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2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport Review By John Heilig

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2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

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

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
ENGINE: 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 201 hp @ 6,000 rpm/195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 179.9 x 70.9 x 56.5 in.
TIRES: P225/40R18
CARGO CAPACITY: 14.4 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway/23.2 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 14.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,042-3,064 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze
STICKER: $25,018 (includes $835 delivery, $2,525 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The Sport Version of the Hyundai Elantra adds some styling and performance panache to an already capable compact-to-mid-size sedan.

At its core, the Hyundai Elantra is a pretty decent small sedan. While it’s technically rated as a mid-size, it’s really at the lower end of that scale (or at the upper end of the compact scale).

Yet Hyundai has created an Elantra Sport with some modifications that add appeal to the base model. For example, in the styling department, model-exclusive front and rear fascias separate the Sport from the base. In addition, the Sport has a black hexagonal grille with a “Turbo” badge, as well as side sill extensions. Add to this, chrome exhaust extensions and model-specific 18-inch wheels, and the physical separation is complete. Inside, there’s a flat-bottom wheel with a red center stripe, but it’s on the bottom rather than the top.

For performance, the 1.6-liter engine adds a turbocharger to produce 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, increases of 54 hp and 63 lb.-ft. over the base model. Underneath, a Sport-exclusive multi-link rear suspension helps keep the wheels in contact with the road, while both front and rear suspensions have larger stabilizer bars and higher spring and damper rates.

A nice 6-speed manual helps shift the gears. A 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters is also available, but I liked the manual for its ability to make better use of the engine range.

Even the sound has been tweaked, with modifications to the intake and exhaust to create a sporty sound character.

That all adds up to, as the name implies, a sportier version of the standard Elantra. It’s nice that these performance additions don’t detract a whole lot from the base car.

Ride quality is good. Despite the enhanced suspension, ride quality is not harsh. In fact, it isn’t even that stiff in normal driving. The suspension goodies do more to enhance handling, which is very good. In addition, there’s a tight turning circle, which is an aid in parking.

I’m as guilty as the next guy, but despite al the performance additions and exterior tweaks, you spend your time inside the car, looking at the dash when you’re also looking out the window. The Elantra Sport’s cabin is useful for both driver and front passenger. For example, there is a cubby at the base of the center stack that is a good size and has a pair of 12-volt outlets plus AUX and USB ports. It also has a cover so it can be used as a two-level cubby if wanted. Both front doors have dual compartments that include room for water bottles.

The center console/arm rest is deep with another USB plug.

Front seats offer some side support, as befits a sport version. They are heated with red stitching, like the wheel and arm rests. Rear seats offer good leg room. I generally “measure” rear legroom by sitting behind the driver’s seat when it is in “my” position. There’s red stitching on the rear seats as well, and the pull-down arm rest has a pair of cupholders. My wife and I both appreciated the extensions to the visors that add sun protection.

In standard configuration the trunk is a good size at 14.4 cubic feet. The rear seat backs can be folded to increase cargo capacity, with the seat back releases located in the trunk.

Overall. the Hyundai Elantra Sport is a good driver and rider. The enhancements over the base Elantra do well to create a sportier four-door sedan with none of the flaws that seem to crop up in other “sport” modifications.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

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