Inside the New Hyundai Elantra

An all new Hyundai Elantra has been introduced for 2017. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a practical and economic option in the over-crowded market of subcompact sedans.

The exterior styling has gotten a major update with a new grille that gives it a more conservative appearance. This year’s model also comes with an impressive array of optional features, making it easy for you to customize your own Elantra.

In the past, Hyundai was known for producing cheap vehicles for the frugal buyer. In recent years, however, they’ve upped their quality. They’re now able to compete on a level playing field with brands like Honda and Toyota. The new Elantra is a worthy rival for the Civic and Corolla.

Like all other Hyundai models, the 2017 Elantra comes with an impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

The Basics

The 2017 Elantra comes in five different trim levels:

  • SE
  • Value Edition
  • Eco
  • Sport
  • Limited

The base model, or SE, Hyundai Elantra has a starting price of $17,150.

The Sport model, which delivers 201 horsepower and comes with 18-inch wheels, starts at $21,650.

The Limited edition will set you back at least $22,350, but it comes with a number of desirable safety features, including blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Even with all of the upgrades added, it comes in under $28,000.

Like most standard sedans, the Elantra seats five, with 96 cubic feet of interior space. Although the front is fairly roomy for a compact sedan, the backseat may start to feel cramped for adult passengers over the course of a long drive.

The interior is nicely laid out, but the cabin is made of hard plastic materials, giving it an unfortunate budget-car feeling.

The trunk space measures in at 14.4 cubic feet, which is fairly large for its class, and the back seats fold down for more storage space.

Compared to the 2016 Elantra, the 2017 is slightly larger, with a length of 179.9 inches and a width of 70.9 inches. It has a wheelbase of 106.3 inches.

Eight exterior colors are available, including red, silver, and electric blue. You can also upgrade to leather upholstery on the upper trim levels.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The SE version of the Elantra comes with a 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine that produces 132 lb-ft of torque. It can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, but the automatic will cost you $1,000 extra. This may be the most basic option, but it gets an impressive 29 city/38 highway mpg.

Buyers who crave more power under the hood can opt for the Sport trim. It has a 201-horsepower turbo four engine, generates 191 lb-ft of torque, and delivers better handling for an overall more fun driving experience. The power comes at a cost, however, and the gas mileage is significantly lower than in the SE. It gets an estimated 22/30 mpg. Both automatic and manual transmissions are available.

The Eco is the most fuel efficient option, getting an estimated 32/40 mpg. It comes with a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 under the hood and delivers 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed dual clutch transmission is standard.

Features

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra comes with a lineup of desirable standard features. Even if you purchase the base model, you’ll get:

  • Power windows and door locks
  • A tilting and telescoping steering wheel
  • Six-way adjustable driver’s seat
  • USB and auxiliary jacks

For $800 more, you can add a Popular Equipment package to the SE trim, which will give you a seven-inch touchscreen, backup camera, cruise control, and a variety of other features.

There are a number of other packages available for the upper trim levels. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get:

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • A power sunroof
  • Automatic power-operated trunk

Safety

The Elantra comes standard with many modern safety features, including seven airbags, electronic stability control, child safety locks, and a rollover protection system.

More advanced safety features are available, but they only become an option when you choose the Limited trim level and purchase a special package. These include automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring.

The IIHS has named the Elantra a Top Safety Pick+ for 2017. It earned the highest rating of ‘good’ on all of their crash tests. The NHTSA awarded it a five-star overall rating. It scored four stars overall on the front tests and five stars on the side tests.

How it Compares to the Competition

The most popular cars in the compact car segment are the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Both have slightly higher starting prices than the Elantra, and the base models get around the same horsepower.

However, the Civic beats the Elantra in terms of fuel economy, getting up to 42 mpg on the highway. The Corolla and the Nissan Sentra both provide more interior space than the Elantra.

If your main goal is to have a fun time driving, the Mazda3 may be a better option than the Elantra. The base model gets 155 horsepower compared to the Elantra’s 147, and the exterior styling has a sportier, more youthful appearance. With a base MSRP of $17,845, it comes close to the Elantra in terms of starting price.

The Volkswagen Golf has a similar sporty feel to it, and the hatchback body styles means more cargo space than a compact sedan. In addition, the interior materials are of better quality than you’ll find in the Elantra.

The Kia Forte, meanwhile, has the lowest starting price of the group, with a base MSRP of $16,490. The sticker price may be attractive to frugal-minded buyers, but the Elantra delivers better fuel economy.

If you’re looking for a compact with all-wheel drive, the Subaru Impreza is undoubtedly the best option.

Pros and Cons

With a low starting price, the Elantra is a good choice for buyers who are interested in purchasing a car that’s small, stylish, and value-oriented.

Even if you’re interested in having state-of-the-art features, you may be able to find a Hyundai Elantra for sale at a good price. The variety of trim levels means that it’s easy to select an option that’s just right for your driving style, and the standard features are pretty generous.

If the quality of interior materials is of concern to you, the Elantra may not be the best option. There are some options that you might need, such as an insulated hood for noise reduction, that might cost extra on the Elantra.

Although it’s nothing spectacular, it does provide decent fuel economy. Ultimately, it’s about finding what you want while staying in your budget.