Displaying items by tag: hyundai
It's clear that Hyundai's mantra must be 'speak softly and carry a big stick.' It just must be. Being among quiet pioneers of family-friendly electric cars already with the original Ioniq and Kona, the brand is about to smack us across the chops with a whole new range of EVs under the Ioniq sub-brand, starting with this: the Ioniq 5.
We've driven a near-finished prototype of for our first whack. Has Hyundai beaten VW at its new game?
What a looker!
Hyundai says the look has been inspired by the Pony Coupe of the 70s but, unlike so many car brands looking to its past to guide its future, design-wise, this is no slavish pastiche. It's an eye-popping piece of design, shaped as a family hatch, with pixelated lighting front and rear and super-crisp lines.
Interestingly, though, the Ioniq 5's dimensions are much larger than you think. This design masterstroke actually hides the car's size: it's actually longer than a VW ID.4 both physically and in terms of its wheelbase and about 40mm taller than a Jaguar i-Pace.
Speaking of the i-Pace and ID range, we conveniently managed to park next to Jag's EV and an ID.3 – both look instantly dated compared to this.
Inside, the cockpit takes full advantage of the e-GMP platform that lies underneath. A flat floor means no fixed centre tunnel, with a movable centre console that provides cupholders, cubbies and a wireless phone charger. You're also greeted by thick padded seats, two massive screens and a kitsch two-spoke wheel like a Honda E.
But Hyundai hasn't gone tech overload in here like Mercedes, or ultra-minimalist like a Tesla Model 3 – there's a balance between large, useful screens, touch panels and physical switchgear and solid materials on all your regular touch points. The shift stalk, for example, is on the steering column, with a chunky twist action and the door inlays – complete with eco-friendly paper inserts – all feel solid with a tactile thunk when you pull the door handles.
Space is impressive, too. The cabin itself feels huge once you're inside, with loads of room for rear passengers, too. The rear bench can slide forward and back and, even with a 6ft 2in driver like myself at the wheel, there's tonnes of legroom. The boot, however, is rather shallow, but has depth end to end, and properly usable width. You don't even need to store your cables here – there's a handy storage box under the bonnet for that.
Any clever technology on the Ioniq 5?
The platform, for a start. The new e-GMP platform will underpin every new Ioniq sub-brand model from Hyundai along with Kia's new EV range starting with the EV6. Rear- and all-wheel drive powertrains are offered, with the Ioniq 5 giving you a choice of a standard range 58kWh or long-range 72.6kWh battery packs. And, along with a three-pin plug socket in the car, there's 'vehicle to load' – the ability to use the car as a rolling power bank, allowing you to plug in (via an adaptor on the charging port plug) almost anything externally, like a lawn mower, e-scooter or even another EV.
Hyundai's electric car plans explained
It's also as clever as a Taycan, allowing for both 400 or 800-volt charging, meaning (on the fastest available 350kW chargers, of course) the ability to zap from 10 to 80 per cent charge in just 18 minutes. Hyundai claims 296 miles in the Ioniq's thriftiest setting (larger battery, rear-wheel drive), but you can expect an ID.3 rivalling 260-plus from the all-wheel drive variant.
Live in a sunny area? Of course you don't, not in the UK at least, but you can spec a solar cell roof (after the Ioniq's initial launch) that aids the batteries: 'The solar roof has a charging capacity of 205W, and in an environment that is sunny we did some experiments and found that it could add 1200 miles of range per year, or about three miles per day,' Ioniq 5 project manager, Askin Kahraman, told us, 'The roof will also help the 12V battery so the car doesn't discharge completely.'
Then there's all the available tech on board. Along with Level 2.5 semi-autonomous driving tech, you can have Hyundai's Blind Spot View Monitor (that shows you the view of the door mirror camera when you flick the indicator), an augmented-reality head-up display and front seats that recline with leg supports like a living room La-Z-Boy.
Hyundai's Blind Spot View Monitor: does it work?
