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2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited Review By John Heilig

2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited (select to view enlarged photo)

Editor's Notes: I just returned from an 11 hour road trip in a Hyundai Elantra and I loved it. Lots of power, lots of comfort, lots of quiet, and lots of gotta put the Elantra on your test drive and consideration for purchase list...I would.

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

REVIEWED MODEL: 2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited
ENGINE: 2.0-liter 4
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm/132 lb.-ft. torque
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 181.9 x 70.9 x 56.5 in.
TIRES: P225/45R17
CARGO CAPACITY: 14.4 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway/31.9 mpg test
CURB WEIGHT: 2,844 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Sentra
STICKER: $27,215 (includes $930 delivery, $3,485 options)
BOTTOM LINE: the Hyundai Elantra is a decent compact car with little not to recommend it.

Let’s face it, compact cars are compact cars. While they usually offer economy and efficiency, compromises often make the driving experience less than thrilling. 

The Hyundai Elantra, while not thrilling, is a quite capable compact sedan with its share of pluses and minuses. Among the former is a working 2.0-liter four cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower, and driving the front wheels through an intelligent CVT transmission that is new to Elantra this year. A unique element to this CVT is its chain drive, rather than belt drive, which is quieter and improves fuel economy, according to Hyundai. Our test economy was 31.9 mpg over urban and suburban roads. I’m certain that if you add more highway miles into the mix, overall economy will rise to the EPA estimated highway range of 40mpg. 

A former Elantra owner once told me her favorite feature of the car was that all the controls were easy to reach and were where they should be. I agree. The first time I drove the Elantra I felt I knew where everything was without looking. 

Radio controls are simple, but if you want to dig deeper there is an infotainment system to navigate. A simple dual zone HVAC system kept us comfortable in an interesting range of weather. In emergencies, we had heated seats.

Audio, phone and cruise control switches are on the wheel as well, along with the telephone. The instrument panel is simple and uncomplicated.

Interior storage is aided by a nice cubby at the base of the center stack with 12-volt, USB and AUX outlets plus a Qi wireless charger. There’s also a USB outlet in the small center console/arm rest.

Front seats are comfortable and offer a good range of power adjustment. Rear legroom is tight. That’s one of the generic minuses of compact cars. However, there’s good outward visibility for rear passengers and a low center hump that might allow for a middle passenger in the back. 

There’s also a good trunk that survived a couple of trips to Costco without lowering the rear seat backs for extra carrying capacity. Seat back releases are conveniently located in the cargo area. Another shall minus is styling. The Elantra is almost indistinguishable from most other compacts.

Overall, the Hyundai Elantra is a nice compact car. Just don’t expect too much from it and you’ll be happy.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate