2015 Hyundai Elantra

Starting MSRP: $17,250 - $22,600

Estimated MPG: 27 city / 37 hwy

2015 Hyundai Elantra Review

The 2015 Hyundai Elantra impresses with a peppy engine, sporty looks, terrific fuel economy and an interior that does not feel cramped or low budget.

By David Pratt
Last Updated 05/03/2016

Competitors like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus have added features in the past few years to try and match the Elantra for value. However, the 2015 Hyundai Elantra still turns heads with only minor design tweaks since the 2014 model year. Hyundai’s designers have graced the car with a low, sculpted body that’s available in seven colors: white, silver, bronze, blue, black, red and gray.

With a sizeable trunk and 96 cubic feet of passenger space, the Elantra is roomy for a compact car (it’s technically classified as a midsize car by the EPA). With the two-door coupe now discontinued, this sporty front-wheel drive sedan is available in three trim levels: SE, Sport, or Limited. The hatchback Elantra GT is offered in one trim and carries over unchanged for 2015.

Exterior

Exterior
9

What gives the Elantra its sports-car look is the contemporary trick of moving the canted windshield forward, raising the car’s back end and stretching out the side windows into a narrowed tiger-eye shape. Hyundai’s design philosophy features sculpted contours and swept back headlamps that add some flair and sense of movement.

The front grille is chrome in the LE or black chrome in the Sport and Limited, which also get additional chrome treatments around the door handles and windows. 

Small but powerful projector headlights with LED accents and fog lights are standard for Sport and Limited models and optional for the Elantra SE. You have a choice of standard 15-inch or optional 16-inch wheels on the Elantra SE, while the Elantra Sport comes with 17-inch wheels.

Interior

Interior
8

Passengers in the front have enough legroom and shoulder room to avoid feeling cramped, unless you are tall enough to notice the sloped roof looming above your head. Room in the back is about what you would expect. All seats are firm and comfortable, though heavier folk might wish for a little more seat padding.

Sport and Limited trims have leather seating and a leather shift knob. Front seats are heated in those trims, with the Limited also offering heated rear seats. The driver’s seat is power-adjustable (including lumbar support) in all but the base model.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel (an upgrade in the SE) feels substantial and includes audio and Bluetooth phone controls on the left and large, easy-to-use cruise control buttons on the right. Elbow rests on the doors and a nice-sized center elbow rest are well placed for comfort.

Adequate sound proofing keeps road noise to a minimum, so you can enjoy the standard six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. There are also USB and aux input jacks for your smartphone or iPod.

Performance

Performance
8

The front-wheel drive Elantra is a sturdy performer, accelerating smoothly and with plenty of power. The Elantra SE and Limited share a 1.8-liter engine rated at 145 horsepower. The Sport model has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 173 horsepower, as well as a sport-tuned suspension and firmer steering. Both SE and Sport versions are equipped with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic (standard on the Elantra Limited). Standard four-wheel disc brakes stop the car promptly with a firm feel.

Technology

Technology
8

The Elantra comes standard with air conditioning, power door locks, power windows, a split-folding rear seat and multi-function trip computer. Analog speedometer and tachometer gauges sit behind the steering wheel beneath a sun shield. The base SE model comes standard with a 4.3-inch touch-screen audio system and satellite radio. Elantra Sport and Limited models feature an upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch screen. Push-button start with proximity key is a nice feature that is standard on the Sport and optional on the Limited.

Our test vehicle was a 2015 Elantra Sport that came with the Tech package that adds a premium 360-watt audio system, navigation and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system.

Safety

Safety
10

The Elantra is not available with features like blind spot monitoring, but it does have a wide-angle driver's side blind spot mirror that I found valuable. An optional backup camera turns on as soon as you put the Elantra in reverse, and features directional guide lines that adjust as you turn the steering wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2015 Hyundai Elantra an overall rating of five out of five stars. It earned four out of five stars for frontal crash tests, five stars for side crash tests and four stars for rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the Elantra a Top Safety Pick.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
9

You get a lot of bang for the buck with the 2015 Elantra. For roughly $2,500 more than the 2015 Hyundai Accent, the Elantra provides the same great fuel economy along with more passenger space and nice touches like heated front seats. Spring for the Elantra Sport and you'll get a fun to drive car with upscale features like a power sunroof. Plus, Hyundai includes a transferable 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Overall

Overall
9

The 2015 Elantra is a good choice for drivers who want a fuel-efficient sedan that isn't too small or underpowered. The Elantra also offers sporty looks and includes standard features that could be upgrades in other compact cars. Its strong safety ratings also make it a good choice as a daily driver.