Jun 20, 2016
Reviewed By Chad Tyson
Price as Tested $27,710: 2.0-L, 147 hp, 132 ft/lb, DOHC, dual continuous variable valve timing I4, 6-sp automatic with Shiftronic®
Likes

Decent driving position. Surprisingly peppy in sport mode. Updated styling certainly raises the bar. Interior is eminently functional, with two knobs for the radio, eight-inch touchscreen display, easy-to-understand steering wheel controls and plenty of head room. It’s inexpensive without appearing cheap and comfortable for commuting. Good navigation system and packed with seemingly all the tech goodies. Fairly quiet on highway at speed, too.

Dislikes

Not sure I’ve driven a car with such a dramatic contrast in steering-wheel feel between normal and sport modes. In normal it’s light and twitchy, borderline spastic, but in sport it reminds me of cars without power steering or the feeling of trying to mix concrete with a kayak paddle. I’m still not convinced electric steering is the way to go.

Skip the $125 carpeted floor mats — they’re not that great, even if they’re “custom designed.” As usual, watch out for those option package costs — the $1,900 Ultimate Package requires the $2,500 Tech Package here. All that adds in modern conveniences, such as eight-inch touchscreen display, heated seats all around and a power sunroof that have become requirements, at least for the car to not feel like a low-buck rental. But those options took this sub-$23k car to $28k in three checkboxes.

Verdict

Hyundai’s Elantra is in one of the most competitive classes around — the compact. Well, the government wants to classify it as a midsize based on the interior volume, but that misses the spirit here. Mazda 3, Ford Fusion and Honda Civic are major players with a lot of investment and innovation poured into them by their respective manufacturers. The new Elantra goes toe to toe with each of them on any number of levels — power, cargo and mileage. Of course, there’s Hyundai’s ace in the hole — that warranty. Ten years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain trumps everybody else by four years/40,000 miles. Tough to be that peace of mind, especially when so many other categories are equal.

Fun to Drive
3.0 rating
Fun to Look at
3.0 rating
Overall Experience
3.0 rating
Stats
Horsepower 147
Torque 132
EPA Mileage 28/37

For more about this car, please visit the manufacturer's website.