Our car was fully trimmed with every frippery you could ask for, implying that it was one of the limited-run 'Project 45' versions, at £48k. On top of all the tech that gives you, it also means your Ioniq 5 comes with the bigger 72.6kWh battery and all-wheel drive. As for lower trims, we expect it to follow the same trim structure as Hyundai's other models: SE Connect, Premium and Ultimate, with the cheapest models circling the £39,000 mark.
Let's drive it!
Walk on up to it and flush doorhandles pop out, ready for the drive ahead. Given the front seat's reclining nature, the whole seat angles backward if you want thigh support – rather than just the front end of the base – and the wheel adjusts for plentiful reach and rake.
Once you're rolling, the 5's interesting details don't instantly reveal themselves – it feels entirely standard fare for a family EV – quiet, inoffensive and smooth when you're nipping around town. And properly quick, just like an EV with so much torque should be; Eco mode dulls the throttle while, at the other end of the drive mode scale, the dials glare red in Sport and the throttle response is incredible. And this simply won't be the most powerful version of the E-GMP platform, either. Kia, for example, has already shown off a supercar-baiting EV6 GT, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Hyundai could make an Ioniq N.
Then you start to notice the finer points after the miles roll on.
The steering, for example, is live-wire alert and well-weighted – no dead-spots off-centre and tremendously fluid when you wind the lock off after a turn. The turning circle is tight, too; not London Taxi or Honda E tight, but not far off. Then there's the brakes. It's almost an expectation for an electric car to have a soggy brake pedal and inconsistent feel when you apply some pressure due to regenerative braking (of which Hyundai has four steps, plus a one-pedal mode), but not here. Plenty of solid, accurate feel regardless of regeneration level.
You can really have fun with this car on a back road – something not often said this side of a Taycan. Adding up the whumping torque, sharp steering and feelsome brakes is already plenty good enough, but there's real balance to the chassis, too. This doesn't feel leaden or recalcitrant when you want some zippy thrills going the fun way home. Yes, there's a touch of body roll, but the way the suspension handles the Ioniq's weight is really something to be commended – it's a hoot.
We even got some time on the motorway. Hyundai told us that not all of the production-spec soundproofing is on this prototype but, if that's the case, I've driven plenty of family in-production family cars (including those of premium manufacturers like Audi) that riding on 20-inch wheels that have worse NVH refinement. Tyre noise is well within an acceptable level and wind noise is minor. Couple this with balanced ride quality – not too jittery, but not water bed wallowy either – and it's a very promising position to be in.
First impressions: Hyundai Ioniq 5
What an impressive machine. We can't wait to try a production-spec one but, even in this prototype, the Ioniq 5 brings such a breadth of abilities that other EVs can only dream of. Show-stopping looks, a thoroughly usable and appealing interior, and sharp dynamics that are rare to find in a heavy family EV.
Convinced by VW's ID.3? Try one of these first.
In top Calligraphy trim, Hyundai's new Santa Fe two-row crossover has luxury aspirations and a strong, 277-hp turbo engine.
It is hard for a car lover to get excited about the two-row mid-sized crossover segment. And although we're not happy to admit it, unexciting and practical is exactly what a lot of car buyers want and need. Speaking of need, while we were on our way back from a Costco run in the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, we spotted a BMW Z3 with the top down and a massive, framed poster riding shotgun. The driver probably has more stories to tell about that Z3 than most crossover owners, but while we were looking enviously at his roadster, he probably cast a wanting eye on our practical and spacious Santa Fe. It's also entirely possible he never saw the Santa Fe as his poster was blocking most of the view to his right.
While a five-passenger near-luxury crossover may never be what we daydream about, so far in 2021 the Santa Fe has been Hyundai's second-bestselling vehicle, only a few hundred units behind the Tucson, Hyundai's slightly smaller crossover. Hyundai's compact Elantra slightly outsold the Santa Fe in 2020, but its sales are down 26 percent compared to the first two months of 2020. If crossovers are to be Hyundai's future, the recently redesigned Santa Fe is a fine emissary.
