The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is the South Korean automaker's most popular sedan. Fully redesigned just a year ago, the Elantra boasts reasonable pricing, high-quality interior finishes and impressive feature content. It makes for a strong value proposition in a class full of efficient, inexpensive and likable cars. Starting MSRP is $16,950, which is respectably low for the class. And although prices rise as you add equipment, the Elantra is still competitive at its top trim levels. Buyers can often save several thousand dollars.
The small sedan segment has a wide range of cars with a wide range of virtues. The Elantra stands out with its competitive price, premium-looking cabin and affordable upgrades. The interior surfaces in the Elantra feel high-quality for the class, and the car's ride on the highway is smooth. Rivals such as the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3 are sportier, but both are more expensive.
If you're looking for a lot of features at an agreeable price, the Elantra might be the right sedan for you. It has multiple engine options and some of the best feature content for the money in the segment. The Elantra isn't the most dynamic or fuel-efficient vehicle in the class. But in most other aspects, it will likely be an enticing proposition.Compare similar vehicles
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The base SE trim level with a six-speed manual transmission starts the Elantra off with a MSRP of $16,950. That's respectably low, but it doesn't include most of the desirable equipment. Just by upgrading to the six-speed automatic transmission ($1,000), you get cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and Bluetooth connectivity. Though you can get a fully loaded Elantra Sport with an MSRP of $22,900, we recommend the midlevel SEL instead. It starts at $18,550 and comes with all sorts of additional safety and tech equipment, including blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen to go along with it.Compare Elantra versions
The 2018 Elantra is competitively priced, especially when you consider the amount of equipment included in each trim level. Depending on equipment levels, rivals such as the Civic and the Corolla can cost thousands of dollars more. Note that incentives and specials vary by brand and can play a significant role in what you end up paying for a new car.
Edmunds can help you find a great local price on a 2018 Hyundai Elantra. Check out our 2018 Hyundai Elantra Pricing page for the latest exclusive offers in your area.View Elantra incentives and deals
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra sits pretty squarely in the center of the compact-sedan pack. For performance, it isn't the least exciting vehicle on the market, but it certainly isn't the benchmark for an exhilarating experience either. If you're looking for a vehicle that feels premium without the extra cost though, it's definitely a front-runner.
The Civic is certainly one of the best small sedans on the road today. It has an excellent ride quality, a roomy interior, swift acceleration and sharp handling. But it has a few downsides, too. Option packages on the Civic tend to drive the price up quickly, especially compared to the Elantra. For drivers who look toward the future, the Elantra comes with a more impressive warranty upfront.Compare Elantra and Civic
The Elantra and Forte are closely related, so there's not much variation. They both have multiple available powertrains, strong value propositions and appealing interiors. The Kia Forte can save you a few hundred dollars depending on which trim level you choose, but we prefer the Elantra's interior design. It could very well just come down to which car's styling you like better.Compare Elantra and Forte
For decades, the Toyota Corolla has been one of the most popular cars sold in America. Like the Elantra, it has a long list of standard features and represents a good value. It's also very roomy inside. Also like the Elantra, though, the Corolla isn't as exciting or engaging to drive as class leaders. Fuel economy is merely average for the class, too. We wouldn't advise anyone against the Corolla, but it's not our first choice either. You'll probably like the Elantra more.Compare Elantra and Corolla
The Elantra seats five people. Front-seat space is on par with segment averages, but like in other small sedans, adults will be a little cramped if you try to seat three in the back seat. You'll probably be a lot more comfortable if you treat the Elantra like a four-seater. Whether you go with cloth or the optional leather seating and power adjustments, both driver and passengers will be comfortable with a decent amount of legroom. Forward and side visibility are laudable, but the high trunk line limits rear visibility so we recommend opting for a trim level with the optional rearview camera.
In the Elantra's back seat, the two outboard seating positions come with two LATCH points each, plus a top tether anchor. The middle seat comes only with the top tether anchor. Good access to the rear seats, along with good rear legroom, makes for easy installation.Elantra safety ratings
The Elantra's interior is likable, with high-quality materials and impressive build quality all around. Seating surfaces on both the base (cloth) and optional (leather) seats, along with acceptable bolstering are sufficient to hold you in place through corners. There are some hard plastics in a few places, but not so much that it ruins the experience. The control layout is logical, with an easily understood set of (optional) touchscreen menus and getting in and out is easy. The Elantra's interior is a high point for us, especially considering its price point, and one of the top reasons we recommend this car.
For a small sedan, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra has an average-size trunk. There's 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about average for the class. The standard split-folding rear seat will help accommodate longer items without losing both rear-seating positions. The liftover height of the trunk opening is low, and that makes lifting heavy bags in and out easier. There are multiple cupholders, sufficient door storage and enough compartments to hold all your road-trip snacks. Shoppers who want some additional cargo space should take a look at the Elantra's hatchback sibling, the Elantra GT, which provides 24.9 cubes behind the rear seat.
