With its head-turning styling and excellent value for money, the previous Hyundai Elantra cemented Hyundai’s position as a leader among the compact car rank and file. What would ultimately become Hyundai’s best-selling car in history left its mark on Canada – for a while, it briefly out-sold the our perennial best-seller, the Honda Civic. No small feat, that. For 2017, there’s an all-new Hyundai Elantra and it’s aiming to continue the success.
While the sleek shape has unquestionably rubbed off on other small sedans (see the latest Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic and Dodge Dart), the Elantra continues to set itself apart from its rivals. A shark-like snout features a prominent six-sided grille flanked by projector beam headlamps and available stacked LED daytime running lights. The original curvy shape of the Elantra gives way to a shark-like snout accented with vertical LEDs. Look carefully and you’ll notice that the side intakes on the bumpers aren’t just for looks – they house slim vents that divert airflow around the wheels to reduce drag.
Behind the bold look is beefy new chassis which Hyundai dubs Superstructure. Aerospace adhesives bond a frame comprised of over 50 percent ultra-high tensile steels together, creating a vehicle that’s safer, more refined, and better to drive. New suspension geometry, increased sound deadening equipment, better subframe isolation, and thicker glass all make this the quietest Elantra to date, too.
Other changes include the latest version of Hyundai’s infotainment systems – there’s a 7.0-inch display audio system on vehicles equipped with the reverse camera, and a bigger 8.0-inch setup when navigation is ordered. Android Auto is featured on the mid-grade GL and up, but Apple CarPlay is not yet being offered. Other available and unexpected niceties include Hyundai’s hands-free power trunk, power memory driver’s seat, selectable drive modes, and a surprisingly comprehensive active safety feature list that includes lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and radar cruise control – though these are limited to the top-spec Ultimate trim.
For the moment, all Elantras come powered by a 147-hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine; while it doesn’t have direct injection or a turbo, it uses the lean-burn Atkinson cycle that is typically found on hybrid vehicles. Other than the base L trim, which features a six-speed manual, all others use a six-speed automatic.
Standard equipment on the Elantra L Manual includes heated front seats, projector beam headlamps, and remote keyless entry, plus seven airbags. The next-up LE adds automatic, A/C, Bluetooth, and steering wheel controls. For just a hair over $20K, the GL adds a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, reverse camera, Android Auto and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The Elantra L Manual sells for $15,999, with the range topping out at $28,799 for the Ultimate.