The Santa Fe starts at $28,035 for the base SE with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive adds $1700. From there the rungs climb through the SEL and Limited before reaching the top-shelf Calligraphy. The $43,440 Calligraphy model that made the rounds in the office came packed with standard features. The only extra was a $155 set of carpeted floor mats. Hyundai introduced the high-spec Calligraphy trim level in the Palisade, and now it is trickling down to the Santa Fe. Calligraphy adds quilted leather seats, a panoramic roof, all the driver-assistance technology inattentive drivers crave including lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and an adaptive cruise-control system.
The front seats are supportive, and there's plenty of space to store small items, including a dedicated slot for your phone. But the new push-button shifter will take some getting used to.
The rear seat isn't as pleasant a place. While the legroom is good, there's a lack of headroom for anyone approaching six feet. The second row is outfitted and trimmed just as nicely as the first row, but the panoramic roof removes 1.2 inches of headroom. There's ample cargo space, and the Santa Fe will easily support a trip to the picture-framing shop or the luggage of four road-tripping folks.
A 277-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standard on Limited and Calligraphy models, lesser Santa Fes have a 191-hp naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four. The turbocharged engine has 42 more horsepower than the previous gen's turbocharged 2.0-liter four. The new turbo-four and the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission work together seamlessly. Runs to 60 mph take a quick 6.0 seconds, and the transmission readily downshifts and helps the Santa Fe move from 50 to 70 mph in 4.1 seconds. That sprint to 60 mph is just behind the 280-hp Honda Passport's 5.8-second dash and noticeably quicker than the 6.8-second effort we recorded in a Ford Edge Titanium with a 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four.
At the track, we measured 0.81 g overall on the skidpad, which bests the Passport's 0.78 g of lateral stick but trails the Edge's 0.83. The Santa Fe's steering is heavier than the numb and lighter steering in many crossovers. On the highway, there are no dead spots or latency to speak of. It's no Alfa Romeo, but it's responsive and a victor in this segment. The ride can tend towards jittery depending on the road, and you may catch the rear seatbacks jiggling along in the rearview mirror. Our tester arrived with 19-inch wheels rather than the 20s that most Calligraphy models will have in the future, so the 20s might be even harsher. If you'd like your Santa Fe set up that way, too, act fast. Hyundai is selling 19-inch versions as a "limited availability" variant of the Calligraphy, and you'll get a $200 discount for forgoing the bigger wheels. Hyundai hasn't explained why the 20s aren't out yet, but our money is on supply-chain disruptions.
With the cruise set at 75 mph, the Santa Fe returned 27 mpg over a 200-mile highway drive, a single mpg shy of the EPA's estimate. And over almost 400 miles of real-world driving (much of it around town but some of it on uncongested highways), it returned 20 mpg, one short of the Santa Fe's EPA city rating. A Passport returns EPA numbers of 19 city and 24 highway, and an Edge with the 2.0-liter turbo comes in at 20 city and 28 highway.
The worst mid-size crossovers are dull and soulless enough to sap your soul. The Santa Fe is different. Its exterior design is original and attractive. Aside from the occasionally jittery ride, the Santa Fe drives and behaves in a refined and almost engaging manner. We've yet to sample the naturally aspirated Santa Fe or the new hybrid powertrain, but based on what we know of the rest of Hyundai's product portfolio, they're probably nicer inside than their price tags suggest. Every car in this segment asks buyers to make sacrifices in the name of convenience, but the Santa Fe demands less and gives more than many others in its class. If you're not ready for or don't need the Palisade and Telluride's three rows, the Santa Fe should get you home from the framing shop without drawing too much attention.
Hyundai will most likely offer a new MPV model in Asia in the first half of this year, which according to some sources will be called Custo. Until then, we have before us patent images that reveal his appearance.
