Elantra wears an attention-grabbing shape that wears origami folds and lots of diamond-themed details. It's wasp-waisted and daring—but the interior's more plain, with a horizontal band of metallic ribs and a touchscreen that caps the dash.
 
Base Elantras tap a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 147 horsepower, and team it with a CVT and front-wheel drive. Ride and handling have improved in this generation, but the real standout is the 54-mpg combined Hybrid, which pairs a smaller 1.6-liter inline-4 with batteries and a motor for smooth acceleration and improved handling, thanks to a rear suspension upgraded from a torsion-beam to a multi-link setup. Elantra N Line sedans take the multi-link rear and stuff a 1.6-liter turbo-4 under the hood for 201 hp in all, and use a dual-clutch 7-speed or a 6-speed manual to dole out power to the front wheels. The Elantra N-Line's well balanced and brisk to drive, while it leaves plenty of room for an upcoming 275-hp Elantra N.
 
Bigger in some ways than the past editions, the new Elantra has slim head room for tall passengers, and the interior's trimmed in lots of hard plastic. The seats wear sportswear-knit fabric or leather but could use more support.
 
Crash-test data hasn't been published, but all Elantras have automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. Standard equipment ranges from an excellent 4-year/50,000-mile warranty to power features and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Top versions get a power sunroof, premium audio, and a 10.3-inch touchscreen with navigation.

Hyundai Elantra, 2017-2020

The new Elantra that arrived for the 2017 model year was a more sedately styled sedan that improved its quietness and refinement, much as Hyundai did with the bigger Sonata that was new in 2015.

The Elantra's styling bravado was pared down, and supplemented with more safety features, a more comfortable cabin, and higher fuel economy.

Inside and out, the Elantra's lines were dialed down and smoothed out. The space for people and cargo was boosted, too: with about an inch more in overall length and in width, the new Elantra is firmly in the mid-size category, though Hyundai sells it as a compact car.

Two new powertrains help Hyundai nudge the Elantra's efficiency to new highs. A new 2.0-liter inline-4 makes 147 horsepower in the sedan and 161 hp in the Elantra GT hatchback. A sedan-only Elantra Eco uses a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with 128 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a 7-speed, dual-clutch transmission for improved fuel efficiency. The dual-clutch transmission is also used in the Sport sedan and GT N-Line hatchback, which use a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo-4. 

The powertrains deliver adequate power, but much smoother performance in Limited models. Those Limited sedans have more insulation between the engine and cabin, thicker glass, and more sound-deadening material surrounding the cockpit. With them, the Elantra is now about as quiet as the Sonata.

Handling has improved with a stiffer body and a redesigned torsion-beam rear axle. Safety rating agencies are mixed with the Elantra. The IIHS calls the sedan a Top Safety Pick+, but federal testers give the car a worrying four-star overall score with a special note for intrusion.

New features on the options list include forward-collision warnings with automatic braking; adaptive cruise control; and blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts. Other new features will include a motion-activated trunk release; Android Auto; and a new navigation system.

The new Elantra went on sale early in 2016, as a four-door sedan. While the coupe is gone, a new Elantra GT hatchback arrived for 2018. It's more closely related to the Hyundai i30, which is sold worldwide and assembled in South Korea, while the Elantra sedan is produced in North America and mostly sold there.

For 2019, the Elantra sedan got a cosmetic refresh with triangular design cues in the front fascia. In 2020 Hyundai made active safety tech standard fare on all models and replaced the 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic with a CVT that boosts fuel economy by 2 mpg combined.

Hyundai Elantra, 2012-2016

With its 2011 redesign, the Elantra made a bold design gamble. Its radical new style was built on the automaker's "fluidic sculpture" theme seen on the larger Sonata; it featured dramatic curves and deep cutlines, and inside, an hourglass-shaped center stack. Power came from a 148-hp, 1.8-liter inline-4, and with weight reduced, the model initially had a 40-mpg highway rating across the entire lineup. While these models weren't especially enjoyable to drive, they were well-equipped small cars, with refinement a step above past efforts, including much reduced wind and road noise.

