The Hyundai Elantra is a bread and butter automotive for Hyundai, and the seventh era of the compact sedan has arrived with eye-catching design, making us do a double take much like what the midsize Hyundai Sonata did final yr. Most individuals haven’t seen the brand new Elantra past photos, however MotorTrend was capable of safe a pre-production mannequin for a closer look at the 2021 model that may go into manufacturing this fall and go on sale on the finish of the yr.
Though we did get to do some restricted driving, at Hyundai’s request, driving impressions cannot be shared as a result of it’s a pre-production automotive—a piece in progress—and an early sufficient construct within the improvement course of that a number of the options that can be supplied weren’t but useful. We respect that—a cake just isn’t tasty earlier than it’s baked—however we will share much more particulars in regards to the automotive’s styling, options, and our total impression.
Automobiles are a declining section, however do not rely them out but. The compact automotive section accounted for six.four p.c of complete new car gross sales in america within the first half of the yr, and midsize vehicles had been 7.2 p.c. It means automakers nonetheless promote 1 million small vehicles a yr.
The Elantra follows the Sonata because the second car launched below Hyundai’s new design theme, which goals to make vehicles sensuously sporty. That sounds formidable, however the first two efforts are promising. They’re additionally totally different. The Elantra is sharper in its traces than the extra rounded Sonata, however they’ve equally sloped C-pillars. They share the identical structure, however the wheelbase was shortened for the smaller Elantra.
Seventh-Era Elantra is Longer, Wider, Decrease
Total, the brand new Elantra is 2.2 inches longer than the outgoing mannequin, together with a wheelbase that grew by 0.Eight inch. Additionally it is 1.Zero inches wider and decrease. The entrance is a mixture of angular and sporty traces pointing to the cascading grille. The usual LED headlights are price a closeup look, particularly the three items converging to the middle, and they’re an additional testomony to Hyundai’s emphasis on lighting. That focus created the distinctive working lights within the chrome strips that stretch up the hood of the Sonata. Elantra doesn’t go that far, not shocking given that it’s the smaller, extra price-sensitive automotive. Additionally, the chrome strip is a Sonata factor—not an Elantra design cue. Extra lighting illuminates the decklid and sides of the brand new Elantra.
Key Variations from the Sonata
Moreover, the Elantra didn’t copy the Sonata hood that extends to the grille; the Elantra has a conventional hood minimize. However the Elantra hood is detailed with a sequence of creases. Actually, the entire automotive is punctuated with rigorously positioned traces and creases. Most attention-grabbing: The parallel character traces run from the entrance to rear fender and the third diagonal line between them, as if Zorro was understanding his signature slash. The complicated form removes any sense of bulk or flab within the sides. Most controversial: The numerous crinkly traces on the again.
To advertise the sporty picture, the entrance is designed to provide the phantasm of far bigger entrance air intakes than they’re—and function placeholders for the 2021 Elantra N Line, which is notable for its daring intakes. From the again, the horizontal traces, together with full-width lighting, are designed to make the automotive look wider.
The facet profile is coupe-like with a quick C-pillar, blacked out rear quarter home windows, and a pronounced crease that extends the roof to the again to create a pure spoiler. To keep up manageable headroom within the again, the brand new structure made it attainable to decrease the seats. Rear legroom is unchanged from the earlier era. Hyundai claims the Elantra has essentially the most passenger quantity within the section at 113.6 cubic ft. A fast comparability with the primary competitors confirms this, and the Elantra even bests some crossovers, together with the Toyota RAV4, BMW X2 and Mazda CX-30.
When it comes to visibility, the A pillars are thicker, however the openings are bigger. The sprint was pushed down for a wider visual field and to create a extra open feeling within the driver-centric cockpit. There’s a 10.25-inch TFT show that adjoins the 10.25-inch infotainment display that’s tilted 10 levels towards the motive force. It’s a single piece of glass, and the graphics are clear and crisp. Of curiosity, there’s a small extra display to the left of the TFT, which is black with a dotted line via it. It’s a graphic placeholder for info sooner or later. Our guess: It’s going to present efficiency information for the Elantra N Line when it joins the lineup to switch the Elantra Sport.
Carryover Powertrain however New Hybrid and N Line
Hopping contained in the Elantra, you might be greeted with comfortable symphonic music if you flip the automotive on and off. Underneath the hood is the carryover 147-hp, 132-lb-ft, 2.0-liter inline-four mated to a constantly variable transmission, whereas the 2021 Elantra Hybrid makes use of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electrical motor to realize a complete system output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The Hybrid pairs with a six-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission, and Hyundai anticipates it’ll obtain 50 mpg-e. The Elantra rides on 15-, 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels. The N Line can have a unique powertrain, however no particulars have been launched but. And product planner Mike Evanoff doesn’t rule out the potential for a handbook transmission for the N Line.