It is a vehicle with a front part modeled on the newer models of this brand, while inside it will have three rows of seats for a total of seven passengers.
Concrete technical details are yet to come, and the question remains whether Custo will be sold only in Asia or will it be a global model.
Welcome to the world premiere of the Hyundai IONIQ 5. The latest EV that redefines the way of life in electric mobility and allows you to start your own world.
IONIQ 5 satisfies different lifestyles without restrictions in your daily life. EV combines adaptable space and environmentally friendly materials with outstanding technology and design. IONIQ 5 takes us to a better, brighter and more sustainable world.
Join us on February 23rd for the world digital premiere of the all-new IONIQ 5.
The Hyundai Kona has been revised for 2021 and we find out just how much it's improved
The updates to the Hyundai Kona improve its overall experience, with an efficient and effective mild-hybrid powertrain, a more composed and comfortable ride, and some useful tech upgrades in the cabin. But these gains aren’t enough to shove the car to the front of the pack; the Kona still isn’t as good to drive as the best small SUVs, and it continues to lag behind the likes of the Renault Captur and Ford Puma on practicality.
Hyundai will soon have an embarrassment of riches in the small SUV class. The Korean brand has a new offering, the Bayon, on the way in the coming months. And it will be joining a facelifted version of the Kona in the line-up.
Here, then, is the revised version of Hyundai’s ‘original’ small SUV. It’s had a little more than the typical mid-life nip and tuck too; yes, the usual updates like headlights and bumpers are present and correct, but there’s also a redesigned bonnet, and the changes are sufficient to make this car around 40mm longer overall than the outgoing version. The overall effect is to give the car a slightly more aggressive, chunky stance - perhaps even making it more of a crossover and less of a baby SUV. There’s also a new N Line trim level that tries to add a sporty look.
Under the bonnet, the Kona gets an updated range of engines. The 1.6-litre turbo unit at the top of the line-up gains some extra power, moving up to 195bhp, and the diesel motor (yes, here’s a car still available with one) gains a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
The same tech is also available as an option on the Kona’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine - and it’s this powertrain that we’re driving here. The engine itself produces 118bhp, and is the same unit that is likely to appear in higher-end i20s later this year.
The hybrid system uses an integrated starter/generator and a small lithium-ion battery to give the combustion engine a boost when pulling away from rest. It also benefits, though, from Hyundai’s Intelligent Manual Transmission - a six-speed manual gearbox that has no physical connection between the clutch pedal and the clutch. This sensor-based solution means that the engine can be switched off when the car is cruising along - and then fired up again, thanks to the 48-volt hybrid tech, when required.
It’s a complex piece of engineering but in practice works extremely well. You won’t feel much extra shove when starting off but once you’re up and running, you’ll have to rely on the visual cues on the instrument panel - the rev-counter needle flicking up and down - to tell that the engine is being cut in and out. It’s incredibly smooth in its transition - astonishingly so when you think that you can be doing 70mph at the time.
The engine has enough power to cope with a car of the Kona’s size, but not quite enough to ever make it feel like it’s capable of really punchy performance. The 0-62mph dash takes a leisurely 11.9 seconds - making the electrified version of this engine slower than the non-hybrid edition in either manual or auto form. It’s more efficient, though, with claimed average economy of 46.3mpg, and based on our experience with the car, this should be achievable in everyday use.
The Kona has also received tweaks to its chassis and suspension, and while they’re not enough to transform the car into a vehicle with real appeal for keen drivers, they do give the model a bit more dynamic polish. The most pleasing development of all is better bump absorption, making the Kona an effective tool on scarred urban roads, even on our Ultimate model’s 18-inch alloy wheels.
Body control feels a little tighter than before too, so while the inert steering and taller body still don’t really play ball and deliver enjoyment on twisty roads, the overall package feels like a more effective compromise than it did before. It’s a result, we’d like to think, of the UK testing instigated by Hyundai’s head of vehicle dynamics, ex-BMW M division man Albert Biermann.