This Elantra's crash-test ratings were initially a mixed bag. The IIHS gave it the Top Safety Pick award and eventually, the car achieved a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA after some running updates. This Elantra also offered some features that weren't necessarily commonplace in this size class, including a touchscreen navigation system with real-time weather and traffic; heated rear seats; and a rearview camera.

One black mark on the 2011-2013 Elantra lineup: Hyundai was found to have overstated its fuel-economy numbers for several vehicle lines, due to what it deemed procedural errors during its testing. Hyundai initially claimed up to 40 mpg highway for some models, but after a consumer campaign alleged lower real-world economy, the EPA ran a confirmation check of the Elantra lineup and of several other Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The tests resulted in restated fuel-economy numbers for all involved model years. Owners were asked register with Hyundai to receive reimbursement for the gas consumed above and beyond expected levels. For more details, head to HyundaiMPGInfo.com.

The 2013 model year marked the introduction of a new Hyundai Elantra Coupe, essentially a two-door version of the Elantra sedan, as well as a Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback. The GT had more in common with the compact Hyundai hatchbacks sold in Europe. It was related more in name than in hardware to the Elantra sedan and coupe, as it had its own bodywork that's about nine inches shorter overall, with sharp fastback styling featuring some overt Mazda 3 cues. The interior was quite different, too: the dash was shallower, without the hourglass shape that defines the center stack of controls in the coupe and sedan. The GT had its own rear suspension design, and a three-mode electric steering rack that offered added heft, though feedback was still limited.

The 2014 model year brought a new Elantra Sport four-door model that used a 174-hp version of Hyundai's 2.0-liter inline-4. That engine was also added to the Elantra GT range as an option. This was also the second and final year of availability for the Elantra Coupe, which did not return for 2015 due to low sales volumes.

Hyundai updated the Elantra GT for 2016. Changes included a new front end with a slatted grille, a revised navigation system with Siri Eyes Free functionality, ventilated front seats, and the latest Hyundai Blue Link services, which brought remote-start and other capabilities via smartphone app.

Hyundai Elantra history 

From 1992 to 2000, the first two generations of Elantras were, like most Hyundais of the era, inexpensive economy cars. After 2000, the Elantra made great strides toward mainstream levels of equipment and quality, including standard front and side airbags, air conditioning, and power locks and windows.

Redesigned again in 2007, the last-generation Elantra and the Elantra Touring wagon offered even more room, more powerful and efficient engines, and standard safety features like electronic stability control, brake assist, side-curtain airbags, active head restraints, and all-disc anti-lock brakes. The modern-day Elantra GT five-door hatchback replaced the Touring wagon in the current Elantra lineup.

With that 2007-2010 model, Hyundai managed to earn a new level of respect for reliability and resale value—even against stalwarts like the Civic and Corolla. This Elantra was offered in just three trims, with the Limited model available from 2001 to 2006 cut from the lineup. The GLS and SE trims were complemented by the Blue, a special fuel-efficiency-focused version of the sedan available only with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Elantra Touring was only available in GLS and SE trims.

 


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January 7, 2019
2019 Hyundai Elantra Limited Automatic

Underrated

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the 2019 Hyundai Elantra Limited is a very reliable comfortable car to own and drive.This car does everything well drive, handling, safety,and very good gas mileage.Our 2017 Elantra was very easy to own, no... + More »
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September 27, 2018
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Great automobile for anyone !

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I am a 74 year old guy that likes cars a lot. It is not a performance car, but it is a great car for anyone that wants a super looking car that provides much more than expected. Great handling, good... + More »
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August 17, 2018
2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport 1.6T Automatic (Ulsan)

inaccurate review

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In what world does the elantra sport pull a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds? Did the reviewer weigh over 500 pounds? Every other reviewing website clocks the elantra sport in at around 6.2-6.3 seconds for the DCT and... + More »
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