With the recent releases of the all-new Sonata and newly refreshed Ioniq, we knew it would not be long before Hyundai took their Elantra to a new level. The previous model we reviewed in our Rental Car Rodeo series last year, kept up to everything that Hyundai is known for, dependability, reliability, and durability. With 3.4 million Elantras sold in the U.S. and more than 13.8 million worldwide, no question that this compact has found a great niche in the market with consumers.
Longer, wider and lower. The all-new seventh-generation 2021 Elantra is now 184.1 inches in length, 79.9 in overall width, 55.7 inches in height, with a wheelbase of 107.1 inches overall. Elantra has grown in size on the outside by just a small amount dramatically changed the shape of the car allowing for an increase in the passenger compartment with 40.6 inches of front headroom and 37.3 inches of rear headroom, 38.0 inches of rear legroom, with 14.2 cu-ft. of trunk space. Now with a hybrid engine option that provides class-leading mileage, something that is not often thought of with Korean vehicles.
This is the second Hyundai to identify as sensuous and sporty at the same time. Not two words that are often thought about when talking about mid-sized four-door sedans.
What you will notice from the outside is overall gem-like shapes that work with the body design. In front a bold facia shape with a Parametric-jewel-pattern grille with turn-signal integration and a wide, cascading grille architecture integrating with the headlamps. New 15-, 16-, and 17-inch-wheel designs are available. The rear features a black deck accent that enhances a coupe-like look, high-tech “H-Tail Lamp” that creates a Hyundai flying H logo. and wing-type treatment for the rear bumper
Hybrid Powertrain with 50+ MPG
Now offering a hybrid in the Elantra demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to expanding its eco-focused powertrains. This 1.6-liter GDI Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine combined with the permanent-magnet electric motor delivers 32 kW powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.32 kWh of capacity. For a total system output of 139 horsepower and up to 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine mates with Hyundai’s quick-shifting, six-speed, the dual-clutch transmission provides a more dynamic and engaging driving experience. The high-efficiency electric motor has an electric-only driving mode that delivers instantaneous torque at low speeds, with available power-assist at higher vehicle speeds, and is projected to have a combined EPA estimated fuel economy rating of more than 50 MPG.
2.0-liter engine on non-hybrid models. – Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited offer a larger 2.0L MPI Atkinson Cycle engine generating 147 horsepower @ 6,200 RPM and 132 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,500 RPM. These models are projected to achieve a best-in-class EPA fuel economy due in part to an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT).
Intelligent Variable Transmission Mated to a 2.0L Engine – Hyundai’s IVT simulates gear shifts like those in the automatic transmissions that drivers may be used to. The IVT uses a wide-ratio pulley system, which provides a broader ratio of operation and performs continuous shifts by the modulating pressure of the transmission’s pulley, depending on driving conditions and driver inputs allowing for improved fuel economy at higher gear ratios and improved performance at lower ratios.
Each Elantra still comes with traditional keys. and offers Hyundai’s optional Digital Key allowing the 2021 Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven using an optional android smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key or NFC Card. Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key via applicable Android smartphones. This allows for the secure sharing of virtual keys that can be tailored to different vehicle functions and made available for only a defined amount of time.
Enhanced Voice Recognition System – The 2021 Elantra has an enhanced voice recognition system including Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies. Providing more accuracy in voice recognition and responses with the ability to understand the context, such as the user’s location to support natural interactions for HVAC control and other functions.
Using a natural voice, one can make a request like, “Air conditioner on,” “Set fan to face,” or “Turn on my heated seat.” There are also more requests, “What is the temperature in St. Louis?”, “When is Mother’s Day?”, “Find me a Starbucks”, or “Who won the game?”
Two Available 10.25-inch Screens – The optional futuristic 10.25-inch split touchscreen where the navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps and drivers get connected routing. The 2021 Elantra comes standard with an eight-inch color display audio system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and HD Radio. Allowing the driver and passengers to leave the cell phone cords at home. This is because Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available. As well as dual Bluetooth support, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio, leaving the phone in pocket or purse. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link® Multimedia/Map updates. Qi wireless charging is an option.
Look for Fall 2020 Availability
Production to begin at Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in the fall with shipments to dealers in the fourth quarter
Words and photos enhanced from the 2021 Hyundai Elantra Press Release 03/17/2020, Posted by William West Hopper.
Will is a long time automotive writer and enthusiast and current Hyundai Electric Vehicle leaseholder. He is also President Emeritus of the Washington Automotive Press Association, WAPA in Washington DC.