In the cabin the biggest upgrade comes in tech, thanks to a new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, as seen first in the all-new i20. It’s crisp and easy to use - an ideal companion, in fact, for the similarly sized infotainment system that comes as standard on this Ultimate trim level. It remains one of the best set-ups you’ll find in any vehicle, frankly, with clear graphics, a great interface and quick responses to inputs. Recent upgrades have improved its connectivity further, thanks to fresh functionality in Hyundai’s Bluelink phone application.
The rest of the cabin gets some new materials but they don’t do much to lift the overall experience. It’s not that it’s badly screwed together or lacking soft-touch fabrics in key areas; it’s just that the fascia is a sea of black, grey and dark grey plastic, with only the very occasional flash of chrome to brighten proceedings.
Nor, it must be said, has the facelift done anything to address one of the Kona’s key weaknesses: rear packaging. Two adults can fit in there, even behind a couple of six-footers, but once in place, they’re unlikely to thank you for anything approaching a long journey.
The boot remains pretty unimpressive too - not helped, still, by a relatively high floor that’s designed to accommodate the circuitry of the hybrid and pure-electric editions. The Kona’s capacity is 374 litres, so it isn’t going to challenge the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 or Ford Puma on practicality.
Hyundai Motor has announced a new announcement of the image of its new crossover Baion. It is coming to the European market in the first half of 2021, which is an important addition to the current line of Hyundai SUVs.
With the launch of the new, additional B-segment model as an entry point into its SUV line, Hyundai sees a great opportunity to better meet the demand of European customers and increase supply in the very popular segment.
The name Baion is inspired by the city of Baion in southwestern France. Since the Hyundai Bayon is primarily a European product, Hyundai decided to name it after a European city. Located between the Atlantic coast and the Pyrenees, the French city is a great location for those who enjoy activities such as sailing and hiking, fitting into the life character of the new model.
More details about the Hyundai Bayon will be revealed soon, but it is expected to use the same platform as the new i20.
Among other things, the offer should include a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine with 120 hp.
Customers will be offered a choice between manual and automatic transmissions, and the equipment will also include a digital instrument panel and a 10.25-inch infotainment system screen.
The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan would be excellent rather than good if not for its lackluster cabin materials. If developing a car was a marathon, Hyundai didn’t run the last mile.
Versus the competition: For a mass-market compact sedan, the Elantra combines class-leading drivability with loads of user-friendly technology. Alas, its low-rent interior weighs all that down.
For 2021, the Hyundai Elantra sedan comes in SE, SEL and Limited trim levels, all with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. (The Elantra GT hatchback has been discontinued.) The first-ever Elantra Hybrid, meanwhile, pairs a smaller four-cylinder with electric assist; it comes in SEL and Limited trims. Finally, the Elantra N Line has a turbocharged four-cylinder and the lineup’s only manual transmission. (Note that a higher-performance Elantra, called simply the N, without the “Line,” remains in the works as of this writing.) All other variants have an automatic, which is also available on the N Line. Stack up the whole current group, or compare the 2020 and 2021 Elantra.
We evaluated an SEL over the course of a week and also took brief drives in the Limited Hybrid and a stick-shift N Line.
SE, SEL, Limited: Refined Drivability
A confounding but age-old reality in our recent comparison between the Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla sedans was the trade-off between ride quality and handling chops. Hyundai elevates both better than any car in that trio, as well as most other compact sedans.
Despite a torsion-beam rear axle — a cost-saving setup versus the independent rear suspensions used by some rivals, including the Civic and Corolla — the Elantra rides impressively. Aside from some skittishness during mid-corner bumps, body control feels impressive for a mass-market compact sedan. Ditto for shock absorption: The suspension takes sewer covers and rutted pavement with a degree of sophistication reminiscent of a larger, or pricier, car — and that’s with our SEL model’s optional 17-inch wheels and P225/45R17 tires. With available wheel diameters ranging from 15 to 18 inches, it’s possible lesser versions of the Elantra ride even more comfortably. (All other things being equal, larger wheels generally diminish ride quality.)
