Hyundai Motor Company is a multinational South Korea-based conglomerate that, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and distributes vehicles to the global market. It is the largest car manufacturer in South Korea and one of the biggest ones in the world. The company has diverse offerings that include compact cars, sports utility vehicles (SUV), commercial vehicles, trucks, and buses. Hyundai also has stakes in Kia Motors.
The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car that has been in the market for almost 30 years. The latest lineup belongs to the series' sixth generation, which first came out in 2016.
A functional sedan that will not break the bank
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is available in sedan and hatchback (Elantra GT) body styles and comes in six trim levels: the base-level SE, SEL, Value, fuel-efficient Eco, Sport, and top-of-the-line Limited.
The latest iteration offers three engine options for the sedan and two for the hatchback.
The base model SE, SEL, Value and Limited sedans run on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, while the GT version spurs 162 horsepower and 137 pound-feet of torque. Both body styles are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with a manual transmission option also available for the SE trim.
The sedan-only Elantra Eco, on the other hand, is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain that generates 128 horsepower. It is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Sport variant, offered in sedan and hatchback versions, uses 1.6-liter turbocharged machine attached to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic for an output of 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
The Elantra SE uses 15-inch steel wheels, which are upgraded to 16-inch alloy disks in the SEL, Value and Eco models. Both the Sport and the Limited trims get 18-inch alloy hoops.
All six trims carry a 14-gallon fuel tank. Fuel efficiency is maximized in the Elantra Eco, which boasts of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 32 miles per gallon (mpg) for city driving and 40mpg on the highway. Models SE, SEL, Value and Limited with automatic transmission have city/highway score of 29mpg/38mpg, while stick shift SE has 26mpg/36mpg. Elantra Sport, on the other hand, consumes 25mpg in the city and 33mpg on the highway.
With attributes that seem to focus on functionality and practicality, the Hyundai Elantra is not exactly a car that will excite drivers. However, it is capable of providing a smooth, comfortable ride.
The sedan's exterior is not exactly a standout, but it has a lower and wider grille that gives the car an updated look. It looks shapelier with deeper lines on the sides that smoothly connects with the fenders and roofline. The hatchback variant, on the other hand, sports a smaller grille and a mesh insert. It also wears a lamp layout that is different from what is found on the sedan.
The inside cabin is made of plastic material which is inexpensive but appropriate for the cars' price and class. The interior layout, however, looks well-designed and tidy, with most of the buttons and knobs within the driver's easy reach. Unlike other cars, the Elantra has a flat floor in the rear, which helps in comfortably seating a middle passenger. Legroom is also decent at 35.7 inches, although not the most spacious in the market.
The Hyundai Elantra carries various features and function that differ depending on the trim of choice. The SE base-level is on the spartan side – standard offerings list cruise control, driver's blind spot mirror, AM/FM/MP3 audio system with six speakers, a USB, and AUX audio input jacks, and Bluetooth hands-free phone support.
The SEL model gets some upgrade, which includes blind spot detection, automatic headlight control, rear disk brakes, and a seven-inch display for its AM/FM/HD/radio/SiriusXM player with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
The Value Edition enjoys a power sunroof, LED daytime running lights, hands-free smart trunk, dual-zone automatic temperature control, proximity key with push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and auto-dimming rearview mirror, among others. The same features are found in the Elantra Eco, except it has front disk brakes only and lacks the sunroof and the auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The Sport trim gains an independent rear suspension, sport-tuned suspension, and steering, large front brakes, turn signal indicators, LED taillights, a power sunroof, dual USB charging ports, and other upgrades. Prospective buyers of this trim may opt for the Premium Package, which is packed with many features including a navigation system with an eight-inch touchscreen display, an eight-speaker premium audio system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and dual automatic temperature control.
The Elantra Limited gets the same trimming and optional upgrades as the Sport variant.
Should you buy the Hyundai Elantra?
- Smooth, comfortable ride
- Well-designed interior layout
- Good value in mid-tier trims
- interior material
- Styling does not stand out