2021 Hyundai Elantra First Drive—Stepping Up Its Game

Not too way back, compact sedans had been seen as financial system automobiles whose main job was A-to-B transportation. Tailor-made for these with tight budgets, these financial system automobiles didn’t have the stylish options of at the moment; 10.3-inch touchscreens, premium audio programs, and computerized emergency braking with adaptive cruise management had been nowhere on the horizon. A performance-oriented compact? Neglect about it.

However as the general compact sedan market contracts, the image is altering for these gamers remaining within the recreation. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is living proof. With 4 powertrains out there, together with a hybrid and two performance-oriented fashions, the 2021 Elantra is stepping up its game.



Hyundai’s compact sedan was already referred to as a reliable participant. In our most up-to-date compact sedan Big Test, the sixth-generation Elantra claimed third place out of seven. Its worth, expertise, and design had been all robust factors, but it surely felt brief when it comes to mechanics. Though not as in style as earlier than, the phase continues to alter. And so does the Elantra. The 2021 mannequin is new from the bottom up, bringing a brand new chassis, engines, expertise, and design.

How Does The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Drive?

Hyundai will provide three Elantras at launch—the common Elantra, a sportier N Line, and a hybrid. The track-ready Elantra N is coming in 2021.

The Elantra that the majority clients will purchase is powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle l-Four that delivers 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. A repeatedly variable transmission sends the facility to the entrance wheels. The engine carries over from the earlier era, but it surely has been tweaked to enhance gas effectivity. In contrast to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, there’s no upgraded engine except you go for the N Line. These engine-output figures don’t sound like quite a bit, and so they aren’t. They’re barely beneath the Civic’s base engine and the Nissan Sentra’s sole engine however simply above the Corolla’s normal mill. Nonetheless, we discovered the Elantra to carry out adequately throughout our drive in Los Angeles.

The CVT really will get a whole lot of that credit score. As a substitute of sacrificing gas financial system for efficiency, the CVT will alter to ship torque every time it’s wanted. Merely press down the throttle, and the transmission will shortly reply, and when you’ve reached a cruising velocity, it’ll readjust to ship higher gas effectivity. Most notably, the CVT is quiet and refined, missing the thrashiness we’ve skilled in different autos with this sort of transmission.

Though the common Elantra received’t elevate eyebrows for its energy, it offers a settled experience. The small bumps didn’t appear to trouble its chassis, because the shock absorbers shortly intervene to dam the vibrations from going into the cabin. On the canyon roads north of Los Angeles, the Elantra proved it could possibly deal with tight turns with out dropping its posture.

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line Brings Out The Enjoyable


Want extra energy? The 2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line delivers 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque due to its 1.6-liter turbo l-Four engine. The N Line’s normal transmission is a six-speed handbook, however for many who don’t really feel like rowing their very own gears, a seven-speed twin clutch transmission is obtainable. Consider the N Line as a Civic Si competitor.

We drove an Elantra N Line with three pedals by way of the canyons of Malibu, and we had been fairly glad with the efficiency it delivered. The turbo has a little bit of lag, however the added energy made a major distinction in comparison with the common Elantra. The low-end torque offers a enjoyable expertise behind the wheel; we sprinted by way of the canyons at a a lot sooner tempo than the usual Elantra is able to.

One massive distinction within the Elantra N Line is the multilink rear suspension, which confirmed higher physique management on the tight corners. Hyundai additionally tightened the spring charges on the N Line, making the experience extra dynamic. The consequence shouldn’t be a sportier experience that beats you up however slightly a experience that feels properly balanced to supply each a extra dynamic expertise and a cushty drive. Just like the common Elantra, the N Line comes with three driving modes—Regular, Sport, and Sensible—that change the throttle mapping and steering really feel.

The Inside of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Is Marvelous, However …

Enter the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Restricted, and also you’ll be wowed by the 10.3-inch touchscreen, the 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and the quantity of tech goodies. From the flexibility to make use of your cellphone as a key to the pure conduct of the voice controls, Hyundai packed the Elantra with loads of helpful options. SE, SEL, and N Line trims get an 8.0-inch touchscreen as an alternative of the massive display however profit from wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


Nevertheless, as we seemed a bit nearer, we had been dissatisfied with the low-quality plastics used all through the inside. The door panels and dashboard are crammed with exhausting plastics which might be inferior for the phase, particularly for the $26,445 Restricted. The juxtaposition of the tough plastics with the opulent 10.3-inch touchscreen gave us blended emotions. We’d give Hyundai a cross if we had been wanting on the subcompact Accent, however the competitors is harder in at the moment’s compact automobile phase. We additionally missed rear-seat air vents and USB ports for these seated on the second row.

However whatever the trim, the brand new inside is extra spacious than earlier than. Yours really, at 6-foot 1, had greater than sufficient rear legroom when the driving force’s seat was set to my place. Regardless of the fastback roofline, there’s additionally loads of headroom within the second row. We appreciated helpful options such because the adjustable cupholders, which give two sizes to accommodate bigger water bottles, and the stowage out there within the door panels .

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra begins at $20,645, with the SE getting a four-speaker system, two USB ports, handbook A/C, 15-inch alloy wheels, and a handful of security options (ahead collision avoidance, lane maintain help with lane following, and secure exit warning). The Elantra SEL is obtainable for $21,895 and provides keyless entry with push-button begin, two-zone computerized A/C, a six-speaker audio system with satellite tv for pc radio, and 16-inch wheels. The SEL is the one trim out there with the elective Comfort and Premium packages, which add $950 and $2,100 additional, respectively. Apart from getting the aforementioned 10.3-inch screens, the Restricted provides leather-based seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an influence driver’s seat, a Bose premium audio system with eight audio system, 18-inch wheels, Hyundai’s Digital Key, smart cruise management with stop-and-go performance, parking distance warning, and freeway drive help.

The Elantra N Line is available in a well-equipped mono-spec trim with bolstered material seats and a sport steering wheel. Priced at $25,095 with the handbook transmission, the N Line brings a ton of worth, because it will get a extra highly effective engine and additional normal gear over the common Elantra. A wi-fi charger and Hyundai’s Digital Key make it into the N Line at no additional cost. The seven-speed twin clutch is obtainable for $1,100.

Is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Value Wanting At?

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra combines a number of updates that make it extra competent. Its greatest downside, nonetheless, is that the Civic exists (and a new one is on the way). Though the compact sedan phase is shrinking, it’s nonetheless fairly in style and aggressive. Hyundai has been within the phase lengthy sufficient to know it, and the brand new Elantra shouldn’t be wanting again—its hanging design, trendy expertise, and very good inside house will transfer it ahead.

2021 Hyundai Elantra
PRICE $20,645-$26,445
LAYOUT Entrance-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 2.0L/147-hp/132-lb-ft Atkinson-cycle DOHC 16-valve l-4; 1.6L/201-hp/195-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve l-4
TRANSMISSION Cont var auto, 6-speed handbook, 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 2,750-3,050 lb (mfr)
WHEELBASE 107.1 in
L x W x H 184.1 x 71.9 x 55.7-55.9 in
0-60 MPH 6.9-9.Zero sec (MT est)
EPA FUEL ECON 25-33/34-43/28-37 mpg
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 102-135/78-99 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.53-0.68 lb/mile
ON SALE At the moment

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