Visually, the new Elantra is a significant leap forward for Hyundai's compact sedan. Hyundai's "signature" hexagonal grille dominates the front end, along with dramatically angled headlights and vertical LED daytime running lights.
Apart from simply looking more grown up, the new Elantra feels more grown up thanks to more generous interior dimensions. Like the latest Honda Civic, the Elantra is technically classified as a midsize sedan by the EPA. It boasts 110.2 cubic feet of total interior volume compared with 103.9 for the compact Ford Focus and 108.7 for the Mazda 3. The Honda Civic (112.9 cubes) and Toyota Corolla (110.5) both best the Elantra in this regard.
Beyond simple space measurements, the Elantra has received similar interior treatments to those enjoyed by the Sonata. The dash design is wide, flat and clean without being bland. A large touchscreen dominates the center console (as with most cars these days), climate control functions are dedicated buttons and knobs, and the instrument panel features two dials.
Hyundai also went to work on the new chassis. The 2017 Elantra is lighter than the old one, even though it's nearly an inch longer and a full inch wider. Height and wheelbase are unchanged at 56.5 and 106.3 inches. High-strength steel was employed not only to lighten the chassis, but to help improve safety.
Hyundai is expecting the 2017 Elantra to receive Top Safety Pick+ status from IIHS and a five-star rating from NHTSA. Additional available safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist (that can "apply corrective steering assistance if necessary") and a rearview camera.
To go with the new bones and new skin come new engines. The base engine in the SE and Limited models is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, it should earn fuel economy of 33 mpg in combined driving (29 city/38 highway) per Hyundai estimates.
The other engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that will debut on the Elantra Eco shortly after the car's release. This one makes 128 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque and is bolted to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Hyundai estimates this combo will deliver 37 mpg in combined driving.
Edmunds says: Hyundai impresses once again with killer style, tons of features and solid fuel economy at what we guess will be a competitive price.