A budget-friendly new four-door might not sound all that exciting, but the seventh-generation Hyundai Elantra is an exception.
To start, its remarkably stylish exterior makes it stand out from the compact sedan crowd. Practical advantages include an additional two inches of rear-seat legroom and Hyundai’s usual long list of desirable standard equipment. Perhaps the coolest details on the Limited model I drove, though, were the twin 10.25-inch screens that made up both the digital gauge cluster and the center infotainment display.
If there’s a potential weak spot, it’s the 147-horsepower, four-cylinder engine. While it won’t win any races, it has plenty of pep for everyday driving. But if you find the performance of the 147-horsepower version wanting, the new 276-horsepower Elantra N should provide all the acceleration you need. An available Elantra Hybrid model posts impressive fuel economy estimates of up to 56 miles per gallon on the highway.
Add advanced safety features and the automaker’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and you have an affordable sedan you can actually get excited about.
- The Elantra’s suspension delivers good ride comforts
- Cargo-friendly, with large trunk and fold-down rear seats.
- The back seat is a little tight for taller passengers.
- The volume knob/buttons require a bit of a reach.
- Proof an affordable car doesn’t have to be boring.
- Base Price: $19,650
- As Tested: $26,600
- NHTSA: Not yet tested.
- 31/41 (2.0L I-4)