The all-new 2017 Hyundai Elantra provides attractive styling, a spacious cabin and new and improved tech features. Even with a few added options, Hyundai’s compact car promises a surprising number of amenities at an affordable price.
The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car that’s been fully redesigned for 2017. A four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, and a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The 2017 Elantra is offered in SE, Eco and Limited trims, with the midlevel Elantra Eco bringing in a smaller turbocharged engine and a seven-speed automated manual transmission for better fuel economy.
In addition to updated interior and exterior styling, the redesigned Elantra offers newly available technology features, including new driver-assistance features and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Slightly longer and wider than the 2016 model, the redesigned Elantra has a clean exterior design that presents well. Up front, the Elantra features a large hexagonal grille, as well as available HID headlights and LED daytime running lights.
The base Elantra comes with 15-inch steel wheels, while 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels are available to provide a more polished look.
Heated sideview mirrors and automatic headlights are optional on the Elantra SE and standard on the Limited model, with the latter also bringing in unique touches that include sideview mirrors with turn-signal indicators, LED taillights, and a chrome grille and door handles. The Elantra Limited also comes with Hyundai’s Dynamic Bending Light technology, which responds to steering inputs by turning the headlights to provide better visibility at night.
The redesigned Elantra offers a roomy cabin, with comfortable seating and plenty of headroom and legroom in both rows. The base Elantra has an acceptable amount of creature comforts for the class, and buyers can select optional equipment that includes dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Limited models bring in all of the above as standard equipment, as well as leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The Elantra Limited is also available with options that include a sunroof, heated rear seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The Elantra’s trunk has an impressive 14.4 cubic feet of space, and like the larger Hyundai Sonata, it’s available with a hands-free Smart Trunk. Standard on the Elantra Limited and available on SE models, Smart Trunk will open the trunk automatically as long as you have the key fob in your pocket or purse. Simply approach the Elantra’s trunk and it will open after sounding three beeps. It’s an impressive trick and likely a desirable feature for buyers who frequently have their hands full when it’s time to load the trunk.
The Elantra comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard, while a six-speed automatic is available as an option.
The base Elantra is rated at an EPA-estimated 26/36 mpg city/highway. An available Eco trim brings in a 128-horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed automated manual transmission, which boost fuel economy to 32/40 mpg city/highway.
While not quite as athletic as competitors like the Mazda3 and Honda Civic, our test Elantra Limited offered composed driving dynamics that should appeal to a wide range of buyers. The ride is comfortable, with just a little bit of float over uneven pavement. The Elantra is still reasonably nimble, however, and light steering makes it easy to maneuver in city traffic.
The 2.0-liter engine provides adequate power in most situations, but like many cars in the class the Elantra could use more highway passing power. A button to the left of the shifter allows you to choose Sport and Eco drive modes, which adjust steering effort and engine performance for a slightly different driving experience.
The base Elantra comes with a USB port, satellite radio and a six-speaker audio system. Bluetooth, proximity key with push-button start and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system are optional on the Elantra SE and standard on the Elantra Limited. The infotainment system also brings in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which provide enhanced access to supported smartphone apps.
Our test Elantra Limited came with the Tech package, which adds a navigation system with an 8-inch touch screen and an Infinity audio system. It’s an extremely user-friendly system, with a learning curve that’s relatively nonexistent. A default home screen provides navigation and audio information at a glance, while a row of buttons beneath the screen also allow easy access to most primary functions.
The base Elantra comes standard with antilock brakes, electronic stability control and a suite of air bags. Blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera are optional on the base model and standard on the Elantra Limited.
Additional driver-assistance features are available on the Limited trim, including automatic high beams, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
The base Elantra SE starts at $17,150 (plus an $835 destination charge), while Eco and Limited models start at $20,650 and $22,350, respectively. An automatic transmission is standard on all but the base model, where it can be added for an additional $1,000.
Our test Elantra Limited was a fully loaded model that featured the Tech package ($2,500), Ultimate package ($1,500) and floor mats ($125), bringing the grand total to $27,710 after destination.
If you want all of the available safety technology, the Elantra gives you no choice other than a fully optioned model like our test car. Features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist are part of the Ultimate package, which requires purchasing the Tech package and is only available on the Elantra Limited.
That said, an Elantra SE with the Popular Equipment and Tech packages will get you a number of desirable features, including a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, Apple CarPlay, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Expect an Elantra SE with the automatic transmission and these features to carry a suggested price of about $21,100 after destination.
The redesigned Elantra is a fully competitive entry in the compact-car class, offering the latest technology and driver assistance features in an attractively styled package. Models like our test Elantra Limited also offer a high level of comfort and luxury, though the Elantra’s driving dynamics are easily surpassed by what more athletic competitors offer.
We wish the Elantra’s full suite of driver-assistance features were available on the base model. Competitors like the 2016 Honda Civic are available with these technologies on every trim in the lineup. That being said, adding a few option packages to the base Elantra SE results in a very well-equipped car at an attractive price point.