Looking for an upscale compact car with lots to like? The 2017 Hyundai Elantra might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
TRAVIS LANGNESS: I'm Travis Langness, Edmunds editor. And this is the Expert Rundown of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra sedan. For 2017, the Elantra's completely redesigned. It's got new styling, front and back, three new engines, and a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission, as well was a classy new interior, and lots of great available tech. In our early tests of the Elantra, we found that acceleration's still kind of behind class leaders. So despite those three new engines, it's not the best performer in the class, but somehow we're not really bothered by that. All the great tech features and the styling do a good job of making the Elantra a good competitor in the class. The top trim levels get stuff like adaptive cruise control, lane departure intervention, and forward collision mitigation. That's really impressive for this class of vehicle. It's got a quiet, comfortable cabin, especially at highway speeds. And it's classy and thoughtfully laid out on the interior. Everything feels pretty high quality when you touch it. It might sound a bit counterintuitive. But honestly, the one we recommend when you're looking at the Elantra is the base level SE. You can get upgrades like the Popular Equipment package that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a rear view camera. And at that level, it keeps your monthly payments pretty low. Bottom line, the Elantra is much improved for 2017. And it's a really competitive segment. Other leaders, like the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3, are still at the top of the class. But we definitely like the Elantra. And we think it's worth taking a look at. For more reviews of key competitors, go to YouTube and check out more of the Edmunds Expert Rundowns.
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Compact sedans such as the 2017 Hyundai Elantra aren't built to attract attention. They're basic workhorses for commuting, errand running and general hauling. They're noble appliances built to expend themselves in serving the needs of people who work for a living and can't risk owning a car that doesn't start every morning. Give credit to the Elantra, then. It does everything it must do and looks good while doing it.
While the 2017 Elantra is newly refined, it's still a straightforward small, front-wheel-drive sedan. Generally, it carries over the design themes of its bigger brother, the Sonata. So the controls, including the touchscreen, are well positioned and operate intuitively, and everything in the car is designed logically. It's not any bigger than the Elantra that Hyundai introduced back in 2011, but it uses the space it has cleverly and efficiently. Don't let the swoopy roofline fool you: There's room for four in the Elantra. But it's pushing it to shove in five.
The SE and Limited versions of the Elantra are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower. The SE's standard transmission is a six-speed manual, but most buyers will go with the optional six-speed automatic. And the automatic is standard in the Limited. A new Eco model uses a dinky 1.4-liter four-cylinder blessed with a turbocharger rated at 128 horsepower that feeds a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission tuned for maximum fuel efficiency.
There's also a new Sport model that uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 201 horsepower that feeds a standard six-speed manual. It offers the Eco's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as an option. Sounds tasty.
The Eco, of course, gets the best mileage, with EPA ratings of 35 mpg combined (32 city/40 highway). The mainstream SE with the six-speed automatic knocks out 32 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway).
With only modest power aboard, the SE and Limited are hardly rocket ships. But Hyundai has tuned the suspension exceedingly well for everyday comfort. Driven within its limits, the Elantra is wholly satisfying, if not particularly entertaining.
Base SE models are, well, basic. There's no Bluetooth, no rearview camera and no redundant stereo controls on the steering wheel. The SE can, however, take a big leap forward in convenience and technology by adding in a Popular Equipment package of tech goodies that puts it on par with most mainstream competitors.
The Limited, on the other hand, can be equipped like a true luxury liner. Of course there's leather on the seats, but you also can get adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist (which keeps the car from wandering out of its lane) and xenon headlights that track with the front wheels as they turn.
Cars by Hyundai are first and foremost value propositions, backed by long warranties. That hasn't changed with the 2017 Elantra. Let Edmunds help you find the one that's right for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.