Kudos, too, for the Elantra’s reflexes. Fling it into a corner and the nose pushes early, but the steering feels as quick-ratio as the Civic’s — still one of the best-handling cars in the class — with less of the outgoing Elantra’s vagueness. The wheel seldom feels twitchy on center even at higher speeds, and body roll is nicely contained through sweeping curves.
Under the hood is last year’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (147 horsepower, 132 pounds-feet of torque), which runs on a more-efficient Atkinson cycle; gone is the prior generation’s Eco trim and its turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. The 2.0-liter has reasonable power past 3,000 rpm or so, and Hyundai’s continuously variable automatic transmission is a motivated partner to get you there. Revs climb energetically from a stop, and if you need more power while already in motion, the CVT kicks up engine rpm swiftly enough to mimic a downshift from a conventional automatic. The 2021 Elantra is not particularly quick, but it does a nice job with what it has to offer.
Elantra Hybrid: Even Better
The Elantra Hybrid pairs a 1.6-liter Atkinson four-cylinder with a 32-kilowatt electric motor for a total system output of 139 hp and 195 pounds-feet of torque. It’s a handy combination, particularly on the torque side, to move you out from a stop. Unlike the many hybrids that employ CVT-like power-split devices, Hyundai’s system uses a conventional stepped automatic transmission — in this case a six-speed dual-clutch unit. The stepped gears bring a welcome sensation of upshifts and downshifts, though the downshifts arrive only after a long delay or hard stab on the gas. Sport mode provides much-needed accelerator responsiveness — there’s your downshift — if you don’t mind sacrificing fuel efficiency.
That efficiency is considerable, with 50 mpg in EPA-estimated combined gas mileage (54 mpg in a higher-efficiency Elantra Hybrid Blue edition). That’s up some 40% over the Elantra’s still-impressive EPA 35 mpg combined (37 mpg for the SE trim). Both figures are competitive against respective rivals; compare Elantra Hybrid mileage or the regular Elantra’s.
The Elantra Hybrid gets an independent rear suspension versus the non-hybrid’s torsion beam, but the differences are hard to pick out. I drove the Elantra Hybrid Limited back to back with an Elantra SEL, both with 17-inch wheels, over the same route. Both cars rode similarly well — more of a feat for the SEL’s simpler hardware, perhaps, but we preach results over formula. The results speak for themselves.
Elantra N Line: A Minor Letdown
If there’s any disappointment in how the Elantra drives, it comes with the N Line. Like the Elantra Hybrid, it gets an independent rear suspension, but tuning is stiffer all around versus the regular Elantra, with a thicker front stabilizer bar, as well. It shows: Shock absorption is notably firmer — though not objectionably so, as was the case with its Elantra Sport predecessor. The steering, altered here for N Line duty, augments the regular Elantra’s quick ratio with better feedback. Whether through chassis tuning or better grip (our test car had Goodyear Eagle F1 summer tires), or a little of both, understeer feels immediately better contained.
So where’s the letdown? It’s all in the N Line’s powertrain. The N Line packs Hyundai’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (201 hp, 195 pounds-feet of torque), an engine we’ve seldom found responsive enough. Hyundai says peak torque comes as early as 1,500 rpm, but it’s only after notable turbo lag. The lag diminishes if you keep engine revs north of 4,000 rpm or so, which requires frequent work with the stick-shift N Line’s longish throws and muddy gates. Even then, the N Line never feels particularly quick. The optional automatic transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch unit, so it might alter some of the power delivery. Alas, we didn’t evaluate it.