Additional contributing to the cabin temper, there are 64 colours accessible for ambient lighting. The colours default to colours pinned to every drive mode—inexperienced for eco, crimson for sport, blue for smart and white for regular—however there’s a colour wheel within the nav display to customise it the cabin lighting.
The four-spoke steering wheel just isn’t flat-bottomed, however it’s an attention-grabbing design that includes flat hand rests. I additionally just like the seize deal with within the middle console on the passenger facet solely so the motive force doesn’t really feel hemmed in.
When it comes to supplies, the sprint is a textured black plastic, damaged up by chrome trim. The doorways have a grained artificial plastic polymer that looks like rubberized leather-based, jazzed up with swooping traces of sewing. The fabric feels prefer it might resist any type of put on, tear, or spills. There’s a little little bit of softness on the armrest, however I might not use the phrase plush. The headliner is fabric.
Some Critical Room Again Right here
Seats are black perforated leather-based with distinction stitching and first rate bolstering. There are seatbelts for 3 passengers within the surprisingly roomy rear seat, and that features headroom. Entrance legroom just isn’t finest at school, however rear legroom is. Whole passenger quantity beats the competitors, and the Elantra has the segment-best passenger room however not cargo room. The middle portion of the again seat pulls all the way down to an armrest with cupholders, and there’s a mesh cargo pocket on the again of the onerous plastic passenger seat. That’s the finish of the facilities for rear passengers; there aren’t any air vents or controls or USB or cost ports.
The gearshift goes from a pistol grip to a T-bar for a extra upscale really feel. The button to pick out drive mode, in addition to digicam view, parking help, and auto maintain are all built-in across the gearshift; it is each simple to search out and use. Little touches embrace deep-set cupholders for tall drinks with an insert that may be taken out, rotated, and popped again in for smaller cups.
Hyundai says providing wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection is a section first. Pop your telephone into the wi-fi charger, which has a cooling function to maintain the telephone from overheating, and they’ll stream wirelessly. This function was not but operable within the pre-production mannequin, so its effectiveness couldn’t be examined. Wi-fi connection is barely supplied with the 8.0-inch display for the 2021 mannequin yr, however vehicles with the bigger display are nonetheless hardwired for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A pleasant function: Two units may be related so you may have your telephone going with Waze whereas a second system performs music via the eight-speaker Bose sound system. USB ports and 12-volt energy retailers sit above the telephone cost mat for straightforward accessibility.
Hear a Fire Crackle
An easter egg of types: Swipe via the nav display to settings, and discover “sounds of nature” to listen to the sound of waves, an energetic forest, a wet day, snowy village, open air café, or a crackling hearth.
When it comes to security, the Hyundai SmartSense bundle of options is customary and consists of computerized emergency braking, lane maintain help, and lane observe help that facilities the automotive within the lane, in addition to excessive beam help, blind-spot avoidance help and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance help. Blind-spot avoidance help prompts the automotive to flash and sound a warning if there may be an unseen automotive within the subsequent lane, and the automotive will brake on one facet to information it again within the lane if mandatory. Freeway drive help permits you to set the cruise management to react to adjustments within the pace restrict. It reads indicators in addition to utilizing map information. Good cruise management is an possibility.
Following the Sonata’s lead, the 2021 Elantra additionally has Hyundai digital key that makes use of a telephone app to unlock the automotive; then you definitely put the telephone within the cost pad to be authenticated, which permits it to begin the automotive. A credit score card-sized NFC card additionally supplies entry, primarily serving as a valet key.
The dynamic voice recognition that launched on the Sonata can also be on the Elantra. It higher acknowledges pure speech patterns for instructions. It was not on the pre-production automotive to check. Hyundai’s Bluelink pings the online for info and can verify the automotive’s vitals, resembling gasoline stage, battery well being, and it’ll provide distant begin, set the cabin temperature, warmth the seats, and activate the defrost. Rear occupant alert reminds you that one thing was put within the backseat, whether or not it’s a small passenger or a briefcase.
Trim ranges embrace the bottom SE, the quantity SEL that has optionally available Comfort and Premium packages, the N Line, and Restricted. The hybrid, which appears like the standard Elantra however with totally different badging and shows, is on the market in SEL and Restricted solely. Each the N Line and hybrid are made in Ulsan, Korea, whereas the mainstream fashions are inbuilt Korea and Montgomery, Alabama.
All in all, the Elantra is a looker. It’s going to stand out on roads crowded with SUVs and pickups. It’s a nod to the sporty nature of the automotive section that isn’t useless but and can proceed to reside if automakers like Hyundai proceed to speculate and innovate as a substitute of simply phoning it in.