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2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited Review By John Heilig

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited
ENGINE: 2.0-liter I-4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with Shiftronic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 147 hp @ 6,000 rpm/132 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 179.9 x 70.9 x 56.5 in.
TIRES: P225/45R17
CARGO: 14.4 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway/28.8 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 14.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,109-3,131 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Acura ILX, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra 
STICKER: $27,710 (includes $825 delivery, $4,325 options)
BOTTOM LINE: While officially classified as a mid-size, the Hyundai Elantra is, in fact, a largish compact car, with a host of amenities and decent interior space.

The Hyundai Elantra is one of those “tweener” cars; it isn’t a compact and according to the EPA it’s a mid-size. It really slots somewhere in between. 

For example, one of my personal criteria in determining a car’s segment is to check rear seat legroom. It it’s good, then I’ll probably accept the car as a mid-size or larger. If it’s cozy but you can still move your legs around and your knees aren’t bumping against the back of the seat in front of you, then it’s a compact. So I call the Elantra a compact, even though it is an inch longer than last year’s model.

For 2017 there are two Elantra models, the Elantra and Elantra Sport. Our tester is the base Elantra, but with Limited trim that includes $4,325 in options.

Styling is neat. The Elantra resembles the previous generation Sonata with its strong side character line. The grille could have been lifted from wither Ford or Aston Martin. Interior surfaces are all soft touch, although there is a brushed aluminum strip that connects the front and rear.

But the Elantra is a nice compact, sitting on the cusp between compact and mid-size. Ride quality is good, enhancing the mid-size claim. Power from the 2.0-liter line four is good at 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. Since the Elantra only weight 3100 pounds, there isn’t a lot for the engine to pull around (front wheel drive) and so there’s enough to satisfy almost all power junkies. And with that light weight and power rating, economy is very good. The EPA claims 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with a 32 mpg overall rating. We achieved 28.8 mpg in our test.

In addition, you can change shift points among normal, sport and eco modes that change shift points on acceleration.

A signature feature of the Elantra for years has been the controls that are all within easy reach of the driver. The 2017 version does not disappoint. There are essential features such as space in the doors for water bottles (plus the requisite pair of cupholders in the center), and bottoms to the door pulls to hold keys or cell phones. 

Controls on the wheel for audio volume and mode and cruise control have a good feel where you can toggle to increase or decrease. Phone controls are simple buttons. 

Other internal storage areas include a nice cubby at the base of the center stack with two 12-volt outlets and a USB and AUX connection. There are also USB and AUX connections in the small center console/arm rest. 

The instrument panel is clear with white-on-black dials. There is an information screen between the tachometer and speedometer. Among the four choices you can toggle through are a digital speedometer, trip information and fuel economy.  

There’s a nice infotainment screen dominating the center of the dash. It’s fairly standard with the usual audio choices. The navigation system is easy to program and it saves several destinations if you travel among different locations. For example, my home was pre-programmed into the system. After my wife and I had toured somewhere, we could easily find our home and just set that as our destination. 

The trunk has decent capacity at 14.4 cubic feet, and they are useful cubic feet. The rear seats fold down (releases are located in the trunk) to increase cargo capacity with a flat floor. The rear seat backs fold 60/40.

All in all, the Hyundai Elantra is a very nice compact car. As a compact, it has a little more room than the competition. As a mid-size, it suffers a bit.

(c) The Auto Page Syndicate

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