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2021 Hyundai Elantra | Up Close, In Person

Kelley Blue Book

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Published on Jul 02, 2020
For the latest Hyundai Elantra pricing and information:

Earlier we got a look at the 7th-gen Hyundai Elantra. While we’re not allowed to drive it yet, at least we get to see it and talk about it not from our kitchen and living room.

Right off the bat you can clearly see this Elantra gets a longer, lower and wider stance than its predecessor. Visually the Elantra gets a ton more personality with this iteration and doesn’t feel as generic as it used to.

That shows up right away up front.

The grill that’s very similar to the new Sonata that we love really gives the Elantra a sporty and forward leaning appearance. The grill’s wider and more aggressive looking, but not over-sized and ill-proportioned. The curved headlamps add great character and the creases in the sheet metal make for an excellent front ¾ angle.

The rear gets this slightly winged decklid and narrow squinty taillights. It carries over that same creased and aggressive look from the front nicely. It looks taught and clenched like it’s ready for action.

So, you might remember that I called out this “Z” in the profile and that I was going to reserve judgement until I saw it in person. Well, here it goes.

How do I feel about the “Z”?

Overall, I think the Elantra does a solid job in trying to differentiate itself, which is so important in competitive category. Whether you like it or not, you absolutely know a Honda Civic when it drives down the street. Speaking of…

Other compact sedans that the Elantra goes up against include that Civic the Toyota Corolla Mazda Mazda3 and Nissan Sentra

The Elantra’s interior design leans to the simple side. Hey, we say that about Audi’s interior design, and I like both.

There’s not a lot of fuss, but what you need is where you expect it.

An 8-inch display comes standard, but if you want to lux up your Elantra, again, like an Audi, Hyundai’s employed an optional dual 10.2-inch screen set up. Part of it takes care of infotainment and the other digital gauge cluster duties.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as ambient lighting options really show that Hyundai’s swinging for the fences with their upscale options packages and tech.

Legroom in the rear gets generous more generous, but the headroom might be a bit short thanks to that sloping roofline. Seats feel comfortable and really supportive. If you’re bringing a super tall friend along, they might want to call shotgun quickly.

Under all that creased deck lid comes 14.2 cubic feet of truck space.

Standard safety features include lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection standard. For more advanced systems such as blind spot warnings and adaptive cruise control, you’re going to have to pay more.

The Elantra’s coming in three trim levels the SE, SEL and Limited and all come standard with a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder engine (147 hp/132 lb-ft.) that’s paired up with an Intelligent Variable Transmission.

There will be a N variant available as well, so performance junkies, look out for that.

In our experience, this version of the CVT doesn’t fall under the dreadful category.

We’ll of course reserve judgement until we drive, but Hyundai’s got a decent track record in the transmission department.

The Elantra will also come as a hybrid combining a 1.6-liter gas engine with an electric motor that gets a combined 139 hp and employs 6-speed dual clutch transmission.

With Hyundai’s combined 50 mpg claim, we’re very interested to get our hands on that.

This new Elantra is lighter and has a longer wheelbase and lower center of gravity than the previous gen because of the new compact platform its riding on. Hyundai also tells us that the Elantra gets improved steering and upgraded suspension mounts.

All those items combined should make a big difference in the handling and performance departments, but as this car is parked inside, we are still going to have to wait on finding that out.

We’re one step closer to knowing more about Hyundai’s new Elantra now that we’ve seen it in person, but there’s still going to be more to share when we get behind the wheel, so stay tuned.
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