The Hyundai Elantra enters 2017 in a big way, with two new engines, a new platform, new suspension, and new styling, with a bold and dynamic design, as well as advanced safety and technology features.
The 2017 Elantra displays a confident, athletic stance, leading off with the signature hexagonal grille. The hood rises from the grille to the sharply angled windshield with pronounced character creases running to the A pillars.
In profile, the Elantra's silhouette showcases a sporty, coupe-like greenhouse whose top flows gracefully to the short rear deck with its integrated spoiler lip. A bright lower upswept trim strip accentuates the car's racy form and impressive aero features.
Moving to the inside, the Elantra offers the same interior volume as the premium-class Cadillac CTS, and more than Audi's A4 and BMW's 3 Series, while the refined dynamics provide a simplified, yet modern and driver-oriented layout and feel that emphasizes the high-tech, detailed execution. The wide design of the instrument panel delivers a sense of spaciousness, in a contemporary and intuitive form.
Structurally, the new Elantra utilizes 53 percent high-strength steel -- an increase over the previous 21 percent. Torsional and bending rigidity have both also been increased by more than 25 percent. Ride quality is enhanced thanks to rear suspension revisions, and noise quality is also improved for a quieter ride.
Propelling the new Elantra lineup are two all-new powertrains: a Nu 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm along with 132 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm driving the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission; or a Kappa 1.4-liter T-GDI, four-cylinder that generates 128 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 156 lb.-ft. of torque in a range from 1,400 to 3,700 rpm. The first engine is available now in SE, Limited, and Ultimate trim level Elantras, while the latter powers an Eco model. The new Hyundai Elantras feature user-selectable drive modes: an efficient Eco mode; a well-balanced Normal Mode; and a dynamic Sport Mode.
Elantra pricing starts at $17,150 in SE trim with a manual transmission ($100 less than in 2016) and tops out at $26,750 for the Limited Ultimate. Add freight charge of $835 for all trim levels.
The base price of my Scarlet Red metallic tester with black interior was set at $22,350, which escalated to $27,710, after adding the Tech and Ultimate Packages and inland freight and handling fee.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is an ideal midsize, five-passenger sedan. It accelerates nicely, albeit a bit on the "buzzy" side when prodded with gusto, the automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and the ride quality is both stable and comfortable.
Handling characteristics lean to the sporty side of the performance chart, and switchgear is both user-friendly and intuitive -- that is, all but the nav system, which posed some problems in terms of software and programmability during our planned test drive route.
The new Elantra is very attractive and is capable of more than holding its own with competitors in the midsize sedan segment, and, at a much lower price, content not withstanding. This latest seventh-generation Elantra is a delight in every respect, and is likely to continue as an impressive Hyundai sales leader.
Copyright © 2016 Motor Matters
|Base price||$22,350 (as tested: $27,710)|
|Curb weight||2,976 lbs.|
|Engine type||16-valve Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder|
|Epa mileage rating||29 mpg city, 38 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||14.0 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||147 at 6200 rpm|
|Overall length||179.9 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||132 at 4500 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger FWD midsize sedan|
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