SE, SEL and N Line models have two USB ports, HD radio and an 8-inch touchscreen with adjacent physical controls, including the must-have volume and tuning knobs. Impressively, the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both have wireless integration. Wireless phone charging — critical if you really want to go cord-free, as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can drain your phone’s battery fast — is optional, as are all-digital gauges.
The Limited trim comes with wireless charging and swaps the 8-inch screen for a 10.25-inch touchscreen. It’s a slick, high-resolution display, but it introduces some annoyances. Gone is the tuning knob, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto revert to a wired setup. What’s more, the larger display has a widescreen ratio that’s starved for height, so items like the backup camera image appear only on part of the screen. The navigation map and Apple CarPlay leverage the entire display, but I didn’t test Android Auto (I’m an iPhone user). Cars.com staffers with Android devices have observed display limitations in other Hyundai models with the automaker’s 10.25-inch display. See for yourself on a test drive.
The Fatal Flaw?
For all the Elantra’s strengths, the obvious flaw comes inside. It’s not space: The low center console affords a wide berth for the driver, and backseat knee clearance should suit adult passengers. Our independent accounting of cargo space found 19 cubic feet in the Elantra’s trunk, within 1 cubic foot of our accounting in the Civic, Corolla and Sentra.
Hyundai’s problem is materials quality. Even in the Limited trim, the upper doors, where your arms and elbows might rest, are all cheap hard plastic, as are most areas your knees touch. Things decline even further in the backseat, where the dollar-store treatment extends to the door armrests. The glove box opens with an undamped clatter; the headliner is mouse fur.
All of that falls in line with the prior-generation Elantra, no standout for cabin materials itself. But if you haven’t been in other compact cars, you’re missing out. The Civic and Impreza have a proper woven headliner. The Sentra offers soft-touch materials where your knees land, and almost all rivals have soft-touch door materials up front, especially in higher trim levels. The Mazda3 keeps it classy front and rear.
There’s potential to right the ship immediately. All major controls feel uniformly meticulous, unlike rivals like the Corolla. All Hyundai would have to do is swap in better materials immediately for a modest cost per car. Of course, the bean counters will multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of cars the automaker hopes to sell. You know how that ends.
Features and Value
As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to publish crash-test results for the 2021 Elantra, but once the agency does, those results will appear here. Standard safety and driver-assist features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a blind spot warning system and lane-centering steering.
The Elantra SE starts just under $21,000 (all prices include destination). That’s roughly competitive with rivals’ base models, most of which have standard automatic transmissions, as well. Standard features include 15-inch alloy wheels, the 8-inch touchscreen with wireless phone integration and the aforementioned safety tech. Finding an SE might be hard, however: As of this writing, just 12% of new 2021 Elantra sedans on Cars.com are SE models, and that’s with the Elantra Hybrid and N Line not yet on sale. Their eventual arrival will consign the SE to an even smaller slice of the pie.
The vast majority of current inventory is the next-up Elantra SEL (about $22,000), which adds larger wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and keyless access with push-button start. Add options or climb the trim levels, and you can get leather upholstery, a power driver’s seat with memory, heated and ventilated front seats, the larger touchscreen, Bose premium audio, adaptive cruise control and Highway Driving Assist. (HDA augments Hyundai’s standard lane-centering, called Lane Following Assist, with additional capabilities on designated highways. Read more about the differences.)
The N Line runs about $25,000, while the well-equipped Limited (around $26,500) doesn’t have any factory options. The Elantra Hybrid, meanwhile, exacts a $2,650 premium for its SEL and Limited trims versus the same non-hybrid examples. As such, expect an Elantra Hybrid Limited to set you back about $29,000 — likely the highest sticker price most shoppers will see on any Elantra. That’s still a decent value, especially considering Hyundai’s impressive warranty and three years’ free maintenance.
Value might drive many shoppers toward the Elantra, and excellent drivability should justify consideration even among the less budget-conscious. The downfall comes with Hyundai’s lack of investment inside, a peskiness that leaves the Elantra at four-fifths of great.