The 2021 Hyundai Elantra compact sedan raises the bar
Hyundai’s long-lasting Elantra compact sedan, the brand’s best-selling car, gets a dramatic redesign for 2021, and an all-first Elantra hybrid joins the lineup with a performance-focused N Line model. Something for everyone.
The all-new seventh-generation Elantra is taller, lower and wider than its predecessor, transformed into a refined, streamlined beauty while maintaining Elantra’s reputation as a safe bet. The interior space is not diminished by the design changes and in some areas is increased.
Elantra’s new vehicle platform improves fuel economy, safety, handling and performance.
The old Elantra’s standard powertrain is used in the 2021 version, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It has front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is not available.
The Elantra hybrid models produce 139 combined horsepower and feature a six-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged Elantra N Line develops 201 horsepower and is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic. These two new Elantra models deserve special attention, so here we focus on the standard Elantra. This is also the one I drove, so there is that.
Trim levels for the 2021 Hyundai Elantra are SE, SEL and Limited. Pricing with a destination charge of $ 1,005 included starts at $ 20,655 for SE. The SEL is $ 21,905 and the limit is $ 26,455. (For the record, the N line tariff slots between the SEL and the Limited. The hybrid is offered in two different versions, for $ 24,555 or $ 29,105.)
The Elantra SE comes with a bunch of safety and driver assistance features, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless remote, cruise control, cloth seats, six-way adjustable driver’s seat (including height adjustment), a four-way adjustable front passenger seat, air conditioning, Bluetooth, 8-inch audio screen with four speakers, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless functionality, two USB ports and a 12V outlet.
The mid-level SEL model sees what the SE has to offer and elevates it with 16-inch alloy wheels, a proximity key with push-button start and hands-free trunk release, dual automatic climate control, high-six audio. speakers, SiriusXM radio and Blue Connect connected car services.
My tester was a SEL with a few tasty options: Convenience and Premium packages adding desirable features like a Qi wireless charging cradle, heated front seats and heated exterior mirrors, a 10.25 infotainment touchscreen. inch, eight-speaker premium Bose audio system, power sunroof, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection, intelligent cruise control with stop and go and split folding rear seatbacks (a folding rear seatback is standard).
The new Elantra interior matches its exterior with high-end style and feel. The build quality is excellent and the materials used are built to last. Front seat passengers have plenty of room, but even rear seat occupants are treated with respect, in terms of space. As long as they’re not seated in the middle.
The infotainment system’s features are overall user-friendly and intuitive, with volume and adjustment buttons in addition to the use of the touchscreen and steering wheel controls.
The Elantra SE’s fuel consumption ratings are 33 mpg city, 43 mpg on the highway, and 37 mpg combined. The numbers for the SEL and Limited are 31/41/35 mpg. Regular unleaded gasoline is recommended in all areas.
Equipped with the standard four-cylinder engine, Elantra doesn’t take off from a stop in a gust, but it isn’t underpowered either. With improvements in looks, technology, ride and handling, the trusty Hyundai Elantra has raised its own high bar.
HYUNDAI ELANTRA SEL 2021
Base price including destination charges: $ 21,905
Price according to: $ 25,110
Mary Lowry is a freelance automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In any case, the manufacturers do not control the content of the reviews.