Christopher Little

Quick Spin: 2017 Hyundai Elantra

It’s been a little under a year since our first drive in the all-new 2017 Hyundai Elantra. In sunny southern California, the Elantra’s new looks were supported by numerous chassis, suspension, and engine improvements. A host of available technologies once reserved for luxury cars have begun tricking down into the compact segment and the Elantra seemed to have acquired them all. We came away impressed, but how does the Hyundai’s #1 selling car stack up in the real world?


Our week with the Elantra Limited came in the same month as our first drive of the Mazda 3 and all-new Honda Civic. That fact alone might not have done the Elantra many favors. Hyundai’s new design for the Elantra took a lot of the individuality out of the car and replaced it with a more mature, bordering on nondescript, appearance. Equally as nondescript as it’s looks are the Elantra’s drivetrain.


The 2.0L engine makes 147 hp and 132 lb-ft torque. That’s nearly 20 lb-ft less than the Mazda and 30 lb-ft less than the turbocharged Honda. Pair the engine to an efficiency-minded 6-speed and the Elantra offers little real-world excitement. Thankfully, a new Sport model with a turbocharged 1.6L engine, 7-speed dual clutch gearbox, and unique suspension tuning will add some spice to the Elantra.

Inside, Hyundai’s simple and, frankly, Germanic interior design is ergonomic and intuitive. The upgraded touchscreen is bright and ultra-responsive. Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity ships with every new Elantra, making it safer and easier to stay connected to your phone. Interior materials are right up there with the best of new models.


Ultimately, the Elantra is a good car. With an as-tested price similar to a fully loaded Civic Grand Touring, the value proposition is there. Incidentally, the Elantra Value Edition hits the mark perfectly. Its list of standard features that include 90% of the equipment you’d use from the Limited for nearly $7,000 less. Surprisingly, the Eco offers a more engaging driving experience, but we’ll withhold final judgement on the entire Elantra line until we’re introduced to the Sport.

-Christopher Little

2016 Hyundai Elantra Limited
Tech Package $2,500
Ultimate Package $1,900
Destination Charges $835
As Tested MSRP $27,585

First Drive: 2016 Hyundai Elantra
First Drive: 2015 Hyundai Sonata
First Drive: 2015 Hyundai Genesis

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