Dramatic slashes through the sheetmetal announce this is no accustomed bunched sedan. No, the aggressive new Hyundai Elantra is laser-focused on the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla—but what abroad is new? Well, how about this: The Elantra comes afterpiece to the Civic than it anytime has before, if you apperceive how to acquisition the model’s candied spot.
Offered alone as a auto in the U.S., the 2021 Elantra offers three powertrains, including a 147-hp 2.0-liter inline-four best buyers will choose, a 139-hp amalgam best buyers should choose, and a 201-hp N Band aimed at enthusiasts. (A 276-hp Elantra N arrives for 2022.) Early on, the Elantra Amalgam emerged as the best of the leash we tested.
“It’s absolutely the aces amid the Elantra trims,” Detroit editor Alisa Priddle said, citation the amalgam model’s added 63 lb-ft of torque against the accepted 2.0-liter non-hybrid model. Agenda administrator Erik Johnson added, “Even if the Elantra Hybrid’s ability doesn’t top the segment, I’d rather drive this than any Prius.”
The hybrid’s best arresting affection isn’t its off-the-line action or the adorable bolt trim on the doors of our Limited analysis car, but the way the car drives. End-of-travel anchor feel is actual good, the car engages EV approach added generally than you expect, and the transitions to the gasoline agent are almost smooth. For accustomed drivability, those are key advantages.
While the Elantra’s exoteric architecture does the talking—”Say what you appetite about it, but it absolutely doesn’t cop out on average ground,” controlling editor Mac Morrison said—the amalgam agilely excels above our expectations. The blow of the lineup, however, doesn’t bout that standard. Across the line, abounding editors acclaimed a abridgement of abeyance refinement, and a brace alike noticed some accordance through the pedals or the floorboards of our analysis cars.
“The amalgam is the alone Elantra adaptation I’d recommend,” appearance editor Christian Seabaugh said, “but the all-embracing calendar still struggles. Steering is abundant and vague, the ride can be a bit crashy, and NVH is ailing controlled.”
Inside, best board broiled to the absorbing accessible tech, which includes a 10.3-inch agenda apparatus array and 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Overall, the abstracts affection can’t attempt with the Civic, which rides and sounds better, too.
Then there’s the Elantra N Line, which manages to absorb adventurous architecture cues and a 201-hp turbocharged agent into a amalgamation that sits appropriate about $25,000. That would represent a abundant accord if the active acquaintance were better. Some board accepted the N Line’s budget-fun appeal, admitting others capital added from a adventurous alms that will be compared to the new Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic Si. One affair best of us agreed on: Hyundai needs to assignment on the Elantra N Line’s accessible six-speed chiral transmission, from the ambiguous shifter to the ever ablaze clamp pedal. Deputy editor Alex Stoklosa summed up our thoughts: “Love that it has a manual, don’t adulation the manual.”
Ultimately our activity for the Elantra varies based on the model. Hyundai’s latest bunched has fabricated allusive strides forward, but its better problem: The Civic has, too.
Picture 2023 Hyundai Elantra – 2023 Hyundai Elantra
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