Our initial impression was very good. While it is a small car, the Elantra has plenty of passenger and cargo space, even with passengers in the car, no one will feel cramped. A large easy to access trunk is spacious enough for whatever you may want to carry with you. Drivability in both the 2.0 liter and the Eco’s 1.8 L was great for a small engine car carrying four people, and the ride quite comfortable. We found the Eco to be quite peppy due to the turbo, though it had a bouncier ride, with just the driver in the car. All models had a nice tight turning radius and solid transmission shift, and an even power band.
While we did not get to drive the Elantra Sport, we were impressed with its design, and sportier appointments, the availability of a 6-Speed manual transmission and the growl of the exhaust. Though it will feature a slightly smaller 1.7 Liter turbo charged engine, the model will have plenty to offer for a more exciting drive experience.
Hyundai’s build quality was very good for a $17K to $27K car, with enough standard features that the Elantra does not feel stripped down. Plenty of optional well-priced safety and technology packages are available, from Android Auto and Apple Car Play, to smart cruise control and lane keep assist.
The Elantra’s driver comfort was good, though we felt more comfortable in the passenger seat, as the driver’s seat was harder on the bum and back. The driver’s position had access to everything that they need, including steering wheel mounted controls for cruise and radio.
Hyundai has long featured a 100K mile / Ten Year Warranty on its vehicles, to assure consumers that these are not cheap or poorly made cars. Hyundai’s cost of ownership has proven to be low, with Kelly Blue Book ranking it No. 1 among mainstream brands for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period.
What we liked: The interior and exterior design, clean and modern. Drivability, especially the tight turning radius and peppy pickup. Passenger and trunk space was plentiful, and the optional technology and safety features cover most people’s wants and needs in an automobile.
What we did not like: The driver’s seat did not feel as comfortable as the passenger seat, and the model with leather seats (which we initially thought were naugahyde.) The leather seat coverings could be a more sustainable if not better looking. The Eco’s cloth seats were basic and nondescript, as we did not expect anything more in an economy car.
After driving the Hyundai Elantra, Eco and Limited, we would recommend this vehicle, if you are looking for a quality built, value priced car, that is good looking, and comfortable to drive, with all the current up-to-date technology, this meets that criteria.
Looking for the best deal, as we always suggest, using your membership in AAA, a credit union, a wholesale club like Costco, or other membership organization to get the best price possible on this or any other automobile that you purchase. Do your homework on both ends of the purchase, the car you want to buy, and how you will buy it. If you are financing the purchase, get pre-approved and have the paperwork ready before you go to the dealership. Being a wise consumer and being prepared, is the best way to save money.
Photos and article by – William West Hopper