There isn't much in the way of technology for the base Elantra. You get a USB port and Bluetooth phone connectivity and that's about it. Move up to the SEL, though, and things get much better. The SEL gets dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth audio streaming, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. There are some additional midlevel trims that are similarly equipped. Further up the ladder is the Elantra Limited that adds two more USB ports and Hyundai's Blue Link system (which allows for some smartphone-connected functions such as Google destination search). Even on the Limited, navigation is optional.
The base engine in the 2018 Elantra is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder (147 horsepower, 132 pound-feet of torque). It's paired to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. With the base engine, the Elantra is one of the slower vehicles in its class. The second engine, available only in the Eco trim, is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder (128 hp, 156 lb-ft) paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The third is only equipped in the Elantra Sport. This turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) is paired with either the six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic.
The fuel economy ratings for the Elantra differ depending on which engine you choose. The base engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, gets three different ratings depending on trim level: 33 mpg combined (29 city/38 highway) or 32 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway) with the six-speed automatic transmission, and 29 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway) with the six-speed manual. The Elantra Eco with the turbo 1.4-liter engine gets the best of the Elantra range — 35 mpg combined (32 city/40 highway). The Elantra Sport, with its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, gets 29 mpg combined (26 city/33 highway) with the seven-speed automatic and 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) with the six-speed manual. The Eco's numbers are the most competitive, while most of the other Elantra ratings fall behind segment leaders.
Depending on which trim level you select, your driving experience will vary because of the engines selected. But ride quality and handling are similarly good across the range. The lower trim levels, with their smaller wheels and tires, will provide a highway ride that's a bit more comfortable because the tires have a greater ability to soak up lots of road imperfections. But even with the 18-inch wheels on the Sport trim level, the Elantra won't beat you up.
In government crash tests, the 2018 Elantra received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for total front-crash protection and four stars for total side-impact protection. From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Elantra received the best possible rating of Good in all categories (small-overlap and moderate-overlap front collision, side impact, and roof strength). It also received the highest possible rating of Superior for its optional crash avoidance and mitigation technology.
Besides the expected safety features on a modern car (airbags, stability control, etc.) the first significant safety features to appear in the Elantra lineup are on the midlevel SEL trim. It gets blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a rearview camera. Both are increasingly common in this price range but still nice to have. The more expensive Limited trim level doesn't get much additional safety equipment unless you add the Limited Ultimate package that includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and mitigation, and a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is available in six trim levels: SE, SEL, Value Edition, Limited, Eco and Sport. The SE comes with a basic set of equipment. The SEL, Value Edition and Limited build from there. The Eco offers a more fuel-efficient engine with midlevel equipment, and the Sport comes with a strong turbocharged engine.
While we like the idea of a more powerful engine in the Elantra, the turbo 1.6-liter in the Sport trim doesn't exactly hit the spot. The seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission it comes with isn't as responsive as we'd hope. It's used for the Eco, too. For that reason, we'd stick with the standard engine and one of the feature-packed midlevel trims like the SEL.
The Elantra SE is pretty light on creature comforts. It comes standard with a manual transmission, a six-speaker stereo, and a small 3.5-inch dashboard display and one USB port. Opt for the automatic transmission and you also get steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity and cruise control.
The SEL gets a pretty big increase in equipment over the base SE. Highlights include a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, push-button start, rear disc brakes (instead of drums), automatic headlights, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display. This is our recommended Elantra trim level.
The Value Edition gives you some creature comforts you don't get in the SEL, including LED running lights, a sunroof, a hands-free trunk release, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. If those options bundled together are worth the marginal increase in price, we say go for it.
The Elantra Eco builds on the Value Edition equipment (without the sunroof or the auto-dimming rearview mirror) but under the hood it gets a more fuel-efficient turbocharged 1.4-liter engine paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission. As its name suggests, it's the fuel economy leader in the Elantra lineup.
The Elantra Limited comes with a few appearance tweaks such as 17-inch alloy wheels and LED taillights, but most of its additional equipment is comfort- or tech-related. It gets a power-adjustable driver seat, leather upholstery, three total USB ports and Hyundai's Blue Link system. The Limited's Ultimate package offers, among other things, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Elantra Sport is the liveliest Elantra of the bunch. It is equipped similarly to the Value Edition (without the dual-zone climate control), but it also comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, upgraded (and firmer) suspension tuning, grippier tires, stronger brakes and xenon headlights.
The Hyundai Elantra comes with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is excellent coverage. Only a few other compact cars can match that. Also, the Elantra gets a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is above par, too — the Civic and Corolla get five years/60,000 miles. The Elantra's roadside assistance program is five years with unlimited miles, another class-leading stat.
If you're ready to buy, you're probably wondering about the Hyundai Elantra's resale value. How much will a 2018 Hyundai Elantra be worth in two or five years — or whenever you decide to sell? Check out the Edmunds True Cost to Own (TCO) calculator. It includes projected annual depreciation over the first five years of ownership based on Edmunds' robust market transaction data.
The Hyundai Elantra is produced in Hyundai's U.S. manufacturing facility in Montgomery, Alabama. Hyundai also has an engineering facility in Michigan along with R&D facilities in California.
|EPA Est. MPG||33|
|Drive Train||Front Wheel Drive|
|Passenger Volume||110.2 cu ft|
|Curb Weight||2811 lbs|